Almost… We’re a couple of hours away from the site of Spinal Tap’s route-to-stage mishap, in beautiful Columbus Ohio, where the band have just finished a radio session, with our wonderful friends at CD101. Almost…
We’re a couple of hours away from the site of Spinal Tap’s route-to-stage mishap, in beautiful Columbus Ohio, where the band have just finished a radio session, with our wonderful friends at CD101.
An absolute pleasure to see them again, we’ve been here before, and it’s one of the best radio stations you could hope to visit.
We had a fairly monster journey from wonderful Toronto, which played host to us for a couple of great days. Whilst we were in the city, the band played a sold out show at the Garrison (one that we could have sold out 5 times over, according to the figures) and performed on MuchMusic.
As someone who lived in Toronto for around 14 months of my life, it’s special for me every time we visit the city, but this time it was particularly coo to be able to watch the guys perform in the famous Queen Street studios, with streetcars going past in the background. It was an absolute pleasure to meet the wonderful people of Warner Canada, including our good friend Ken whom it was lovely to see once more, as well as our friends Joel and Dallas, who paid us a most welcome visit after the Garrison shows. Ardent supporters of the band, and firm friends of ours. Not to mention absolute hears of gold. We can’t wait to get back, and hopefully it’ll happen sooner rather than later…
The band played a great set on MuchMusic, performing Bubbles and Many of Horror. They spent a bit of time in the afternoon filming various interviews, so keep your eyes peeled for those. After the performance, they also took a few minutes to visit the legendary Steve’s Music store on Queen Street, continuing James’s neverending quest to find a specific bass amplifier and bass guitar that he’s been on the lookout for, for a good couple of years. No luck, and the search continues.
After leaving Toronto, we approached the US border, which has taken us anything from 30 minutes to 3 hours on previous occasions. This time, however, was mercifully brief, and unusually social.
Q: Is this a band then?
A: sure is
Q: What’s the band name?
A: Biffy Clyro
A: They’re Scottish
Q: What kinda music?
A: A poppy, melodic rock band…
Q: All guys?
A: Erm, yes…
Q: Like a boyband?
A: Not really… they play their own instruments
A: They take their shirts off quite a lot though
Q: In this weather?
Q: But It’s snowing?
Q: OK sir, that all seems in order, Welcome to the USA
We were pretty happy to be through so quickly, given that the length of drive we were doing to the next show wasn’t particularly civilised.
After Columbus tonight, we’re off to the windy city of Chicago – Which reminds me of something that I meant to mention on the diaries on the previous US tours, but didn’t – Last time we stayed in Chicago, we checked into our hotel after the show; After taking the elevator upstairs, I was putting my bags in my room, thinking “this is quite nice… all purple and comfy, what a nice place to spend an evening” when I noticed a little card on the desk, advising me not to open my windows, because of the high possibility that the room would soon be invaded by the spiders that occupy the window-frames of the hotel, blown up from the river. After about 2 minutes of being frozen in an arachnaphobia-induced paranoia, my sensible side regained control, and I figured, this must be a mistake… i’m on the 28th floor, surely that’s just the lower floors. But no. A cursory twitch of the curtain, revealed a horror of an arachnid habitat, stretched across the outside of my window. Chicago’s beautiful skyline, and hazy sunset, mutilated by the eight-legged nightmare in the foreground. They were fucking massive. If the wind didn’t put them there, it could only have been a crane. And there were lots of them. LOTS.
So if you ever go to Chicago, indeed, more pertinently, if you’re coming to chicago, to catch zeBiff, please please please, for the love of all that’s sacred, don’t stay in a high-rise hotel. Or get a room on a low floor. Without any windows.
And if you don’t actually mind spiders, then good for you. Fucking rub it in, why don’t you.
So, you might be wondering about the tally of the subways and starbucks that I mentioned previously… Truth is, I didn’t actually check today. It’s impressive though – last count, the Subway tally was at around 21ft, and the Starbucks tally was weighing in at around 34. And yes, we have our loyalty cards. You suckers can pay .75c for your soya milk, we’re getting ours for freeeeeeeeee.
Our sound engineer Jonny has been awash in a sea of compliments on this tour, not only for successfully squeezing every last ounce of quality out of the venue audio systems, but also for not blowing them up in the process. I seem to remember at a previous show in Philadelphia, he had the poor venue representative running down to the basement to frantically fan a PA amplifier that was rapidly approaching a temperature comparable to a sun going supernova. Still, he’s making friends on this tour, simply by making the band sound great, but with minimal damage. What more could you ask for.
I’ll keep this one brief, and check back in before we head back to London for a couple of days… We’re heading towards some serious snow in Chicago and Minneapolis so keep your fingers crossed for us!