Merry bastah Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit files more updates from the road, as they snake their way across America...and loses his voice in the process.
Following the soaked experience of SXSW its safe to say we ought to be 'drying out' a bit, in every sense. Unfortunately, we are on tour with The Twilight Sad, and they ain't the driest of bands… So upon finishing a lovely show in Lincoln, Nebraska after a long drive from Austin, we all head to the nearest whisky and cigar bar… of course. Luckily it's nearby, as it's unsociably cold and we're already drunk. Jake's pub is a cosy joint in which a strange loophole exists to accommodate cigar smokers, though not cigarette smokers. So as the dignified gentlemen puff on silky cigars indoors, the cigarette smokers huddle outside in the brain-freezing cold like a bunch of, er, jakes.
Personally I'd encourage similar forms of social division within bars. If you're going to drink Stella, please do so in the toilets provided, you dirty bastard! If you plan on sipping a single malt or a vodka martini, then feel free to occupy this chaise lounge, you handsome devil. And if you're looking for a Jagermeister, there's a perfectly serviceable park down the road for you, child. Just a thought…
At the risk of this becoming nothing more than a 'bar diary', there is just one more memorable pub I need to mention. I believe the place is called Espionage, a title which for many of you will conjure images of the stickiest, snoggiest and shittiest night club in many a British town. Not so in Milwaukee. This bar's moniker is derived from it having an actual SPY THEME. It's got secret bookcase doors, telephone box exits, cctv broadcasts in the bar and a secret password you (sort of) need to know in order to gain access to the pub itself. Alas, our lack of local knowledge means that we don't have the right password. Thus, we are commanded by the bouncer to do the hokey cokey for a good 3 minutes before being allowed in. All very fun, until you realise your escapade is being broadcast to the entire bar inside via the cctv system. But we do get in, and guess what!? We all get nice and drunk again. The next diary entry will be all art galleries and coffee shops, I promise. Ohhhhhhhhh hokey vodka cokey. That's what it's all about, apparently.
(DiS looked up their website, and it's wonderfully weird: http://www.safe-house.com)
Oh you wee fucker, it is happening again. I can feel it right there at the back of my throat and know all too well where it leads. I'm not crying again, I promised myself I wouldn't... No, unfortunately my voice is Madge Bishop-ing and there's nothing I can do about it. We're in Cincinnati when I first notice the inevitable effects of a long tour and a couple of aftershows spent in loud bars. Perhaps foolishly, I batter through the set that night in a somewhat Rod Stewart-esque tone, which I'm sure has all the older ladies in the audience screaming for more, but the hipsters are confused… "I'm not sure this is the voice I wish to have expressing all those real feelings that I've been masking since I grew this moustache."
And they are right - it's not a great time for anyone when my voice blows out. In spite of feeling healthy and ready to play, I can't. Therefore, the following day, in spite of a visit to a seasoned ENT doctor (dude's got signed pictures of Clapton, Swift AND Johnny Mathis on the walls) we have to cancel the show. Two silver linings are present in this case, however. Thanks to Twitter's all seeing eye, The Twilight Sad have manage to snag a slot at a venue across town, and thanks to Yelp, Frightened Rabbit snag a table at a marvellous oyster/turkey wing/cured ham/pizza restaurant in the same direction. Yep, The Garage in Louisville does all those things equally well, and the doctor had already advised me to 'eat more than normal tonight'. I oblige in medieval fashion, beginning my meal with a selection of oysters and ending it with a cup of chocolate swirl Mr Whippi, naturally.
As the other chaps venture to Zanzibar's for the Twilights show, I return to my bed and fill my face with anti-inflammatory drugs, like a good lad should. Shall we leave this one on a cliffhanger? Yes, let's. This episode ends with a close up of Madge Bishop's old face, concerned that someone in her staff is stealing from the larder. The culprit is probably Billy.
If you missed parts 1 and 2 of this tour diary, you'll find them here.
Photo via The Twilight Sad's instagram.