An American Tour

New York - Philadelphia - New Haven - Boston - Texas

Mar 25

Standard Fare US Tour

In total we have:

Played 8 shows, 1 radio performance and interview, and 1 studio performance, 3 radio ID’s (soundbites), and 2 photoshoots in 9 days,

Stopped in 7 US states (NY, NJ, CT, PA, MA, MN, TX),

Driven 800 miles in extreme stormy conditions.

Consumed huge amounts of coffee, meat, many beers (approx. 160), and margueritas.

Stayed in 6 different houses, each with wonderful hosts.

Met 3 dogs, 3 cats and 1 pickled lizard

Overall, we’ve had a brilliant time and this has helped us to grow so much as a band, and we don’t just mean because of the food. We’ve met a lot of great people along the way who’ve made the experience so amazing.

We’d like to thank a few people for their much appreciated help:

Mark and Glenn at Bar/None for getting us into SXSW in the first place, giving us some albums to sell and sorting the boys out for accommodation.

The PRS Foundation (especially Ellie) for their funding, help, and support while we were out there.

Darren of Thee SPC for helping us get that funding and other support.

Dave at Melodic for their financial help and some lifts and hellos out in SXSW.

Howard for the PR work he’s done and a lovely dinner in Philadelphia.

Tamizdat for getting our US Visas sorted.

Sean and Allo Darlin’ and Penny, manager of The Crookes, for their advice.

Rob and Graham of Syndicate for radio support (especially Rob for his enthusiasm and dancing!)

Dominick, photographer for Brooklyn Vegan, for his friendship and artistic skills.

Andy Bodor at The Cake Shop, NYC; Herbie Shellenberger; Dan and Aileen Goodwin; Rebecca Mitchell and Brad San Martin; Michael and Orlando from Music for Listeners; and Death by Audio.

Our lovely hosts: The Skuller family, Sarah and Jason; Rebecca and Emily; Dan and Aileen; Herbie and housemates and Grey Cat; Chad and Eno.

Everyone who helped and came to our fundraiser gig.

Jasmine, our travelling companion.

And everyone - especially fans, friends and family - for reading our blog!

Lots of love from Standard Fare!

xxx


Homeward bound

Monday March 22nd Houston ‘George Bush’ airport.

Dan and Andy left to get the bus but it was just leaving as they got there so they jumped into Chad’s car and chased after it until it stopped then they jumped out and caught it. Rival Schools made Andy reminiscence of his school days. The singer, called Walter, was really energetic on stage and has a great voice – he really got the crowd going. Although it was cold outside we enjoyed it very much. Emma watched ‘The Squid and the Whale’ a great depiction of a NYC-based family on the verge of meltdown – apparently Noah and the Whale based their band name on this film because they liked it so much. After managing to get a good night’s sleep, we woke up on Sunday feeling more energetic. We watched King of Kong which was a hilarious documentary about competitive King Kong video gaming. We then went downtown to the river and did a fairly long walk around Town Lake, a beautiful park area in South Austin. There were large terrapins/turtles sunning themselves on trees really near to the path and lots of people jogging, as well as a little train to transport people (that didn’t like jogging) and some beautiful tropical plants and trees.

After our walk we then went to a vintage shopping area in South Congress and went on a mission to find a pair of affordable fitting cowboy boots for Jasmine. Dan found a perfectly fitting marine jacket (to make its debut at a gig soon…) and Andy found some more nice shirts with ‘pearl snaps’. In between shopping we stopped for Elgin sausage burgers and amazing cupcakes from a tin caravan– injected with a cream filling (the whipper snapper option). South Congress was also host to several craft stalls where we purchased some smaller souvenirs.

We then went to the Capitol - the central governmental building for Texas built in 1888. There was no entry charge or tour we just explored the building. At the centre of the building below the cupola (dome) there was a tiled star with a crack through it where someone had jumped from the higher balcony and died. The lone star of Texas was everywhere – in the hinges, lightshades, walls, floors, office furniture etc. We then got a bus home and had a final meal out plus more margueritas with Chad at Hoovers. We went to bed after being handed some handpicked music from Chad to suit each of us individually.

Austin has been a really cool city – the buses are regular, on time, cheap ($1 per ride or $2 for 24hrs) and went from Chad’s door to all the places we needed to go. Apparently there is free dental and heavily discounted healthcare for musicians and their partners in Austin. There was also free biodegradable poop bags in the parks. The weather has been lovely and the people really friendly. It is a really colourful city with a little of murals on the buildings. The taxi drivers have been pretty interesting too.

We got up at 4am this morning to fly to NYC La Guardia via Houston and now the boys are heading back to the UK this evening.


Mar 22

Saturday 20th March back at Chad’s.

We left Chad’s house yesterday evening around half 6 to head downtown to our showcase gig at Mohawk, about a minute later we started crossing the main road when a car screeched and skidded to a halt narrowly swerving to avoid one standard fare drummer happily wandering across the road admiring the tarmac. The bus journey was enough time for Dan, Emma and Jas to recover from the incident, Andy seemed totally oblivious to the whole thing.. We got to Mohawk and met with the photographer Dominick we’d met in New York last week; he was really nice again and took some photos of us with a stuffed bear striking a grizzly pose, quite in keeping with the bands style. After setting up our gear and one male guitarist from standard fare getting two pretty gnarly electric shocks from two different microphones, we were ready to play.  The place filled up quite nicely and we played 9 songs which went down better than we could have hoped, with some ear piercing whistling from the crowd. On the whole we were pretty happy with how we played and the response; it was a nice finish to the ‘shows’ on the tour.

We left the venue to head back to Chad’s to drop of our gear before catching some of the other bands, after a few minutes we managed to hail a cab. It was one hell of a cab ride. ‘Shaggy’ our ‘chauffer’ was a true Texas redneck with a hooting laugh (hhHHHaaaauuurr!!) and many stories to tell; some rather factual, others including men, trees, & drunken desire. Although it felt like the longest cab ride of our lives, he did wait whilst we got changed and we did kind of enjoy it. Back in town we grabbed some tasty grub from ‘Kebabalicious’ and headed back to Mohawk to catch the end of the Summer Cats set, the Australian indie poppers we met in Boston, by all accounts they were sounding pretty good too. We’d heard Evan Dando, singer of The Lemonheads, was playing an acoustic set that night so we trekked a several blocks to find that he’d played the night before, so we marched a few more blocks to the place Sum 41 were playing to find a queue longer than their set, soooo we stomped across town to the Alphabeat gig. We got there and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club were still playing, the place was pretty busy and we were impressed with the way the female drummer was putting so much power into the drum beats. After their set we decided rather than wait for Alphabeat to set up and play we would head back to Mohawk to see The Pains of Being Pure at Heart.  Outside the temperature was getting a bit cold and the venue was a bit away so we caught a bicycle powered taxi and he gave us a special deal $20 for the four of us. We then raced all the other bicycle taxis with solo travellers and were way faster! The guy must have cycled us around 10 blocks, some uphill, which seemed pretty far at the time. We went past a packed secret Muse gig with lots of flashing lights and crazy guitar stuff. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart definitely lived up to the hype we’d heard and they went down really well in the small packed venue. The lead singer thanked Standard Fare at the end of his set and told us afterwards he attended our first US gig in the Cake Shop, NYC, last week. Unfortunately it then took us a good hour and a half to catch a taxi as there was a desperate hysteria around flagging down taxis.

Overnight there was a very dramatic storm and Andy felt the floor shake. Emma continued her habit of waking up the whole household with her loud sleep-swearing and panic and was the only one who slept sound all night!

The temperature has turned very cold today but we ventured out and warmed up at a genuine TEX-MEX restaurant called Chuy’s (pronounced Chewey’s) with lime marguerita’s with extra shots of tequila and some very cheesy chicken burritos.  We then drove downtown to wander round the guitar trade show and poster show. Andy bought one poster and we helped him get a couple that had been flyposted to the pillars. We did a little shopping and headed home. That evening we had dinner in a cafe adjoined to a supermarket which had a lot of ethical/organic type stuff and after ordering the food at a counter we were handed pagers which buzzed and flashed when the food was ready! Dan and Andy have gone to see Rival Schools tonight and I (Emma) have stayed in to watch some films.


Mar 21

Saturday 20th March back at Chad’s. We left Chad’s house yesterday evening around half 6 to head downtown to our showcase gig at Mohawk, about a minute later we started crossing the main road when a car screeched and skidded to a halt narrowly swerving to avoid one standard fare drummer happily wandering across the road admiring the tarmac. The bus journey was enough time for Dan, Emma and Jas to recover from the incident, Andy seemed totally oblivious to the whole thing.. We got to Mohawk and met with the photographer Dominick we’d met in New York last week; he was really nice again and took some photos of us with a stuffed bear striking a grizzly pose, quite in keeping with the bands style. After setting up our gear and one male guitarist from standard fare getting two pretty gnarly electric shocks from two different microphones, we were ready to play. The place filled up quite nicely and we played 9 songs which went down better than we could have hoped, with some ear piercing whistling from the crowd. On the whole we were pretty happy with how we played and the response; it was a nice finish to the ‘shows’ on the tour. We left the venue to head back to Chad’s to drop of our gear before catching some of the other bands, after a few minutes we managed to hail a cab. It was one hell of a cab ride. ‘Shaggy’ our ‘chauffer’ was a true Texas redneck with a hooting laugh (hhHHHaaaauuurr!!) and many stories to tell; some rather factual, others including men, trees, & drunken desire. Although it felt like the longest cab ride of our lives, he did wait whilst we got changed and we did kind of enjoy it. Back in town we grabbed some tasty grub from ‘Kebabalicious’ and headed back to Mohawk to catch the end of the Summer Cats set, the Australian indie poppers we met in Boston, by all accounts they were sounding pretty good too. We’d heard Evan Dando, singer of The Lemonheads, was playing an acoustic set that night so we trekked a several blocks to find that he’d played the night before, so we marched a few more blocks to the place Sum 41 were playing to find a queue longer than their set, soooo we stomped across town to the Alphabeat gig. We got there and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club were still playing, the place was pretty busy and we were impressed with the way the female drummer was putting so much power into the drum beats. After their set we decided rather than wait for Alphabeat to set up and play we would head back to Mohawk to see The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Outside the temperature was getting a bit cold and the venue was a bit away so we caught a bicycle powered taxi and he gave us a special deal $20 for the four of us. We then raced all the other bicycle taxis with solo travellers and were way faster! The guy must have cycled us around 10 blocks, some uphill, which seemed pretty far at the time. We went past a packed secret Muse gig with lots of flashing lights and crazy guitar stuff. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart definitely lived up to the hype we’d heard and they went down really well in the small packed venue. The lead singer thanked Standard Fare at the end of his set and told us afterwards he attended our first US gig in the Cake Shop, NYC, last week. Unfortunately it then took us a good hour and a half to catch a taxi as there was a desperate hysteria around flagging down taxis. Overnight there was a very dramatic storm and Andy felt the floor shake. Emma continued her habit of waking up the whole household with her loud sleep-swearing and panic and was the only one who slept sound all night! The temperature has turned very cold today but we ventured out and warmed up at a genuine TEX-MEX restaurant called Chuy’s (pronounced Chewey’s) with lime marguerita’s with extra shots of tequila and some very cheesy chicken burritos. We then drove downtown to wander round the guitar trade show and poster show. Andy bought one poster and we helped him get a couple that had been flyposted to the pillars. We did a little shopping and headed home. That evening we had dinner in a cafe adjoined to a supermarket which had a lot of ethical/organic type stuff and after ordering the food at a counter we were handed pagers which buzzed and flashed when the food was ready! Dan and Andy have gone to see Rival Schools tonight and I (Emma) have stayed in to watch some films.



Mar 19

SXSW Austin Texas

Two flights and we arrived in Austin, Texas at half 8 in the evening. Chad, our host for the week, greeted us at the airport he’s a lovely guy with a great knowledge of music. We also met ‘Eno’ chad’s little dog, then since we’d been up since 6am we decided to have an early night and prepare ourselves for the festival.

Tuesday morning came and we headed downtown to collect our wristbands and explore Austin city centre. Austin is really nice with it’s big wide streets, we walked round in t-shirts and sandals, the grass in sun-scorched in places and it’s still only spring! We made our way over to our first day party - a half hour uphill walk in heat and sun past the Texas Longhorns football stadium - at a pizzeria. The gig was outside under a canopy and we could smell pizza while we played. The soundguy/organiser was really enthusiastic and we enjoyed playing despite not playing our best. We then got a lift back to Chad’s and got ready to go see some bands downtown. We saw a great line up of You Say Party We Say Die (Ace!), The Muffs (brilliant energetic punk) and The Veils (a really emotional and crazy performance).

Yesterday we got up and went to a nice little studio tucked away in a part of town full of car part shops and high pressure canister warehouses. It overlooked a green valley with a huge river flowing in the bottom. We recorded four songs from our album for a video on a website.  Highlights from the evening downtown include an Athlete acoustic performance (Dan & Andy met Joel the singer afterwards), Barcelona, Yellow Fever and Estelle! We all stayed out pretty late and the boys came home pretty drunk!

Today we visited a cool vintage clothes shop on the way to play our second day party, it was a gig outside a bicycle shop, we played just before Allo Darlin’ who were fantastic as usual :) it was a nice crowd who seemed to enjoy listening to us play in the afternoon sun. We’re back at the house now, getting ready to head downtown to play our showcase gig at a venue called Mowhawk, it’s looked nice and busy other nights when we’ve been past so we’re really looking forward to playing.


Mar 16

Tuesday 16th March 11am La Guardia airport.

After our trip into downtown Boston we headed back to the house to dry off a little and warm up. The weather still hadn’t eased off and it was getting colder. We drove over to the venue to be told we’d need our passports to get beer even though we all had driving licenses. So we had to drive back to pick them up - Grrrr. But at least it had finally stopped raining. We met up with some of Emma’s friends and had some really good Edyamame (salty soy beans) and then we all chose the same dish – chicken terriyarki (sp?) with rice mmmmm  - coincidence?! Restricted budget? Conservative tastes?  We scurried back to the venue, the Great Scott, to catch the Summer Cats – an Australian five-piece that we’re also playing with in Austin next week. They are releasing a record with our Sheffield label Thee SPC too.  We played next – the bass was cutting out a bit during the first song but we got back into it and enjoyed the set. After several attempts we managed to start ‘I know it’s hard’ to the amusement of the crowd. The final band was the amazing One Happy Island – we’ve loved this band since we first played with them last summer and it was brilliant to see them again. They always give such a diverse performance (distorted ukulele solo – oh yeah!) and Emma was singing along loudly at the front. We are very pleased that they are releasing their album in the UK with Trev this summer, and we hope they come and play across the pond soon. Unfortunately there was not much time to party as we had to set off at 6am this morning to return the Dodge to La Guardia Airport, New York. Finally we are seeing some sunshine although apparently the weather in Austin is 11 degrees C. and raining. Still hoping that we can get our sunnies, shorts and thongs out though! We’re now in the departure lounge sipping coffee and waiting for our flight to Austin (via Minneapolis).



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