The day started with a good nights sleep after our long days travelling yesterday (Halelujah!). All our rooms had big welcome bags from the organisers of the show (Boerne Performing Arts) full of food - which we can't possibly eat before we have to get on a plane, which means we'll have to leave them behind - still a generous and welcome gesture.
Our hotel is just off the freeway, some miles from our venue, which is a local high school, open to the public for this concert - the hotel isn’t too remote - there is a petrol station within walking distance, which sells food and alcohol (the hotel has no bar and we’ll be driven to the venue) Some of the band went into Boerne (the nearest big town to the gig) for a look around. Apparently, Leisa had to change rooms this morning as she was next door to a noisy couple who were partying till 4am....
Here is Marie - Dave's partner who is joining us travelling - she told me some interesting info on the history of Texas, many Poles, Germans and Czechs came here and settled - Marie's mother was born here and her ancestry is German - her maiden name is Hogner which later became Americanised into Hegner. There is even a local dialect here (slowly dying out) which is a derivation of Czech and a local pastry is called Kolache (Texas spelling) which is a type of pastry originally from Czechoslovakia.
I stayed back in the hotel and joined the queue to do my laundry after Rich and Doug had done theirs - at 2.50 we all went off to the gig.
Here we are getting ready to leave, Terry, our driver (centre) gave us some more interesting information about the town: the initial settlers here were German non conformists who founded a utopian community nearby.
Here we are turning up Herff Road, Terry told us that Dr Herff (one of the original settlers here) removed the cataract from the eye of a local Indian chief, and thus saved the lives of his family during one off the periodic massacres which happened from time to time. Apparently the area is changing, whereas in the past ranching was the main industry, it has now become a destination for a lot of wealthy retirees from Houston, California and the East Coast.
Here we are checking into the school and getting our ID tags. The school regularly practises 'lockdown' which is like a fire drill, but in case a shooter gets in!
We changed in the school locker rooms
Our cordoned off changing area was the school trophy room with lots of photos of past cheerleading teams - I'm weirdly fascinated by these girls gleaming teeth (very WHITE). I'm probably the last generation of Brits who grew up in the sixties, when the government paid dentists per filling, so natuarly the dentists got stuck in and gave kids as many fillings as possible, hence, the famous 'English bad teeth' a la Austin Powers or David Bowie. Mind you even Bowie, famous for his crooked nashers, threw in the towel and got his teeth fixed before he died.
We did a quick bit of rehearsing before it was time to change for the show and have something to eat.
The food has been uniformly excellent on this tour and last night was no exception, Ben (our token vegan) has also been satisfied.
Those crazy Ukes soundchecking!
All of our gigs here in the States have started off with a long speech from the organisers - last night was different as before the speech, they played Rule Britannia over the PA while we all cringed backstage. The auditorium probably held 800 people and was full, the front two rows were taken up with mostly sponsors, I guess, who were all dressed up to the nines - they all looked fairly baffled by our irreverent banter, but the people behind liked it. Sometimes, our show feels very rehearsed/repetitive, while at other times, I feel like we are really 'kicking out the Jams' - last night was one of those nights - particularly when we came off at half time to find two police officers saying they were going to take manager Jodi to the police station - it was a joke (and since they both had guns, we all laughed enthusiastically). At the signing afterwards, we met some crazy student types who asked us to all sign a traffic cone (including Doug) and pose for photos with it - sensing some kindred spirits I thrust my hand in my pocket to give them one of my newly printed ATTC business cards.
So after the show we were driven back to the hotel and had a few drinks and tried to eat some of the food from the bags. We've got to go back to the school tomorrow to do some outreach, before we head to the airport to California