Davis in the drizzle
We've arrrived in Davis, California and checked into our hotel - pretty comfortable and we are all in suites. Davis is a university campus/town (not in the in European sense - its huge) but with a nice suburban feel, loads of people on bikes, art galleries, sushi bars, hummus joints etc - it would make the perfect setting for a zombie movie. We've played here several times before
Funky art here on Campus
Today was the day of the big switch, Will and Dave having gone back to the UK, and Ewan and Hester arriving to replace them. This is not unlike a vintage sportscar that has to shift gear - you can't just shove it into fifth and hope for the best - it has to be done with some care.
Police Smart Car!
I woke at 6am (still!) after another very deep sleep and went down to breakfast where I bumped into Ewan, who flew in last night with Hester, and therefore was also getting up early. He's just finished appearing in a show at the Old Vic, acting and dancing. Unlike most actors (he's more a dancer/musician/actor) he's low key and refreshingly free of all the "me me me"/showbiz namedropping stuff and just gets on with the job. I hung around the hotel most of the morning and we all went early to the theatre to run Hester and Ewan's songs and plug any gaps in the harmonies.
We've played the Mondavi Centre about 3/4 times before and it is quite a barn, we were also positioned quite far back on the stage, meaning that we were quite far from the first rows of the audience - so there's a loss of intimacy.
With the departure of Dave, I am now sitting on the far right of the band. Will and Dave are quite big personalities in the band, but so are Hester and Ewan, so where we lose 'Psycho Killer' from Will, we gain 'America' from Hester, not to mention Ewans fantastic dancing on 'The Old Home Place'.
Band eats before the show - more fantastic food
The gig went well, but the accoustic of the hall was VERY dry, so very little natural reverb - for the first half of the show, I genuinely didn't know if the audience were thinking "this is a load of crap" while politely applauding, or enjoying the show. At the interval, I checked with Doug (sound) about the vibe in the hall and he said it was enthusiastic, however sometimes its very difficult to tell. Performing into a 'void' with little audible reaction is a bit counterintuitive - but there were plenty of people who came to say 'hello' at the signing afterwards - including a couple from Davis that Leisa had met on a train to Bath, England!
After the show we headed over to the local bar for a quick drink - and your eyes are not decieving you, they really do put lemons in the beer here.
Travel tomorrow Campers - Keep up!