USA East Coast Tour – Portland and Manchester

Portland, Maine, is going to be the most North we’ll be heading this tour and again we’ll be spending lots of miles along the coastline. We’re in no hurry today, so we decide to finally take some time to check out the sea over here. We choose for Salisbury Beach and arrive at a somewhat deserted boulevard, with just some kids hanging around here and there. The weather is nice and the seawind is fresh and chilly. We spend an hour sitting in the sand, while staring at the sea and two big ladies.

Salisbury Beach

Salisbury Beach

We continue our trip and arrive in Portland about an hour later. We’re playing at Strange Maine tonight, a record / book shop located at one of the main streets in the shopping centre: quite a location for noise shows! People like “IDM Theft Able” and “Crank Sturgeon” are regular visitors / performers here. Brendan, one of the shop owners, welcomes us while a woman is laying out Tarot cards for him. We leave them at it and take some time to have a little tour through the city. Later on when we return we also meet Marc and Dea of “Bird Organ”, who’ll be playing with us tonight and have set up tomorrow’s gig in Manchester. After a nice dinner consisting of Quesadilla and Sarsaparilla, Bird Organ starts their set. Marc is handling all kinds of objects in an electro acoustic kind of way that reminds me of “Kapotte Muziek”, while Dea is adding vocal details. A nice, calm and slowly evolving set. I guess the audience is the smallest of the tour, but that doesn’t affect our good mood. We both do solo sets tonight, while Brendan is adding some live visuals on the background, which work out well. When we head for Brendan’s house at night, I play “Forever Changes” on the car stereo for the first time and that falls well with our host; he immediately starts singing along. At his house we meet up with Tom, have some beers and whiskey and eventually go to bed; the hospitality on this tour seems to be unending.

Inside Strange Maine

Inside Strange Maine

The next morning, we head in town to have breakfast with Brendan (yep, that happens a lot outdoors over here) and spend some more hanging-around-time at his store. Before we head on to Manchester, we visit the local Hertz office to extend our rental car contract with one day and visit a Salvation Army Thrift store, where Wouter finds himself a “beautiful” Meatloaf shirt. We also look out for a nice shirt for our buddy Vincent back home, but unfortunately we’re not lucky with finding something appropriate (i.e. something with a big animal head on it…). The first day that we had rain in the US and we’re going south again, hoping to find better weather.

Posing with the mighty Brendan

Posing with the mighty Brendan

When we find the street of the venue in Manchester we bump into the first “TV situation” of the tour. Police cars are blocking the streets and we find out from people on the streets that a hostage-situation-with-fire-arms is going on in a restaurant. Yikes! We take a quick detour and arrive safely at the venue. Again not a lot of people show up, but we’re happy to play and tonight once again in the Preliminary Saturation constellation. Bird Organ also plays, but now with 2 extra people that both add some modular synth vibes, giving the whole picture a thicker sound. The show ends early and we continue the night at Marc and Dea’s place with (again) more beers and some nifty pizza. Marc has a great record collection and I spend quite some time checking it out. We watch some old sci-fi movies and a reel of trashy movie trailers. I get very stoned tonight and fall asleep, alone, while watching all the trailers in a silent and absent mode. Didn’t mention it before, but I think I never smoked as much weed as I did in these two weeks in the US…

Hostage situation in Manchester...

Hostage situation in Manchester...

After a good night rest, we spend the morning drinking coffee and gin while chatting with Marc at his porch. Porches are great, especially when the sun is shining. The weather revived to its original form, which we got acquainted with when arriving in this country. Another great day to be out on the road. It’s October 17th today. Next stop is Portsmouth, where we’ll have the last gig of the American part of this tour.

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