So, we arrived last night. Not like the Strokes song, just a straight up flight in to JFK and then crashed early.
New York City baby. I love this place. The couple of times we’ve been here, we’ve talked about moving here permanently. The streets, the vibe, the nights, the mornings. It really is great. We’re out here to tell this big, old (well, relatively new) country who we are. Trying to “lay our vibe down” as we call it. It’s CMJ music festival and a lot of friends and musicians are over from the UK and many more from round the world. Venues with 7/8 bands on each night, after-parties, morning bagels and c-wo-ffee.
Our apartment, three floors up…
We were met by Jenna from Glassnote. Glassnote are our partners in crime out here. A great independent label, with a lovely family vibe and energy bursting from it’s seams. Jenna took us to do a radio show on FUV, a local universtiy radio show, where we meet Rita, literally the loveliest person we’ve met in radio. Big love to her.
We’re staying in the Lower East Side and we’ve got no show tonight, so it looks like we’re going to meet up with the Chess Club boys - Max and Will - and Chris from Blueflowers, who’s putting on our show this Thursday. The Lower East Side is the bottom right corner of Manhattan, and for fellow Londoners, the vibe is kinda Notting Hill meets Shoreditch. It’s a fun place. Time to grab a bite to eat and head out.
Earrrrrlllly start. Off to Philadelphia in 15 mins. Last night was a lot of fun. Bumped into some London friends then headed out around Ludlow, which is a road on the Lower East Side. A bunch of bars, interesting people and a real buzz around the city. It still feeling exciting just being here.
Taking a little break in Phili after the World Cafe session
Just got back from Philadelphia - it was a session for a radio show called World Cafe, where Laura Marling’s playing tomorrow. Really cool place, great vibe. Loved the adventure. This afternoon we’re going ‘round the city meeting some people and playing some shows. All acoustic vibes, so it shouldn’t be too stressful apart from getting T-Bear’s double bass in yellow taxis! (It does work, we’ve tried it, but we’ve gotta stick it’s neck out of the window…)
Done for the day. Met some great people. It’s Laura’s gig at Williamsburg Music Hall tonight so Ted and Marcus have gone over to watch the show, which leaves me and Country waiting for our friends Jersey and Nick the Greek to make their way to our apartment, at which point we intend to party. Per Diems will only get us so far, so here’s hoping for a bit of generosity from our friends. Feeling good. Feeling fresh. Bring it on.
I may or may not have been wandering home at 6:30 this morning from an extended stay on Williamsburg Bridge. Winston may or may not have woken up with Ted unconsciously stroking his nose whilst he slept. That was strange.
Trying to find a taxi - when you want one, they never come sort of vibes - on Bowery
Tonight shall be our first proper show out here. We’re playing at The Mercury Lounge, which is just ‘round the corner from where we’re staying. We’re opening the evening show there; The XX are closing the afternoon show so we get to play back-to-back, which is unbelievably exciting. At the beginning of our most recent UK tour we were at End of The Road Festival, where there was a Rough Trade stall, and where I also managed to finally buy their eponymous debut. It’s fantastic and saw a lot of love on our CD player on that tour. The music they make is beautiful, and they’re surely in for some great times and big things.
We had some places to go during the day first. YiPei from Glassnote has been joining us and Jenna more and more as the week’s gone on and she’s sweet as. All this may sound a little over zealous but straight up, we’ve collectively met some of the most amazing people this week and everything feels very exciting to us at the moment. Also found out last night that people in Australia are buying our record, which is crazy - we’ve never even been there. How does that even work?!
Another new arrival today is our manager Adam, who enjoys being one of the lads. If he could play an instrument, he’d be the fifth member for sure. Though he kinda feels like that in all other ways.
The dust has settled and I think we all feel in the thick of it now. It’s going to be great plugging in tonight and having a bit of a rock-and-or-roll. We’re also having an afterparty with The Temper Trap boys in a new bar called Spin across town. Apparently it’s inspired by table tennis and that’s the theme. Thinking it’ll be fun, if not a little strange.
Will and Max Chess Club getting competitive at Spin
Gig was good. Party was as anticipated - strange but fun. But way more fun than strange.
It’s a little weird going back to playing short sets (around 6/7 songs) after the UK tour, but then, that’s what CMJ is like; lots of snippets of bands, and everything is Go Go Go. This morning we took the train over to Time Out to play to the staff at their offices. A friend called Sophie from London who we met right at the very beginning of our band’s short history works there now and when she asked us to play we figured it’d be fun so jumped on the train over.
Our final day in New York and it’s flown by. I can’t wait ‘til we can spend some more time here in the future, hopefully when we’re out touring this side of the pond next spring. Tonight’s a big gig for us. Chris Pearson who runs Blueflowers put on one of our first shows and is a good mate from back home. He’s putting on an evening at The Williamsburg Music Hall tonight which is also set to feature The Temper Trap, Goldhawks and Golden Silvers. It’s sold out and there’s a lot of anticipation in the air. We jump on the tube for the final time and make our way to sound check…
We set sail at 5am. On stage at 10:30pm, so it looks like it’ll be another all-nighter.
New York, we love you, thank you for the good times this week. London beckons and we’re ready for some home vibes. A big ‘thank you’ too, to LT for being our babysitter this week.
So that was a few days in New York for us… Thanks for reading if you’ve got this far.