Wednesday, 25 August 2010

USA (well Canada in this case) Tour part 2 - Toronto

This entry is a little shorter as my time in Toronto was considerably less than the other cities i visited on this tour.

I took a flight over rather than travelling with the beasts so i could spend a bit of extra time with my Brother and my two nephews who live there which was lovely. Steve (my bro) left the UK when i was about 15 (im 29 now) and so it's always great to get the opportunity to hang out with him and the kids. Although i have to confess i do like to play xbox, and i do get to speak to my nephew Jared over the pleasantly violent setting of Modern Warfare 2 every now and then.

We spent the evening eating pizza and watching one of my favourite (crap) movies of all time. Commando. My god there is not a bone in my body that can express anything but love for that dire piece of trash. It is so dreadful it has some kind of space and time thing going on where it makes bad become good. I could actually spend the majority of this blog writing about that movie from start to finish but i'll save you that. Otherwise i'll start talking about Death Wish III too! :)

So i left my guitar in the WB van for ease of travel but sadly it meant that they had to meet me with it when they got to Toronto which was about 2am. Kelley (the Wild Beasts Tour Manager) basically wanted to break every bone in my body when i met them. They had been driving for hours and hours throughout the time i was enjoying Commando and were desperate to get to bed. I'll never forget when i went over to say hi and she didn't even look me in the eye, just said "Paul, just take your guitar and go". I felt DREADFUL. Naturally i went to bed that night with a heavy stomach.

The next day i went to a radio station called CIUT in Toronto a bit early for my liking. My voice doesnt lend itself well to early mornings and so i did the best i could. I sang 4 songs in a chapel on a University campus which was fun and got talking to the Australian lady who ran the show about how i don't want to play in Australia due to my fear of spiders. Her stories didn't help!

I then went to a place called Explore Music which is in a fancy new building on the docks of Toronto for an interview and another session. I really, really enjoyed this interview with a dude called Alan Cross who i could tell had really analysed my album and we shared a love for a lot of the same things. You are able to see this interview by clicking here!

I then made my way over to the venue called 'The Mod Club'. It was a beautiful place actually. Pretty massive and it was nice to see the Kissaway Trail boys there ready to do thier sound check. I aslo saw Kelley again and was all apologetic about them having to bring my guitar so late etc.
So, no sound check for me that day due to time restraints and so i just had to go out there and do it. I was pretty nervous becasue i had never played in front of my Brother before and i wanted him to see what this kid of 15 he left in the UK was able to do these days. I think the result was the best performance (technically) i did on the whole tour and the crowd were incredibly well responsive.

So after the show i went out with my Bro and his/my mate Mike to some random bar downtown which to put it bluntly, wasn't for me that night. Those guys were doing the whole "hey man you're on tour let's get fucked up" vibe and all that was on my mind was the fact i had to catch a flight to New York early the next day so i let those guys enjoy themselves and took a cab home.

Sadly, I discovered that there are two Connaught Avenues in Toronto and so after being taken to one and then the other it took me about an hour and a half to get home and a taxi fare of what should have been $90! I managed to haggle the driver down to $50 by blaming him for taking me to the wrong place. Lets say he wasn't pleased. I got in to find my nephews Jared and Connor fast asleep which was really sad as i was hoping to see them one last time before i went to New York.

So yeah this leg of the trip was a little more family orientated, but NEW YORK IS COMING!!!! WOOOOP!


Love you all

xxPaul Mxx

Tuesday, 24 August 2010


So finally now i'm back in Leeds after the tour and Green Man festival being so close to one another. I now actually feel like i can take a deep breath and tell you a bit about what happened over in the grand ol' US of A.


What a wonderful city.

I arrived and had a couple of days to myself before the gig. I visited to Goose Island brew pub which was certainly a highlight.
The first 'Lone Wolf' thing i had to do was drive to Rock Island for a daytrotter session. I'd never driven in the states before this so notably i was shitting my pants a bit, especially considering it wasn't exactly just 'down the road'. It's a drive equivalent to Leeds to London and back so a round trip of about 7-8 hours.

The daytrotter studio was littered with all manner of vintage gear style delights. I was expecting to just be going in there with my acoustic and bashing a couple of tunes out, but i got to do a weird version of 'This Is War' on a rather odd electric piano, then did 'Keep your Eyes On The Road' on a flat wound arch top whilst one of the daytrotter crew (his name escapes me at this time!! Sorry!) provided some kick drum accompaniment. I also did a purely acoustic version of both '15 Letters' and 'We Could Use Your Blood'. Im sure this will be online soon.

On my journey home i got to flip the middle finger at a truck driver on interstate 88, to which he replied with a double handed attempt. I had no more hands to reply with and so therefore felt beaten by a worthy opponent. Once safe in my hotel room after that incident, which to be fair, could have ended up like the movie 'Duel' i was happy to hear that Wild Beasts had finally arrived in town and so after 3 days of Chicago solitude i literally flew out of my hotel across town to meet up with them only to find a table full of what i can only describe as 'shells' of the people i know due to thier lenghty day of travel. Obviously i felt wonderful after my 7 hour drive but thats besides the point. So we had an early night.

The next day was all about the show in Chicago really. The Empty Bottle was quite a small place (250 cap i think) but by no means without it's charm. I spent most of the afternoon admiring the graffiti on the walls of the dressing room and seeing a sticker for a band called 'Turgid Member'.
The Kissaway Trail were the victims of a storm over Atlanta which meant that they were unable to make the gig. In fact i think they arrived just after they were supposed to go on which meant i was bumped up to main support and the 11pm slot.
The crowd were obviously half up for it and half not. It was the beginning of Lollapalooza weekend and so there were about 100 people watching and 100 not, but i still had a wonderful time. I felt very welcome and enjoyed being on stage. It was the first time since the tour with WB in March that i had played solo.
Although the highlight of the evening came in the unlikely form of a slagging off! I was standing outside after the show talking to a few people who were being really nice about the show when i overheard someone standing right next to me saying how upset he was that he had missed me play, and was really jealous of the fact i am touring with Phil Selway from Radiohead later in the year. So naturally i thought "aww that's nice" until i heard his friend say "Yeah well you didn't miss anything, he was SHIT!". I let the conversation continue for a while wondering whether i should say anything and was on the verge of letting it go until i heard how much the original guy was fighting my corner and refusing to believe that i could have been THAT bad.

Now i'm a kind of hard face to forget due to this rather awesome moustache i have, and it does help the recognition process in the USA when you not only see the moustache but hear a broad British accent. So i turned around and looked at the guy straight in the face and said "i'm sorry, who did you say was shit?" to which he quite freely replied "Lone Wolf man, he was shit dude". He clearly did not recognise me which kind of made me feel better anyway because it showed the lack of attention he must have paid in such a small venue to not notice the two size able recognisable features i mentioned earlier. So i asked him again and moved a bit closer "sorry who was shit?" to which he once again said "that guy Lone Wolf, he wasn't very good at all". I moved in for the final kill, and was practically close enough to kiss him before i said "you don't even know who you are talking to do you?" with a big smile on my face.

The most beautiful moment of the evening was watching him suddenly realise he had basically told me to my face i was shit and then practically collapse to the ground in a colossal void of guilt and apologies before hanging his head and walking away.
His friend immediately went and purchased my album! :)

I then spent the next day at Lollapalooza with the Beasts. I did a bit of promo in the afternoon in the form of a couple of interviews and a radio performance but mainly enjoyed getting sunburned and hanging out.

The highlight of this day you ask? When i was on my way back to the hotel, im hoping this was once again because of my moustache, and the fact that i was wearing a tight white vest, sun burnt shoulders, sunglasses and carrying a little tote bag as you can see in the image above, i was approached by a preacher who with a Cheshire cat grin told me, "Son, Heaven has no room for homosexuals". Needless to say i frowned at him and continued my journey home wondering how people like this still exist! And also considering the fact that if Heaven does exist, do i really want to go there if that guy is going to be there!?

Tomorrow: Toronto!

xxPaul Mxx

Thursday, 19 August 2010


Hi everyone!

for some reason my blogs always seem to start with 'it's been a while since i last blogged' but it is the truth here and i have a good reason. I have literally just returned from my tour of the USA. I'm going to do a little blog about each city i visited etc, but before i do i need to sort out all the video i have, and the pics etc and i will start posting it all up for you tomorrow.

But in all the synopsis was this:

Chicago: AWESOME
Toronto: AWESOME

So i'm sure you can tell you are in for a treat! Stay tuned!

xxPaul Mxx