Thursday, 9 September 2010

USA Tour Part 4 - Los Angeles

Hey dudes! Sorry!

Believe it or not i actually have spent the majority of the week a) being really ill and b) being extremely creative with about 4 new songs demoed (with no vocals due to the illness) and i'm about to record something else. This really is a rare phenomenon. The Paul Marshall species of man generally writes about 1 song every 1-2 months so fuck knows whats happened. Maybe i smashed it in so hard at Leeds Festival i managed to awaken a dormant part of my brain!

So that is the reason that this blog is arriving on your digital doormat so late!

Anyway the city of Angels.....

This blog starts of with a rather amusing tale about the plane ride there. I had a sad time leaving New York as i felt like i wasn't done there yet but i had to remind myself i wasn't on holiday and there's gigs to be played!
I sat on the plane in the aisle seat next to a rather large man who resembled a viking. He really did! But the worst thing was that this man really did reek. It wasn't B.O. in fact it was more like a combination of out of date milk mixed with really sweet strawberry yoghurt. Now bearing in mind that the flight was 6 hours, i wasn't too impressed but y'know, what can you do.
So i'm sitting there and just as we taxi to the runway the guy starts shifting around and looking pretty uncomfortable. Out of nowhere he suddenly at max volume lets out and almighty "BBBBLLLLEEUUUURRRGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!" as he wretches about to vomit all over me! Naturally i jump out of my skin (and my chair) and i'm like, "Dude are you ok?". He replied saying he'd eaten some horrid airport food and that he "should be able to keep it down". Hmmmm. I wasn't satisfied with that! ha ha. I only had one pair of jeans with me and i was going on stage that evening so the last thing i wanted was to be covered in viking vomit! I kindly offered him the aisle seat so he could run to the toilet if need be.
So i was sitting in the middle seat now gripping the arms of the seats in anticipation of the take off wondering if he was going to make it or not! He did...just! As the plane got to an altitude high enough to take your selt belt off, he literally flew down the aisle and into the loo to be sick. Poor bugger. But at that point myself and the pretty lady next to me had realised that we hadn't acknowledged eachothers existence. We looked at eachother and the moment our eyes met we both just burst out into roaring uncontrollable laughter! Horrible i know but that first 30 mins was a tense time, and that release of the laughter set me up for one of the most fun flights i've ever had. The lady in question turned out to be a fashion designer from New York called Mina Stone ( and we got on like a house on fire. We had a glass of wine or two and chatted for pretty much the whole flight. I'm now pleased to say i've found a new pal in New York and we are still in touch on facebook etc.

After landing at LAX i met my good pals Jen And Chris (who actually cameo in the KYEOTR video) who had flown over from Denver just to come and see me which was a lovely touch. They gave me a lift back to my hotel to which i was greeted by the strangest headboards you have ever seen. Welcome to LA. I got the breasts and Tom F got the legs:

The venue for the gig was quite literally stunning! A huge ballroom type place with large chandeliers hanging from the celing.
I think the LA crowd were the most receptive of the entire trip. One thing i found about playing in America is that if you mention how much you love the towns tyou are playing in, you seem to win them over! ha ha. All i had to do here was mumble a sound that happened to resemble 'LA' into the mic and they went NUTS! I really enjoyed this show and i was really glad that it was the one my publishers in the US came to see. I also met a guy called Paul Bryan who i'll talk about more later.

So the next day the time came to say my final farewell to the beasts. I stayed an extra 3 days in LA and they were going off to play a festival in San Francisco. I was really gutted i couldn't go with them. I had seen some cities in the USA that i never thought i would get the chance to, and having made it over as far as the west coast, but not seeing San Fran was a kick in the balls, plus being in LA all on my own seemed pretty daunting with no car. Luckily Jen and Chris were around for one more day!
But anyway i went to a little place called 'The Den of Hollywood' where i enjoyed some 'red velvet pancakes'! My missus Sofi will tell you that i'm not the biggest fan of pancakes for breakfast, but i thought when in Rome and im really glad i did! These were amazing:

So i went to Santa Monica/Venice Beach with my pals and we took a drive up the pacific coast highway. We went out for mexican food which was awesome and basically just hung out as long as we could because we knew that it would probably be a long time before we saw eachother again. Venice really was a place full of crazy people, but the coast was beautiful.

I basically then spent my last couple of days wandering around Hollywood like a billy no mates, until the last night. Remeber that guy Paul Bryan who i mentioned earlier? He is a friend of my US manager and he did the whole "Hey Paul (B), my artist Lone Wolf is in LA go and take him out" thing. I had never properly met this guy before and so i was wondering what kind of an evening it was going to be, but i had a good feeling about it.
So Paul picks me up and takes me to the greatest seafood restaurant i have ever been to called "The Hungry Cat". I looked at the menu and some of these meals were hitting the $30/40 mark. I looked at him as if to say "shit man this is a pricey joint" to which he replied, "hey man you don't have to worry about that, i'm taking you out tonight!". I was obviously taken aback by this man's generosity and instantly trying to get him to let me pay for the drinks or ANYTHING but he wouldn't have it. It turns out that Paul is a sting arranger, producer and session musician for a lot of people. He is currently working with Aimee Mann and they are writing a musical together. He is also married and expecting a baby with Emily Procter who is an actress in 'CSI: Miami'.
The meal was simply great as was the company. He turned out to be such a great guy and full of inspiration to me. I think getting him to arrange some strings for the next record isn't out of the question!
This is what we started with:

You also need to look to the left of the picture to notice the awesome cocktail that Paul was drinking. It was a cucumber Martini. Hendricks gin, vodka(?) and purified cucumber. Hell yeah. I had a cocktail later called a 'Brother Jake' which was Rum, Tequila and pure squeezed Orange Juice. Stunning.
So i don't want to tell you what the meal came to price wise, but lets just say Paul, if you are reading this I owe you one big time! You are a diamond among men!

So that pretty much brings the USA tour to a close. I really did have a wonderful time and i met some great, great people who i am staying in touch with. I really cannot wait to go back! I hope you have enjoyed reading this mess. A massive, massive thanks to everyone at Bella Union/Yep Roc/Red Eye/ Blue Mountain.

USA... you have made it onto my list of things marked 'GOOD'. I salute you.

xxPaul Mxx

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

USA Tour Part 3 - New York, New York

So i took a break from writing this blog to go to Leeds Festival. I'm not even sure if anyone reads it and the painstaking minutes of my life that i while away here re-counting my trip across the globe may fall on 'deaf eyes' (im gonna use that as a lyric) but what the hell.

I arrived in New York and the first thing i saw literally was a teenager standing in the train station wearing a baseball shirt that just said 'WANG' on the back and so i found that hilarious.
I emerged from Penn station to see the Empire State Building and walked past Madison Square Garden on my way to my hotel. I was already in awe of this city. You have to bear in mind that it was my first visit to a city that gets nothing but praise from everyone i have ever known that has been there.
I met up with my new friend Mona Dehghan from Domino Records and she took me out for some food, then down to the lower east side where we basically got blind drunk. The Beasts turned up and were apparently just having a meal sat next to Lady Gaga in the restaurant next door who was donning nothing other than a barely nipple covering top and a pair of knickers. Thats hygiene for you!

So the next day i met up with my US manager Jake to head out and do some promo. On the way to the emusic office i passed the Flat Iron building which is easily up there with the coolest things i have ever seen:

Then i went on to play my first of what i didn't know were going to be some bizarre promo slots! I played at a pizza party in the emusic office. Now that was odd. Everyone there was lovely (as was the pizza) but it was about 12pm in the afternoon on a blazing hot day in the office with me sitting there playing my death songs to a bunch of dudes eating pizza! ha ha. I managed to flex my Swedish talking skills with a lady there called Pernilla before moving on to the next one. We took a cab over to the Highline Park which is basically a dis-used train line now converted into a park.
I played a version of '15 Letters' and 'Keep Your Eyes On The Road' for some cool folks called 'The Wild Honey Pie'. You can see the sessions here:

After that i enjoyed a Cucumber and Watermelon ice lolly (i refuse to say popsicle just because i was in the USA!) and proceeded to head to the venue. It was a gorgeous place, but it was a shame it was located right next to a meat supermarket called 'Western Beef' so in the choking humidity the whole street just stank of DEATH!
I got some nice footage of me and Tom Fleming singing Scott Walker's 'Farmer In The City' as a vocal warm up backstage then went out and played! It was one of those gigs where i thought i'd played shit, but it seemed like the NY crowd were really digging it. They made me feel ridiculously welcome in their city, and after reading a few blogs and reviews about it it seems that it didn't sound so bad from out front! :)

Tom and i went back to our hotel that night and continued drinking Jameson's till about 2am while once again, listening to more Scott Walker. Bearing in mind that he had to be up at 6am to catch a flight to LA and i could just lounge around in bed.

So, i got up and went to do more promo in NY which started wiha nice gig in the office for the lovely folks at Relix magazine, then i decided to throw my guitar back into my hotel and leg it to the Empire State Building. There was no way i was going to visit NY and not go up there!

I then had my final piece of promo which was possibly the weirdest of them all. I had to play at Limewire's 10th anniversary party in their office! Yes another bizarre Lone Wolf booking. There were balloons, streamers, party hats and just before i went on a really emotional speech from the chairman... Then steps up Lone Wolf with his death songs again... The life and soul of the fucking party! :) I played a couple of songs and though it best to leave quietly and let them all enjoy thier party.

Mona then took me to Brooklyn where i saw a giant Laundrette (once again i refuse to say Laundromat just because i was in the USA when i saw it! :)) which had a bar and and massive flat screen TV. It seemed like THE place to wash your clothes in Brooklyn.
We had a couple of beers and i decided to get an early one as i was flying to LA the next morning....

The final instalment tomorrow!

xxPaul Mxx