Trip to the US Pt 1 – Chicago

OK, here’s the first entry in the holiday/tour blog. The Cheat and I flew into Chicago, as the first stop off was staying with the lovely Steve and Diane from the band Dolly Varden (apparently ‘Dolly Varden’ is a type of fish…) – on the day we arrived (Friday), DV were playing at Uncommon Ground, a very cool coffee-shop gig in Chicago, so we went to see that. Given that Chicago is six hours behind London, this meant that we arrived at the gig at about 2AM our time, and left sometime around 5. This, we both still protest, was our reason for leaving without paying… doh! We ran up quite a big food, beer ‘n’ coffee tab, and then left with the band when they’d packed up… But you’ll be pleased to know that we did ring the venue the next day and tell them that we’d be in again on Sunday so would settle up then…

Anyway, here’s Dolly Varden on stage at Uncommon Ground –

So after that, The Cheat and I spent a couple of days wandering around Chicago, which we both agreed was one of the coolest cities we’d ever visited – in evidence I offer you,

there you go, lovely. We checked out loads of the record shops in town, including Jazz Record Mart, the world’s biggest Jazz and Blues record store (who now stock my CDs, for those of you in Chicago wanting to get them). We also checked out the Millenium Park which was hosting a photo exhibition called ‘Family Photo’, featuring about 110 photos from the 1000 families photography project, by Uwe Ommer. Marvellous stuff.

Sunday night it was back to surprise my solo bass buddy Seth Horan by turning up at his gig at Uncommon Ground – he played a great set, and it was fab to be able to catch up with him, and to see his face when we walked in, while he tried to compute what the hell I was doing turning up at a coffee-shop gig in Chicago. (we also settled the bill from Friday night!)

And Monday we set off for Nashville, which will be Pt II…

soundtrackMatthew Garrison, ‘Live’; Julie Lee, ‘Made From Scratch’; Morphine, ‘Best Of’.

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