Journalist/King Of France drummer Michael Azerrad continues his tour diary. Today includes two entries, the first from NYC and the second from Philadelphia. Catch the antics of The King Of France in person when they stop through your town with Robbers On High Street! Here is where the band will be this weekend:
10.07.05 – New London, CT (Cro’s Nest)
10.08.05 – Hartford, CT (Webster Undergound)
I’ve been educating the guys in Robbers on High Street on all the classic backhanded compliments people give bands:
“Hey, I saw you up there!”
“Wow, you guys are tight!”
“Looked like you guys were having fun up there!”
And my favorite, which is simply miming an instrument and pointing wordlessly at the musician, while nodding vigorously.
Naturally, we’ve all been trying them out on each other, with extra points for how well you fake your sincerity.
The Mercury Lounge show was lots of fun – there was a great crowd and we got lots of really positive, insightful feedback. Next day was Southpaw in Brooklyn. After soundcheck, Morgan from the Robbers and I crashed on the couches in the dimly lit downstairs band room while Tomer – witty fellow -- softly strummed “I’m Only Sleeping” on an acoustic guitar. That was really pleasant, and it’ll be one of my favorite memories from the tour.
It’s been interesting playing shows in New York, where we’re actually from – playing there in a middle of a tour makes it seem like just another city we’re blowing through. New York really does seem special, with a special tweaked intensity, a definite excitement in the air. People always say that about New York but after living here so long I’ve kind of taken I for granted. Still, it’s much more exciting to play out of town, partly because of the adventure and partly to try and conquer a whole new city.
Today on the drive down to the North Star Bar in Philadelphia, Steve tried out the voice-activated command function on the Honda Odyssey. “Play CD!” he ordered our trusty steed. Air conditioner off!” was the cheerful reply. Oh well. The Odyssey is still the sweetest ride a band could hope for. We played Leon Russell’s excellent Carney and Harry Nilsson’s The Point and that pretty much took us the whole way.
In my last entry I mentioned how New York is different from other cities. For instance, the opening band at the North Star Bar in Philadelphia thanked the audience “for coming out on a Thursday night.” You wouldn’t hear anyone in New York say that. It also spelled impending doom – it was a very quiet night. To make matters worse, I didn’t get any dinner, which makes me really grouchy, to put it diplomatically. And of course there was an insult to add to that injury. During our song “Circus” I stood up to glare at some people in the audience who were talking really loud during a quiet passage. But when I went to sit down, my drum stool had tipped over and I took a spill. But, I am proud to say, I never lost the beat! Steve, with his back to me, never even knew what happened but the Robbers were all watching from the audience, and they nearly split their sides laughing.
Overall, it was a screw-off set but in spite, or because, of that we somehow managed to kick ass. And we actually sold the most CDs and t-shirts of the tour so far to the smallest audience of the tour so far. Go figure.
I forgot to mention that on the way down to Arlington, someone in our entourage flashed a toll booth attendant, to said attendant’s visible amusement and appreciation. See? We can be rock & roll!
Source: Michael Azerrad