That's it. Almost. After 40 or so shows, 78 days, 91 dropped drumsticks and countless broken strings (no kidding, one night Jay was snapping them at a rate of one PER song!!!!), tomorrow in Los Angeles we'll come to the end of the 2010 Light The Horizon Tour. Also, as it so happens, it's Eon's birthday at the stroke o' 12, so we'll have two major milestones to celebrate. The band and crew alike are in great spirits, as much for the upcoming (and much deserved) rest, as for the success we've had, lo these past 10 weeks. Speaking of crew… well we haven't really, have we? In that case, allow me to introduce you to the people who deserve equal credit for the shows we've been putting on night after night. Head over to Tour Photos to put names to faces.
Nunya Beckley: Tour Manager. Though she loathes the term 'Tour mom' (and who'd blame her), this woman is very much the head of this family. When Nunya speaks, you'd be wise to pay attention. She keeps us on schedule, in line, and in the know on just about every aspect of our daily life out here on the road. She also takes zero crap when we (inevitably) come up against those who'd make things harder for us than need be. All the while, having the patience of a saint when dealing with the rest of us. I've witnessed on more than one occasion band and crew walk up and ask her the exact same question, all within mere minutes of each other. Without fail, she'll rattle off the info (often already posted by her in plain sight for all to see), as if it's the first time she's answered that day. All this while booking hotels, balancing the books and talking to promoters. As stupendous a tour manager as they come, she's the band's secret weapon out here.
Renaud Lussier: Front Of House Sound. Like Nunya, Renauld is a longtime member of the Bedouin Soundclan (see what I did there?), and there's a very good reason for that. He knows ALL the key spots in each song on our setlist (not to mention several songs that aren't) as well as the best way to accentuate them in a live setting. He sat with our album before this tour started listening to it top to bottom for hours on end, day after day, familiarizing himself with it's every snap, crackle and pop. That's a little scary. I've worked with many soundmen/women over the years, but very few compare. In terms of pure dedication, proficiency, and signature methods he employs to get a PA sounding the way he does, he's like no other. Without question, he's the man responsible for the band 's live sound people have come to know over the years.
Lenny Goncharov: Backline tech. Equal parts Slash from G n' R, Keanu from Bill & Ted's, and Tasmanian Devil from Loony Tunes, he's the man you want when s*** needs to get done. Want guitars, amps and drums setup and ready to play in record time? Just point your Lenny at it. All the while, nothing but positivity emitting from within. Sidebar: I've also never met a roadie with as many unintentionally hilarious, disturbing, raunchy and downright epic road stories. If he ever gets his own tv show, the first 3 seasons have already been written.
Maxine Drury: Lighting tech. If you managed to catch any of the shows on this tour, you've no doubt noticed a huge difference in our onstage production. We've played venues with capacities as small as 300 all the way to 2000+. No matter the size of the room, Max makes each show come to life with projected images, videos, as well as LEDs that bathes the stage in lush, buttery textures. Miss Drury sets a pitch perfect mood for every song, and has managed to take the live Bedouin experience to another level. We're grateful to have had her.
Andy Hodgson: Backline tech. Amazing. You guys don't even know. Remember when I told you earlier about Jay breaking a string every song? This is the guy who had them replaced, re-tuned and ready to be re-broken by the start of the next song. He's also my personal hero, as he's somehow managed to do the impossible: Set my drums up EXACTLY the way I play every night after night. No easy feat, I can assure you. If something's a millimetre off, I'lI know it. None of the 7 dedicated drum techs I've had over the years has managed to pull it off. I'm pretty sure at this point he can set up my drums faster than I can. Seriously. You don't even know.
Honourable mentions: Nina Sudra & Sam Thifault: Merch Persons. Show after show these two slung our wares (t-shirts, cd, vinyl, etc) during shows, and were welcome additions to the expanded Bedouin Family. We were sad to see each of them leave us before the tour's end; Nina with a broken leg, and Sam to follow a girl to Bolivia.
So , there you have it. The gang of street tuffs that make up our bunch, without whom we'd have not have had the amazing shows we've so far been blessed with. Being incredible at what you do is only part of what makes a crew member special. Equally important is how well you get on with the rest of your road family, quirks and all. And we get along quite well, thank you kindly.
*follow me @sekoulumumba
Greetings from Bellingham, Washington. Day Lord-knows-what. We've once again left the comfort and familiarity of our home and native land for the final leg of this unforgettable run. Though it's been a long couple months, a saving grace has been it's segmentation. It gives us a chance to appreciate the different locations we see, bands we play with, people we meet, not to mention all the varied experiences we've had. Seriously, anytime you can be up at dawn on a slum rooftop in Bombay India, then sitting down 4 days later to the best fish n' chips London has to offer (Rock & Sole in Covent Garden), you'd best give thanks for your blessings.
Vancouver's show at the Vogue marked the end of our "Hat's Off" tour with Charlie Winston and Michael Rault ,and what a way to go out. Sorry to toot our own horn, but from top to bottom, bow to stern, that lineup was legendary. All three bands have a decidedly different energy, that when combined, gelled better than anyone could have guessed. We're very proud to have had them both out with us. Graciously, they helped us close out the night by joining us for 'Nothing To Say" and "When The Night". The real stars of the show however were the few dozen kids from The St. James Music Academy. They came up for a performance of "Here I Am". (a song we'll be releasing over the holidays on iTunes as a Bedouin single. All the proceeds will be going to the academy, to help further their incredible work.) They sounded truly angelic, and I don't mind telling you I got a little lump in my throat when I heard them come in, 30 voices strong on that first chorus. When it was all done, you should have seen it: cheers, roars, whistles, and finally a standing ovation, turned just about all their tiny faces into various mixes of excitement, elation and disbelief. After a reaction like that I've no doubt the next great canadian talent is in the making.
Having finished up touring Canada for the year, we're on to our final 6 shows, all in the U.S: Bellingham, Seattle, Portland, San Fran, San Diego L.A. respectively. None of us have ever been to this first place, so we're not sure what to expect. So far the city has a decidedly 'Oregon' feel: Lots of coffee-houses, secondhand shops, seemingly no upper class, and extremely friendly locals. In short, I think we'll have a great time.
San Francisco is going to be kind of a big deal for yours truly. It's where my dad lives and (in addition to not having seen him for some years) this will be the very first time in the history of ever that he's seen his son playing the drums. I know, weird, right? No pressure. Well, maybe a l'il. My dad's always been an intimidating figure to me, (when he shakes your hand like he's making a wax impression of it) so I'm hoping I don't f*** up. Watch THIS be the night I drop half a dozen drumsticks. Lordy…
K, I'm out. I escaped the tour bus a few hours ago to find a quiet cafe to write this, and if I don't return soon our tour manager will release the hounds. Thanks again for everyone who's been following along for the last while, and a special thanks to those who've given me some positive feedback. I'm not a writer by any stretch of the imagination, so your kind words mean more than you know. Extra special special thanks to mama Malinowski for the inspiration (incidentally, she cooks a mean sable fish).*follow me @sekoulumumba
"Y'all make it good to come home." -Dave Chappelle
Thank you, Canada. We've been tired, under the weather and homesick, but the shows in Ottawa, Quebec City and Montreal have been so amazing that it's all easily forgotten as soon as we walk on stage.
Add to this, it marked the beginning of our run with labelmate Michael Rault and the incomparable Charlie Winston. If you're not familiar with either (for shame. How can you even look at yourself in a mirror?), you can check them out respectively here, and here.
Rault's been our secret weapon; an unassuming shaggy haired, shy, skinny by all outwards appearances, but when he starts performing you're quickly won over by his classic, blues/ r n'b infectious old soul.
Charlie Winston and his band are a treat to watch, as they're not only phenomenal performers but beautiful people as well. Their sets are jaw dropping and inspires us to rise to the occasion to put on the best show we can to follow. We're huge fans of both these guys, and hopefully if you're making you way out to one of our upcoming shows you'll come early and check them out.
Montreal was a real standout for a couple reasons. First off, on a personal level the venue we played (Métropolis) holds a special place in my heart, as it was the first place I ever got to see my favourite band of all time, Fishbone, many years ago. Such a surreal feeling to walk out on stage, finding (from memory) that spot I was standing in a decade and a half ago.
We also were blessed with a few special guests that night. Vernon Buckley from The Maytones joined us for 'Money Worries', C'oeur De Pirate accompanied Jay in 'Brutal Hearts', and the aforementioned Mr. Winston closed the show sharing singing duties in 'When The Night Feels My Song'. All in all, an incredible show I'll always remember. It's not all sunshine, however. Unfortunately, due to how much we've been playing, Jay's voice is almost shot, forcing us to cancel 3 upcoming shows: Detroit, Chicago and Minneapolis. Not a decision we come to lightly. Backing out of show dates is something we all loathe. It was however, a necessary call, if we expect to finish the remainder of this tour. Having a few days back to back for Jay to rest will do wonders for his voice. If you're in these areas and had planned to come see us, please bear in mind we WILL be re-booking these shows soon. Again, apologies.
I'll be posting pictures, and (hopefully) a short video, so head over to the tour photos and video section if you get a chance. Thanks for checking in, and happy Movember.
Back! Well, sort of. At least in the continental sense of the word.
Tonight we start the US leg of this tour, coming fresh off a run of ALL sold out shows in the UK (well, almost all; we were 2 tickets shy of max capacity in Leeds. Jerks.). Thank you a thousand times over London, Leeds (I can't stay mad at you!), Manchester, Glasgow and Brighton. For a band from across the pond to feel as at home as you made us feel is a rare thing. We can't wait to see you again when Light The Horizon is officially released there in early 2011.
We flew back to Canada on Nov 1rst, feeling blessed to have even 32 hours at home before hoping back on a bus. Sounds like a negligible amount of time, but after seeing so many different locales and cultures for the last month, you start to feel a little... discombobulated. After that, coming up for air does the mind good.
10 hours and several turnpikes later, we arrive in New York. Sorry to be yet another cliche, but every time I come here I'm awestruck at what a magical place this is. We're all super excited not just to start off our North American tour here, but also the start of our first large production shows. In addition to a gorgeous backdrop, incredible lighting and dedicated cameras on Eon, Jay and I, we've got stunning footage especially created for al the newer songs. Tonight's going to be the test run of all this stuff, so pray for us that everything was plugged in properly.
Tonight New York, tomorrow Washington D.C, and the day after, Buffalo as we continue our campaign westward. Though we're all still a little jetlagged and Jay's fighting off a nasty cough he picked up in India, we are definitely happy to be back on solid ground.
follow me: @fortydeuces
Hello from rain soaked London, England! We got in from India earlier today and band and crew agree: none of us have ever had an experience quite like our time in Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore. India's an incredible place, a difficult place at times, but incredible all the same. It's somewhere we'd never have expected to have gotten to see, but very happy we did . One thing I never adjusted to was the staring. Sweet Jezuz, the staring. It was like no matter what they were doing, NOTHING was more interesting that whatever we were up to.
What's up? Sorry I missed your call, I was in the shower.
So it's been 9 days since L.T.H (ahem, that's what we in the biz are calling Light The Horizon. K, well maybe just me.) was taken out of our hands and sent into the world. Much like a parent sending their child off to his/her first day off school, we're excited to hear updates and stories of just how that first experience went. Good reviews/bad ones, favourite/least favourite songs, reactions to the new directions/the new guy, everything really. All of which we're trying to gleam from the poor internet connection in our hotel rooms. In mainland China.
As some of you may know, we left for a world tour October 1rst, just days after the album's release. It's an odd feeling for us to have released a piece of work that's so important to everyone involved, yet not be at home in Canada for it's first few days (there's an analogy here to a mother leaving her baby at home the first few days after it's born, but I'm trying to limit my 'new parent' smilies to one per post). But rest assured we're out here doing the good work: finishing China then on to Australia, India, The UK, US before we happily make our way back to tour our home turf in Canada!
Shanghai's been a blast, and we've been doing everything from visiting the oldest tea garden in the city to getting suits made for a song (you don't know nuttin' about the grey pinstripe trousers with silk black tuxedo stripe I had made, nor the to-his-specifications 'Members Only' jacket Eon dreamt up!), and I feel confident to say that everyone of us would visit this city again without a moment's hesitation (2 hour massages FTW).
Playing the Expo has been, for us, a huge honour. We've had two shows so far; the second being the best. I mean, it didn't hurt that we had a solid row of Canadians in the first few rows dancing and coercing the otherwise reserved Chinese audience into participating! Jay brought a little chinese boy onstage during one of the songs and after giving him the mic, the little man squeaked out a handful of words in Mandarin that made the audience roar with laughter. Still have no clue what he said though.
Most all countries are represented here, and you get this infectious sense of national pride after visiting the various pavilions. The Canadian offering is impressive, highlighting aspects of our culture, architecture and varied provinces by way of interactive and inventive multimedia displays. Tough to describe in words, so pics soon to follow.
But as they must all good things come to an end, and after playing tonight's gala we're off tomorrow morning to the airport for our 10 hour flight to Australia. As it's my first time there, I'll do my level best to give you my impressions of the people, places and shows. Ok, must go now as I haven't towelled off and fear I may be catching pneumonia.
P.S. I have ever so many witty and insightful things to say on Twitter. Mario Vargas Ilosa may have won the nobel prize for literature but... you know... when did he ever tweet abou-.... anyway. Screw that guy. Follow me, damn you! @fortydeuces