N Am photoblog: Houston to Toronto 05 March 2012

Myriade Cafe, Montreal / Saturday / 1400

I’ve escaped a dusty but sunny and hot festival site to grab a coffee in Montreal – I’m in a lovely cafe, recommended by Momiji Kishi, no less: so i’m gonna upload a couple of photos from last night in Toronto. It was a really fun show – great crowd, really loud singing, fun atmosphere, not to mention the sweet smell lingering in the air… i took a couple of photos after the show – it’s such a beautiful city, and being on the shore of Lake Ontario sets it off perfectly.


Toronto / Friday / 1737

I’ve got a bit of catching up to do, but I’ll begin here in Toronto. i’ve mentioned before how i love this city – i don’t know what it is, but it’s special, and the more i come here, the more i get to know it, and the better it seems to get. having said all that… sounds like things got pretty intense during the recent G8/G20 events here.

ever since learning about the bridge in Koln i seem to notice multiple padlocks.

cool shop window butterfly installation by Kristi Malakoff

Dear Santa pt.3

Some of you may know that i’m into nice coffee… i think i’ve found a new winner – Dark Horse Espresso Bar in Toronto is an amazing, calm, chilled, happy place that serves delicious drinks and great food. I stopped by, and happened to be served by the recent winner of the 2010 Canadian Eastern Region Barista Championships, Momiji Kishi – so I asked for a photo for the blog. needless to say, my coffee was fantastic. thanks!

we are at the Molson Amphitheatre now, and this family greeted me as i got off the bus. Awwww…


I’ve done a timelapse of the show that will be up sometime in the next few days, but in the meantime, here are a few photos from another great city.

the theatre walls are covered in autographs of all the people who have played there – including the likes of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. some shows had specially painted areas to sign, like this:

Last few from Memphis:

bugs flying around the lights on the shores of the Mississippi



Chicago IL / Wednesday / 1855

just a couple of pics of this beautiful theatre from soundcheck…

the ghost of Tom Chaplin



Memphis TN / Tuesday / 1900

we’re on our way from Dallas to Chicago, so Colin, the genius tour manager that he is, thought we could stop off here for the day while our bus driver gets some sleep. It’s been a great day – we are staying in a slightly odd hotel, called the Peabody, where they bring ducks down from the rooftop in an elevator, to swim in the fountain in the lobby, and then reverse the process in the late afternoon. It’s one of the stranger things i’ve seen in a hotel (beats the German nativity scene i once saw in a hotel lobby that had live chickens and chicks in it, anyway). I digress… we all went to Graceland today – it was a great trip, and reminds me of the scene in Rattle and Hum where U2 go there, and Larry gets to sit on one of the Harleys. Sadly, I would need written permission from the owners to blog any photos, so they will have to remain unseen. It’s a shame, but I’m being respectful to the great man.

Houston: It was so hot i didn’t venture far from the venue, I’m afraid…

Simona from Italy brought her book of Keane memories / memorabilia and photos for us to sign – it’s amazing. I don’t know how many times we’ve met, but it’s a lot! Always nice to see familiar faces, and best wishes to Roby and Ilauria too! we miss you guys… but i’m sure we’ll see you soon.

someone asked what kind of car this was – it says Malibu 350 on the side… is it a Chevrolet? whatever, it’s so cool. Dear Santa, Pt.2…

we had such a great night – great crowd, thanks for the sign!

This one is now clickable…

Dallas: murals backstage

I went for a wander, got a bit lost, and ended up in a very sketchy part of town (about 200 yards past this sign). beat a hasty retreat! next time i’ll pay attention to the signs… (except i never do – it’s where the good photos are)


Colin’s birthday. he could only find an enormous knife…

Great crowd in Dallas – the place went off. we won’t leave it five years til the next one…

i wanted to take the photo of the crazy building, above, and there were still a few fans at the bus, so we all got together and took a ghost photo (now clickable!)

Memphis – the duck-obsessed hotel

I’ll never get used to this. I understand that a lot of people disagree, but i am definitely for gun control. we survive just fine without them in the UK, and have much lower homicide rates as a result… and we don’t have to have signs like this in the windows of bars.

This one’s for my pal Trevor!

my inner cheeseball wants something like this so badly.

Tim and Jesse stopped off here on the way back. I was gonna go to the gym but then i started looking through my photos… good excuse for my laziness, i reckon.



Houston TX / Sunday / 1715

final batch of photos to catch up… this lot from the journey over from Vegas

the little black dots are cattle. moo, y’all.

crazy roadside sculpture

bullet-holes in the signs

driving in to El Paso – this is Mexico, just across a fence and a river.


This one is my desktop at the moment (and is now clickable)…

we saw loads of people being pulled over by immigration, and then we got pulled, too – people with badges and guns getting all shouty on our bus – til they saw our visas, at least. it was pretty crazy though, not often you see people with machine guns… 

Houston / Sunday / 1400

Las Vegas to Houston is over 1500 miles (it’s 850 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats, just to put that in context for any Brits reading) – this meant a few hours off in the Border town of El Paso while the bus driver had a sleep. It was, well, pretty weird. I got my first proper telling off of the tour for taking photos of a "federal building" (a lovely old freight office by the railroad!). not a place to get arrested, I would imagine, so i let it slide!

we’re in Houston now, and it’s warm – 34 degrees C. we’re running through another new song in the dressing room, and hoping Russ manages to track down the gremlins in Tim’s keyboards before soundcheck. fingers crossed!

believe it or not, this is the building i wasn’t supposed to photograph. it’s a problem in the UK too – see anyway… i guess he won, because it’s a terrible photo!

This one’s for you, Andrea!

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