Richard’s US tour photoblog 02 February 2013

New York City, Saturday

Last photos of a memorable (if cold) US Tour. Thanks to everyone for coming to the shows, watching online, tweeting us (@keaneofficial) and being generally amazing fans. AND for checking out my pics. I'm glad you enjoy seeing what we have been up to.

Fredonia, NY

We went out to dinner with Record Producer Extraordinaire, Dave Fridmann (and friends) down in Fredonia. Was nice to see The Cool Little Music Shop is going from strength to strength. Was good seeing owner and all-round nice guy, Rick & his family.

The bar had table-hockey


sorry, I felt rubbish and didn't go out!

Next Stop: Portland, Maine

One of the finest Coffee Shops in North America, in my humble opinion:

New York:

I had no idea that the people who make my drum sticks also make salt and pepper grinders.

Radio City Music Hall looks even better from the stage! A truly amazing place to end our American adventures.


Burlington, VT, Tuesday

Last pics from Nashville:


Columbus, OH:

Royal Oak, MI

Buffalo, NY:

Tim hired a car so we could go to see Niagara Falls (from the American side).

Everything was covered in ice from the mist of water thrown up by the falls.

To prove we did go!

This is what it looks like in summer!

This is what we came here to see - the noise was incredible. Amazing place, even in freezing weather.


Nashville, Wednesday part 2


St Louis (stopover en route to Nashville):

This truck now travels with us, just for my daily cup.

Nashville (today):


Nashville, Wednesday part 1

a week to catch up on...



sorry - I didn't take any other pics!

Kansas City:

Abandoned fan art:


Houston, Wednesday part 3 - NASA

If you follow me on twitter (@richardkeane) or the band (@keaneofficial) you may have seen me getting very very excited about visiting @NASA here in Houston, Texas - The Johnson Space Center to be precise. As a kid who grew up watching shuttle launches on tv, I am a huge NASA (& science) nut, and this was an amazing treat.

I want to say a huge thanks to John Roderick (of The Long Winters, the Podcast 'Roderick on the Line' & more) for putting me in touch with a friend of his at NASA - John Paul, who hooked us up with the wonderful Andrew Knotts. Andrew took us around, and managed to get Astronauts Dr. Andrew J. Feustel and Captain Michael J. Foreman to accompany us for the tour. They were all incredibly generous with their precious time, with Dr. Feustel accompanying us round the whole 3+ hour tour. I cannot say a big enough thankyou to them all, and everyone at NASA who welcomed us like friends. I can't remember a day off on tour like it.

EDIT: I meant to say - if you are interested in a NASA introduction, I highly recommend the Discovery Channel series - The Nasa Missions: When we left Earth. You'll see a lot of it happened in the rooms we visited.

We went to Mission Control - the rooms that have been used since the 60s, and are still in use today - the International Space Station (ISS) communicates and is controlled from here 24 hours a day.

ISS Mission Control:

It was one of the staff's last day, so they had cake

Jesse and Dr. Feustel:

we weren't the first Brits to visit

There are amazing photos and artifacts wherever you turn:

And then we got to the famed Mission Control room that ran missions from the mid-60s into the 90s, including the moon landings. This is a National Historic Landmark, and we were amazed to be allowed to wander in and sit at the desks.

We went on to the NBL - a place with a ridiculously huge pool in which they submerge actual size equipment that the astronauts then use to practice their space-walks, using the water / weights so they are neutral bouyancy - the nearest they can get to weightless for long periods of time (up to 6 hours). Each spacewalk is practised until it has been done correctly 7 times - our astronaut guides had spent a lot of time in this place. The pool currently contains an entire ISS, albeit not in one piece. This is where we were joined by Captain Foreman, as if one Astronaut guide wasn't enough...

If I remember correctly, this photo was taken by Dr Feustel, so that's him reflected in the visor.

The third building we visited was the Shuttle and ISS training center, where an identical inside of the ISS is housed for training purposes, plus a training version of the Shuttle interior...

Dr. Feustel talks us through the layout of the ISS:

The Shuttle:

I think Jesse was asking where to plug his iphone in - come to think of it, I didn't spot the stereo.

This area is below the cockpit, and was where Dr. Feustel was sitting (with 2 others) for both of his Shuttle Launches. It was tiny, even without 3 seats and people in spacesuits.

The mirror was there to let the Astronauts see switches behind them in the restrictive spacesuits (when they wouldn't be able to turn their heads enough). Spot the big red "MASTER ALARM" button!


They also had various bits of hardware, prototypes and parts of future space vehicles, and a few mental robots...


That's about it. Again, thanks everyone for the hospitality - it was the most amazing day.



Houston, Wednesday part 2

San Diego, or the drive to it...

look out for Walt & Jesse...

The area we were in seemed to be the Bail Bonds District.

San Francisco

They spelled his name wrong:

I thought I had got some better shots of trams, but they were looking glorious. Sorry, this one is a terrible photo.



Houston, Wednesday

@Jacqnic - yep, that's very impressive - it is the Truckee River. Hard to believe you go from 7000ft and snowy mountains, to sunshine and San Francisco in about 3 hours. Glad you are enjoying the blog.

The snowboard is Beth's custom board - she had it made after UTIS came out, and I seem to remember we auctioned one off, or gave it away in a competition - so she has one of only 2 in the world!

A few pics from LA:


Los Angeles, Saturday


Boise, Wednesday

First photoblog in a while. Sorry about that, but here we go. I flew to Seattle a couple of days before the tour began and then drove down the coast to Portland (the long way). Took a few snaps along the way, plus a ton in Portland, some of which may be familiar from my previous blogs... I had a great time there, getting treated to a tour of Stumptown Coffee Roastery (thanks Matt) - these guys are great. I got to try a tasting ("cupping") of some of their coffees, and had one of the best Flat Whites of my life from their Barista training expert. Amazing. It was good to see that they are also committed to reducing the environmental impact of their roastery, with super hi-tech gas-saving equipment. Feels good to know that when you are drinking one of their fabulous coffees. Anyway, on with the show:

In-flight entertainment:

Seattle Coffee Works:

First proper breakfast of any USA tour is pancakes. I simply cannot resist...!

The drive down to Portland:


On the bridge on the way to Stumptown:

At Stumptown: this is a 90kg coffee roaster - does about $4000 worth each time - no pressure...! 

Coffees to taste:

I walked, it was raining...



Every bank should have a carved horse in the window.

The State Capitol:

It's early, but Dear Santa...

"A lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations" - sounds good.

You're in a big puddle of shit, Pamela, and you don't have the shoes for it.

There are these little binocular-looking things set up around town with old views of the street they are on - genius idea, and at child height. Hard to take a pic but you get the idea.

The landscape around Boise is incredibly beautiful.

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