October 24, 2013
Here’s a special guest post from Yorkshire Tea fan – and professional drummer – Greenie (that’s him above).
Thank you for taking the time to read my “Tour tea blog”! My name is Greenie and I am a session drummer for various artists.
The lovely people at Yorkshire Tea were kind enough to supply me and one of the bands I play drums for, ‘Little Comets’ (all of us tea-loving Geordies) with a batch of the finest tea bags (and two aprons!) for a recent tour of the USA to support our, ‘Life Is Elsewhere’ album. In exchange I wrote them this blog of our travels.
We started the tour in New York on August 12 and drove all the way across North America to end in LA, playing 11 shows in all and numerous TV and radio promo along the way.
This was our first US trip and for anyone not familiar with touring, it can be an arduous beast, lots of travelling, a lot of downtime waiting around and in our case on this venture…not much sleep from an insane amount of work to be done!
Luckily being as there was lots of unfamiliar surroundings on our travels and our little bus having wi-fi (modern technology eh!?) it eased the blow somewhat and once you get a few days into a tour, as long as you look after yourself you blend into the routine nicely.
After a nice sightseeing first day in New York we played the next day to a sold out Mercury Lounge in East Village, stopping for our dinner at the famous, ‘Katz Diner’ (that scene where Meg Ryan gets a little excited). We then moved onto Washington DC where yours truly managed to get a fine snapshot in front of the White House in a fetching apron and a quality hot beverage!
The following days involved shows in Philadelphia, back to New York for TV and radio promo, back to Philadelphia onto Indianapolis, Chicago and Minneapolis, all great Crowds I must add. We got to see a lot of this part of the country, taking snapshots and visiting landmarks both historic and cultural.
Now with all of us being HUUUUUGE Prince fans it was a great delight to find out we would be playing the same building in Minneapolis that the film ‘Purple Rain’ was shot.
This venue has also played host to everyone from U2 to Nirvana, Bob Dylan to The Pixies, this is memorialised by 531 silver stars with the band’s name in the middle on the side wall of the venue.. .all little memoirs of classic performances, we had a moment before we played and soaked in the nostalgic atmosphere, you can feel the history of that place everywhere.
After Minneapolis we had a 13 hour overnight drive to Denver… 791 miles if I remember correctly… this was a killer… plenty of tea to get us through that part of the tour!
Now maybe this is a good time to mention how we actually used those tea bags. I was not sure if my strategy for this would work but the very lovely people of the USA truck stops were more than happy to give us free water and milk then we simply dunked a Yorkshire Tea bag into our cup, brewed it and off we went.
We did have one or two grumpy staff on the trip who were a little reluctant to give away free water and milk, though with a little sweet talking and my tall tale of a drink called ‘Watermilk’, which I said was “really big in Newcastle like man”, it seemed to calm their disgruntled demeanour and were then more than happy for me and the lads to have them for free… thank you all!
Staying in touch with social media on the tour I was brought to the attention of a Mr David Coverdale (lead singer of 80′s rock band Whitesnake) nattering on about Yorkshire Tea on Twitter. I had no choice but to reply to him and we had a good old Twitter chat about brews… Spinal Tap at its best!
As we approached halfway through the tour we got a real sense of not just how big the USA is, perpetual straight roads that just go on forever and vast gargantuan beautiful scenery.
The landscape of the US changes every so often when you drive across it, we went from skyscraper big cities of places like New York and Chicago through to the breathtaking Denver Colorado with its Rocky Mountains, driving through the barren cowboy wastelands of places like Wyoming, the amazing greenery and forests of Oregon then finishing our tour driving past the rugged, deserty, mountainous landscape of California into Hollywood, Los Angeles.
Our last day in the USA featured a promo gig in the amazing 20th Century Fox Studios where coincidentally we met a very high profile recording engineer who was by chance from Newcastle upon Tyne! He was more than happy to meet some fellow Geordies and was absolutely thrilled when we gave him the remainder of our Yorkshire Tea… a gift from back home as he put it!
A good job well done all round by the band and everyone involved, brilliant crowds every night and lots of new friends made. We had an amazing experience and got the work done which is always good!
On the tour I seemed to convert a whole new set of people from the east to the west coast to Yorkshire Tea, I have had quite a few emails thanking me for recommending it and showing how to brew it properly… a tea ambassador as the band now call me and I am quite happy with the title.
We go back to the USA for another tour in October through to November and I plan to convert many more..stay tuned. Thanks for reading and thanks to the people of Yorkshire Tea!