To the cannabis “dispensary” with ******* who has a medical marijuana card. It means he can buy pot legally according to California State law and was able to score the incredible cookies that fucked me up on the bit of the desert trip I didn’t tell you about. Of course it’s still a federal crime and highlights the complexities / idiocies in the relationship between state and federal law in the USA. The feds regularly bust these places but can’t actually prosecute anyone, just take the gear and generally intimidate people. You can smell the enormous fat double-standard that allows clued-up Californians (and folks in about 10 other states) to score to help them through ‘pain relief’, while across the US, kids still get sent to prison for carrying small amounts of pot. Sick really, especially when you look at the USA world-beating prison population.
As we walked out, a bike cop passed by and smiled ruefully at us.
These cookies look so harmless, I’m briefly tempted to bring a load back on the plane, though I simply don’t have the balls for those kind of smuggling shenanigans. I got nervous enough last time bringing across Cholula Sauce!
I scoff another half cookie for British Sea Power at Spaceland – kind of like facing your fears. And it works, this time I’m happy-as-Larry, especially washing it down with single malt scotch. Sea Power are lions tonight. Some of their jams are Sonic Youth and the new songs are the best, apparently they had a tough one at Echo the night before but there’s no sign of it here – they’re bloody marvellous and according to their PR, they’re going on BBC 2’s Country File, the jammy bastards. It’s a six-piece lineup with Phil (who blew cornet on my album) doing brass and keys and Abi doing viola. Phil is still recovering from trashing himself earlier in the tour and had scary dental surgery. Slightly sad that Tom White isn’t here (he filled in on drums when Woody was ill) but it’s right’n’proper that Sea Power have their lineup back.
Their US tour is crazy. They’ll still be here in May.
Colin Firth is on the flight, which makes for excited, happy stewardesses the whole way. Apart from the Mr D’Arcy film-star stuff, his mother Shirley is an amazing woman with Quaker connections, who does a load of important work fighting for immigrants’ rights on the south coast. Her uncompromising views, coming “against type” from a very well-spoken elderly English woman, inspired at least two of my songs a few years ago and shaped my opinion on the movement of people.
The train journey from Heathrow to Brighton with 30 kilos of luggage is a fucking mess but I’m not going to moan about it. I’ll take the coach in future.
Thank-you very much Stephen and Jane for hosting me and working their arses off, making the tour and video shoot possible. Thanks also Charlie, Dani, Ben, Matt for the free clothes, all the nice promoters and of course Frank.
A word about Mr Turner. Despite what some people assume, Frank and I didn’t know eachother hardly at all before this tour but getting to know him properly in the last two weeks was fucking superb and he’s been both a consistently ace live performer and a brilliant, charming man. Like when Robyn the nutjob soundwoman at Pappy & Harriet’s tried to sabotage his set by shoving crazy echoes right up high through his monitors, he calmly switched off the guitar pick-up, moved away from the mic mid-song and finished unplugged – it was supremely suave and took the wind out of her sails. And she’d done it because he’d politely asked her to fix a sound problem that she was ignoring, during my set, to help me out.