An Extensive History of The Cannanes
STAGE 1 - EUROPE June 6th - 24th 1999
Executive summary: Preserved dead bodies, Roman Baths, lots of beer and cheese.
SUNDAY 6TH June
It is raining. The tube is "out". It is Sunday night and it is London. We have a VERY bad mixer and it sounds atrocious. Saving grace is Remote Viewer and Empress - both very good.
MONDAY 7TH June
A very fun show-Great people,the glorious Anna and Steve from Melting Vinyl (firstname.lastname@example.org) a small but appreciative audience and the power only cuts out once. Dinner on the beach and we wander about Brighton Pier-Highly satisfactory and strangely Iain Macintyre from 99 and Kokoshkar pops up cheery as ever. Tuesday morning we hang out with Iain & Peter Pavement and get to visit Slab O Concrete publishing HQ then head up the A23, M25 then M1 to Leeds.
WEDNESDAY 9TH June
UK Chip shops are one of the great things about England however search as we might it always seemed impossible to find one open-Closing from 1.30pm to 4.30pm they are always just out of reach. We decided to retire to Bradford for a couple of days to practice and get out of Stewart and Nicola's hair. They were showing no signs of annoyance being the perfect hosts that they are, but we thought they deserved a small rest. So we set off for Bradford. Acting on a tip off from Anna in Brighton we sought out the Beehive hotel which turned out to be a fine establishment. We were shown to our room which had 3 beds and a painting of Winston Churchill on the wall. We spent the evening dining at the Sheesh Mahal (not to be confused with the Sheesh Mahal Leeds-another purveyor of fine curries) which served up some superb curries then off to the Sun Hotel- a very friendly gay pub then off to S29 a club playing 80's music. Arriving back at the Beehive about 2am Stephen decided they were bound to be still up and serving drinks, as it all too often turns out, he was right. The very long suffering barman was serving drinks to a strange duo we named Mr Mean and Mr Intelligent so we joined them for a number of pints till about 4 when we decided the publican had earned some rest then we made our way upstairs and tumbled into bed.
THURSDAY 10TH June
After not enough sleep we got up and went to the National Museum of Photography which was pretty good and I learned that e mail started in 1971. Had breakfast at the Beehive then walked around Bradford for a while. Tried again to go to a chip shop but they were all closed so had a roast potato at Tribeca a "New York style" sandwich shop. Had a very short practice - back to the Sheesh Mahal again and I went to bed to watch TV.
FRIDAY 11TH June
Busking. Yeah that was the answer-we could practice and get money at the same time. Brilliant idea but when we got into town it looked a bit rainy so we chickened out. Stephen chanting slowly that he had done a lot of busking and it really wasn't much fun. So back to Leeds - practiced with Stewart then off to the show at Josephs Well - to play with Steward and the Experimental Pop Band. The show was put on by Richard and Chris from Hood who had gone to an enormous amount of trouble to make it good with slides etc. This was a really fun show though we played very roughly - Steward was very good - The Experimental Pop Band sadly were not. Everyone was very pleased that the pub had a late licence and was open till 12! Nicola blamed her slight inebriation on this radical relaxing of the licensing laws. Back to Barnbrough street for more drinks then
SATURDAY 12TH June
Oh my God Glasgow! What a ridiculous evening. Stephen grimaced bravely as we drove up the motorway passing all evidence of Roman world-castles, walls etc but there was no time for sight seeing-Had a delicious meal at the 13th Note Cafe then back for the soundcheck at the 13th Note-club. The soundcheck was not good and it only went downhill from there. We played first-Everything sounded awful-all the fast songs slow and vice versa. Stephen got very depressed and my attempts at stupid banter only made everything a lot worse. 3 friends-Gen, Liz and Ben turned up-all 3 had been at the London show which was another disaster so that was rather embarrassing though they were, as is their wont, of course totally polite about it. The 13th Note has a club upstairs which as the evening wore on got fuller and fuller and more raucous while downstairs it was more like being at a badly run funeral. Despite this Empress played a beautiful set. Then Hood came on. Starting off well they were soon sucked into the maelstrom of equipment failures (partly due to the DJ preparing for his 'set' who kept unplugging amps while setting up slide projectors at the back of the stage) which seemed to make them all rather cranky and soon they were hurling their guitars on the floor etc which completely shocked me as I had not picked them as the types. Anyone who has come under the tutelage of Hairy is psychologically trained to have a complete mental shutdown at the thought of throwing a guitar anywhere - even in a room entirely lined with goose feather doonas which certainly wasn't the case here. As I stood there in a state of shock I noticed a roar of excited shouting and feet. The upstairs people were now pouring through a floodgate into our bit while Hood were still finishing playing. Complete chaos! We started to try and pack up but everything was out of control. Hairy was leaning over picking up a lead when a hitherto invisible smoke machine went off in his face. No one could see anything. Horrendously loud techno music started and we were squashed into an insane crowd of crazy dancers. A man came into the equipment room insisting it was the cloakroom and trying to drape his coat over the amplifiers. No one could find anything on the stage as we were now operating in battle conditions. Misery and chaos everywhere. There seemed to be a bit of fighting going on amongst our group, and Hairy and I escaped with Ben and drove to Edinburgh. This in itself was a hazardous endeavour as by 3am or so when we arrived the streets of Edinburgh were filled with very drunk people tottering unsteadily all over the roads. I wonder what the pedestrian casualty rate is.
SUNDAY 13TH June
We had a a rather peaceful drive to Newcastle down the coast, stopped
at Dunbar castle and St. Abbs and later managed to view the Linsfarne
aka Holy Island from afar then snuck in to Alnwick Castle (without paying!)
all of the coast seems very beautiful. We had a pleasant Indian meal in
Newcastle then played a show at the Newcastle Arts Centre with Empress
and Spraydog who were very nice and it was a good show and we didn't play
too badly. Monday and Tuesday we stayed in Leeds, went drinking with Nicola
and Stewart and Richard and Chris, visited the Abbey and did nice things.
Wednesday we drove down to Dover to get on the ferry to Calais. Bought
a slab of beer on the ferry then drove to Brugge and had frites and walked
round the canals. That evening we made it to Antwerp where Katrina and
Arne let us stay at their house and showed us around. Walking around Antwerpen
I suddenly realized that my long held belief that Sydney is the most beautiful
city in the world was complete crap and though it has its own attractions
there is certainly something to be said for a bit of history. Later on
a few Margaritas with Cointreau.
THURSDAY 17TH June
Not quite sure where to stay the next night we headed through Luxembourg very pretty but no time to stop though we did manage to fill our tank with that cheap Luxembourg petrol, then onto Baden Baden-As we drove in I had a nasty sinking feeling that I had made a big mistake cause it was me who chose to go there. It looked like a ye olde version of Rodeo Drive or worse Noosa-Every shop was sort of small scale and all Hermes or Armani etc. The women were very carefully coiffured and the blokes wearing striped sweaters and scarves. Scary! We found our way through to the Hotel am Macht which was just gorgeous and in the middle of a very old Platz where because everyone is so rich and no one needs anything or certainly nothing we owned, we could leave all our stuff in the car and settle down in huge fluffy white doonas and eat salmon ravioli and drink beers and schnapps. We walked past the opera house that Marlene Dietrich said was the most beautiful in Europe and Hairy and I walked up the hill in the dark and saw fireflies everywhere in the dead quiet.
Friday 18TH June
Well what is Baden Baden all about if it isn't the baths! Absolutely brilliant - being the prudish people we are we chose the clothed baths which were absolutely perfect-thermal pools, waterfalls, strange currents and all very good for you. Feeling somewhat refreshed we then drove off through the Black Forest stopping at the Mummersee to walk round the lake and purchased a long plastic tube that makes noises when whirled round which is now an integral part of the Cannanes set. Adam had decided he needed another Bad in Baden Baden so takes the train meanwhile the rest of us picnic on bread cheese and cakes in the middle of a sunny alpine field where three baby stoats are playing around on a harvester of some sort, then drive 80mph on the autobahns to get to soundcheck on time. München, probably the best night of the European tour at Club 2 in München. The Club puts us up upstairs and we are all extremely comfy and treated like kings by Andy, Ivi and Toby our hosts. We are the only band playing and actually play quite well -rough but pretty funny. The Bartlebees turned up in force and brought their friends and really made the evening a pure delight. People were dancing and I was laughing so much it was hard to sing. 3 encores and a million drinks-perfection! Nearing the end of our third encore a spontaneous mid-song changeover took place which saw the Bartlebees take the stage for a couple of impromptu songs which was a perfect end to the set.
Oh well...a hangover - only to be expected really......we had breakfast in the Cafe Wiener Platz in the Haidenstadt and then went to the flea market with Ivi. Hairy bought a Russian made accordion and probably for the first time we bravely bargained a price down considerably. We drove to Nürnberg and dithered around deciding what to do and then decided to drive all the way to Bielefeld to the AJZ Club. Drive Drive Drive but arrived at 11pm to find a jungle night about to start with a DJ and beers and the whole thing due to kick off at 12. Due to exhaustion most of us went to sleep but Hairy went downstairs and had fun till he politely declined an invitation to a party at 5am and returned upstairs to bed.
SUNDAY 20TH June
Went for a lovely walk up to the Schloss and up the Tower with Andreas Oberschelp and his friend Vanessa then back to the AJZ Club which is a rather good place run by volunteers and with cheap drinks. Have a bit of grief at the soundcheck and are cast into misery but the show isn't too bad- everyone is very pleasant and we don't play too badly. See http://ajz.knup.de/ipu/ history page with some photos of us and steward - nice and blurry.
MONDAY 21ST June
We sleep in and then have breakfast with Andreas, Vanessa and Philipp Bückle (of jefferson fame) and then Stewart goes off to Bremen with Philipp. Hairy and I go back to the Schloss and venture down into the dungeons, walk round the city, visit Andreas get some excellent strawberries and have dinner at a Turkish restaurant then to a bar and then bed.
TUESDAY 22ND June
the coffins of Lady Stanhope (in background) and the
mummy formerly known as the "English major"
Get to Bremen and meet the delightful and very tall Gregor Kesler who
shows us the spot in the Square where you spit to show scorn for an unfaithful
woman in the 12 Century and then through an underground room where a number
of dead bodies lie mummified and are probably the spookiest things I have
ever seen. We play a very fun show with Steward at the Tower and then
spend a couple of days drinking and feasting on cheeses and very nice
things ably looked after at all times by Gregor. He gives us his bed and
we take over the house but neither he nor his flatmate appear put out.
Very sweet. At the show we meet Oliver who is a delightful man and has
travelled too far to see us (http://listen.to/dka)
and spend time with Philipp who is also very generous with his time.
THURSDAY 24TH June
The people from the Club (Bibelot) go to an enormous amount of effort to build a very good space called the Living Room in which we play a bearable show. Steward does a fabulous turn. Houd and Jen take us on a train to Rotterdam and we lurk around there in the morning till we go and find a cluster of windmills and get so over excited we linger too long in one and Hairy has to do the drive of a lifetime to get us to the ferry from the Hook of Holland on time. Back to Leeds for a relaxing few days with barbecues and visits to the wonderful pub then drive down to London stopping to inspect Shakespeares birthplace (not bad) at Stratford-on-Av. Stay overnight at Heathrow then Stephen Stewart and Fran - Dordrecht photo by Wilbertjan
MONDAY 28TH June
NEW YORK Fly out to New York at 11am which strangely enough feels like coming home.
Well back for our fourth tour of the States, in NY we meet up with Andrew (our Australian bassist) and his entourage - Kirsty (Andys better half) & Darian (a good mate along for the ride), also Adam Garcia and Tracey Uba the rest of Timonium who we are about to tour with. After some rapid rehearsal at Ultrasound somewhere on or very near the famous Tin Pan Alley, + some usual last minute arrangements we head off though due to misunderstandings it seems no one kept a very thorough tour diary this time around! henceforth a few recollections from Fran and Stephen:
THURSDAY 1ST July
We drive out to Newark, which is a bloody long way, to get the car - up to Boston on the I95 through ridiculous traffic - 2 bad accidents and everyone is tired. Pacific Ocean played a great set we started off well then went downhill rapidly - met Damon from the Swirlies who said he didn't like the cover of Short Poppy Syndrome and had got the Happy Swing cassette and didn' like it - Refreshingly straightforward I thought.
FRIDAY 2nd July
We ate brunch on the street with Damon, Adam and Adam and drive back to NY a different way (90 84 91 15) which is a damn sight more scenic but still took 6 and a half hours. The traffic is out of control getting into Manhattan but we get to Fez in time to do a soundcheck though the engineer is really grumpy for absolutely no reason as far as we can see. Hairy goes to Kirsty and Andrews hotel to lie down while I consume a very nice halibut with Rhea at the Fez restaurant - We go round back to the venue to discover a huge group of people waiting - I am most surprised and impressed by this. Timonium play a quite set then True Love Always and Jim Ruiz who played a Marine Girls cover and was enjoyable to watch. I am exhausted but drink a lot of greyhounds to keep my spirits up so to speak and then it ends up being a very funny show. We play quite well with assistance from Rhea and Stephen Hermann. Have a few drinks with Emily Wilson, Paul Lukas, Alleen Barber and Matt Galloway then trot off with Joe Gaer to find more fun - end up in a bar with Kirsty and Andrew and Joe then back to Joes house where I pass out on lounge while hairy relates everything he ever knew about 80s Australian punk bands. Joe calls him the professor but strangely enough seems interested.
SATURDAY 3RD July
Galaxy Hut We have breakfast at Fez then drive drive drive till we manage to get lost in Washington and end up in one of those scary areas with burnt out houses - we are late and getting tense about missing sound check but finally find the Galaxy Hut - we drive into Washington in a completely exhausted state - It is 100 degrees. The Windsor Hotel is like an oasis - it is cool and has a fridge and tv - at this stage this seems like the height of civilization - we abandon the bloody car and get a taxi to the venue. Timonium play a show with no pedals - strange and a very pretty set from True Love Always. We are too tired but play all right then back to the hotel where we (oh heaven) watch TV and sleep till midday.
SUNDAY 4TH July
MONDAY 5TH July
Washington to Pittsburgh Hedgehog carnage! Dead Deers! other small unidentified animals - all dead! Drive Drive Drive We get to the venue and run into the Sea Scouts who have been having van problems and have no air conditioning - it must be hellish - We get to the venue early - it looks like a deserted factory and certain members of the party look somewhat apprehensive. Hairy and I just laugh. There is a bit of a scene over choices about leaving the equipment and having dinner which ends in me being told we are too bossy which may well be true but really stems from different approaches to the rigours of touring - I feel underappreciated sulky and resentful. I vow never to tour with another band again and it is Too hot. The show is surprisingly all right - Harm are good pop makers, Sea Scouts very good then Rondelles. We then got taken home by a chap called John who is making a documentary about Manny but we were so tired and hot we were extremely boring and so went to sleep.
TUESDAY 6TH July
Went for a long swim at Barkcamp State park in a lovely lake - very enjoyable and arrived at Columbus in good spirits to be welcomed by Shirley from Log. The show at Little Brother's (aka Staches) was pretty fun though not many people there - there was excellent sound, free vodkas and a great mixer - who could ask for more?
WEDNESDAY 7TH July
Went record shopping in Columbus then drive to Bloomington, missed Marmoset who apparently had a fight and split up, unfortunately managed to play badly and went back to Eric Weddles house which was rather nice.
THURSDAY 8TH July
Took photos outside Caveat Emptor used and rare books store before leaving town - driving driving arrived in Chicago and the glory of Cass Hotel.
Stephen, Andy & Fran outside Caveat Emptor - Bloomington Indiana
FRIDAY 9TH July
Float around the lake on a boat and have dinner at Rezzas Persian restaurant with Bill and Jessica Meyer which was just the ticket.
SATURDAY 10TH July
Dine at Pizzeria Uno ie. Uno again (yum) Adam H and Tracy announce they are going the rest of the way by bus which is rather miserable for us and we play a bad show at Empty Bottle. Everything is rather depressing. The highlight of the evening is Kelly Hogan who plays a lovely set and insists on giving us all the show money which is rightfully hers. She plays a good show and has a lovely voice. We drive till 5am to Rochford and stay in a very seedy Motel 6.
SUNDAY 11TH July
Breakfast with others where Adam G says he doesn't want to travel with Stephen and I. This makes me feel sick with misery so we set off as pariahs and drive all day till we get to Sioux Falls. We end up in a restaurant where we meet a man called Mike who looks like Ted Nugent. His girlfriend says"Sydney? isn't that the place with the huge marble McDonalds?" I look puzzled and she says "Oh no maybe that was in New Zealand"
MONDAY 12TH July
We drive through South Dakota where there are pro life billboards and anti animal activist signs. Scary - go to Mt Rushmore where we are given a stirring talk from a ranger who says we all love America don't we?. I am feeling decidedly reticent about my love of some Americans at least at this stage and decline to join in the rousing cheers.
TUESDAY 13TH July
Off to Yellowstone which restores my love of the USA - it is perfect weather and we see elk, moose, chipmonks, bison and coyote and glorious weird geological stuff. We stay till 10pm.
WEDNESDAY 14TH July
Nip back into the park for a bit more wonder then drive 13 hours non stop to Olympia go down to Capitol Theatre and see The Microphones and Mocket I fall asleep during Hovercraft as I am completely exhausted.
THURSDAY 15TH July
Excellent shows by Mecca Normal and Negativland. I purchased a Christianity is stupid T shirt for Hairy, out drinking at the Spar (bar) till closing time with Kirsty and Andrew.
FRIDAY 16TH July
Old Time Relijun and Sleater Kinney who were very good.
Missy Kulik joins in on shakers
SATURDAY 16TH July
John Kennedy Junior disappears and we play at Yo Yo. Show isn't too bad and a highlight is Missy on shakers. Watch a bit of Elliot Smith who is singing something about a 'white lady'. This does not appeal and we leave in search of more entertainment.
A few of the friendly crowd at Yoyo festival in Olympia
SUNDAY 18TH July
Drive to Vancouver - searched by border guards who I must say are extremely thorough in their approach to their work. Get there in time for soundcheck but half the band isn't there and when we play the sound is awful; Bossanova and Shut ins are great though and we meet some lovely people.
MONDAY 19TH and TUESDAY 20TH July hang around Olympia with Pat and Mools; on Tuesday drive to Portland and play at EJs with Amy Annelle Band and Giant Bug Village (an hilarious Built to Spill covers band who do all the songs BTS won't play live). They are both very good and we have a great night but make too much noise back at Johns house and annoy the neighbours.
WEDNESDAY 21st July
Set off late - can't make it to San Francisco and stop in Corning- get bargain motel but otherwise uneventful. watched crazy Christians healing people on TV
THURSDAY 22ND July
Bottom of the Hill we play badly.
FRIDAY 23RD July
Stork Club - Fun we play quite well and She Mob are as always very entertaining.
Jellies at the Monteray Aquarium a little pricey but well worth a visit
SUNDAY 25TH? July
Sucker Another bad show but Fonda are good and the man from the Might Lemon Drops.
MONDAY 26TH? July - WEDNESDAY 28 July
Lurk around San diego with Janet - lovely played at Silverlake Lounge ok met a couple of interesting people. Los Angeles
THURSDAY 29TH? July
Drove to San Francisco through a willy willy which was the only interesting thing that appears to happen on the I5. It must be the most boring road in the world though hairy disagrees and says the road to Perth may be worse.
FRIDAY 30TH July
Play last show of the tour at the fabulous Tip Top Inn in the Mission neighbourhood. Are advertised in the press as The Kinnanes. We play quite well and this surprisingly turns out to be one of the best and most enjoyable shows of the tour.
WEDNESDAY 4TH August
There is a tale to tell about this show (and perhaps some video footage when we can work out how to put it up? - what we need is more time!!)
Still with us?
END OF PART-SIX :
Well unfortunately we have been a bit too busy to finish off the preceding chapters fully, still if you are curious about goings on post December '99 you can now move on to History Part Seven - ENTER THE NOUGHTIES!