Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Austin, Houston, El Paso

It was my birthday. I celebrated by not going on the internet for three days. I've been enjoying writing about every show though. So here is a catch up.


We had a fun show in Houston. The first band on were really good. They had a very complicated name that I cant remember though. My girlfriend flew out for the show and her Aunt took us both out for dinner at a Mexican restaurant. I don't speak Spanish so they managed to organise a suprise cake and a man to sing to me whilst I was sat at the table, without me realising. The song he sang to me wasn't the traditional Happy Birthday though it was a mexican version. There was an awkward moment when I couldn't work out if I was supposed to wait till he stopped playing before I blew out the candle or if he was waiting for me to blow out the candle so he could stop playing. I think this is called a Mexican stand off.

I blew the candle out and ate the cake it was delicious


Austin was the day of my Birthday. I put on my best suit and wandered down to the big record shop in town, Waterloo records. Whenever I go into a big record shop I immediately forget what records I like. I get overwhelmed. The only band I remember that I like is Half Japanese. It happens every time. Luckily they have released a lot of records. So I bought a Half Japanese album and walked back to the bus. People kept beeping their horns at me and yelling. I just presumed it was because I was wearing a woolen suit and they were quite rightly letting me know I was an idiot, as it was very hot. When I got back to the venue though a homeless person pointed out that my flies were undone. They had been undone since I got up. I'd been walking around all day with my flies undone. If it hadn't been my birthday I'd have been embarrassed. It was my birthday though so I could do what ever I wanted to and I chose to walk around with my flies down. Its how I like to wear my trousers. I might make a tradition of it and wear my trousers like that every year on my birthday.

El Paso

Was our first day off. We had played 11 shows. We slept and ate chinese food.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Spanish Moon, Baton Rouge

When we tour America we normally play in New Orleans. This time we're changing it up though and we played in Baton Rouge instead. Baton Rouge is about an hours drive from New Orleans.

The Spanish Moon in Baton Rouge is probably the oldest venue we have played at so far. The people that run it were telling us it is haunted. I don't really go for all that stuff. Ian had just watched Paranormal Activity though and he is "sensitive to these things" Im sure he wont mind me telling you he looked a little scared. Actually when he was watching Paranormal Activity he looked a lot scared. It was hilarious. All I was scared of was the Cockroach the size of a mouse running around the dressing room. People were talking about killing it. I thought that was a bad idea though we'd probably only end up making it angry and then it would attack and kill us. It was huge.

The Baton Rouge was one of the quietest shows we've played. The people that turned up were all pretty awesome though. We stayed and got pretty drunk with most of them.

One girl we were drinking with after. Her dad owns a comic shop and was telling us if we mention his shop a lot he will give us free comics. I think his shop is called "Louisiana Double Play" although I've just googled "Baton Rouge Comic Shop" to get that. I apologize if I have just mention his main competitor.

When we got back to the bus we still had internet. Which is always bad news for me. I thought I had thought of an HILARIOUS joke to type into twitter. Based around BASIC the old computer writing code thing. I was going to type

10 Print "Eddie Argos Is Having A Drink"

then I was going to type
20 Run

30 Go To 2o

and finally

Eddie Argos Is Having A DrinkEddie Argos Is Having A DrinkEddie Argos Is Having A DrinkEddie Argos Is Having A DrinkEddie Argos Is Having A DrinkEddie Argos Is Having A DrinkEddie Argos Is Having A DrinkEddie Argos Is Having A DrinkEddie Argos Is Having A DrinkEddie Argos Is Having A DrinkEddie Argos Is Having A DrinkEddie Argos Is Having A DrinkEddie Argos Is Having A DrinkEddie Argos Is Having A DrinkEddie Argos Is Having A DrinkEddie Argos Is Having A Drink.

I goofed it though and not many people seem to know what BASIC is anymore. It was our 7th day in a row on tour and people that know me saw the message and thought I had gone mad. I woke up with emails from people checking that I was alright.

Im fine it was just a terrible joke gone wrong.

Ive made friends with some people on Twitter and they tell me when they get really drunk and use the service they refer to it as doing an Argos or Argos-ing. I was definitley Argos-ing last night. Im sorry for any concern I may have caused.

10 Print "Eddie Argos Is Having A Hangover"
20 Run
30 Go To 20

Eddie Argos Is Having A HangoverEddie Argos Is Having A HangoverEddie Argos Is Having A HangoverEddie Argos Is Having A HangoverEddie Argos Is Having A HangoverEddie Argos Is Having A HangoverEddie Argos Is Having A HangoverEddie Argos Is Having A HangoverEddie Argos Is Having A HangoverEddie Argos Is Having A HangoverEddie Argos Is Having A HangoverEddie Argos Is Having A HangoverEddie Argos Is Having A HangoverEddie Argos Is Having A Hangover

Friday, 23 October 2009

Bottletree, Birmingham Alabama

The Bottletree in Birmingham is a brilliant venue. I had been looking forward to playing there since the start of the tour.

First though some of us went to The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. I'm not ashamed to say I was close to tears a few times. Despite it obviously touching on some very upsetting subject matter. It is also an incredibly inspiring place. If you are ever in Birmingham Alabama I strongly recommend you go.

The Bottletree is owned and run by a guy called Brian who used to tour an awful lot so he knows what people on tour need to make them comfortable. If you are a touring band I can not recommend The Bottle tree highly enough.

Here are just a few reasons why it is AWESOME.

It is full of amazing folk art. In this painting Lionel is saying

"The Restrooms are out of order, but feel free to dance on the ceiling"

There is a pinball machine and Mario world to play for free

Bowls full of chocolate

Fresh clean socks. They were right our feet did smell.They remember that drinks taste nicer with ice.
The venue is full of interesting books to read

For dressing rooms they have two well stocked Caravans and a backstage garden. The caravans are full of DVDs, Cable Television, Magazines to read and stereos which you can plug your ipods into.

They let us stay in the caravans till we had to leave at 4am. I sat in one of them alone listening to The Replacements very loudly whilst drinking an awful lot of red wine. It is one of my favourite things to do.I call it 'having a hootenanny' I do it all the time. Normally till I'm told to stop. It was just me in the caravan though so I could do it till we left. Ace.

Here is one more photo it was Mike's Birthday so Princeton pie'd him. I think its a good look

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Tallahassee Down Under.

This is just one example to prove that its not just Art Brut that bully Jasper the whole world is at it too.

Jasper and Mike both lost items with 24 hours of each other. Jasper left his iphone at the Middle East in Boston and Mike accidently left his coat at a part in New Jersey. The most amazing thing about Mike leaving the party without his jacket is not that he walked back through freezing weather without that jolting his memory and making him head back for it. It is that he left his cigarettes in the pocket and despite the large amount that he smokes still didn't realise till the next day anything was awry.

Anyway when we arrived in Tallahassee we went to the hotel for our showers and Mikes coat was waiting at the reception. In the box with the coat was this awesome collection of presents.
Jasper is having a very hard time getting his iPhone back.

The note that came with the presents said

'The top layer of presents is for everybody"

We know what they really meant though and didn't let Jasper have any of it.

I know I say this every blog but, despite the fact that I broke three microphones, the Show in Tallahasse was loads of fun. In fact it was so much fun we ended up playing three extra songs and doing requests.

After we played we went to the nearest bar. It wasn't the sort of bar I normally go too. It was a fun interesting experience though.

Some of the young patrons were trying to guess Mike's age as it had just become his birthday. One of them pointed to me and said

"Well we know he's old because he is drinking wine"

Which I suppose is better than saying

"Well we know he is old because of his face"

For the rest of the night they referred to me as 'Wine Guy'

I suppose I am a wine guy. Wine Guy it has a nice ring to it.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Atlanta. The Earl.

I love playing in Atlanta. We always have fun there.

The first time we played Atlanta we played at a venue called The Drunken Unicorn. It was one of our first tours here in the states. Our label Downtown had printed up posters of the front cover of the Rolling Stone we were on in Germany, which is basically just a big picture of my face. When we arrived at the Drunken Unicorn the only poster on the outside of the venue was that one and somebody had written ' I Fuck Dogs' on it across my forehead with a biro. Which was a little upsetting. That they had chosen to use my forehead to admit to their dog fucking. Despite having rude words written on my head I still enjoyed the Drunken Unicorn show.People in Atlanta really know how to have fun.

This time there were no rude words written across my forehead. We were playing The Earl. It is an awesome venue. Im suprised we've not played there before. It has one of those dressing rooms that is just full of unusual stuff from thrift stores. It made me feel like I was at home.

There were three bands on the bill. The always good Princeton and a first on called Small Reaction who were really really good too.

I enjoyed the show. We managed to get everybody going by the end, although it had been a bit of a challenge at the start. I was thanking all the bands at the end of the show and suddenly got very paranoid that I had got Small Reactions name wrong. I managed to convince myself that they were called Tiny Feelings and everytime I mentioned Small Reactions I felt ashamed that I was getting their name wrong.

Paranoid, I came offstage at the end of our set and the first thing I said to our tour manager Ed was

"Small Reaction?"

Double checking I had got their name right. He misunderstood though and replied

" Nah man, big reaction I think the crowd really got into it."

I had loads of fun. I cant wait to back in Atlanta again.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Cats Cradle, Chapel Hill. NC

I think its a fairly open secret that no one in Art Brut likes Jasper Future. He spends most of his time being a punching bag or an object of amusement for Mike and Ian. I don't bully Jasper myself. I tolerate him. In Chapel Hill Mike, Ian and Ed our tour manager started their morning by jumping up and down on Jasper and screaming at him. Im in the bunk above Jasper on the bus and consequently they woke me up by doing that. So I was bullied by proxy. It put me in a bad mood. I didn't blame Mike and Ian though. I blamed Jasper for being such a victim.

Since I have decided to write a tour diary every day I have had a bit of a worry that one day all I will have to write is that I spent all day reading comics. I think this is that entry.

We had drunk so much booze at The Black Cat the previous night. I think everybody was feeling bad. I know Jasper was as he looked terrible. I almost felt sorry for him. Because of my massive hangover all I could manage to do was buy a huge pile of comics and work on my nest. There was also some chocolate milkshake.

This is my nest

As I did nothing interesting yesterday I may as well tell you what Batman is up to at the moment. Batman is being AWESOME. I read the Batman Annual/ Detective Comics Annual two parter. It was brilliant. When I first read Batman and Son (the trade paperback in which Batman discovers he has a son) I didn't really enjoy it. It felt more like an episode of Jerry Springer than a Batman story and I found Damian really annoying. Now though I'm really liking the relationship between Dick Grayson's Batman and Damian as Robin. I don't care if Bruce Wayne never comes back. When we got to visit the DC Comic offices a few months ago they gave us a pile of new Batman comics. I'm now completely hooked and buy all the titles every month. It was a good trick.

I really enjoyed our show at the Cats Cradle.I think Princeton put on their best show yet. I was enthralled. It was also nice to see some proper dancing from the audience not just some jumping around. Jesse from Princeton did some crowd surfing during our song Post Soothing Out. I might attempt some crowd surfing to their song Calypso Gold at some point. Im a bit heavier then Jessie though so I'm going to wait till we have a crowd made up of strong men. As I don't want to be dropped.

If this blog has made you have any sympathy for Jasper. Keep it to yourself . The more sympathy he gets. The more Mike and Ian bully him.

Monday, 19 October 2009

The Black Cat DC

The Black Cat is one of my favourite venues in America. It was Awesome to be back there.

There was no need to go to a Holiday Inn as the Black Cat has its own shower, so there was no breakfast stealing quandry.It was Sunday though so I found it hard to find somewhere open to sell me food. Apparently this is my fault though, as I walked the wrong way for forty minutes. Everybody else found food just fine. I ended up, after a huge walk, buying a sub from a small shop near the venue. It was quite an awkward transaction he couldn't understand what I was saying because of my British accent (and my tendency to mumble) and I couldn't understand him because I think he might have been a little bit mad. I think that made it quite exciting though. I didn't know what type of sandwich I had till I got back to the bus. Actually Im still not sure what sort of sandwich it was. Some kind of sausage I think.

Anyway because it was Sunday and most things were shut we sat around gossiping all afternoon. I found out some pretty amazing stuff. Ian has ridden on an elephant, the previous bands on this bus were Englebert Humperdink and Frankie Vali and The Four Seasons and I found out that Jasper belives that seats on aeroplanes are made of a special material that hides the smell of farts.

I know I have said a few things on this blog recently that might be questionable, I swear though that all of those things I've just said are true. And Jasper certainly belives that seats on planes are made of this magical material that stops farts smelling. He says he saw a program about it once. I find it highly unlikely though. If this magic material existed surely they would make tents out of it, duvets, comforters and trousers would be made out of it too. In fact if this magic 'stop farts smelling' material exists the whole world should be made out of it.

The show felt really good. Princeton were awesome again too. I love the crowd at the Black Cat, I cant wait to play there again.

People offered to buy us drinks again and this time we accepted so I cant really remember the rest of the night and my mouth still tastes like Jagermeister.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Hoboken New Jersey

Maxwell's in New Jersey was Art Brut's first ever US show. So despite all my jokes about this being a 'Glass Ceiling Tour' we were pretty excited to be back there.

First though we woke up at another Holiday Inn for a shower. Unfortunately there was no free breakfast to be stolen at this one. Although we were told that there was a free breakfast at the hotel over the road. Buoyed by the confidence of yesterdays easy breakfast thievery, we briefly contemplated going to the other hotel and loading up on cakes, coffee and maybe if we were lucky some sausage gravy. Stealing from a hotel we were not staying at though seemed a step too far and although Im sure it would be exhilarating dining on stolen cakes every morning. I was worried that I might get addicted to the adrenaline rush of nicking food and may be unable to stop myself from stealing brunch then lunch and eventually three course meals from fancy restaurants. It could be a slippery slope. I was also worried that Art Brut could get a reputation as breakfast thieves. So we all decided to buy sandwiches instead.

We got to Maxwell's about 2pm. Loaded in across 2 roads and the couple of blocks to the venue. Which I think counts as my cardio vascular exercise for the day/week. Even though I only carried in a handful of things and mainly supervised. I did make everyone tea though.

We were obviously playing with Princeton as they are doing the whole tour. They were awesome again. We had been wondering though who would be first on. It was Hot Panda an amazing band from Canada who I thought we had toured with before. We hadn't we'd played one show with them once in Edmonton. I'd spent all night drinking with them though and they drink a lot so it had felt like a whole tour. Was good to see them you should check them out. They are great.

We spent all night dodging people giving us free booze again. We seem to have somehow got ourselves a reputation.

The show was Awesome. I really enjoyed it. We played St Pauli for the group of St Pauli supporters who were there. Which felt good as I think Maxwell's was the first place we ever played that song. I definitely said it was the first time when we played it there before. But I say a lot of things and could easily have made it up.

My friend Keith Murray from We Are Scientists crossed the river to come and see us. I was telling him about the conversation I'd been having with Peter Hughes the night before about spreading rumors about people and ultimately about Peter's Glass eye. I wondered if Keith had any interesting secrets he wanted to share with me. He did. It turns out his bottom row of teeth are entirely false. It took a lot of convincing but Keith eventually let our drummer Mike take this photo of him with his teeth out, unfortunately you cant really tell, but trust me when he takes them out in the flesh its a pretty weird look.
Another unusual thing about Keith that I found out last night is that he really likes it when people come up to him and start singing We Are Scientists songs. So if you ever see him in the street, at a bus stop, shopping with his girlfriend, sitting quietly somewhere reading a book or absolutely anywhere, just start singing to him. He wont be upset he genuinely really likes it.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Cambridge MA

Cambridge was the first day of the tour. We played at the Middle East. The Middle East is normally in the middle of the tour. So it was strange to be playing there feeling fresh and full of energy and not to be in anyway mental.

First though we woke up in our bus at a Holiday Inn somewhere in Boston to have showers. We only had one room between the 8 of us and we had only just checked in so we definitely were not allowed to have breakfast from the buffet. We managed to steal it though. We didnt get caught even though we were clearly coming in from the cold in our winter coats rubbing our hands and loudly saying 'brilliant lets steal some cakes'. Perhaps they felt sorry for us. I do look a bit 'homeless' first thing in the morning.

After showering and stealing breakfast we headed over to the Middle East to sound check/Eat lots of homus.

Then I did a million phone interviews until the doors were opened. I really enjoy doing interviews now that they are all about DC Comics and The Replacements and not so much about erectile dysfunction.

The two bands we played with are Tab The Band and Princeton. Princeton are doing the whole tour they are awesome. I liked Tab The Band too. Ian tells me that the type of music they play is called chug rock. There was a rumour going round the gig that someone in Tab The Band was related to a member of Aerosmith.

The show was loads of fun. Everyone kept trying to buy us drinks which was lovely although we were doing a pretty good job of getting drunk by ourselves and any outside help was unnecessary and might have tipped us over the edge. Thanks again though to everyone that offered to buy me a shot.

My friend Peter Hughes from The Mountain Goats came down to the show with his brother and his girlfriend. We were discussing the rumour that a member of Tab The Band was related to someone in Aerosmith and how easy that sort of thing is to make up as everyone is afraid to ask the person. Peter was telling me that he reckons the best way to start a rumour about yourself is not to say the lie yourself but to get your friends to spread the lies around for you.

After we'd been speaking about that for a bit. Peter told me he wanted to show me something. We went upstairs and he popped his glass eye out. I didnt know he had a glass eye. You'd think it would be on his wikipedia page or something. He is also, it turns out, Madonna's nephew. Dont mention it too him though. He is a bit embarrassed about it.

Here is a photo of me and Pete. It is a terrible photo. It looks like he has two glass eyes. He doesnt though. He only has one.