I’m just back in from playing a Rat Pack show in Darlington this evening. It’s really been a pleasure to get back and play with one of the British bands. The last two weeks have been an eye-opener in terms of the cultural differences between UK and US musicians; it seems, in short, that as I suspected over here we’re very good at playing things straight off and making them convincing, while in the US they tend to warm up to the music over a longer period. Therefore, despite having some great guys around me, we never really got the show up to the musical level I’m accustomed to in either San Antonio or Des Moines, before we had to move on. Conversely I went back in with a band comprising many friends, but who don’t necessarily play the show that often, and we roared!! Many thanks to Andy Flaxman, Keith Hutton and Bruce Douglas (aka The Trombones) in particular, who have frankly restored my faith in that instrument. Unusually, I’ve found the Trombones to be the weaker section over in The States thus far.
None of this should be taken as any kind of negative by anyone looking in. I’m intrigued to see how the musical experience rounds out across the country as we visit different cities in the coming months. I certainly hope that the musicians we’ve met so far prove to be indicative of the general standard nationwide. If so, the coming US tour dates will continue to go as well as it’s started!