Gig one – Mr. Luckys – Chico
I’m driving in California. I’m on the 91 heading west out of Riverside to LA. I’m looking for Highway 5 – north out of L.A to Sacramento, that’s where we’re staying tonight. I’m driving a big old van we bought yesterday off an old guy (who spoke through a hole in his neck – like Ned on South Park) for $2000. I’m on the wrong side of the road, sitting in the wrong side of the van, the vehicle is seriously hugging the right hand wall. It’s my first time driving in this country and I suck at it… Richo is ride’n shotgun warning me every ten seconds that the car is going to crash into the wall or that car or that pole… The drive from L.A to Sacramento is about 8 hours.
We stop at about 4am at a place just north of the state’s capital and sleep till 12 the next day. The drive into Chico is filled with bad AM radio, fast food and big open country. Great, tall mountains on either side of the highway stretching out as far as this dry brown earth is visible. It rains here about 3 times a year. Chico is like Albury…
Mr. Lucky’s is half night club, half tattoo shop… seriously… It’s bit strange, but we load in and start putting everything on stage only to find out that we have left some of the drums back where we’re staying so we can’t sound check. Richo disappears to find a music shop and Jamie and I walk around the town in search of food. The bands we’re playing with tonight are very strange indeed, a goth/thrash - band called Luxt, and a funk - Primus band called… get this… The Bumping Uglies!!!! It feels like 1993 when we used to play with who ever would give us a gig. It’s gonna be basically the same in the US for a while… we’re gonna be playing bad gigs with dodgy bands in any pubs that will give us a show. It’s like starting all over again.
The room has about 30 people in it when we play. The first half of the set is plagued with sound troubles, due to the inhouse sound guy having no idea at all, plus we are all using borrowed gear ‘cause our own gear is STILL being held back in customs. We should get it all on Monday. The second half of the set is not to bad. The last song (white picket) gets the biggest applause with the patented rock jumps at the end… So no one really interested except one guy who was taking photo’s through the whole set I don’t know if he had heard of us, but he said after the show that You Am I was his favorite band he also told us he would review the gig in the local magazine so that’s not too bad…
We had to load out straight after we played so unfortunately there was no hanging around for the goth-funk onslaught that followed us. A half hour drive east and we stay at a place called: Paradise. A generous stranger putting us up for the night. Tomorrow we’re going to San Fran for the day… just ‘cause we can.