NYC: Tuesday – Fontanas

Alan in Off Soho Suites
Alan and I spent the first hour of the day searching for a classic diner to eat a classic New York breakfast of pancakes, maple syrup and crispy bacon. We finally found a suitable place called Life Cafe on Avenue B and East 10th. We got back to the hotel to find the other lads had opted for a cheaper, healthier breakfast by buying the ingredients in Whole Foods supermaket and cooking in the kitchen in their room.

We were set up for the day. Kev, Gav and Zig went off in search of the venues we were going to be playing in. Apparently they were both within 10 – 15 minute walking distance of the hotel. Bonus.

I waited for my friend Shea’la who was going to hang out with us for the next couple of days – she’s from Rhode Island and runs a very cool website called Tiny Showcase who sell limited edition artists prints. She took us round a few nice stores close by, including Giant Robot where gifts for girlfriends and children were purchased. The guy behind the counter was watching an episode of Flight Of The Conchords on his computer. I couldn’t see it but I could hear Murray saying ‘band meeting’, I love that show.

Outside Central Park

We then preceded to tick off some NY classics: dubious hot dogs next to Central Park and a trip to a public art gallery (although we didn’t go in, it cost $15 each and we needed that money for beer). By now, it was time to grab another quick bite to eat and then head to the venue, Fontanas, for a sound check. This would be the first sound check of our trip. At SXSW there simply wasn’t time so we just made do with quick line checks before playing, and to be honest that suited us just fine. We often find that getting the sound right during sound check bears little relation to how it will sound during the gig. Anyway, the venue was nice – pretty small, probably around 150 capacity and with a slightly grimy atmosphere. We set-up, sound checked and then there was just enough time to grab a quick beer before starting our set.

Soundchecking at Fontanas

A couple of friends had come down to see us but if it hadn’t been for the two Icelandic bands playing after us, we would have had a very small audience. Thankfully half of Reykjavik were in the front row and were cheering and clapping in most of the right places. It was a good show and we hung around to watch our new Nordic friends. The two groups were Sprengjuhöllin and Bloodgroop. They were all lovely people although Sprengjuhöllin‘s inbetween song banter went on a little long for my liking and I felt they were in danger of losing the crowd with some of their comments. There’s a fine line between good humour and a bad insult.

We didn’t catch the headline act, Australian band Red Riders, as Zig, Kev and Gav were all heading off to Williamsburg in Brooklyn to stay with friends and didn’t want to arrive too late. So it was an early night in the city that never sleeps.

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