A Long bank of black clouds chased us out of NYC, pushed us over the bridge into New Jersey towards the legendary turnpike. A couple of black birds of prey wheel overhead and give the impression that at any moment we may be heading into open country. It’s a false impression as the landscape becomes industrial and the cars and trucks pile up. Eventually Newark airport looms and we pick up our rental car- a huge behemoth. To European eyes it’s more of a big red mobile home on wheels but it’ll be my stagecoach for the next ten days, depositing me in front of venues and hotels across 4 states. I suppose I’d better make friends with it…
We head off down the freeway and a couple of hours later glide off the interstate into the sedate, well-proportioned town of West Chester. Wood panelled homes and a delightful high street bustling with trendy restaurants and boutiques. There’s not a hair out of place and there are three policemen on a street corner relaxing and joking. Nothing to do. Such a marked difference to the few days spent hanging round Harlem. It’s another world round here.
We pull up in front of Sprout music collective in full sunshine and set up in the club which seems an anomaly in this town. It’s like coming across a drum n’ Bass venue in the Truman Show or a vampire-themed bar in Bedford Falls (It’s a wonderful life). This is a hard drinking, hard partying, open till 3 am club where I’m supposed to play my largely acoustic set to a room that is mainly one long bar. It’s time like this I wish I’d learnt some cover songs, gone to clown school or had a clip on fake beard in my bag. I’ll be better prepared next time…
French version published daily on the ROCK MADE IN FRANCE website
USA Day 6 – West Chester : « Un club ouvert jusqu’à 3 heures du matin »
Photo – shoot on Harlem rooftop. Taken by Tim Mudie.