Posts Tagged ‘Northampton’

Tour Diary – Northampton, Mass (March 1, 2013)

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

This was our first full-on load out from our new studio (The Hangar). Out the back door, in to a van and then a short drive across the street to our bus and trailer waiting in the parking lot. It should have been fairly straight forward, except the van never showed up. Just as we were trying to figure out how to drag all of our gear through the muck and across the street-car tracks, our tenant, who lives above the studio, pulled up in a flat bed truck: our saviour. So we were about ninety minutes late departing, but at least we got the pack done. Our friends at the border were efficient and workmanlike and processed our papers without any drama, the next thing I knew I woke up in front of the Iron Horse in downtown Northampton. It was like I had never left the bus, the road, or Northampton.

It’s a great spot to begin a tour, one of my favourite stops in the Northeast. I checked out my fave used bookstore (The Raven), browsed through some vinyl at Turn It Up and stopped in for lunch at my favourite cafe The Haymarket. I love the energy in this town. It’s filled with smart, motivated and inspired young women: Smith College is at its center. You got to love a town where you can sit alone in a cafe reading your newly bought Collected Poems of William Carlos Williams and not feel out of place.

The Iron Horse is one of those legendary folk clubs that is resting on the laurels it earned well over two decades ago. It’s getting old and there doesn’t seem to be any money being put in to it for upkeep. The production is sub-standard and the dressing room area is dank and uncomfortable. We keep coming back because the patrons are great, they come to listen and for the love of live music and because of that we usually have fun playing here. Tonight we had a great night. It wasn’t the smoothest of shows, and there were a lot of clams being passed around the stage, Margo even forgot the words to Misguided Angel, but we played with a lot of energy, excitement and inventiveness. The audience was willing to climb on board and let us take them on a bit of an adventure. It’s great to be back on the road.

Here is Pete's ipad sketch of the Iron Horse:


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Tour Diary – Northampton, MA (August 9, 2012)

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

In an area of that country that is replete with great little towns, Northampton stands out as one of the jewels. This place has the aesthetic of a town built by hippies with cash. There are lots of local cafes all serving excellent coffee and food that is locally sourced, organically grown, etc, etc; one of my favourite second hand book stores (The Raven) is in this town; there are a couple of very good ice cream parlours; there are a few excellent record shops; lots of locally owned retail; some of the nicest bars and restaurants that you’ll ever find in a town this small; and, most importantly, huge dollops of Tolerance. There are also more music venues than most cities five times as big. It helps that it is surrounded by tens of thousands of college students and that the prestigious Smith College is located in the city’s environs. It’s a great town.

Our regular haunt in Northampton is The Iron Horse Music Hall. We have played here many, many, many times. It’s not the greatest place to play a gig; the stage is too small; the dressing rooms are haunted and depressing and there is basically no PA. But we return because of the town and the locals who are keen to hear us play and the staff at the bar are usually friendly and helpful and young and good-looking. This place always makes for an interesting show and tonight we had just that, an interesting show. It was about as sloppy as we have been in a long while (especially me), but there were some true highlights (like Me and The Devil)….and we had fun. Tonight I fell in love with a mannequin….sure, it’s all a little Twilight Zone-ish, but it’s the road and its Northampton and weirder things have happened around here, I’m sure.


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