Sorry its taken me ages to blog again, I have no excuse other than I've been in a bit busy over here in the States.
Currently sat in a hotel room in San Diego (with a left over bag of sweets). Beautiful view but an airport right next to the hotel and I keep thinking a meteorite is hurtling towards earth every time a plane roar comes. Wait did I just see a Ryan Air? In San Diego? Surely not. Secondly several people knocked on my door in the middle of the night. I answered and this drunk person was there. This is not the party room, I said. So havn't really had the best sleep. The thing is about touring on a bus is, you've got the opportunity to sleep endlessly, but its never quite sleep. The whirring of the bus on the motorway is quite calming but never enough to guarantee a full nights sleep.
Quite a few of these dates have included acoustic sessions early in the morning so I have to get up and warm up straight away, gargle, drink camomile or weak green tea and stretch my lungs out. Its a mental thing too though. If I say to myself, "Today I'm going to sing as powerfully as Beyonce" then I always sing a bit better, even at joke'o'clock in the morning. Air conditioning is the bane of my life I swear. It messes with your lungs and it isn't right. Talking of my lungs, they've taken a battering this last month. We went from boiling Texas, to Freezing Toronto, in a couple of days. Toronto was laughably cold. Nobody wanted to go out and when you did it was like constantly being slapped in the face. But a seemingly calm, clean, and friendly place. So was Vancouver right on the other side. I really hate the cold. When everyone else is warm I am still cold. I often imagine myself doing something romantic like jumping in a lake in winter, or going in the sea on Christmas day. Easier said than done especially when you're currently warm. I just can't face cold weather. I always give in to shivering, my body just gives up.
Speaking of my weak body, when I got to Chicago I became really really ill. I had to go ahead and do the show and for the first time ever I literally didn't have a voice, it was bizarre and frightening. I wanted to cry right there on stage. That happened to me at a press conference thing right before I did a show with Jarvis Cocker, Duane Eddy and friends. I spotted a journalist in the room who had written something god awful about me, plus there were about twenty people all filming me all of a sudden. I burst out crying and crawled under the table.
You can never quite explain that momentary helplessness but I've suffered it a few times. I think it makes my brain reset its-self because I always feel slightly stronger afterwards (cheesy but true) Maybe that is what they are for.
So I had to cancel my first ever show, in Minneapolis. Staying true to the EG pessimistic fatalistic self, I resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn't ever get my voice back, after nights and nights of coughing and wheezing nearly passing out from coughing so hard I felt like it was a possibility. Although my voice did return I had to do quite a few days of warming it back up again. I always determine the strength of my voice by that note in Guns and Horses, you know the one. Its stronger than ever now, I am pleased. I met a new vocal coach, Jo, who has taught me the smallest but crucial things to help my voice last longer and not strain it. Thank you Jo.
Have noticed an incredible reaction over here. People crying and smiling and some just moving with their eyes closed. It is so good to be close to people again in the audience- I never liked the barrier between us anyway. I've got people right up close to me and I love it. It makes me more conversational for some reason, which is such a big difference from when I started about three years ago... I barely spoke between songs at all because I was painfully shy and apologetic. Ugh life is too short to be apologetic. I do whatever comes to me now.
Someone asked me a few days ago what it was like for a singer on tour. Even though I'm having the bloody time of my life, I automatically replied "Lonely!" I guess it is! I hang out with my band and my crew often, but there's something about being the only girl. I tend to keep myself to myself at home really anyway, not many people I know do what I do and also don't like running (that helps because its all I want to do) So I find myself alone. If you literally have no idea what my tour is like and you're dying to know, it consists of the following:
- Big venues with back room
- Small venues with no back room (use the bus to put make up on)
- green tea from melting plastic cups and eating cereal with a fork.
- burgers and food you feel is more acceptable to eat because you're in america.
- Ridiculous amount of oranges (for the scurvy)
- Different hotel every day, occasional day off.
- Lots of acoustic sessions and singing. LOTS of singing. Makes sense really.
- Finding the weird fitness room in the hotel we're in or go out running and get lost (i.e Portland)
- An offensive amount of drinking. I wouldn't recommend it. But somethings got to get you through it!
- A lot of stress, a lot of happiness. A lot of losing your mind
Las Vegas was CRAZY. Never seen ANYTHING like it in my life. Performed on what was essentially a vodka catwalk with bottles of it either side. I didn't gamble, I didn't go to a strip club but by god I loved my bad a** apartment. Had the Greg over too with me, which was lovely. He was not very good at gambling. Probably a good thing. I am so lucky to go to the places that I go to, please don't ever think I'm not grateful!!!!
The last thing I wanted to talk to you about was visiting the Nike headquarters (for the WORLD) in Portland. It was absolutely fascinating and inspiring. The place had running tracks outside, lakes, gold range, football field, big gyms, literally the best workplace in the world, puts others to shame. I got to see some of the latest technology for running shoes which pleased me. I have some incredibly lightweight running trainers now but made the mistake of wearing them on the treadmill for four miles and I've screwed my knee. Well done. I met Mo Farah, the Gold medallist for long and short distance running, and his lovely family. He runs 19 miles a day, and 10 if he has a "day off" If that doesn't inspire you I don't know what will. Lovely lovely man.
Finally, doing this American tour has really make me READY TO START. I know I started already, but not really. There's a higher level of what I'm doing and I'm not there yet, but I will be. Just how everything I've done has been constructed from small events and decisions, so it will keep happening that way. I guess what I mean is, a path is becoming less obscured by the trees either side of it and things become more and more clear. Maybe this all lies with the second album.....
Thank you for reading, and thank you for showing your continued support and love. I love your tweets and your facebook replies and the little things you make me and send me. Without you I'm not much. xx
Are you up for a little playlist?
Arcade Fire- Ready to Start
Jamie Woon - Lady Luck
Claire Maguire- Freedom
Drake ft Nicky Minaj- Up all night
Warpaint- Set your arms down
Beach house- Lover of mine
Band of Horses- Factory
Bjork- Earth Intruders
Feist- Lonely Lonely
Lots of love,