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Doane Perry's Diary - November 1998
As most of you know the touring schedule we undertook this summer was in humanely small sections that had its pluses and minuses. On the plus side we had small breaks every few weeks so there wasn’t the tour fatigue that can result from an unbroken period on the road. The minus side was because we would play only 10-14 days in a row, by the time we would establish the rhythm of touring, we would be taking a break.
The U.S. legs went well and afforded us the opportunity to play some smaller venues in certain areas, particularly some of the different “House of Blues” gigs around the U.S., which were fun for the band and the audiences. We were also fortunate to have a couple of very good opening acts like Gov’t Mule, Nils Lofgren and Mike Keneally’s Beer for Dolphins.
Sandwiched in between the US dates were two European Festivals in Switzerland and Lichtenstein both of which were outdoors and COLD. Not surprising as we were in the middle of the Alps! By contrast, Spain, even in the middle of November was beautiful and for the most part sunny and warm. Madrid, Barcelona and Murcia, although interesting and colorful cities, afforded us little opportunity to sightsee due to the tightness of our schedule. However, in the beautiful old Spanish cities of Jerez, Malaga and Santiago de Compostela we did have a little time to explore and all splintered off in various directions.
On our day off in Malaga, Martin and I decided to visit nearby Grenada which was home to the Alhambra, an absolutely amazing Moorish palace. After negotiating the labyrinthine one way street system of Grenada we arrived at the Alhambra in early afternoon and spent all day wandering the grounds and visiting the extraordinary detailed buildings on the palace grounds. Like ghostly apparitions we kept catching sight of people who looked like Ian, Shona and Jon Noyce disappearing around corners and into dark passageways, but we were never able to make contact. It wasn’t until later that night that we discovered that they too had decided to spend their day off there. I believe Andy spent his day off in beautiful, historic Malaga landing aircraft at every major International Airport on his PC Flight Control Program.
We all decided to meet that night for dinner. After endless debating about where we should eat it was decided we would go to a local and very reputable fish restaurant. Arriving there we discovered that the restaurant was completely empty, which wasn’t entirely odd as no one eats dinner in Spain until 11pm anyway. The menu was COMPLTELY incomprehensible and there seemed not even the remotest chance of getting an accurate translation anyway. Besides, the food on display was as scary as the totally surreal decor, which looked like a bad Disney “Pirates of the Caribbean” theme coupled with a Tijuana Liquor store/Andy Warhol art gallery so we decided to move on to our second choice. We discovered most restaurants in this part of Spain have a tendency to be smoking bars that serve food as an afterthought. Their fare is usually heavily fried meat and potato dishes unimaginatively served and this second place proved to be no exception. I have to say that the food, which is usually renowned in Spain, was the single biggest disappointment of the tour.
I did however hold out a glimmer of hope for at least one successful
meal. Coming back from the gig the night before I noticed an Indian Restaurant
in a small side street simply called “Delhi”. Excellent.
I mentioned my fortuitous sighting to the others who greeted the news
with remarkable indifference and frank disbelief. Well tough, you Bozos,
I’m going off for a fantastic meal! Ian and Shona defected back
to the hotel for overpriced sandwiches, Andy went to McDonalds (what
a surprise) and Martin and Jon went to some ridiculous Baguette shop.
I strode away secure in the knowledge that I was going to have a proper
sit down dinner of Dall Soup, King Prawn Dansak, Sag Paneer, Garlic Naan
and a Taj Mahal Beer.
month Doane reviews restaurant misadventures while on tour in Spain.
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