Thursday, 26 March 2009

New Orleans

Another day, another massive car journey. We’re in the heart of Mississippi and have been on the same road for 160 miles. We’re just about to make our first turn of the day, which is probably the most exciting thing to happen since the guy in the Ellisville Subway came over, asked why we were there and suggested we kept our heads down and passed through the State as quickly as possible.

The turn has been made. Now it’s just 130 miles til the next one. Thank God for the local classic rock radio stations and their consistent big hits. Simon just found out the hard way that you shouldn’t lick the inside of a car, Ben’s filming scenery and Ivano’s handling arguably the most important job and is driving. I’d like to think my blogging runs a close second, though.

New Orleans was a lot of fun. There was jazz on every corner from the band of buskers in the park covering Louis Armstrong to the small child playing a trumpet in our hotel courtyard to the very old man who walked into our bar, sang a song and did a handstand on one elbow on top of a chair. We spent two very fun days in the city, beginning Tuesday with a difficult, hangover-ridden walk around the French Quarter and a spontaneous Pygmy Lush (a hardcore band featuring ex-members of Pg 99, City of Caterpillar and Malady) show, having passed a flyer and hailed the worst cab driver in the world. Chatting to the band at the venue they tell us they’ve spent the past 30 hours in a Texan jail, after been stopped and searched for drugs by some over zealous cops. The impending court date and the fact that they live a few States away now means they need to organise another tour to subsidise the trip back. A rock n roll story if ever I’ve heard one.

Wednesday was truly a day of firsts. In the afternoon we left the city and headed out to deepest darkest Louisiana for a swamp tour, which featured a disappointing lack of alligators but a decent amount of tales and a lot of mosquito bites. The first bar of the night saw a gay man hit on Simon, telling him he has a female friend so hot she turns guys homosexual, which both confused and scared we four innocent Brits. We visited the Acme Oyster Bar, the finest seafood restaurant around, where we were inexplicably rushed to the front of the queue - The fact that I was wearing a tie is widely considered to be the reason – and all experienced oysters for the first time. Harrah’s casino wasn’t quite the goldmine expected as Ben managed to lose $60 quicker than I’d previously thought possible and with tails between legs, the night came to an end drinking cocktails (perhaps slightly inappropriately named Hurricane’s) and eating burgers cooked under a hubcap around our hotel swimming pool. As four guys staying in one hotel room often do, we then danced in our pants and passed out in a blaze of smells.

We’ve just crossed the border into Alabama, the man from Ellisville will be pleased to know. As it stands we have no firm plans for tonight. The idea, I believe, is to drive into Birmingham and see how it looks, then work out whether to stay there or keep heading towards Atlanta, which is tomorrows destination. The world is our oyster. And on that New Orleans delicacy pun, I’m done.

1 comment:

Alex Fitzpatrick said...

im guessing pygmy lush played a 'loud' set then? as their last record is just folk-ish stuff. and i saw them play two 'quiet' sets at sxsw.