tour diary :: Distant Correspondent > Entry #7

Nashville by EMILY

After another epic seven hour drive, during which the much put-upon Bernadette ferries us across Iowa, Kentucky and Tennessee, we finally pull up in Nashville. Tonight’s venue is the Springwater Supper Club, a gloriously dilapidated dive bar encrusted with graffiti and smogged up with cigarette smoke. While the band aren’t universally enthused by the prospect of smelling like they’ve been rolling round in Bill Hick’s ashtray, I (Emily) am delighted. This is exactly how all music venues should be. We unload our equipment, get ourselves some much-needed beers and settle down to watch band number one. They’re a local three piece called Elk who play roving, melancholy tunes in the style of The Dirty Three, and they’re absolutely transporting. They’re followed by Josephine and the Wild Front, who appear tonight in reduced form, their keyboard player having been stricken with a hideous lurgy just before the show. Any gaps this might leave in their set are unnoticeable to a virgin listener such as myself, and they sound glorious. The eponymous Josephine has a voice that expands and contracts between movingly frail huskiness and a timber-shaking wail. Both bands are among the best we’ve seen so far, and we’re excited to be playing alongside them. By the time we take the stage, the audience has dwindled to approximately three people, but hey, it’s Monday night and Bright Eyes are playing around the corner. If I’d known this beforehand, I might have popped over myself. The sound is great and we enjoy our own set more than enough to compensate for the absence of other listeners. After the show, a random man appears from out of the clouds of smoke to explain, in a torturous approximation of a British accent, that he recently purchased a painting to hang from a showerhead. For almost an hour. Having failed to extract myself from this situation (sorry, feminism), I’m relieved when David does it for me. We’re all pretty exhausted by this point, so we decide that we’ll treat ourselves to a decent night’s sleep in a motel, a plan we immediately proceed to sabotage by drinking whisky and discussing weird neurological disorders until five in the morning. Ah, whisky…

“COCOON” by Elk

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