Alex Roth’s front tooth is in a shotglass on the ledge of our bathroom sink. He’s soaking it in hydrogen peroxide and a little mouthwash for flavour. I had gotten used to the enhanced hillbilly appearance he’s been sporting since it fell out, but now we have less than 24 hours till we leave the country, and no reliable method of keeping the tooth in, and I’m beginning to get nervous. Pollydent, rubber bands, and a special glue for broken caps have all failed. Turns out teeth play an important role in singing, and a lisping frontman was not a part of my vision for this tour. Looks like our first date will be at the surgery of my childhood dentist.
I should introduce us. I’m Lauren Norton, vocalist for the Souterrain, and I run a little party over on E Street Plaza called the Davis Flea Market. Back in February I played a show with another local band, the West Nile Ramblers, fell in love with the frontman, and convinced them to drop everything and fly to Ireland with the Souterrain for the best part of the summer. The past few months have been a whirlwind of booking and promoting the tour, whilst juggling our businesses, and fostering kittens and playing shows in Davis and Napa and San Francisco.
Just as I was patting myself on the back for a tour well organized, we had two pretty major setbacks. The loss of the tooth (which had been threatening to fall out for some time) and the loss of the tour bus--the linchpin of our entire operation. I had made an arrangement with a band in Ireland to use their campervan, an affordable way to get from pub to club to festival (and to rest our heads as well). A week before we were due to arrive, I got an email saying that the camper has broken down and has since been sold off for parts. Oh and good luck finding a replacement during festival season!
A blow indeed. I’ve been nagging friends and family and musicians and expats all week, and I’m hopeful that a vehicle is going to materialize. I’ve also found a few decent looking campers for sale which I’ll be visiting on Friday, and maybe even purchasing one so we can get to our first show in Galway at the Cellar Bar, an intimate venue at the heart of the Fringe Festival. Whatever happens, the tour just got a whole lot more expensive, so if you’d like to kick in a few dollars to our tour you can do so here:
There’s a donate button at the bottom of the page as well as details about our gigs and a place to stream our music! We will send you an immediate download of the new Souterrain and West Nile albums, and a physical copy when we get back.
In the meantime, I’ll be keeping a diary of our exploits as we spend a month pickin’ and ramblin’ and bringing a little Yolo spirit to the shores of Ireland, so check in with us from time to time. We’ll have new music, videos and photos from our adventures posted on our facebook pages: , The West Nile Ramblers. See you soon!