To Phoenix

After the Canyon Club show we say hi to some old friends in the parking lot before the pack begins. To save costs we’re transporting all the stage gear in the bays of the bus. I remain entirely unconvinced we won’t have to pack the back lounge with equipment but B&B and Del work some Tetris magic and make it all fit. How this was achieved is a mystery (and in the dark to boot) but we are comfortably stowed and soon on our way overnight to Phoenix. This is my first tourbus bunk sleep for 28 years but I slip back into the way of it, climbing up to my top bunk like a spider monkey. I drop down from my perch around ten on Sunday morning after map researching a nearby gaff open for breakfast. It’s starting to get hot and I fear I may shortly have to resort to shorts (long shorts not short shorts) but meanwhile I persevere with my double denim fashion faux pas. The breakfast place is called the Breakfast Club and I am led to a fixed swivel seat at the lunch counter, supplied efficiently with coffee, orange juice and a very Arizonan take on huevos rancheros – all avocado and lettuce shards. The bloke next to me orders some plant based concoction so healthy I fear for his future happiness. It has banana and oatmeal and a scoop of something lividly purple in the middle. It looks like a fruit and veg van dropped from a crane. After taking advantage of the establishment’s salubrious restroom I find a bench in a square, the sun now burning down like warfare. I stare at a water feature – little intermittent gushes spurting out of the ground like fledgling geysers. A little girl in a violet dress frolics among the jets making a game of keeping dry between the bursts. Her guardian looks into the far distance, bored as a tree. What must surely be the dregs of a Saturday night hen party take a seat in the sun, determinedly sporting their dayglo wigs and novelty dresses. The bride-to-be has a white veil and looks absurdly young. She has a huge tattoo on her calf and wears stiletto heeled ankle boots. They quickly leave, hopefully for a bar. There are some nice Art Deco buildings surviving here so the city just about retains some character among the bland sheer surfaces of the last forty years. But it’s time to get out of the blast of the sun.

I nap through load-in and after soundcheck take a brisk walk around three of four blocks as the sun reddens and sinks. It’s still pretty warm. My not-short-shorts are still appropriate wear. Soon I shall transform myself by extending the blue from mid thigh to boot, from a plodder into a denim demigod.  Alright Phoenicians, ALRIGHT!