Day 6 – 15th November
The sound of an alarm ringing must be one of the worst things I can possibly imagine. The association of my specific phone’s sound with painful mornings means that if I am out and hear the same tone used as someone’s ring tone I actually got a cold shudder run through me as my body has learnt like Pavlov’s dog that that sound means pain.
I meet my friend 'T' for Vietnamese coffee. Cold, iced, strong coffee basically and feel a lot better right away. Its great to see someone who we met in January when we were totally new to this strange and overwhelming place. To see her again feeling more relaxed and having stayed in touch for the best part of a year it’s a great morning cut short by a call from the other guys saying there’s some work to be done. You see we have no manager with us and so everything from accounts to visas to uploading stuff like this diary has to be done by us. With so many countries, people, time zones and interviews and shows to do it’s a hard job to keep on top of it all, especially with the internet connection in Vietnam. It seems the chance to do some TV and radio has appeared in Singapore so we spend a few hours getting it all in order for when we go there in 2 days. I also take a couple of hours to write up what you are reading now. I intend to get this diary done daily, but so far that just hasn’t worked out.
We then get a taxi to Xone FM….Vietnam’s biggest rock radio station. The driver gets lost on the way as it is really not like London. You know how in London the drivers have to have The Knowledge? Well here it seems to just be a matter of drive round a bit, then stop to ask some people for some vague directions, drive a little more, stop and ask, repeat. Always repeat.
Eventually we get to Xone FM and settle into the studio to play a couple of acoustic tracks. We decide on We’re All Gonna Die, Ordinary Love, Son You Look Like You Need Jesus and Romeo. Oh Romeo. We have played that song so many times, but boy did we screw it up. Again and again! It’s the one we have played the most and is by far the most straightforward to get right, but because of that its easy to over think it and like a footballer missing the easy shot Si fluffs the mid section. Then we start again and I forget the words. So we try again and are concentrating so hard we just start laughing. Luckily the show wasn’t live and on the 4th or 5th take we actually stop messing around and play a decent rendition. The interview itself last ages, but I bet once edited down with probably just make a 3 minute segment in the show, but itd be cool for more to be out there as it was probably our most open, honest and funny interview we have done.
After the radio show we head to 17 Saloon. This was a favourite hang out last time we were here and we set it as a meeting point for everyone who is in town and free to come out. A few beers later we have a decent little posse together and decide to go play pool somewhere. We set everyone up in teams and have a competition accompanied by a few beers. Everyone wants Lamont on their team, the guy is the best of us and he ends up with our Aussie/Vietnamese friend Tanya. Two shots into the game Lamont pots the black, losing the game and losing his briefly won reputation as something of a pool god. We want to play longer, but the bar gets a bit sex touristy later and the fat Brits are coming in wanting to get on the table so they can feel less awkward whilst bargaining the prices they are willing to pay.
We decide to go to a place called Vasco’s, another place we played last time we were here, but when we get there its closed. We’re in a weird end of town and the only places nearby are either classy and expensive or dingy and expensive. So we go dingy….right to tourist central, a place called Apocalypse Now. I think I talked about this place in my last blog so there’s no need to go into it again…but lets just say its not my kind of place.
The real pleasure though is getting to hang out with our friends here. All of them made through the band, playing gigs, through Facebook or just hanging out after the shows. I truly see our band as a club, as some kind of social sanctuary for people who feel like we do about the world, people who for whatever reason we click with. I could go on about it, but if you ever come to one of our gigs just stick around, say hi and get chatting to us. We’re on this adventure to find people like us, to not be ‘lost’ anymore and by the same action offer other people the chance to maybe find some kind of group to find a home with. I’m terrible at describing what I mean, but those who get it will get it. If that makes sense?