Solex' Death Race 2000:

Thursday 25th May: It's 5 AM, as a couple of alarm clocks go off inAmsterdam. In auto-pilot mode we all head for central station where we meet. "We", that is Elisabeth, Miguel (soundengineer) and me (Robert, the drummer) and take the train to Schiphol . Geert and his guitar are already in New York, enjoying a short vacation. We change planes in Paris, and after a 7¸ hour flight we land at JFK. We pick up our mini-van at Hertz and start driving into the city. First we go to the Matador office where we drop of a bench from the van, and say "hi" to everyone. Within an hour on Manhattan we already have a $55 parking ticket for illegal parking on Broadway. Nice going! We meet up with Geert and go to Greenpoint, Brooklyn where we stay at Rick and Birgit's house. Birgit shot the Solex all lickety split video, and Rick lends us his amp. We crash early because we're jetlagged.

Friday 26th May: We go into Manhattan quite early because we were all awake at 6 AM. We pick up our tourbook and merchandise at Matador, hang out a bit and do some shopping. Then we go to Leonardstreet where we will play two nights at the Knitting Factory. Elisabeth does an interview with insound.com, and we meet Stereo Total, with whom we will split the bill a couple of times this tour. Tonight's show is sold out. We play pretty OK, considering we have a lot of technical problems on stage. A first show of a tour abroad is always difficult; a new drumkit, new amps and a lot of transformers for the electricity. These transformers keep falling out of the sockets this show. Big problem. Some people made our day by saying nice stuff after the show. When we're thrown out of the club by the cleaning people, we head for Brooklyn.

solex on insound

Saturday 27th may: After a short night we go to New Jersey for a radio show. We set up, soundcheck and start recording. It's not even midday!!! The sound is horrible. Let's hope they never broadcast this thing. We drive back to Manhattan wondering why this radio show is so popular. We park at the Knitting Factory, go to Chinatown for noodle soup and cheap watches (with alarms 'cause we wanna be very punctual of course). Back at the Knitting Factory we do a short linecheck. Then we have diner with Christina from Matador, and we run into Harvey Keitel. Cool! Like last night Randy Costanza (who's drumkit we will use this tour, in return he gets a Solex song for his label) and friends show up. So do Sean, Mark Yuka and Miho from the Cibo Matto clan. So do 385 other people, 'cause tonight's show is sold out again. The show is better than last night's, apart from the fact that Elisabeth' keyboard isn't working during the first 2 songs because of a broken DI-box. Alright, enough technical stuff. After the show we drive back to Brooklyn and hang out for a while.

Sunday 28th May: A lot of friends gather this morning at Rick and Birgit's place, for a nice pancake brunch. Today is the only day-off of this tour, so we're not in a hurry. We leave around 2 PM for Pittsburgh. We pop in some Cuban tapes and follow the Pennsylvanian turnpike. It's nice to be on the road again. Especially Elisabeth seems happy; after a lot of preparation for this tour she can finally relax·behind the wheel. She loves to drive. It's Miguel's first time in the US (the 2 Knitting Factory shows where the first ones where he did sound for Solex) but he seems very happy as well. He takes pictures of every piece of shit on the road, and absorbs American culture like a madman. So far he absorbed a couple of hamburgers, bagels, pancakes, NY-pizza and Chinese ginger candies. Geert is co-piloting as usual and again I do nothing but drinking coffee. After a 7 hour drive we get to Pittsburgh. We stay at a motel.

Monday 29th May: Today is memorial day. All shops are closed, so we decide to do the sightseeing thing. We jump in our minivan and go to Domegal, about an hour outside of Pittsburgh. We visit Falling Water, the house Frank Lloyd Wright built for the Kaufmanns. It's great. Deeply ashamed of the dumps we all live in we drive back to the city. Tonight's show is at Millvale Industrial Park. We played here on a former tour, so we know what's awaiting us. There are three bands opening for us, including a spin-off from the 1985, who will split a single with Solex. They rock! The Millvale is still the dump it was last year (which is good, 'cause Elisabeth finds a broken beach chair, so now we have a wooden keyboard stand), and even there are a lot of technical problems, we play a great show. One of these problems was that our drum kit almost didn't show up. Fortunately Randy's friends bring the kit just in time. It's a great kit. There is also a guy who projects visual during the show which looks great. Manny, the promoter did a good job and the Millvale is pretty packed. It's nice to see the Joysticks (formerly known as 'the joysticks battle the clip-on express highway to your skull') again, who play an after show in the parking lot. On toy guitars. I think they've grown about a feet over the last year, and they started shaving. This is their farewell show. Since they played their first show ever with Solex, they figured 'we have to play our last show with Solex'. There goes another great band·

solex workout

Tuesday 30th May: Right after breakfast we head for Columbus. It takes us about three hours to get there. We park the car, go for coffee and food, do some record shopping at Used Kids (great store! cheap cheapos) and check e-mail at Kinko's. At load in time we go down the steps of Bernie's to drop off the backline. Also Bernie's is the same dump as it was last year, which is not so great. It's 18 hrs and the toilets are overflowing. The stage is still a mess from last night, and the the people working there, decide to leave it like that. Two hours late the local soundguy shows up. He didn't know he had to work. In the meantime we eat at Bernie's restaurant. When we start to soundcheck, it takes Miguel about one minute to piss off the local soundguy. Sure, a well EQ-ed soundsystem is too much to ask for. Nothing works on stage, the power is fucked (excusez le mot), cables broken and monitors keep falling out. After the 'soundcheck' we decide to get some fresh air. The first band plays sort of melancholic pop, then the hardcore punk band plays hardcore punk, and after that, we're on. It's midnight. As we change over, the local soundguy harasses us and the audience with his own obnoxious music. We get on stage, monitors are not working, local soundguy is gone·. It takes us about 5 minutes (after the first song) to fix the problem ourselves. The audience doesn't seem to mind that, and despite a couple of other problems (the promoter -drunk- decides he want to go home and pays us on stage) the show went well. We sell loads of merchandise after the show, so it probably was a good show. We break up and start loading out. Then·.the car is gone!!! It takes us again about 5 minutes to find out it's been towed. Five very scary minutes, 'cause it would have been sort of a problem when the car would have been stolen in the first week of our 5 week tour. By the way, Bernie's told us to park in that particular spot. Bernie's is a lousy dump, with a couple of jerky people working in it, and we are NEVER going to play there again! We sleep at Bela's house. He is the owner of Used Kids and has a label called Anyway Records. He is one of these very nice people you meet on the road. His happy dogs are very glad to see us again too.

Wednesday 31st May: We wake up, get breakfast at a student place and start driving. We have a long day of driving ahead of us; 7 or 8 hours. Tonight we'll play in St. Louis. The tour was pretty tough so far. Lots of technical problems and bad sound systems. But tonight it seems that there IS a God. The Sidedoor is a very nice (air-conditioned !!) room with a good PA, very nice people and a very fine restaurant. Outside it's hot. Burning hot. There's not much to say about the show, except that Stereo Total is not playing because Francoise got a door in her face last night and has a slight concussion, so we play a very long set. When we leave, the nice people of the club stuff our car with drinks and food. We drive for half an hour and stay at a super 8 motel.

solex on the phone

Thursday 1st June: It takes us about 5 hours to get to Chicago. So on time we arrive at the campus where Elisabeth and I will do a radiosession. We record three songs. Meanwhile Miguel and Geert check out lake Michigan. After, we all go to the Empty Bottle. Tonight we play first, then local band Bobby Conn, then Stereo Total. Before we do the soundcheck we get dinner from the restaurant next door. Great food in Styrofoam containers. The plastic forks scratching the form make our appetite go away. At 10 PM it's showtime and the show is sold out. We play our first good show this tour. A couple of guys film the show for a cybercast. After 5 shows we've almost sold all the shirts we brought. The Bobby Conn show is pretty lame. The guy is simply too much fun for us Dutchies. Also too smelly and obnoxious. Stereo Total plays a great set. They come back 4 times for encores. As soon as the lights on stage are turned off, everybody is swept out of the Empty Bottle. As we load out the cops show up. All the people that are still inside the Empty Bottle seem very scared for them. Sometimes the States seem like a total policestate. We have to stop loading out, drive around the block and come back when the police have gone. Weird.

Friday 2nd June: Steve, a friend of Rick's, makes us a great breakfast. Strawberries, Cornflakes, coffee, OJ and French bread; the stuff you die for on tour. We slept for only 6 hours, and the sleepshortage starts showing. Miguel suffers from a cold he got from too much air-conditioning. That, combined with his cat allergy, makes him feel not too happy today. Elisabeth sets herself behind the wheel and we leave for Minneapolis; a seven hour drive. An hour late we arrive at 7th street entry. Stereo Total just finishes soundcheck. Ron, the local soundguy is of great help and within 45 minutes we're done. We get a buy out from the promoter and go get some Italian food. When we come back to the club, the first band is already halfway through their set. They're very 80's. Bobby Conn just arrived in time to put on his make up and hit the stage. It takes him about one minute to bore us all to death. The rest of the audience (sold out) needs about 40 minutes more. Then we're on for our 45 minute set. We play a good show, and leave the audience wanting for more· Again we stay at a super 8 motel; home of the Solex.

solex in Minneapolis

Saturday 3rd June: Today is the first of two drive days. We have to make it to Vancouver on the 5th. It's rainy, cloudy and not too hot. It's a good thing the Solex-party gets along very well, 'cause you might go crazy, being stuck in a minivan 10 hours a day. Elisabeth and Miguel do the driving, Geert the navigation and me, I do the reading. We drive through North Dakota, see prairie, see buffaloes and see Painted Canyon at Roosevelt National park.

solex bij een hekkie

We cross the great plains, listen to native Indian 24 hour non-stop radio, enter Montana and end in a $20 motel near Miles City. We drove for 12 hours today.

a motel and ...hey where's solex??

Sunday 4th June: We wake up at 7 so we don't have to drive in the dark tonight. We eat breakfast next to the motel in a very local diner. With fed faces we continue our mission to Vancouver. The landscape is amazing. Every now and then we stop for iced coffees, V8s, gas and sandwiches. It's very hot today. We get to Washington and stay again at a very cheap motel. We fall asleep immediately.

Monday 5th June: Without the use of alarm clocks we wake up early. We get breakfast and head for Seattle. When we get there, we turn right and hit the north. At the Canadian border we are stopped and with a little lie here and there we get the necessary stamps in our passports. Vancouver must be a very pretty city, but we don't see much of it 'cause it's raining and totally gray and foggy. The Brickyard is a large pool-cafŽ with a nice stage in downtown Vancouver. The club is surrounded by 200 junkies. Before us play two local bands that actually make very nice music but are fucked up by the local soundguy. We do our 45 minute set and win the audience (this was a sort of 'last minute show', so not a lot of Solex fans at first). After the show we drive back to the States and take a super 8 motel right after the border. End of exercise Canada.

solex SNURK

Tuesday 6th June: There's always a Denny's next to a super 8 motel, so we eat breakfast at Denny's. It's only 2 1/2 hours to Seattle. We get there early and drive to Pike street (again junkies!), where we do our laundry. Nice thing about being on the west coast is that a cup of coffee has about as much caffeine as all the cups we drank over the past 2 weeks. With clean clothes in our suitcases we get in the car, drive past the space needle (what's the deal about that thing?) towards the waterfront where we go for a short walk. Just before 6 PM we go to 5th Avenue and load in at the I-spy; a very nice, well equipped club. The soundcheck is promising, and the food upstairs in the very hip ("are we in London?") restaurant is even better. The club is VERY nice. There are three rooms, of which one is an 80's rock/disco bar where a little girl plays her record collection. We play in the main room. A DJ plays mellow techno stuff. After that, some nice guys that make horrible jazz fusion. If they'd hire a female vocalist, they'd be playing the love boat for the rest of their lives. The show is close to sold out, and the people seem to be very much into Solex. Among the audience are the Walkabouts that hand Elisabeth their new CD on which they do a Solex cover. Big Surprise! It's one of the best shows so far and we have a great night.

Wednesday 7th June: We sleep late today, because it's only a three hour drive to Portland. Again we enjoy the super 8/Denny's combo. Breakfast at Denny's is always so huge that you want to sleep for the rest of the day. It's only three hours to Portland, and way too early we arrive at the Satyricon. The Satyricon is a nice punk rock club, but the state the PA-system is in worries Miguel. Everything buzzes, and makes the room sound like a huge am-radio. The in-house CD-player is simply wired (without plugs) to the soundsystem. Pretty scary. It's 6 PM, but the club is so dark that Miguel falls down a step and strains his ankle. He won't be able to walk straight for the next 3 weeks. Right after the soundcheck Elisabeth and I go to KBOO, the local radiostation, where we are supposed to do a session. The host, Brandon, is a very nice and funny guy, but unfortunately, nothing in the studio works, so we just do an interview instead. Back at the club we meet David, our soundengineer for the former US tours. It's really nice to see him again. At midnight it's showtime and the clubs sort of looks like sold out. Considering the soundsystem we do a pretty good show. We're all sweating like crazy. After the show the usual stuff; while I sells stuff from the stage, the rest start cleaning the stage. Then we say bye to David and go to a motel 6 in the suburbs of Portland. Of course there are again not enough towels in the room, since we always share one room with the four of us.

solex near the golden gate

Thursday 8th June: Tonight we'll play San Francisco. That's about an 11 hour drive from Portland. We already lost some valuable nightrest this week, so we decide to skip soundcheck in San Francisco and wake up at 8 am. Even though I am not really sure if we'll make it in time anyway, Geert ( who is pretty sure we'll make it in time) wants to have a nice quiet breakfast in a family restaurant. It's 9.40 and we're off. In another 11 hours our asses will be sore. The drive is pretty ok, and we make it within 10 hours. Elisabeth and Miguel change the driver's seat every two hours, while Geert and I run for the restroom. We eat a lot of Subway sandwiches. San Francisco looks great in the setting sunlight, and we get to the Bottom of the Hill just in time (Geert was right·) to even do a soundcheck. The club is great: good PA, nice room, good burgers and a comfortable patio. The show is totally sold out. It's an all ages show, which means no alcohol for the kids. We're in Cali, which also means no smoking in the club. Bummer. In the dressing room we hang out with Stereo Total, who are very nice people. We run into our friend Amanda, who we met in Holland about two years ago. We can stay at her house, which is cool. Even though we're tired we play a pretty rockin' show. We stay late at the club. Then we drive to Haight Asbury where Amanda lives in a nice Huge apartment.

Friday 9th June: Today is sort of a day-off, because we play the Bottom again tonight. All our stuff is still there from last night's show. Elisabeth and I wake up first and join Amanda for a late breakfast across the street. Then we leave for an interview at planetwired.com, an online music site. Very nice people, very nice office. The interview is filmed on a terrace on Southpark. Meanwhile Geert and Miguel do some recordshopping at Amoeba. Later we all meet·.and split again. Now me and Elisabeth go to Amoeba to buy all the records we couldn't find in Europe. Eventually everybody is on time at the Bottom of the Hill again for a good soundcheck. Again, a huge burger, fries and a salad. Tonight is a 21-over show: old folks!! And the show is sold out again. The show is not as crazy and good as last night, but still we're happy. After the show we hang out for a while and (with tears in our eyes) say goodbye to the lovely Bretzel, Olga and Francoise of Stereo Total. We'll miss them.

solex shop

Saturday 10th June: We eat breakfast, load the van and try to get close to the Golden Gate bridge, which appears to be pretty hard for a couple of Dutchies. Eventually we succeed and walk under the bridge and take lots of pictures. We once more stop at a deli, then cross the Bay bridge and head for Los Angeles. Tonight's show is cancelled, because the Knitting Factory, where we're supposed to play, isn't open yet. A pity, 'cause the tickets have already been sold. So we take it easy and after 6 hours (a beautiful drive) we reach San Fernando valley and check in at the Pink Cloud motel. After a late night snack we hit the hay.

Sunday 11th June: We cross the city, to get to Dublab where we do a webcast. The station is on Melrose near the Paramount Studios in West Hollywood. We record a half hour set; all Pick Up songs and the Echo and the Bunnymen cover. At three o'clock we drive towards San Diego along the Pacific coast. We stop at a rest area and see tons of squirrels. Tonight we play at the Casbah; a small rockclub where we played with Cornelius before. During soundcheck our Danish friend Marianna turns up, and together we have dinner. We return to the club and see the last song of the opening band. Half an hour later we start our set. The crowd is very nice and after the show we start running low on merchandise. We find a motel 6 just outside San Diego. Not that these things are hard to find ·.

Monday 12th June: It's burning hot and it's gonna be even hotter. Today we'll play in Tucson, Arizona; an 8 hour drive. The first time we all get out of the car in the dessert, we all go crazy; it is HOT! But beautiful. With the airco cranked up to 10 we arrive in Tucson early. It appea rs that Arizona doesn't do the daylight saving thing. The Solar Culture is an art gallery that does music stuff as well. During soundcheck Nick, who plays in Giant Sand, turns up. When Giant Sand played in Amsterdam, Nick stayed a couple of days at Miguel's house. We eat vegan at the Solar, and hang out on the front porch until showtime. It's still 100 degrees outside. Even there is no bar inside the Solar, people are really interested in the music, and listen very concentrated (that would be impossible in Amsterdam·). It was a nice show, and after, we take it very easy. There is no way you can even try to rush. And guess what·.we stay at motel 6 Tucson.

Tuesday 13th June: Today is a drive towards Dallas. The dessert on today's drive is still very pretty. Huge cactuses, beautiful mountains and not a cloud in sight. In El Paso we stop for an hour. We have dinner, and do some shopping. Then we continue eastward, lose two hours because we cross two timelines and at midnight we stop at Odessa·.

solex' minivan

Wednesday 14th June: ·a very ugly city. They're drilling for oil everywhere around us. It takes us about an hour to find the Denny's that's been promised to us by the road signs. The mountains and cactuses make way for boring endless prairies. In Dallas we stay at a ·..(drum roll please)·.. motel 6 and do laundry.

Thursday 15th June: We're quite early in the city and after visiting Daily Plaza again, we go to Good Records where we do an instore. We hang out, set up, walk around an go through the CD-bins a million times. Touring is waiting· Fortunately the people from the shop build a barbecue, so we can eat. After 6 PM the shop is full and we do a half an hour set. Sweating like crazy, we get in the car and drive an hour to Denton. Tonight's show is in the Rubber Glove. There are vans, but no airco. It's so hot!!! We play basketball outside the club, but Miguel still suffers his strained ankle, so we stop. One of the opening bands is pretty cool. The Shells play sort of Velvet Underground songs, except it takes them about 12 people to do that. We play a rockin' set. Sweating allover, I sell merchandise after the show, while the rest, equally sweating clears the stage. Most people that were at the instore seem to have shown up tonight as well. It seems that not a lot of nice bands play the Dallas area. When we return at our motel, the guys go for a midnight swim.

solex instore

Friday 16th June: After our daily Denny's we leave for Austin. It's still hot, but now it's cloudy. There's a 100% humidity. We go immediately to Emo's; a cool place on the horrible 6th street. It's hard NOT to get either a tattoo or a piercing here. But Emo's rules. We play sort of outside. On the inside stage there will be 3 hardcore punk bands tonight. Outside it's us and Spoon and a local band. We have dinner at the highlife, a nice place we were on former tours. We eat with Jim, the owner of the PA, his wife and their overactive 3 year old, who annoys everybody in the restaurant. Jim did sound for the Butthole Surfers, so we're all ears. Jim is a very nice guy and even makes us a splitter (a sort of cable) for Elisabeth' vocals. We play a 45 minute set that the people seem to like a lot. On stage it's hot. I am close to dead after just three songs. The sticks keep sliding out of my hands. Geert and Elisabeth are doing ok despite the heat. After the show Geert gets a terrible headache (too much punkrock??), so we leave early. All the hotels near Austin are fully booked (because of the week end, and some fashion event). So we have to drive for an hour before we book the last room in a motel.

Saturday 17th June: We wake up, have Texas style breakfast, drive for 5 hours, and get way too early (again!) in Houston. We check out the local CD stores, and rockin' robin, an amazing vintage music store. We all go crazy over the stuff they sell and I can't stop drooling over the nice drumkits. Then we go to Rudyard; an English type-o-bar. The soundengineer won't come 'till nine, so we do more shopping at a secondhand book and CD store. We all buy stuff. Since Elisabeth and Miguel do all the driving (and all the sleeping when they're not driving), Geert and I have the time to catch up on some reading, so we need more books. We eat at the club, and at 9 we do a short soundcheck. The doors open and the first band sets up. That takes them so long (and their set is over an hour long), that we decide to go on second in stead of last. That's cool with everybody else. The first band is sort of nice (sort of Grandaddy?), but their show is slow·.v-e-r-y-s-l-o-w. They discus their own songs between songs on stage. The turn up in Houston is for Houston standards very good. We play chaotic, but get a standing ovation (seated audience!!!) after the set. Right after the set Geert has to go to the toilet, so Elisabeth and I do our ad lib. Elisabeth asks for local mc's, and 3 show up. MC Cowboy is outstanding with his version of 'Straight outta Compton'. Hilarious and cool!! These guys made this show unforgettable. We do two encores and clear the stage. The first band took so long that the other local band doesn't even have time left to set up. So they don't play at all. We feel sorry for them, but we're glad we decided to play 2nd, otherwise we'd have to play a 10 minute set. After the show we meet nice people.

Sunday 18th June: More humidity today, since we're heading for New Orleans. It's a beautiful drive. Lots of water, swamp and jungle (ever seen Down by Law??) We get to the Mermaid an hour late, yet nobody there. Soundguy shows up 2 hours late, and the promoter is late as well, but brings food. Guitar and drums can't be amped, which is sort of sucky, 'cause it's like playing half a show. The promotion for the show appears not to have been very good. About 15 people show up to see 3 bands. New Orleans doesn't at all seem interested in electronic music.

solex and the mermaid

Monday 19th June: The European championship soccer doesn't get much attention here. Holland made it to the quarter finals, that's all we know. That and the fact that 58 dead bodies were found in a truck at the British customs. Weird. Today we drive to the Cowhaus in Tallahassee, Florida. After a nice soundcheck, we go out and eat at a Thai restaurant where we get a free karaoke show as well. Then we cruise the city in search of a good cup of coffee. No luck at all, so we end up drinking hot water from Styrofoam cups at McDonald's. The local bands opening tonight are sort of boring and grungy. We're on at 1 am and finally happy again with our set, especially after last night's bummer. The crowd is great and when Elisabeth drops an old school beat, 2 rappers show up and show their skills. During the last encore about 10 kids get on stage and go crazy. That's how we like it. When we're loading out, the two rappers are still high-5-ing each other screaming "yeah, we did it!! We rapped·.we did it Phew!!".

Tuesday 20th June: Since there is no Denny's in Thomasville, Georgia (Duh!!) we eat -all we can eat!!- at Ryan's. It's amazing. We have a bit of everything, so breakfast takes us twice as long as usual. More of the same today·.a 3 hour drive·.bloody hot··the promoter is not there yet, so we wait outside··..in the boiling sun. Eyedrum, tonight's club is an art gallery in Atlanta. It's run by volunteers, which means (a) no good sound system and (b) a mess, because no one seems in charge. There's only a 6 channel PA (we need at least 13). There's 1 mic and 3 cables. Then everybody leaves the Eyedrum, goes home and brings back whatever we can use. Miguel, acting like McGyver, builds a pretty good PA-system from scratch, which is great 'cause we almost couldn't and wouldn't play. Miguel saved the day. Opening for us are a free jazz band, and a hiphop act, that is pretty good. Eyedrum has been open for only 4 month and is pretty inexperienced when it comes to putting on rock show. They didn't do any promotion, so there's only 60 pairs of ears that hear the show (there is no light on stage). We head toward Columbia in search of a motel, but since some flaky from the club gives us wrong directions, we end up on the wrong interstate.

solex in het bussie

Wednesday 21st June: Breakfast at Wafflehouse for a change. Pretty scary place. Lots of inbred in front and behind the counter. Then we start our 2 hour drive to Columbia. Of course we arrive way too early. Aimlessly we drive across the downtown area, look around and go back to the New Brookland Tavern. We eat soup and sandwiches at the next door coffee shop. There seems to be a problem with the promoter who's phone is cut off. The show is not promoted at all, and opening for us is the NY-hardcore band Shovelbarn. Weird! The club doesn't even know that Shovelbarn is there to play a show. Shovelbarn are the nicest guys. The best thing about tonight's show is hanging out with them. At midnight we split. Tomorrow we have a long drive; 8 hours to Baltimore

Thursday 22nd June: Super 8 motel, Denny's and then eight hours to drive. Tonight we're on the bill of the Ottobar in Baltimore. It's a small bar, three other bands and we play last. We eat Thai in the beautiful old part of town, then hang out with the local kids in front of the club and shoot some pool. We just do a linecheck before we get on stage. That is after the emo-core band, the OMD rip off band and a doom metal band. We play late, at 1 am, yet we play a good set. All motels are full, so finally we crash at 3.30 am in an Econolodge.

solex' combo

Friday 23rd June: Only an hour drive to Philly, so pretty early we arrive in the city of cheesesteak. We go to Southstreet and shop around a bit. Then we go to the North Star bar which is in a not so very nice part of town. Again, the local soundguy isn't there yet, so we leave again and have soup in China town. Then back to the club for some more waiting and hanging around 'till finally somebody shows up, so we can soundcheck. The room is very nice, the acoustics however very bad. After the local band and the computerguy we're on. The room is packed and ready to go. Lots of familiar faces in the audience. We stay 'till closing time. Then we go to our friend Marc's place, and after a beer we crash.

Saturday 24th June: We wake up, a bit hung over, Marc makes us excellent coffee (the first good coffee in weeks) and then we all go for breakfast in the city. We eat at a diner in an indoor market downtown. Very nice. Then we get in the car and hit the 95 north. Today we play North Hampton near Boston. Only two more shows; time really flies. North Hampton is only like two streets big. We play the Pearl Street Nightclub. The venue is very nice, but since the town is so small we figure not a lot of people might show up. We take it easy (it's the ninth show in a row, not a day off in between), but nevertheless we play a decent show. After, we start driving, but none of the motels have vacancies, so it takes us an hour to find a room. It was an early show for a change, so we sleep pretty early.

Sunday 25th June: LAST SHOW!! We play Cambridge, the middle east. It's just an hour drive. Elisabeth gets sick, so we check in at a motel first, where she falls asleep immediately. The guys see Holland beat Yugoslavia 6 to 1 and then go out for refreshments. We play the upstairs room of the Middle East. Elisabeth is feeling much better, and after a nice dinner at the club, we see a pretty good pop/rock band, an 80's gay/dance act and an 8-piece weird band·.a perfect match. The last show turns out to be a good one. The party crowd is a happy crowd, and so·we're a happy band. The mission, deart race 2000, is accomplished, so with smiles on our faces we fall asleep.

Monday 26th June: It's hard to find a Denny's in Massachusetts, so we settle for a Friendly's. Then we drive towards New York. Lots of bad traffic, but finally we reach Manhattan. We cross Harlem, pass the famous Apollo, and drive along the Hudson to one of the piers. Tonight we have a barbecue at the Frying Pan, a nice boat that is owned by Matador Christina's boyfriend. A lot of Matador people show up and it turns out to be a nice wrap party for an excellent tour. After midnight we take the car (except for me, who badly wanted to ride a bike for half an hour) to Brooklyn, where we're sleeping again at Birgit's place.

christina rules!!!

Tuesday 27th June: The last day of a tour is always spent shopping. So we shop, go to the Matador office (drop off Randy's drumkit, pick up the bench), shop more, go again to Matador, soup, shop, Matador etc·. Then we leave Manhattan, return the car to Hertz and go to JFK. Again we fly via Paris.

Wednesday 28th June: Arrival in Amsterdam Thursday 29th June Day off!! Holland gets kicked out of the European Championship by Italy·.what a pisser!!

Friday 30th June: Team Solex (quite depressed after Holland losing the Championship) leaves for a festival in Switzerland.

THE END