As a band, we have been fortunate enough to tour with some wonderful people, in both strange and beautiful places. I have a collection of these memories stored for moments when I need them. On the whole touring, like any kind of travelling, is a joyful experience full of both the mundane and the magical, then the mundane becomes magical once you’re home and back in the 9-5. It’s made for sentimental romantics like us.
Last year we toured twice with the Wave Pictures, one of my favourite bands before I met them, and with familiarity and closeness my admiration for them has only grown. We had 5 weeks in America in Spring, just after our album Europe and their album Long Black Cars had been released, and another 2 weeks in Spain in the Autumn. The first tour they opened for us, the second tour we opened for them, and we’d often end the shows playing together. They have a way of making you feel like you’ve known them since you were children. If I see the boys in Allo Darlin’ as my brothers, I see the Wave Pictures as our cousins. The ones who have a pool that you swam in every afternoon after school, who get a little too drunk at your wedding and end up sliding across the dance floor on their bellies.
When we were in America, Dave was writing a lot in his notebook during the long drives. He turned those words into songs, and those songs now make up their new double album City Forgiveness, which was released yesterday. Paul plays a lot of guitar and piano on the album, and I am having fun trying to work out which is Paul imitating Dave or the real Dave. I can tell when Paul sounds like Paul though. I think Bill and Mike both contributed to the album too, although I’m not quite sure what ended up on the final version.
It is an ambitious and thrilling and emotional record, and I am proud to have even the tiniest association with it. You can buy the record from Moshi Moshi and you definitely should.