You know you’ve spent a lot of time in a foreign city when you spend two days off in that city mostly cooped up at your lodging. For better or worse, this was the band’s reaction to London. We burrowed away in our familiar Hoxton digs, a place called Esther’s Loft, and spent a lot of time on the couch, having MacBook parties, watching old VHS versions of Star Wars and Blade Runner, playing a ridiculously tiny version of Travel Monopoly, and afterwards, studying Monopoly strategy via the internet.
We did manage to break out of our homebody inclinations for a moment, though. On the first full day, Top Man let each member of our band buy £100 worth of stuff at their store. Despite how we soured them after our first shopping spree (Darwin pragmatically bought £100 worth of nothing but underwear, Top Man brings this up every time we speak with them), Darwin regained the confidence of the clothing brand by wearing a Top Man trenchcoat on the cover of NME. This time around, Darwin was drawn to a mature looking pair of suspenders. He hooked them onto his trousers, his hair tucked into his hat, and gave us a serious look. “I’m a man, now,” he declared.
On day two of London downtime, we journeyed to the Brazilian Embassy to untangle the ample red tape involved in their work visa process. Darwin and my passport books are nearly stamped to capacity, and consequently, we must make another hustled visit to the American and Brazilian embassies between shows on Monday.
We dashed from the embassy to the offices of the UK Guardian, where we taped a video performance of DNA for an internet series of theirs. On a nearby bulletin board, a newspaper clipping showed a giant photo of Cee Lo recently playing in the same room in which we were set up. It seems the office was excited to have hosted Cee Lo, as we were likewise excited to be following in his footsteps.
One of the two people working the video cameras was a girl who bore a striking resemblance to my ex-girlfriend. “L” “E” “A” “H” Darwin spelled to me using hand signals between takes. When the bright lights were on and she was obscured in the shadows, the discrepancies between the two girls vanished. She even distractedly played with her long, dark hair in a similar manner. It was kind of driving me crazy. After the performance, I requested a photo with the camerawoman, which she politely obliged to. Creepy?