Lowlakes Tour Diary Part Three

19 October 2012 | 2:49 pm | Lowlakes

Stuck in traffic right next to Gwyneth Paltrow, playing with Cold War fighter planes, the US Enterprise spacecraft and a Cold War-era submarine are just some of the highlights in part three of Lowlakes' tour diary.

We played our first show in NYC! It was at a dive venue called Parkside Lounge on the Lower East Side, and although there wasn't any reverb on the house PA, the show was a hoot.  We were really excited to be playing outside of our home country for the first time, even though most of the audience appeared to be Australian. That was Scary!

Playing live at Parkside Lounge in NYC's Lower East – our first show outside Aus.

Speaking of scary, after our show we went to a small bar called Klimat to see Jack Ladder and Big Scary play a showcase. Jack Ladder performed without the Dreamlanders but was really entertaining to watch, and Big Scary were captivating. Their warm melodies and groovy rhythms made all the more cooler by the intimate basement space.

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We hung around for a bit and got friendly with some more locals, had a few drinks with the guys from RUFUS and with Tom and Jo from Big Scary, and then in the early hours of the morning gorged ourselves at a 24-hour diner where everything was served with chips and mayonnaise.

Pre-show rehearsal at our apartment.

Of course, what would a trip to NY be without doing a bit of tourist stuff?

We checked out the Intrepid – a retired US aircraft carrier – which has been turned into a museum. It exhibits a bunch of awesome Cold War fighter planes, the US Enterprise spacecraft and a Cold War-era submarine called the Growler, which we got to explore. Apart from having to pay excessive entry fees, which clearly suck in tourists eager to explore part of the US's detailed military history, it was all pretty cool. But probably not as cool as the WWII fighter jet simulator we got to fly in. Yeah, learning about American history and blowing up Japanese WWII war ships in a US Hellcat – all in a day's work for Lowlakes. There was also a bit of a bomb scare outside our apartment yesterday morning, so you can add watching loads of cops run around together to that list too…

Jack and Bill entering the space shuttle at the Intrepid Museum.

Tom and Bill manning the guns aboard Intrepid.

Richmond footballer and friend of the band, Dan Jackson is in NYC at the moment too, and after coming along to the show last night, today took us around to some of his favourite spots. Aside from being stuck in traffic right next to Gwyneth Paltrow(!!!), who had her window down and was in the clear view of Tom, Bill and Dan – literally 1.5 metres from their disbelieving gaze – the highlight was Highline, which is an old unused railway track that's been tuned into an elevated garden in the middle of the city. There are wooden lounge chairs dotted along the path that traverses the garden and other really inspired urban design, including a footpath covered with running water. But it only wets the soles of your shoes – or maybe it's not actually a footpath? Either way, we thought it was sweet.

Jack obscuring the view of an amazing art installation at Highline.

The next show we play is the Aussie BBQ showcase on the 20th. We've been told it's a great event and there are some awesome Aussie bands performing there too. The festival finishes on Saturday 20 October, so that'll be the last CMJ show we'll play, although we have another gig on the Monday 22 at a place called Pianos, so the fun will continue for Lowlakes after CMJ.

…Should have said something to Gwyneth Paltrow. Darn it. Majorly messed that up.

Tom in front of the enterprise.