Today is the day when Jules and the kids arrive in to the USA.
The wait is almost over. James and I grab some breakfast in South Congress and are joined by Richard Rees. Richard is the man Jules turned to when I couldn’t get insurance to travel to SXSW in 2006 when the ‘Under Attack’ album was being released. Richard introduced Jules to James Chippendale via email and so our relationship began. It’s great to see Richard again, we have many memories of past SXSW (“South by” as they say around here), adventures and it was Richard who got The Alarm involved in iTunes back when it was a fledgling service and we sat in on a SXSW lecture hosted by Apple’s Alex Luke (who turned out to be a big Alarm fan).
After brunch we head back to James place and continue our talks about all things LHS. I get a text message from Jules and the kids that they have landed in NYC and are ready to make the connection to Austin. So close. James and I have lots to discuss and the day speeds by. We are getting ready to head for the Belmont show when a text comes through that Jules and the kids have had to deplane because of a mechanical failure and that they will not arrive until 10 o’clock which is the time I’m due on stage with Big Country. So close not close enough.
James and I head for the venue and it’s seriously hot even this late in the evening and the Belmont just happens to be an open air stage. I resolve myself to the fact that I will have to wait until after the show to see Jules and the boys and James heads off to the airport to pick them up and seeing as it’s late take them straight to his house.
The intro tape sounds across the PA and I’m on stage and singing to a fantastic audience who get right behind the band. It’s a great setting for a gig with the night full of stars and the hi rise financial centre buildings dominating the skyline. I end up in the crowd during ‘In A Big Country’ and as I’m making my way back to the stage I spot Jules waving from the balcony. My heart skips a beat and there are my boys too. It’s so emotional and strange to finally see my family whilst I’m on stage and unable to run to them.
The song is soon over and I’m up on the balcony and we are a family reunited. The boys are excited to be in the USA and Evan wants to go and see the stage and help the crew take down the equipment. Dylan comes with me to the donor booth and helps out and joins me in most of the photos with the fans.
At the end of the show we all pile into the Chippendale mobile and head to his place for sleep safe in the knowledge that we are all together again.
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