Friday, 6th May 2011 in US Tour 2011.
A longish drive down to Washington DC, stopping at a service area to find fresh fruit, sandwiches and good coffee. Things are looking up. The gig was at Jammin Java in Vienna, but Bob Bollen from NPR had asked Neil to do one of his Tiny Desk Concerts earlier in the day. We really didn’t know what to expect, but turned up at a large open-plan office within the radio station. Bob’s guests play two or three songs in front of the employees, which are videotaped and recorded and then sent out all over the USA. They were really nice people – was a bit odd but a lovely idea. Neil played ‘Democracy’, ‘Urban Spaceman’ and ‘I Must Be in Love’. Then off to the Crowne Plaza at Tysons Corner where we had lunch and a snooze before getting to Jammin Java. It’s a small Tiny Desk Concertvenue but with a great reputation for good music. Here Neil had to do a straight 90 minute set rather than 2 x 45 minutes sets he prefers. I think 90 minutes is quite a long time for people to be sitting listening, but there were lots of Neil’s fans who we recognised from the last time he played there two years ago, and there was a long queue to chat to and sign CDs for at the end. A friend from England, Josh Nall, who was doing part of his PHD in Washington, came along having walked for 40 minutes from the station to get there. T’was then I came to know that Washington is called the ‘walking city’. I always try to walk wherever we get to but it’s not easy. I can see the shops from the hotel but there always seem to be either swamps or piles of rubbish or maniac drivers between me and them. In Washington there are sidewalks and they are apparently used, although, I have to say, I didn’t see many people using them.