Following the bus trip from HCMC to Phnom Penh, we settled in for two days of practice before the first gig. Leading up to the tour, I’d arranged a practice every few weeks with John and Walter after work which typically went for maybe 3 hours. As we only had two days of practice with the whole band, we had to cram in as much as possible, which meant 7 hours of full on singing for two days straight. After the first night, most of the boys went out for a “jam night” at the Memphis pub. I would have gone but I know this tour is going to take a lot out of me, and so hung back. My hanging back with Kayla also meant Karen could go out, so she joined the rest of the guys. From all reports it was a great night.
So the next morning brought a couple of sore heads to the practice room for another 7 hour session. We covered everything and had half a day to work on show format. Patrick was very focused on nailing the songs marked for the album, whereas I was more concerned with getting the structure right for the live shows. This caused a little conflict, but Patrick and I tend to bump heads occasionally anyway; it’s nothing personal, we just have two differing approaches on how to do things. The band would be a whole lot poorer without his passion. Peter, as always, came in as the peacemaker and we sorted it out, covering both sides in the remaining half day.
That night we did some filming for one of the clips, which involved hiring 3 Tuk Tuks for an hour and driving around the streets of Phnom Penh just filming everything. After that we headed up to Sharky Bar for a drink (in full band dress) where we were actually recognized by a few patrons (plus the local ‘professional’ ladies in the bar) from last year. You know you’re on the way to rock stardom when the pro’s recognize you!