Et voilá, the first leg of SHOW LOBES is complete.
May we take a moment to thank you for coming, those of you who came? Thank you. Boy, would those shows have sucked without you. Just us up on the stage, empty house except for a bunch of snakes and rats (you probably didn't notice them, the rooms were so nice and full, but it’s an open secret that U.K. venues are experiencing a snake, rat, and (in the case of venues with toilets) eel problem) — depressing! Yes, elephants are known to enjoy music, and many birds, too, and if in heaven we play exclusively to arenas full of elephants and birds, that’ll be just fine, but snakes and rats? Basically unresponsive. (Though they will spend on merch!)
Speaking of merch, we heard lots of positive feedback on the new garments and prognostication tools, and many of you traded at our dry goods stand, and that’s awesome. To paraphrase Patti Harrison in S2:E6 of ITYSL, this merch is how we buy our house — it keeps our house hot. But strong sales at the stand make for a delicate balance between getting in fresh supplies and overloading limited van space with boxes of cloth (and rectangles of paper that tell the future). To ride this balance, we depend heavily on The Count. The Count, you may not know, is a digital document with tallies of the merch we’re carrying, updated after each show using the numbers that our credit card machine, Croesus, promises are true. But this time we kept getting numbers like this:
Take a look at large Smoking Cat shirts. Six shirts available to sell (“in”), 17 sold, leaving us with -11 in the box (“out”) 😵💫. There’s a good and reasonable explanation (our tarot cards, obviously, revealed it to us), but it involves boring talk about spreadsheets and card readers, so let it suffice to say that we were driving through a snow storm of bad data when it came to merch, and if that meant the size or item you were after was out of stock, we apologize. Almost all of what we were selling, including signed lyric sheets and even a couple of set lists, will be available at our online store in the next couple weeks, if you find yourself still fixating on the t-shirt that got away.
Let’s talk for a moment about this, our mutual Slow Descent Into Radness. While on tour we started posting more frequently, which many of you vocally supported. There are also silent sufferers — 43 people unsubscribed in the last couple weeks. That’s not a huge number. We send S.D.I.R. to 9,253 addresses, and less than half that many people actually open the posts. So there are probably a lot of subscribers who gave us their email a long time ago, when they still listened to music, or who have recently sworn off the internet, or reading, or who simply group-delete us along with emails from Facebook, The New York Times, and Coldplay. Eventually many of them should unsubscribe — they’ll feel better. We don’t want to be part of anyone’s digital clutter! (A reminder that you can change your Substack settings to drastically thin the email herd we send your way — we explain how, with diagrams, in this post.)
Meanwhile, we will continue to blog. Not daily (at least not while we’re home), but 2-3 times a week looks sustainable. If that’s something you’re into, we have two requests:
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Quick notes on some recent posts: bowing to popular outcry after the publication of "Dinner?”, we added close-up pics of the celebrity wall at Mogal-E-Azam; now, importantly, you can try to name every face. And if you feel like you were left hanging after our Taco Bell post, don’t worry: a(t least one) sequel is coming. We’re just waiting for all three of us to be back in NYC (KM is still in London) so we can get our hands (and mouths) dirty, and bring you something based more in cold fact than in speculation and hearsay.
“Two to three posts a week sounds good,” you’re thinking, “so why haven't I heard a peep from this website since the tour ended?” It’s a fair question, and to those who were enjoying our semi-daily tour posts, we apologize for the sudden dry spell — (to those irritated by our semi-daily posts, we apologize for the end of the dry spell). Honestly, the last 24 hours of tour was a great big emotional fireball that left us needing some lights-off time. We lost a beloved friend of the band the night before the London show, and it put us in a tailspin. He was a dude who loved music and W.A.S., so in some ways getting on stage was the best thing we could have done Friday — it was both cathartic and devastating to play that last show with him in our heads, and to feel like we were playing it in his honor. It felt right to honor him, but it didn’t feel “good.” Good would have been having him there.
We intend to write about this kind brother and the adventures we had with him over the years, because he’d want you to hear the tales, and because he’ll make a great, funny, handsome protagonist. But we’re not ready to do that yet.
So… help us out. Drop a question in the comments. What do you want this newspaper to tackle before we get back on the road later this month? Remember: there’s no such thing as a stupid question, but still, think about it for a minute before you start typing.
Your favorite celebrity news team (as in “we are celebrities,” not “we cover celebrities”),
Chris & Keith
Just wanted to say I am so sorry for your loss. It was a really heartfelt tribute you made to your friend on stage at KOKO, I’m sure he would’ve loved it so much.
I can’t believe you guys know the pain of (what myself and others in the business of fashion retail) refer to as “negative on hands” and stock discrepancies. But on the topic of apparel, I have to agree the new merch is excellent. That sweatshirt has become a regular feature of many a recent OOTD (outfit of the day), spreading the good word of Lobes through the streets of East London.
Actually on that note, the bands sartorial choices have sparked a recent topic of discussion over on the discord. Like, is there truly anyone in this world who loves a white v neck tee more than Keith M? Whatever happened to Keith C’s functional neckerchief era? And have you guys ever in the past worked with or been dressed by a stylist? (I used to work for one who dressed bands years ago, but found it strange, fascinating and probably not very rock ‘n’ roll being in that business of figuring out a band’s image and buying their jeans for tour!)
Hope you’re having a great break ahead of Europe! Take care x
I’m also sort of intrigued by the economics of touring and how that looks. Do you all split a big pot of money and then live off that for a year like fishermen?