William DuVall can do a pretty effective New York accent.
And anyone who’s seen the AIC 23 documentary knows that he also does a pretty solid Jamaican accent.
What does that have to do with Leeds?
Nothing, really, except that it ties in to the fact that Sean Kinney also likes to adopt an accent from time to time, and seeing as how we’re in Great Britain, he’s been breaking out his British accent since we arrived.
Unfortunately, his British accent is terrible.
He refers to it as his “Chimney Sweep”, and it’s an exaggerated and fairly inaccurate take on a cockney accent.
He’s aware that his British accent is awful, but he can’t help himself.
And things become truly cringe-worthy when he uncorks it around the local population, which he’s done a few times since we’ve been here.
After suffering through a few days of jet lag and rehearsal days and intermittent sprinklings of Sean’s chimney sweep, it was show day in Leeds.
The O2 Academy in Leeds has a balcony area outside of the dressing rooms, and since the venue was pretty hot leading up to showtime, Jerry decided to get some fresh air out on the balcony about an hour before the show.
It wasn’t long before he was spotted, and he waved for a while to the fans in line below, before he popped back inside.
Then he reappeared and asked me to grab him some guitar picks, which I did, and he began tossing a few down to the fans gathered below.
Sounds pretty cool right?
That’s about the time I turned to our production coordinator and said, “He’s gonna float one out into the street and someone’s going to get hit by a car”.
Fast forward 90 seconds, and Jerry lets one fly that gets a little wind under it, sails over a guy’s head into the street, and my prediction nearly becomes reality.
Fortunately there were no fatalities, and everyone down in line lived to see the show.
And that’s where things really got good, because Leeds was on fire.
The crowd was absolutely manic, which in turn ramped up the band, who played and sounded as good as I’ve heard them in a while.
Speaking of hearing them, I had a hard time doing it because the crowd was singing along to everything, even drowning out William & Jerry at times.
It was amazing.
There are plenty of potential issues that can arise when an American band starts a tour overseas.
There can be a little rustiness after nearly a month off, there can be jet lag, there can be gear issues, there can be all sorts of things that can make show #1 a potential disaster.
But things were beyond great, and Leeds turned out to be the perfect start to this leg of the tour.
Mike even stepped up to the microphone at the end of the night and complimented everyone on being the best audience the band has seen in a while.
Thankfully Sean kept his mouth shut, because if he had grabbed the mic, he probably would have slipped into his chimney sweep accent and ruined everything.