In an area of that country that is replete with great little towns, Northampton stands out as one of the jewels. This place has the aesthetic of a town built by hippies with cash. There are lots of local cafes all serving excellent coffee and food that is locally sourced, organically grown, etc, etc; one of my favourite second hand book stores (The Raven) is in this town; there are a couple of very good ice cream parlours; there are a few excellent record shops; lots of locally owned retail; some of the nicest bars and restaurants that you’ll ever find in a town this small; and, most importantly, huge dollops of Tolerance. There are also more music venues than most cities five times as big. It helps that it is surrounded by tens of thousands of college students and that the prestigious Smith College is located in the city’s environs. It’s a great town.
Our regular haunt in Northampton is The Iron Horse Music Hall. We have played here many, many, many times. It’s not the greatest place to play a gig; the stage is too small; the dressing rooms are haunted and depressing and there is basically no PA. But we return because of the town and the locals who are keen to hear us play and the staff at the bar are usually friendly and helpful and young and good-looking. This place always makes for an interesting show and tonight we had just that, an interesting show. It was about as sloppy as we have been in a long while (especially me), but there were some true highlights (like Me and The Devil)….and we had fun. Tonight I fell in love with a mannequin….sure, it’s all a little Twilight Zone-ish, but it’s the road and its Northampton and weirder things have happened around here, I’m sure.