USA Tour 2013

  • Groundblog Day, Episode V: The Elgar Strikes Bach

    Wednesday 11th – Thursday 12th

    We awoke early (as was becoming the norm) and hopped in the cars for the short drive to the British School in Washington. It quickly dawned on us that this was to be an uncomfortably hot day, and that maximising time spent in air-conditioned buildings was vitally important.

    Continue reading “Groundblog Day, Episode V: The Elgar Strikes Bach” »

  • Reservoir Blogs: Episode IV: (In Need Of) A New Joke

    Tuesday 10th

    A 5am start this morning woke us up with a jolt, though Zain, Ayman and Conrad were still feeling the effects of the Ursinus gig after-party, lying in a deep, profound sleep, and so were almost left behind. Finally after all 14 groggy members of the group had finally made it to the cars we set off on the 3h drive to Rockville to sing at the Richard Montgomery High School. I hit the steering wheel of Jerome (our silver 7 seat Chrysler) with Maggie as the navigator while all the rest of the guys in the back passed out within 5 minutes of setting off. Continue reading “Reservoir Blogs: Episode IV: (In Need Of) A New Joke” »

  • BLOG DIAMOND: Episode 3: Revenge of the Sixth Chord

    Sunday 8th-Monday 9th

    The Techtonics enjoyed a lazy Sunday morning. Having woken up on the top floor of the Derby Haus we slowly pulled ourselves together, loaded up the cars and waited outside to leave whilst James fantasized over fruit. We walked into Providence with the Derby’s who took us to Chipotle for the first burrito of tour which we greedily ate on a lawn on Brown’s campus.

    I’ll take this chance to thank our friends the Brown Derbys who were awesome hosts, as ever, and showed us such a great time while we were in Providence, you guys are awesome.

    So having said our goodbyes to the Derbys we left in the cars for a long four and a half hour drive to Philly. Half way through the drive our accommodation for the evening fell through so we had to book another last-minute hostel for the group. We ended up booking beds at Chamounix Mansion, an amazing old house just outside Philadelphia which Zain was convinced was haunted. When the first car  arrived we managed to catch the last 20 mins of Breaking Bad before checking in. We gave the concierge a quick rendition of ‘I’m a Believer’ before hitting the hay (check out their facebook page- there are videos of us on there!). Three TTs: Ryan, Maggie and Mike went for a midnight walk through the scary forest and never returned, they are still missing without a trace… The other TTs partook in a reading of some excellent literature before nodding off.

    In the morning, the Techtonics made pancakes! We privateered the kitchen of Chamounix and spent a good hour making a gluttonous volume of pancakes accompanied by Conrad, he can play the honky tonk like anything. We sang again for the staff, including an off the cuff perfomance of Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ and in return they allowed us to use one of the beautiful front rooms as a rehearsal space which the TTs used to learn ‘Let Her Go’ by Passenger.

    Next we headed to a local supermarket for lunch where James was in fruit heaven and proceeded to gorge himself on apples and oranges, as did we all a little to counterbalance the huge amount of fast food we had eaten. We lined ourselves along the benches in front of the store to make ourselves sandwiches and met some lovely people. One friendly couple bought our CD and another stranger offered to buy us all cheese steak sandwiches after a performance of ‘Coney Island Baby’!

    We headed then to Collegeville and Ursinus College to meet our old friend and ex-Imperielle Paige then rehearsed and sound checked for the first mic’d gig of tour. Max got straight down to business as soon as we arrived, frantically trying to overcome compatibility issues of our mic setup with the PA of Ursinus’ venue. Just in the nick of time we managed to get it sorted and hastily checked our EQs before the concert started.

    We were singing alongside two awesome UC groups: The B’Naturals and The Bearitones. The B’Naturals sang first and gave an incredible set, the crowd were going mad! Following them were the Bearitones who as part of their set performed ‘Dear Mr. My Girlfriend likes British Guys’ which was riotously funny and had all of the TTs in tears of laughter and received a well deserved standing ovation from the Brits. Next up was the Techtonics and we loved every single second. Ursinus brought in an awesome crowd and they welcomed us onto the stage screamily, the Techtonics were feeding off the energy of the crowd and we had an incredible time singing for them.

    Once the concert had finished a few Techtonics were grabbed for ‘exclusive’ interviews and once we had regrouped we headed for one of the courtyards in the middle of a dorm. There we partied with the Ursinus groups and tensions between the Techtonics and the B’Naturals grew so high that they were all unleashed in a no holds barred street riff-off. The a cappella groups tore viciously at each others throats with spontaneous performances of ‘The Pokemon Theme’ and ‘Say My Name’ (‘Oom Pah Loom Pah’ from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory may have also made an appearance..). Unfortunately the merriment was brought swiftly to an end due to Conrad attempting to “Twerk it like Miley” and everyone headed eagerly for their beds. Thank you so much to the B’Naturals, the Bearitones, Paige, Red and all our new friends at Ursinus College for giving us such an awesome night.

    -MR

  • BLOG TO THE FUTURE: Episode 2: Attack of the Close Harmony

    Sunday September 8th 2013

    Good morning Providence!  What a fabulous way to start the morning, the sun shining, the birds singing in the trees, and a pile of bedraggled Techtonics lying on the floor. Yes, we’re in Brown, home of the Brown Derbies and some of the best parties in the USA. But let me rewind.

    Yesterday morning (Saturday 7th) we were leaving New Haven, after the great honour of an impromptu performance from Yale Out of the Blue. Our destination? Providence, the Rhode Island home of Brown University, and more excitingly, the inspiration for Quahog, the residence of Family Guy’s Griffin household.

    We arrived at the Derbyhaus at midday and started preparing for our gig; Brown is home to 15 a cappella groups, and it was their annual recruitment event that evening, the “Arch Sings”, where each group took turns to sing a short 15 minute set under the Wayland and Mochamp arches in a bid to get as many freshmen to audition for them as possible. The Techtonics were lucky enough to have the privilege of performing the opening slot, and we then had the even greater privilege of watching all of the other groups sing after us! Highlights include the Higher Keys, Arrrr! (A pirate themed sea shanty singing group), Disney A Capella, and of course, the awesome Brown Derbies. I think it’s safe to say their rendition of “Give me Love” will be stuck in all of our heads for a while to come.

    So after heading back to the Derbyhaus for an awesome party with much beer pong and slap cup, we are up and about and ready to head off to Philadelphia.

    Stay tuned for Episode 3: Revenge of the Sixth Chord, and our next vlog (currently being put together by Max, should be a goodie).

    -CG

  • BLOGS OF STEEL: Episode 1: A Phantom Men’s A Cappella Group

    Are we all here yet?

    So the mixing desk was just too big- in its flight case it weighed 50kg. So that didn’t make it to the states, but I can report that all of the Techtonics now have, and after a whirlwind tour of New York we’ve woken up in New Haven with Yale Out of the Blue.

    Hostel Drama

    A last minute accommodation crisis meant that had to find a hostel for five people for the night. The following is a reconstruction of a phone call:

    “Oo, I don’t know, that’s very last minute…ah, actually here’s something, it’s a hostel right next to where you need to be in the morning. I’ll book you in.”

    But here’s the twist: when the unfortunate hosteleers arrived that night, 5th of September, they found that the booking had been made for 5th September 2014. I’ve seen a video of the soul-searching that followed, (tipped to win multiple academy awards, with an all-star cast; out this summer) and I can only say that I’m glad I wasn’t there to witness the horror. Apparently “benches start to look very attractive” when it’s 6.30am UK time. Anyway, a couple of hours of phone calls later they eventually found a holiday inn!

    Brearley school gig

    We were delighted to be hosted by the Brearley School, Manhattan for a performance to their pupils. As Pete “Noddy” Noden put it: “a good set…a classic set.”

    The rest of the morning was spent exploring central park, stopping for a little rehearsal. There then followed a mad dash around New York before heading to the hire cars (why does it take so long to hire a car!)

    Cars

    We have two cars, names to be confirmed. All I can say is that one has a DVD player, and they are both enormous. Particular credit should go to Chris Pellew for managing to avoid crashing into the back of a car that stopped dead, right in front of him on the freeway, just before a turn off. He also gains extra points for the wheelspin when accelerating away: “there were cars coming up behind us man!” We’re confident we can train him to use toll roads by the end of the tour. “yeah, you have to give them money now Pellew…

    Stay tuned for more updates (and make sure you check out the all new vlog). Tonight we sing with the Brown Derbies at their famous session “the arches”. Ttfn.

    – AM

  • Tour Itinerary

    With just  over 3 days until we leave, all systems are go with last minute preparations. Below is a rough itinerary for our trip so far. We are extremely excited for all of the new friends we’ll be meeting throughout the trip, and the more the better. So, if you are in the same area as us and want to meet up then please get in touch! In fact, even if you are not in the same area, send us an email and we’ll see if we can plan a trip out to see you.

    Excited is such an understatement right now.

  • USA TOUR 2013

    We are extremely proud to announce that The Techtonics will be returning to the USA for an 18 day tour this September! We arrive in New York on September 5th and are departing from Atlanta on September 22nd, visiting many exciting places throughout the East Coast along the way! We’ll be revealing more details of our itinerary over the next 2 weeks, but if you are in the area and interested in meeting us or coming to watch us perform, then please contact us at techtonics@imperial.ac.uk, or via facebook!