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Steve Lamacq

John Peel

Wed 14 March: Stuck in Dallas, missing John Peel

So last night, unexpectedly, I ended up standing on the grassy knoll in Dallas at the scene of Kennedy's assassination.

And like just about nothing else in America, it's a lot smaller than you think. But you can understand the conspiracy theories. Just where did the fatal shot come from - the knoll or one of the two office blocks which look down on it. I remember my old colleague John Peel telling me how he was there the day the president died.

I wish Peelie was here now. He'd love SXSW. Mind you he'd hate the travelling. Much like cucumber riata, there is something about the round trip to Texas which doesn't agree with me. Last year we couldn't get out of Dallas Airport because of the atrocious storms. This year, we couldn't even get IN.

So the SXSW experience started with our flight being held in a circling pattern until it nearly ran out of fuel, at which point the captain headed for salvation. By the time we touched down in Dallas itself, our connection to Austin had been cancelled and that was how our little party got stranded in an US version of a travel lodge for the night.

Making the best of things we took a couple of taxis into town (town? Parts of Dallas look like they were part of the backdrop for Judge Dread!) And then this morning we hired a small (school-like) bus to get us the remaining three and a half hours by road to Austin.

But it's certainly not just the BBC party who've had a difficult journey. I've just bumped into the atmospheric Leeds band I Like Trains...well, two of them, who were waiting in a bar for news of the remaining members of their troupe, who are still en route. At the time of writing this, they've got about five hours until they're due on stage. I hope they make it.

Trains are one of a number of interesting prospects - including Japanese outfit KIIIIII who we played on last week's show, To Live & Die In LA, X-Wife and Brooklyn's A Place To Bury Strangers. Not sure how many of these we'll get to see - lots of the stage times clash and there's a couple of Beggars Banquet showcases I'd like to get to as well - but we'll report back tomorrow.



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