LEVELHEADED is pleased to present the online US tour diary of DJ Vadim's Russian Percussion Crew. Check this page every week during the entirety of the US tour for a new entry.

Week 1: 02.12.03 - 02.21.03
Week 2: 02.21.03 - 02.27.03
Week 3: 02.27.03 - 03.06.03
Week 4: 03.06.03 - 03.12.03
Week 5: 03.13.03 - 03.19.03
Week 6: 03.20.03 - 03.26.03
Week 7: 03.27.03 - 04.02.03
Week 8: 04.03.03 - 04.09.03
Week 9:
04.10.03 - 04.16.03


02.27.03 - 03.06.03

This is the tour Diary of Vadim, Yarah Bravo, First Rate & Gez. Location: USA

Welcome to the 3rd installment of our weekly diary during our US tour. This time around we all get ill - and I'm not just talking musically but physically!

Thursday, February 27th - Orlando, FL

Dear Diary,

We had a long ass drive from Atlanta to get to Orlando—10 hours to be precise—so, by the time we got here we were all very knackered. Anyway, we were welcomed by beautiful weather—25c.—an amazing hotel, delicious food and a packed crowd. Plus, it was my Birthday! I wasn't expecting anything special, since for the last 5 years I haven't really been able to celebrate my birthday cause I'm always working. But in the middle of the show, Yarah disappeared, I got a bit nervous, 'cause sometimes she just vanishes. I don't know how she does it, I think she has one of those magic robes like in Harry Potter. She came back after a few minutes though, with a BIG cake with 30 candles. And Gez came up on the stage with champagne. First Rate started singing in his microphone and the whole crowd joined in. I was red like a tomato!! It was a great surprise. The show was allright, more of a dance crowd then a listening crowd, but it was cool to come here. (The land of the great Mickey Mouse - he didn't come to the show though, nor did any of the other Disney creatures.... Suckers...)

Saturday, February 28th - Tallahassee, FL

I played here like 5 years ago with the Herbaliser but i wasn't too sure what to expect. The venue was quite big so we were a little worried it was going to be wack. Not so many people came through—perhaps 100—but they made a helluva lot of noise. And some people even came from Orlando and Alabama. Plus, Firstrate met some nice young lady who showed him some local delights! Her and her friends put him in the back of their truck, put the lid on and drove really fast over bumps...He just laughed in his drunken state.

Friday, March 1st - New Orleans, LA

Mardi Gras!! We didn't know what to expect, all we heard about Mardi Gras, was that girls are suppose to flash their tits and the guys will throw them cheap plastic beads?! That's silly...Is that suppose to be culture? Well it was mental, it was so many people out on the streets. And to us it seemed like this carnival was more about the police and their show of strength than the people. It wasn't the sort of vibe that we were expecting from a historic jazz city, famous for it's delicious Cajun food and party vibes. Well, we were doing a big venue located on the main street of the carnival. It was like a massive rave. Dj Craze, Adam F, Doc Martin, Diesel Boy were performing too. And it actually turned out to be quite a good party. With Yarah hosting a nice open mic session with local MC's..

Sunday, March 3rd - Houston, TX

On the way to Houston, we stopped in what we call "the middle of no where" to get some food at this incredible Cajun place that we stumbled upon last year. Unfortunately, it was closed, and we were starving and the only thing in sight, was an all-American, all-you-can-eat sort of restaurant. We went in—something that we still regret. We stuffed our selves silly...and we all felt unwell the rest of the day (It was very similar to a scene from the Nutty Professor when they go wild in a diner!!!) We played in Houston last year, it was one of the best shows of our last American tour; it was incredible. So, we were really looking forward to coming back here. Cee plus and Sampleistic hooked up the show and they also opened for us. They are really cool cats and once again the show was off the hook. The place was packed, and most the people that came to the last show came through again. So it was a friendly atmosphere. it was great.

Monday, March 4th - Austin, TX

I woke up with a bad cold, its been brewing for a few days. First rate was first to catch it and has been nice to spread the love to the rest of the crew. On our way to Austin we went via a huge outlet complex outside San Antonio where Gez went bananas in the Adidas store, buying everything he saw! I was sitting in the van feeling unwell, Yarah and First Rate were trying to find a Pharmacy, with no luck and we were waiting for Gez to come back to sanity. When we rolled into Austin we had to do an in-store at Waterloo records. I was feeling really sick but you know I can never be too sick to buy more vinyl. Yarah bought a few records too, which made me feel less guilty that I'm the only one filling our small tour van with records. Anyway the Austin show was amazing. I think it's something in the water here that makes people go wild... Firsrate and Yarah got a bit drunk and started breakdancing. When we were packing up, and loading the gear into the van, we noticed that one side of Firstrate's face was really swollen. He was in a lot of pain...

Tuesday, March 5th - Austin - Day Off

When we woke up the next day we saw that Firstrate's face was even more swollen, he looked like a pink little pig. We tried to get him to the doctor. But the insurance he got at Tesco's (UK's leading superstore) before he left was just bollocks. We managed to get an appointment at a dentist the next day though. On our days off we normally don't have enough strength to do anything but Chill. So that's what we did, we saw a couple of movies (8 mile, The Ring, American History X) ...saw a bit of brainwashing-war-propoganda news and slept. In the evening we went out to get something to eat. We all wanted to eat different things, I wanted Cajun, Yarah wanted sushi etc... Well, we couldn't make up our minds and when we finally decided what to eat all the restaurants were closed. We just sat there hungry and frustrated...and the laaast thing we wanted to eat was "fast food" and now those were the only places that were still open... grrr.. You see, we're trying to eat healthy, cause it's really easy to put on a lot of weight when you're on the road. You end up munching on things all the time. So now we have restricted ourselves to baked potatoes and when we have the munchies, we eat baby carrots. I think that's what we all pretend to do when we're in each others presence. But when we're by ourselves we have a chocolate-bars and crisps hehe. Well I know i do....sssshhh

Wednesday, March 6th - Denton, TX ( close to Dallas )

Gez and Firsrate woke up at seven in the morning to take Firstrate to the dentist. It turned out that he had an inflammation in the gums, and the dentist wanted to pull out his wisdom teeth. Firsrate panicked!! To pull out a tooth is one of the most painful things and for the people who have seen Firstrate do his DJ routine you'll know that he uses his mouth. So pulling out the teeth was a No No. Instead he received a lot of different pain killers which prohibits him from drinking alcohol. Yeah yeah, do you think that will work??

Well we drove to Denton! What can we say. We never ever heard of this place before - a college town on the outskirts of Dallas. But this has been so far one of the best shows along with Austin, Charlotte and Chapel Hill. It's a pretty hard call cause all the shows have been pretty good but this one really was brilliant. And the people at the end of the show went bananas and bought all the merchandise we had! yihaa!

After the show me and Yarah went to Rerogs house for an afterparty/record listening party. Rerog (he was spinning before us) is a DJ with a wicked record collection who was up for doing some trades and swaps...word! Him and his friend had a pick up truck, and we wanted to sit at the back in the open air. So we got comfortable, and as he started the engine we all fell to the floor and rolled around like headless chickens. They had said they just lived two blocks away, that was obviously a lie!!! We were freezing our butts off in the arctic temperature at 4am for like 30 minutes in the back of their truck. we still managed to film it all, though it did shake A LOT. It was fun!

We're signing out...'Til next week folks
— Vadim & the team...







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