“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Spring 2024 Tour: Entry #7

By Sam Hill

Austin is the city we are all the most excited about and it did not disappoint. It is the capital city of Texas and home to the largest capitol building in the U.S. Yes, it is even bigger than the U.S Capitol in Washington, D.C; the Texans made sure of that. I was told that there are two queues to get in to the Texas Capitol: one if you want to bring your gun in and one if you don’t. But when I went, I’m not sure I saw any evidence of this, so it could be apocryphal. The Capitol building itself is very interesting. Portraits of former Governors, such as George Bush, deck the walls and the chamber has huge paintings of Alamo and San Jacinto (two key battles in Texas’ war with Mexico) hanging at the back.

Austin certainly has a huge amount to offer, but perhaps the main reason we are all excited is that three of our partners are coming to join us. Touring is a wonderful way to live, but if there is a downside it’s missing the people back home. It was an utter joy to be joined by Juliette, Sarah and George for the week. We all got on rather well. In fact, so well that we finished our trip with a drunken game of darts, which I lost… the least said about that the better.

Austin is famous for two things: food and music. My first food stop was to, not one, but two, taco places. The first was a Tex-Mex joint and the second a humble food truck. The humble food truck won hands down. We also went to Micklethwait’s BBQ. The most famous BBQ joint in Austin is Franklin’s but people get in line at 7:00 am to queue for a late lunch. We felt we simply did not have the time to commit to a five hour wait, even though part of me wanted to. It must be good, right? To queue more than 5 hours for? But then again, surely anything would taste good after queuing for 5 hours? You must be starving. Micklethwait’s had no queue and we sat outside in the marvelous Texan sun devouring brisket, sausage, slaw and ribs, absolute heaven.

A real highlight of the week was going to C-Boy’s bar to hear some live music. Austin refers to itself as the live music capital of the world. I expect Nashville would have something to say about that but, hey what do I know.

C-Boy’s is essentially exactly what you imagine a dive bar in Texas to look like. It is small, dark, a neon sign hangs outside and you open what looks like a barn door to get inside. They serve beer and whisky and there is a small stage at the back where the acts play. We saw a funk band to begin with, which we all enjoyed and then a band called Pelvis Wrestley. Firstly, what a name, and secondly, they were superb! It’s hard to pin their music to a particular genre but I would hazard a guess at Country/Alternative/ Punk. They had some absolute bangers and I would highly recommend.

Of all the weeks we’ve had, this week went by the fastest. If we weren’t teaching or doing a show, we were out and about exploring everything that Austin has to offer. It was a truly fantastic week and one I will remember for the rest of my life. I was almost sad to leave, but can anyone be sad when their next stop is California? And not just anywhere in California: LA. Yes, that’s right, we’re off to Hollywood.