Compiled by Terry Kilburn
Tour Diary of Guy Fletcher: 6th September 2019 – Sugar Land TX
Sugar Land is known as an ‘edge’ city, set on the outskirts of Houston, the original Sugar plantations were consolidated into ‘Imperial Sugar’ in 1908 and the area remains the home to its headquarters. As we know, Sugar has certainly been used extensively in all commercial foodstuffs, none more so than here in the US. The sweet success of Sugar is well documented. No other substance occupies so much of the world’s land, for so little benefit to humanity.
Up until 1901, Texas was happily going about its business, land being fought over, French and Spanish both having a crack at ruling, becoming annexed into the US in 1845…then oil was discovered and the resulting oil boom transformed the state. The growth since then has been astronomic and the wealth is clearly visible in most areas. It’s great to be back here and our entry into the Lone Star state began with a day off. The nickname ‘Lone Star State’ signifies its former status as an independent republic, and serves as a reminder of the state’s struggle for independence from Mexico. The weather here is hot. Daily temperatures at this time of year are in the upper 90’s and air conditioning is everywhere we go. I suppose you get used to it, but the temperature differences from outside to in are extreme. The Hotel Emma is a gem, the beautifully re-purposed set of buildings once comprised a 19th-century brewhouse known as the Pearl Brewery. Much of the original machinery and artefacts were salvaged and are exhibited around the hotel. The outdoor pool is perfect and the gym is ideal. With Peloton bike, naturally.
Going out to dinner seemed to be a no-brainer for all as there was a Mexican street food restaurant across the way called La Gloria. Everyone ended up there at some point, except Glenn and Mark who went to have dinner with a well known country singer friend of Glenn’s just outside town. The Margaritas were unexpectedly pokey and it caught a few of us out. The resultant mild hangover on show day was an annoyance.
Arriving into Sugar Land on the outskirts of Houston, we were driven to the venue, a brand new beautifully designed theatre. Opened in January 2017, this is possibly the best new theatre venue we’ve encountered. The crew were extremely happy as all 4 trucks could be attached to the loading bays simultaneously making load in, and out, a doddle. The venue staff were lovely, the catering, great, dressing rooms, superb and the hall sounded fabulous AND we could use our own PA. All in all we were set for a great night.
Rarely do we take to the stage on time these days. So many people arrive late, that combined with stringent security checking at venues these days means we usually hold for 10 minutes. This evening we held for 20. There were still plenty of folks winding their way to their seats when we kicked off but with everything ticking over beautifully, we had a great night. Texan audiences are loud and passionate. Their renowned, ‘Southern hospitality’ extends to welcoming us onto the stage. They don’t hold back.
Guy Fletcher’s full Tour Diary, including photos and more tour diary entries, can be found here.