STUSA2016 Blog 17: Pen-Sylvan’s-Ear

The title is a pun. Get it? We went to Pennsylvania, and its a picture of a pen in Sylvan’s ear. Really funny right? Anyway, keeping with the running theme of this tour, we awoke early after our last night in our flat in Hells Kitchen in order to catch our early Greyhound Bus. After a hurried clean we hopped on the bus, which carried us out of the concrete jungle. Feelings were mixed, as this was our last Greyhound of the tour. We had begun to form a strange bond with the buses after spending so much of the last three weeks on them. From the questionable smells to the slippery seats, there are however many aspects of the them that will not be missed. So started our last weekend of tour. In three days we have three gigs in three states before heading home on Monday evening. Fair to say we were expecting to be exhausted by the end of this tour, but this final sprint will certainly make sure of that.

We arrived at our lovely hotel a few hours later in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Our rooms looked on to a giant water park that all of us wished we could visit, if only we were staying longer. A few hours of down time provided a short respite in the day, which myself and Satchit used to familiarise ourselves with American Television. From watching a Trump rally to an extremely flamboyant gameshow (at one point we couldn’t tell the difference) needless to say we were thoroughly entertained. A shuttle took us into town to our venue. As the first full show since Morganton, almost a week and a half ago, there were a couple of songs that needed a bit of touching up in the soundcheck, which was the usual 2 hour mess of getting slightly irate at each other. With a banquet of food to settle our nerves and appease our mammoth appetites, I reluctantly was introduced to the fine sport of Handley, a game more complex than it first seems, which mainly involves slamming a tennis ball at each other. Apparently I was a complete natural, but before I could establish a dominant lead, the members of our supporting act, The Girls Next Door, came out to introduce themselves and we politely decided to socialise before heading inside to warm up and prepare to perform.

Charlie is ready to punch someone

Charlie is ready to punch someone

The show was so much fun. It was great to be performing the full set again. The audience was as warm and friendly as ever and were great to chat to afterwards. A highlight was a man who introduced himself to Ted and I, who had studied at Exeter in the 50s, who thoroughly enjoyed the show, apart from the fact that we weren’t wearing any green. After getting the full rockstar treatment of autographs and group photographs, we found ourselves at a house party hosted by the Girls Next Door. It’s a really great experience being able to socialise with all these different groups, to sing to each other and compare the different University lifestyles we all have. Often we find that the American A Cappella groups are filled with Music majors of some sort, so playing our trump card that none of us at Exeter study music, or couldn’t even if we wanted to, usually gets a shocked reaction.


Not too late into the night he headed for home, wanting to be relatively well rested for a similar schedule the next day, with a bus journey and a gig in the evening. Off to Connecticut.