Mermaid Overseas: Las Vegas to Phoenix

The soundtrack to a Mermaid making music across three continents.

Where: Las Vegas to Phoenix

When: 10/04/2015 – 14/04/2015

Lesson: Stick with the group

Achievement: Managed to not lose hundreds of dollars in casinos

Lyric: I’m an introverted extrovert

Quote: “This is America”


1. James Blake – The Wilhelm Scream

“I don’t know about my dreaming anymore”

I’ve found one of the most admired current English musicians is James Blake. Of course I brag that he attended the same course as me at Goldsmiths and I lie that we are best mates. The Kiwi lads listened to him a lot during our week and any music lovers I have met adore him too. I have heard his music playing in bars across California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and Colorado. A huge amount of respect for such a talented musician representing the UK across the world (alongwith the lesser Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith)(although I am a sucker for Sam Smith).

He was blasted out at various points in our swanky hotel room in MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. The time spent in the hotel on the first night included gambling and watching little people dress up as Mario and Bon Jovi drinking 16 dollar gin and tonics with Sean, the latest Kiwi addition who lives in Denver. Ross joined later until all four Kiwis and I passed out in a toasty 2 bed set up.

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The days in the gorgeous sunshine were spent eating fast food on the strip and lazing by the pool. Here is me getting my burn on and reading Patti. By the pool I attempted to listen to soothing James Blake but he was drowned out by terrible dance remixes of songs booming over the drunkards.

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2. The Killers – All These Things That I’ve Done

“I got soul but i’m not  soldier”

Saturday night was our big night (despite me wanting a big night every night) and we drank gin among other spirits in our hotel room, playing blackjack and listening to songs including this one. My mind is a fog after the penultimate band photo was taken. I did not actually recall listening to this song but in my phones notes I have scrawled “IvE GiT SOUL BUT I’M bitA SOLDIER”.


My friends in England will be glad to know I have not changed one wee bit in America as I never actually managed to get out of the hotel on our big night. After polishing off my bottle of gin and slurring to some people in the lobby, I somehow managed to find my way back to the room and pass out vertically across the bed. I was absolutely gutted in the morning to discover I had missed out on the strip club and losing hundreds of dollars in the casinos.

3. Fleetwood Mac – Dreams

“Now here I go again, I see the crystal visions. I keep my visions to myself”

I was also gutted that Fleetwood Mac were playing in our hotel that night and if I had managed to stay awake I legitimately could have bumped into my idol, Stevie! I managed to power through the next day by the pool drinking my Margarita slushy and eating, once again, fast food. Not only did we eat a lot of fast food but I somehow managed to choose a shitty option every time I ordered! Piling on the pounds and not even enjoying the reason is not good.

4. Michael Jackson –  I just can’t stop loving you

“My life ain’t worth living if I can’t be with you”

 We watched the Bellagio lights listening to “My Heart Will Go On” and “Viva Las Vegas” and I escaped the strip to the hotel to watch Friends quite early.

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Behind the light display that happens every 15 minutes was one of the many street performers on the strip. I never saw any particularly talented street performers in Vegas but these 2 people were particularly bad. They blasted out Michael Jackson songs whilst standing relatively still dressed vaguely like Wacko Jacko. This track is what I used to sing on my little bluebird bike with stabilizers up and down my drive back in Menston. I would spend hours screaming out every word, most likely  sounding like shrieking with no listener believing I would grow up to be a singer.

The Kiwi lads returned to the room after their final gambling fix and they rose at 5 to leave my side and head to Austin. A group of such genuine, kind and funny fellas who I am going to try my hardest to visit in New Zealand at some point when I am working in Australia.

5. John Mayer – Free Fallin’

“I’m a bad boy ’cause I don’t even miss her, I’m a bad boy for breaking her heart”

Day 4 in Las Vegas and I was crawling the walls. My beautiful Kiwis departed and I escaped to spend the afternoon in the Cinema watching Get Hard as it was the only thing on. Pretty enjoyable and features John Mayer which reminded me of eating delicious Falafel in San Fran with Gol, Logan and Leah and the guy behind me in the queue going crazy because this track was playing.

I got the chance to record some new ideas before checking out the hotel. I wrote about my introverted behaviour during the week and I thought of my song “Calm In My Head”. This track formed after a chef I worked with (another French man) in London kept asking me “why are you so calm all the time Clare? Why are you so calm?” and I told him i wasn’t calm in my head. I don’t feel like people I meet decipher me correctly and this was a prime example. The same chef did proceed to follow me home that night and try force his way into my house, I kept my calm and he did not succeed.

“Never leave a tinnie behind” has been mine and my chums motto for all my drinking years so I gathered all the leftovers from the hotel room before catching a night bus to Phoenix, Arizona. Unusually there were thorough security checks and naive little me did not realize you’re not allowed alcohol on Greyhounds. The guard kept pulling more bottles and tins out of my Mary Poppins bag looking dissapointedly at me saying “Ooh shit, I would never have known. You seem all quiet and shit and you all drinking and shit. Shit”. Oh, the shame.

Quick stop off in Phoenix before heading to Tucson, Arizona…

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