My First Tour
The shows so far
1st – Start The Bus in Bristol
2nd – The Grapes in Sheffield
3rd – Old Blue Last in London
4th – The Assembly in Leamington Spa
5th – The Playhouse in Cheltenham
6th – Resident Instore (afternoon) and (evening) Digital in Brighton
9th – Cockpit 3 in Leeds
10th – The Duchess in York
11th – The Welly Club In Hull
12th – Xscape in Castleford
13th – Photoshoot in Leeds
14th – Pure Groove Instore in London
16th – BBC 6 Music – George Lamb Session (morning); New Slang @ McClusky’s in Kingston
17th – The Regal in Oxford
18th – Moshi’s Tenth Birthday Party @ Matter in London
22nd – I Fly Spitfires @ Sneaky Pete’s in Edinburgh
23rd – The Tunnels 2 in Aberdeen
24th – Deaf By Stereo @ Met Lounge in Peterborough
25th – Fuzztival @ Sheffield University Student Union and then Stealth in Nottingham
Now. Firstly I must confess a show was cancelled from this leg of the tour. The Other Rooms in Newcastle on the 21st. Apologies for those that were going to attend. It was beyond my control.
It was unfortunate but I can’t say it was badly timed. For during the day after my Matter gig I went to move the car and the Madame was not starting. So i called the AA who managed to start her and directed me to the nearest garage. The old lady needed her Glow Plugs changed (as women of her advanced years often do). The garage quickly turned the job round and as i drove Madame back to her parking place ready for the journey to the north; I was happy.
The 21st came and we were about to set off for Edinburgh. Hurray!..or so I thought. Imagine my shock as I soon realised there was a distinct lack of life coming from the direction of Madame Ananas…
Madame Ananas elle est morte!
After the grieving process and a brief moment of hesitation regarding the newly fitted disco ball. We hot footed it to Europcar. Where a shiny new Toyota was waiting for us. I shall now refer to it as the Moshi Mobile. (NB: en route I was recognised by a random for the first time…officially)
So. restarting the journey in a different car was somewhat emotional to say the least, but we pushed on. Up to Edinburgh – “Home of the Scottish (and it’s little known export)…Cold Weather.”
I have to say that our time in Edinburgh was fantastic. The crowd were brilliant. There were even some fans who’d come from Glasgow to see me. Plus we had the pleasure of witnessing one of the best bands I’ve seen this tour…damn it…this year! Withered Hand was their name. If you get a chance, purchase their ep Religious Songs. Even if it’s just for the line “I beat myself off when I sleep on your futon.”
We stayed with some friends that night and got up early to take in the sights on the journey to Aberdeen. Including rolling hills, power stations by the sea and Lindisfarne Service Station. What a beauty!
The gig was at a highly regarded Aberdeen venue called The Tunnels. Not named for it’s presence above ground as anyone trying to get there with Sat Nav will find out. The venue is situated below the city streets and can only be reached through a series of perplexing one way routes.
The gig went well until my voice decided to break like a pensioners hip . I literally couldn’t sing. Luckily it was two songs from the end of the set, so i bowed out gracefully. Well as gracefully as one can when they sound like a pubescent choir boy.
With the gig over, now came the serious fun. Driving down from Aberdeen to Peterborough for my next gig. Wisely, we decided to drive to Edinburgh during the night. This part of the journey was done by christiaan. The morning shift was taken by me and we ended up arriving just in time for load in down at Peterborough’s Met Lounge (load in for any non gigging musicians is as it sounds…you load in your equipment.)
This was a nervous time for me as I was having some problems even singing, let alone reaching some of the higher notes…mainly the chorus to This Sweet Love and the No Surprise verses. I decided after a shaky soundcheck to bust it down to Asda and raid their cough syrup section. I got myself some chewable vitamin c tablets, benedryl liquid joy and some menthol lemsips (which are genius by the way) although make sure you close your eyes as you sip as it tends to sting. I couldn’t resist buying a big tub of pineapple on my way to the till as I’d heard that it’s one of the best things for clearing mucus etc. (don’t ask me what the etcetera is!)
The gig was alright…I must say I didn’t sing well…but the sound was fantastic in there. Saw a great band called Exit Calm. They were from Hull I think. A mix of Sigur Ros guitars and Kasabian attitude. Loved it.
We stayed in a lovely place that night called the Thorpe Lodge Hotel. It even had it’s own bar down in the cellar. We conducted a small interview for the tour diary as we sipped our whisky on the rocks. Lots of grimacing on my front as I don’t really like whisky! Then we headed to bed, ready for the dual onslaught the next day of Sheffield and Nottingham.
The first of these. Sheffield. Was ace. Not a huge crowd as I was on at 4.30 in the afternoon, but I did have a special audience member in the shape of Mr Steve Lemacq. Who I’m reliably informed by christiaan was nodding along.
As soon as Sheffield was out the way, we cranked the moshi mobile back down to Nottingham and to Stealth…with it’s crazy £800,000 Function One PA. A fat system you might think and you’d be right…So bassy in fact that the vibration from every kick drum sent my laptop and audio interface inching towards the edge of my flight-case. We ended up having to gaffa down the interface and construct a foam cushion with extra bluetac grip for the laptop.
The sound was large, the same cannot be said for the crowd, but it was good fun and everyone was really nice. I can’t really remember much though as all I could think of was getting home and into my own bed!
Thanks for reading!
NB: Part Two of the video diary (Octourber) shall be uploaded shortly.