Posts Tagged ‘London’
Thursday, November 11th, 2010
The day started miserably, but ended magnificently. There is no heat on this bus, it smells like mould and piss, the bunks are the size of “cozy coffins” and the lounge is just about tall enough for a Hobbit. It’s a miserable vehicle. We hit stop-and-go rush hour traffic outside of London at about 6am and that is what we did for two hours, stopped and go’ed. Not the best for sleeping. When we finally got to where we were supposed to be, a parking lot near the gig, the bus got stuck in the narrow entrance and our driver, Kevin, had to attempt to free himself but raising and lowering the suspension, which inside of our coffins, sounded a lot like one would imagine it sounded like in the hull of the Titanic as it ran up against the iceberg. Definitely not the best for sleeping. Abandoning ship seemed to be the best alternative but it was 8am, cold and pouring rain. As I said, the day started miserably.
Fortunately, Jared, our tour manager, is resourceful and responsible beyond his years and spent the next three hours in the rain securing a spot for the bus right next to the Stage door entrance, which made getting in and out of the venue and loading the equipment a lot easier in the continuing rain showers. I abandoned ship at one point to do an interview at the BBC (which was strike free today) and the rest of the Hobbits, alternately, wandered around and tried to catch up on their sleep. The gig tonight was at Union Chapel which is exactly that, a chapel. It’s a beautiful, but deteriorating old building, but it has a certain charm and a history of live music. Backstage it smells an awful lot like the bus and is perhaps a few degrees colder. I know now why all of those Kings and Queens were such miserable cusses: living in those castles and palaces they were forever chilled and no doubt they had the same sewage issues that seem to plague modern day London. In any case the whole day evaporated once we stepped on-stage. It was a sold out show, with a very enthused and excited audience and we played a very good set. One can put up with a lot discomfort and inconvenience if at the end of it all you get the type of lift and buzz that this type of night delivers. As I said, it ended magnificently.
Monday, November 8th, 2010
Margo and I left a day earlier than the rest of the band to do some radio in London. It’s always exciting going to Europe, it’s never exciting getting on the plane to make the journey: unending line-ups, long delays, cramped spaces, bad food, bad movies, bad air and testy waiters and waitresses-in-the-sky. But all-in-all Margo and I had a painless passage. The rest of the band was not so fortunate. Their flight was moved up two hours (who ever heard of a flight being moved up) and no one received the email that the airline said that it sent out. Fortunately the flight was delayed by an hour and they arrived at the airport a couple of hours before the flight was originally scheduled to leave because of the piles of equipment that they had to check in. So they made the flight and had just enough time to pay the $1750 excess baggage fee. Oil Companies, phone companies and airlines….I’d like to see a poll that ranks the most hated industries in the eyes of your average consumer. While the rest of the band was dealing with their headaches Margo and I were facing a few of our own. The BBC, where most of our interviews were to take place, was beset by unscheduled strikes and our day of interviews went down the drain. So Margo and I spent the day wandering around the West End. It rained all day, apparently it was a “wet” rain, the type of rain that I’ve rarely experienced outside of London. It’s more like an extremely intense mist. One steps outside and thinks, “this isn’t so bad” and then after walking a couple of blocks it’s like you’ve just done a couple of laps in a swimming pool. There’s no point in using an umbrella, there are no drops, there is no gravity, the water just envelopes you. Despite being shutout by the union and soaked by the weather it was still a pleasure to be back in London. This is such a great city. It vibrates with energy. It is ancient and powerful, an entity unto itself. I love being here.
Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010
We’ve just confirmed seven shows in Europe for November. It’ll be a quick trip, but we’re excited to get back to Scotland, England, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Belgium. Check the Tour Dates page for more details.