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Blog: Leeds

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Day one of The Single Tour started WELL, tho I was afeared it might not. Arriving at St Pancras (The Greatest Station In The World: FACT) I saw that the train just AFTER mine had been cancelled, as it hadn't made it IN to London due to Points Failure. FEAR! Our train would be packed! It too would hit the points failur! DISASTER IMMINENT!

Disaster did NOT occur... until we got to Market Harborough when there was an announcement that the train had a fault, and needed to be taken out of action. FEAR! DOOM! DELAY! Then they said this'd happen at LEICESTER, and tho relieved i feared for my fellow passengers - doubtless they'd be on the platform for AGES, then get shunted EITHER onto PACKED trains that were ALSO delayed or onto rail replacement buses. Then I saw that, pulling in on the next platform, was a whole new replacement train and that, as we'd arrived slightly early, they'd actually be able to continue their journey on time.

Eh? When did THAT start happening? Is East Midland Railway run by MAGIC GOBLINS who are somehow able to RUN A TRAIN LINE EFFICIENTLY?!? I suspect FOUL PLAY!

Anyway, Tom picked me up in the new TigerMobile, we popped over to his, then hit the ROAD. CURRY was spoken of. In Derby we took Frankie onboard, CURRY was spoken of, and we headed NORTH, where many ISSUES of the day were sorted out. Mostly to do with Derby County, but also International Relations. When we got to our hotel we found it was actually TWO hotels joined together - Frankie was staying in the POSH side, me and Tom ... well, we weren't. I don't know if it is a TRADITION or something, but every time i stay in a "family" hotel there are BLOOD STAINS somewhere - on this occasion, on the end of the sheets and on the FLOOR. Not horrendous MURDER stains or anything, but they always seem to BE there. Do people WOUND themselves more often in "family" hotels/B&Bs than in the big chains or something?

When we checked in the very nice lady on the reception said "Are you a band then? In that case I'll show you how to get in after we've locked the door - you'll be in WELL after Midnight won't you?" We looked HORRIFIED!

After dropping our stuff in our various rooms we regrouped in the lobby and Frankie informed us that the room next door to his had a PLAQUE on the wall: "Timmy Mallet Slept Here." He later discovered that, further along the corridor, was ANOTHER one: "Chas And Dave Slept Here." Chas AND Dave?

We ZOOMED across town to Rock And Roll Circus Rehearsal Rooms, which were REALLY nice. It was clean, there were sofas a) IN the rooms b) that you could actually SIT on without risking disease, and all the GEAR worked! Clearly THE MAGIC GOBLINS have branched out into practice rooms. The Pattisons arrived, with Emma bearing HAIR BANDS - soon to be available in our shop!

When we play with Mr Phil Wilson we're going to be backing him on a couple of songs, so it seemed wise to actually LEARN them. This we did, and then moved on to ACTUALLY HAVING A PRACTICE. We've been together as a band for getting on for a DECADE now, but I think this is only the second or third time we have EVER just had a practice. No new songs were written, we just PRACTICE. I know for some bands this is ALL they ever do, but for us it was a bit weird. We even went back and re-learnt some OLD songs! KRAZY!

Slightly shaken by our own MASSIVE PROFESSIONALISM we got back into vehicles and went over to The Cardigan Arms, where PENNFEST was occurring. Things were not yet beginning when we arrived, so as by now the Pattisons ALSO had asked "Where are we going for curry?" (it's almost as if Traditional Band Curry is the MAIN REASON we go on the road - surely not?) we set off to GET one. Tim was a little displeased that we were going so EARLY, as he was completely undrunk, and CLAIMED to be considering NOT going for a curry, tho happily the fact that this would involve him NOT going for a curry persuaded him otherwise.

We had a LOVELY time, as we always do, especially as this time we didn't have any Matters To Discuss - we never actually get round to DISCUSSING the Matters To Discuss when we have Band Curry, and I always feel a bit bad that we instead spend the time talking A Lot Of Old Bollocks rather than Important Band Issues... not VERY bad, but it was nice to be free to get on with the spouting of nonsense. We all made the usual show of looking at the menu before just ordering what we always have, except for Emma who tried to persuade the rest of us to try something new. She did... and it wasn't very nice at all. As i pointed out (possibly more than once) the Joy Of Balti is that it IS different wherever you go, as it is completely made up, and this time Frankie's Jalfrezi was made of SCRAMBLED EGG. We would later come to RUE that recipe choice... especially trapped in a car with him next day.

When we got back things were in full swing when we arrived, with The Seven Inches onstage. I've heard of them for ages but never HEARD them, so was pleased to find they were really really good. My favourite was an EPIC countering suggestions that Hanna Barbera became rubbish during the 1970s. "Captain Caveman" INDEED!

Then it was US, so we got set up and did THIS:
  • The Gay Train
  • Best Behaviour
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
  • Looking At My Hands
  • Do The Indie Kid
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed
  • We had a FINE old time, THOROUGHLY enjoying the experience and watching people DANCE. Amazingly Frankie and I BOTH broke strings, something which hardly ever happens to me these days and NEVER happens to him. I struggled on manfully, but Dom from Brontosaurus Chorus leapt in to lend Frankie HIS bass... which was a FIVE STRING! Extremely useful for Music Of The Future!

    There must have been a fault in the microphones tho, as when I told my HILARIOUS ANECDOTE the entire room went SILENT. They must have been trying to LISTEN. The HILARIOUS ANECDOTE was thus: the first curry house we tried to get into was called "India", but it wasn't open yet, so we couldn't get any of their food. That's right - we just couldn't GET any India!!!

    Indie-er - do you see? Is this thing switched on?

    We then sat back and had a GRATE time for the whole rest of the day. The GRATE thing about Pennfest was that ALL the bands were good - after us The Fighting Cocks were EXCELLENT, as were Brontosaurus Chorus, Penny Broadhurts and the MIGHTY Scaramanga Six. The only DOWNSIDE was - when do you go downstairs to the pub for a chat? It was a PROPER Victorian Pub, with that rarest of things, a NICE pint of Tetley and it was a shame we didn't get to spend more time in it.

    When it was all over we strolled out into the SNOW, said farewell to The Pattisons and headed back to our hotel, where we enjoyed a NIGHTCAP in the bar before heading bedwards. It had been a GOOD day.

    posted 7/4/2008 by MJ Hibbett

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    I thought "nice pint of Tetley" was an oxymoron until I moved to Yorkshire.
    posted 7/4/2008 by Pete Green

    Even funnier was that the barmaid asked Frankie Machine and me at the bar whether we wanted hand pulled or "smooth flow" - needless to say to a real ale fan like me that was highly amusing.

    Like I was going to pick the smooth flow! ;)

    It was indeed a GRATE night, and so good to see everyone again.
    posted 7/4/2008 by Warren

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