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Blog: London

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I was awake bright and early on Sunday morning to enjoy the traditional reward for said action: Match Of The Day! I pretty much NEVER watch it normally, but when I'm away from home and AWAKE it is a SPECIAL TREAT. It also reminds me of the Bowlie Festival SO many years ago, when I first discovered it got repeated them, THUS it always feels like a ROCK HOLIDAY when I'm watching it. As I did so I sat on the bed, changing my guitar string. "Cor, look at me, i am SO ROCK!" I thought, "Sat in my hotel room, changing guitar strings, ON THE ROAD." Later on i realised this didn't make me a Rock Star, it made me a ROADIE, but still.

We met for breakfast and, I have to say, it was one of the NICEST B&B Breakfasts I've ever had. The tomatoes were the BEST EVER in a non-home context, the TEA was delicious and they even had veggie sausages! WELL DONE!

Suitably filled we hopped into the car and headed to Leicester, getting their in an AMAZINGLY short time, possibly due to Tom's EXPERT ROAD SKILLZ. On the new Lazarus Clamp album Tom is credited with "Violin and Dangerous Driving." I was SHOCKED, nay, APPALLED. We did move very fast, though this may have been aided by Frankie's EGG ASSISTED PUMPING - I wouldn't normally stoop to mention such things, but DEARIE ME. Life On The Road: not all glamour.

Back at Tom's we had a nice cup of tea, checked emails, that hopped into a taxi for the station. This was GRATE as the driver was Proper Leicester, and I REVELLED in his fantastic accent - Leicester is BRILLO. Indeed, I would even go so far as to say BRILLO PAD.

At the station Tom and Frankie, who both had reserved seats, discovered that not EVERYTHING with East Midlands Trains is Good and Pure, as the ticket barriers would not let them through because their train was not due in for another 20 minutes. It was sat their on the platform waiting for us, but the IDIOTIC SYSTEM seems to think that if it lets you down more than 5 SECONDS before the train leaves you'll try and get on a different one. NGG!

We got through Ok in the end tho, and were soon whizzing to London, enjoying CHERRY BAKEWELLS on the way - we are SO ROCK. It was one of these newly timed trains where they've stuck in ten minute waits at every station so that a) it makes it look better on the Punctuality Statistics and b) they can always act all surprised and pleased when the train gets to St Pancras "early".

A swift tube jaunt and we were on Denmark Street to get some more bass strings, also to look at GUITARS. EXCITINGLY in one shop Frankie saw the Flying V Ukeleles. He looked at them long and hard and slowly a MIGHTY CHANGE came over him. Urged on by Tom and I he eventually BOUGHT one - HOORAH! Another convert to THE CAUSE!

More TUBING and we found ourselves in lovely Bloomsbury/Clerkenwell, where we stopped in a pub for a swift PINT on the way. As we sat there on of Brontosaurus Chorus appeared - he'd just popped in for directions so was a bit surprised to find us there, with a handy MAP to hand! I rang The Pattisons, expecting them to be on the motorway, and when I found they were actually AT the venue already we supped up sharp-ish and headed off.

We got to Leonards to find it BUSY, and the bar especially so - apparently it was it's last day of opening, and it looked like some of the bar staff had decided not to bother, so for a lot of the time there was only one person working! We sat and had a chat with various Fighting Cocks, also Penny Broadhurst, then went into the smaller second room to watch George Death - he was dead good, and the FACT that he was the man who taught Charlie Cocks to play guitar, and the other FACT that this was very clear to see, made it even better.

We wandered back to the main room, where another band (I'm not sure who) were starting up. It was VERY full in there, so all looked GOOD as we went back to the other room to get set up. Another aspect of the Last Day Of The Pub appeared to be evident in The Soundman. Now, normally I try not to talk about the DOWN SIDES of some people we meet, as it's not really necessary and also a bit UNFAIR/NASTY if, years later, they discover via Google that they've been slagged off, but really he was a bit of a poor show. Apparently he was NOTORIOUS for not really doing any sound, leaving the room as quickly as possible to play on fruit machines, which is what happened to us. And also - HORRIFYINGLY - he appeared to be DRUNK!

I know! Someone at a gig - DRUNK! I was so disgusted I almost dropped my pint!

In some ways it was actually helpful, as we got ourselves set up without interference and just used the PA for vocals, but it was RATHER ANNOYING when he DID come in mid-gig and decided to tidy up some leads on the stage, by clambering up and KNOCKING Tom out of the way while he was playing! Tom, he was not pleased.

Anyway, yes, we waited for the other band to finish, and then did THIS:
  • The Gay Train
  • Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
  • Looking At My Hands
  • Best Behaviour
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • Do The Indie Kid
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed

  • The actual GIG bit was all good fun, except for Tom's ENCOUNTER, but overall it felt a bit disappointing - I don't think people realised there WAS another room, as for the entirety of the gig NOBODY came in, at ALL! There were LOADS of people next door, it was RAMMED, but none of them came through!!

    Or maybe they DID realise, and knew it was us playing?

    Anyway, it was soon time to go for TRAINS, so we said our farewells to Charlie and Penny, who had sorted the whole weekend out - it was a MASSIVE undertaking, and it was GRATE, especially the way that so many of the bands moved from one date to the next, it felt like being on a PACKAGE TOUR! It's a shame our bit in The London wasn't as GROOVY as the previous night, but HEY! That happens now and again, and we consoled ourselves by finding there was time for a PINT, and popped into a pub on the way for the further CHAT. The Pattisons left and I escorted (or, rather, ran down the road trying to catch up with) Frankie and Tom as they hurried for their train, said farewell at St Pancras, then trundled home.

    Life On The Road: It's GRATE!

    posted 7/4/2008 by MJ Hibbett

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