Sunday, July 09, 2006

Half-Price Gorilla Suits

I've been at the Morrison hotel in Dublin the last few nights. It's one of the nicest hotels that I've stayed in. There is a rumor floating about that Bono owns a share of the joint, but I won't let that lessen my opinion. It is such a swank place, yet everyone there is so great (they packed breakfast bags for all of us when we checked out, without us asking). The last time I stayed here I slept under this crushed velvet blanket that was the most comfortable thing on Earth. I stole it, as you do, and it's now on my couch in Brooklyn. Needless to say I had the best night's sleep I'd had in weeks. Here is an artist's rendering of my blissful sleep.

It was a good thing that I was so well rested, because when it rains in Dublin, it pours. Actually that's not true at all. When it rains in Dublin it does so at a steady rate for close to a week at a time. Beautiful day for an outdoor festival.

I didn't get many pictures of the day, but that is for the best, as I'm not too thrilled about recalling it. The rain turned the festival site into a massive puddle, filled to the brim with mud and fecal matter. It was cold. I saw my breath when we arrived. I was in a t-shirt and my suitcase was in Glasgow on the equiptment truck. Magic. I outfitted myself with some quality festival gear and joined the soaked masses at the concession stands. As the day went on people tossed shame to the wind and men and women alike began urinating in the open, among tens of thousands of people, like animals. Repulsive.
The rain pelted the stages, some in tents, others outdoors for most of the day. The weather caused a number of accidents including one to my friend Brian who looks after the Strokes' guitars. Apparantly the wind blew a heavy curtain into a lighting tower which hit him on the head. He ended up being alright after a brief stay in the hospital, but missed the show. I soon found myself setting up amps and trying to remember how to tune a guitar with 20,000 people staring at me. Good fun. It went off without a hitch and I had just enough time to run to another stage to do lights for Death Cab. The show was pretty rough. The gear was all rented and in poor shape and everyone was tired, soaked and frustrated. By the end of the set I looked up to see Nick jump off the top of his bass amp, Jason tip over the drum kit and Chris go completely bat shit on a rack of keyboards with a nearby mike stand.
I doesn't look that bad.

The guys who rented us the gear were't too keen on letting anyone out of their sight until they were paid in full for the damage, and who could blame them, but it was the capper on a really shit day in Ireland. We arrived at the hotel filthy and defeated, and preparing for a 6 AM wake up to fly to Glasgow. Insult-Injury.

It wasn't all bad though. Ally woke me up at 2:30 in the morning when he arrived for the festival the following day. We sat in the bar and drank Guinness for an hour or so before I stumbled upstairs to pass out.
One day I will conquer air travel. Not today, however.

It's been a while since I've dragged a cart full of guitars through an airport at 7 in the morning. It's a real grounding sort of experience.

A couple hours on the death tube and we were in Glasgow.

Checked into our hotel. Now when I described the hotel in Dublin as swank, this was sort of the antithesis of that, if you can picture it.

We made the most of it and packed up for T in the park, another mud-soaked festival. Blast.

I don't know what to say really. It was cold, less rainy and just as disgusting as Dublin. The Scots, like the Irish seem to have a propensity for public urination on such a grand scale that the waters ran yellow on the festival site this year. Congratulations Glasgow. (Sorry Ally). I was a little tuckered out by the time we got in. I also left my camera lying around so that others could document it.

This might have been the highlight of my day. Rivaled only by someone complaining about the cost of a gorilla suit rental that didn't even come with a head was this guy's Frenzel Rhomb t-shirt. It says 'at least we know russel crowe's band is a fucking pile of shit.' Class.

So it's late already. I'm sitting in my airport-view hotel room preparing for 4 hours of sleep and an impending flight to Australia tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to Australia. The flight, not so much. I'll do my best to document the downward spiral into madness that twenty-odd hours on an airplane will lead to.