Thursday, August 23, 2007

Her Majesty's Grey Skies

And things continue on at what seems like an unrelenting pace. Mainland Europe passed by in a blur as I sat at the window watching it roll by.

We are welcomed back into the bosom of sorrow and fried goods, Great Britain. It's been parka weather here. Or as Nick Harmer might say it's cold enough for Sarah Jessica Parka. Maybe even Parka Posey. I find the sun where I can, mostly indoors.

Three festivals in a row, Frequency, Highline, Lowlands, in three countries, Austria, Germany, and Holland. Such is life. They all seem pretty much the same to me now. The first day collapsed into a spectacular shitstorm of malfunction as the computer running most of the video/lighting packed it in. After 12 straight hours I managed to cobble together a show that was just passable. I suppose I could count myself lucky as I'm not part of the Albert Hammond crew who lost a total of six laptops in Denmark last week. Thieveing gypsy bastards, those Danes. Well, some of them anyway.

The following day brought more of the same. I've only seen a computer billow smoke once before, and that was with my dad at the controls who, I am convinced, could set fire to water if he were trying to repair something. More terror, more malfunction. I still wasn't distracted enough to ignore the amazing day at the side of a lake though.

There was an amazing sunset....

punctuated by The 'Pole.

Lowlands, in Holland, was more of the same. The only distinguishing characteristic being the presence of Turbonegro. Ally and I wore our Turbojugend jackets in the roasting heat and gave Happy Tom a high five. There is very little to be upset about when you are watching an obese Norwegian biker in stars and stripes chaps sing a song called 'Hell Toupee,' followed immediately by 'Everyone Loves a Chubby Dude.'

Next was a trio of UK shows in Birmingham, Nottingham (well, sort of) and Edinburough. Birmingham is the industrial wasteland that I remember it to be. I tried to spruce up the place as much as possible.

I had been collecting dirty laundry for almost three weeks, so I jumped at the opportunity to pay $30 for a wash and fold service. My clothes came back not only wet, but in one giant ball. In the process of angrily folding and hanging things up to dry I found a number of items that didn't belong to me, and wondered how many people were looking, confused, at my clothes in their laundry bag. To cheer me up our production manager did what any good guy would do in that situation. He did 'fat man in a little coat' with the girl's tank top that had been mixed in with my clothes. Priceless.

Nottingham never really happened. Our bass player couldn't stand or indeed, not vomit for long enough to make it to the venue. The crowd was fairley reasonable since the gig was cancelled an hour after doors were open. There was a loose cannon or two, namely the person who doused the support band trying to pack up their gear with a full pint. Shame. Most people expressed genuine concern as did we. I've seen Carlos take a shot of B 12 in the butt and sit on the floor behind his bass amp for 90 minutes just to play a show. Poor little fella. So, it was back on the bus for us. I am growing pretty tired of everything about European busses. I'm a little guy and I still manage to bash my head on everything covered with a mirrored surface. It's all bad.

Mostly the tiny, rancid bathrooms with keenly placed stickers that suggest that I may have been improperly toilet trained. I miss home.

Yeah, we are choc full of that.

Last night was Edinburough, although it felt a bit like Glasgow. There were at least a dozen people there from Glasgow that I have known for ages. It was great to see some familiar faces. Graeme and Joanna rode back up to Glasgow with us.

The show was packed, but a bit sluggish as the tour stretches on.

The long and winding road home.

Tomorrow is the Reading festival followed by Leeds. The Reading site has been flooded for damn near three weeks. On my day off today I walked to B&Q and bought some boots for the impending biblical tides that will wash over the next two festival sites. Don't tell anyone, but I'm shacked up in a little hotel on Biscuit Way.

On Top of the World (still)

I May Be Lost