Day 29, 30 – Andover
A day off in Andover, Erin our tour manager and me go and see 'Attack the Block', eat curry, locate a wi-fi signal and get some precious private time. Vikings invaded Andover back in the day, and a chap named Olaf did quite a lot of raping, piliging and burning here. Now the place is run by duck's who will happily sleep in the middle of the pedestrianised pub district on a Friday night at half ten at night, when it's all banging and dancing. The show is good at The Lights, the venue manager informs me I'm in the South.
Day 31 – Birmingham
Thank you Birmingham, but whatever Telly Savalas says it's not my kind of town.Some of the buildings are nice, like the town hall we played which had beautiful acoustics, but getting in and out was a nightmare thanks to the gay pride parade. Half the streets were closed off and the ones that were left spiralled on and off motorways, in and out of ring roads and generally gave the idea that whoever planned the town, based on Detriot apparently, probably made those kids play mats you see in the early learning centre. The venue was ten mins walk from the hotel, but twenty five in the car, and even on foot included passing through a subway and overpass, a bit like an obstacle course. Stress of navigation aside, the town hall was a big place with a big sound, and during thr show I chatted to a hilarious kid who had comes dressed as Darth Vader. Had a pint in the beer garden next door to the hotel after the show, so I took the liberty of drying some hand-washed pants over the back of my chair. I smell.
Day 32 – Derby
Typing freaks me out a little, thirty two days on the road. Some of it is blurry, and it a bank holiday too. I wash some pants and a shirt in the sink of the dressing room and hang them out the window to dry. Half an hour later a spider has built a web from the ledge to a damp gusset There is a shopping mall that keeps going up with all the chain resturants I have ever seen and more, it is massive. I am lost. I imagine there are lots of fat dead people on the roof who are also lost.
The venue is nice and crowd are warm, I remember that much. We stay in a holiday Inn that is only six months old and. The open stairwell induces vertigo.
Day 33 – Kingston
The Rose Theatre didn't feel that big when we went in. It's in the round, partially and feels really intimate. It actually seats nine hundred people, and when it's full they sit on the floor. They are sitting on the floor tonight. It's the biggest audience I've ever played too, and it's an awesome show. I'd love to say it's the highlight of the tour, but it's not quite, that still goes to Leeds.
Day 34 - South Bank Udderbelly
This wasn't in the diary at the beginning of the run, and it's a different kettle of fish, Edinburgh rules. I was a bit hesitant about agreeing to do a short spot in the purple cow, but it's a chance to say I've done it, and do a bit of networking. For some reason I'm a bit paranoid, maybe as it's London I fully expect to get stopped by security at least twice, wandering around back stage in a duffel coat among young, serious looking and very psysical free runners. Calm down, the venue manager Rachel is incredibly nice and issues me with a purple artists badge which I put on and feel better. A stage tech asks where I'm from, he is from Sunderland too. I get a pint of magners, the guy who serves me is from Bishop Aukland. It's all good.
My missus turns up to take photos and watch the show, which is short and lots of fun. I hug Charlie and Erin and thats it. Four hours and a kip in the car later. Tour over.