Here I sit, listening to Ben Gregory playing the same seven notes on a piano in Jon Earl’s house. Jon is our man with the SHED who is holding a camera to Tristram and co as I type. The folk band who “gone electric” are now required to play acoustically once again.
Tour is going satisfactorily so far. Christ I sound like an examiner. No, we’re having a lovely time. Oporto bar in Leeds treated us well. They fed us burgers from the bar next door (they had some kind of arrangement) and free pints. A hearty crowd of Loiners were there to enjoy our music, or chat.
Loiner is a collective noun for people from Leeds. I learned that from Tristram’s stage banter. Needless to say it was lost on the people from Leeds who presumably think that the collective word for people from Leeds is Leedsers.
Whilst in Leeds, we developed an old song that I wrote with my missus last time we were in Leeds. Goes like this.
“On the main streets of Leeds. Leeds.”
On the second Leeds, everyone joins in and says Leeds.
While we enjoyed our free burgers, Ben noticed that the extra plate of ribs he was sure he’d ordered hadn’t arrived. There was something rather hilarious about watching this bearded and malnourished musician go back to the bar to ask just where that extra plate of ribs was. I’m sorry sir, but one plate of free food just isn’t enough. Amazingly they happily(ish) relented and two further plates of ribs appeared. He ate them with the fervour of a satisfied seagull.
Our first night was, for me, full of friendly faces. Mother was there. A cousin was there. An old friend who I haven’t seen for 20 years was there. A dutch friend who I’ve never met was there. A friend I used to know from Newcastle was there. Quite a few shiny faced and terrifyingly dressed women were there. All reconvened in Leeds. Leeds.
The show went well. Tom is filling in for the omnipresent Mike, who despite being omnipotent, can’t actually be here for this tour. Something about needing to look at negative images of the insides of people’s bodies.
Tom is doing sterling work. We’re all very proud.
We were all a bit zonked from the seven hour journey and retired pretty early to our blow up beds and sleeping bags at a friend’s house in Hyde Park.
Ben did an hilarious move as we left Leeds in the morning. Following the Satnav and not the road, or indeed his nose, he accidentally started pulling into a multistory car park. No probs, you might think, just go in and leave straightaway- what’s the problem? Unfortunately our van was clearly too tall to get in and we literally had to get Becca to stop traffic coming off a main road so that we could reverse and get back to the road. You should have heard him. “I don’t know what to do. I literally don’t know what to do. What should I do? Tour’s cancelled. I might just get out.”
Crisis averted and then to the family Green home in Wakefield for a proper spread. Pork featured heavily, fresh coffee, juice. You name it. Kept us all going until Bristol.
All the way I did a non-stop I pod DJ set of large tunes while the van played cards in the back. This time we have a splitter van and it’s working a treat. We can happily chuck all of our equipment into a large bit at the back and eat our Orios (and smoke our crack*) in peace.
Bristol was also rather kind to us. Free dinner – are you seeing a theme of my priorities? A good feed and I’m anyone’s.
The crowd in the Canteen were a bit chatty but those who were listening seemed to really be listening. Tristram rocked it pretty hard. An insane man tried to accost quite a few of us mid set. And one man asked me for 20p about 18 times.
We finished up, high fived appropriately, drank another ale and went back to our house of floors and sofas of choice.
Marcus tells me that after I retired, he spent the early hours of the morning adjusting the speed and pitch of Terry Wogan, Bill Clinton and Robin Cook’s audio autobiographies, read by the authors.
Anyway, best get on. Those Waitrose service station sandwiches don’t eat themselves. Thankfully.
Much love from the Tristram and the Laish.
*Not an actual event though I’m concious of how rock ‘n’ roll we don’t sound.