Yawn. I can see why musicians of a certain disposition (Graham Coxon is the first to spring to mind) are quite averse to touring. There's a lot of sitting around and waiting during the day, and unless you construct your day rigidly, the chances are that boredom will set in. So that's why two-thirds of the band (Dan and John were busy doing something constructive no doubt) ended up whiling away the day sat the traffic jam trying to get in to Glasgow, then Mono.
Fortunately Mono is one of my favourite places to do nothing and since a few months have passed since my last visit, I feel that me and my favourite couch have a lot of catching up to do.
Mono, for the unitiated, is a café. Not only that, but it's a vegan café, and as an avowed carnivore, I can honestly say it makes a life of non-meat eating very attractive. On top of that, it also has Monorail attached to it. Monorail is a record store. A good indie record store that's run by Stephen Pastel. They also put gigs on, with some great names lined up. In short, for someone whose favourite activities include record shopping and eating, you can't go far wrong. See for yourself here
I eat a vegan burger and my beloved spicy chips. Sharon buys a Jens Lekman album and a folk compilation. I eat a vegan chocolate cheesecake and buy a Wilco album on the cheap. I feel sorry for Martin, as it's his first visit to Scotland and we've locked him in a smelly café (though to be fair, the rain outside isn't the most attractive prospect). We brave the rain and take a trip to Fopp (I can't remember where Avalanche is), then go back. The afternoon drifts by as John and Dan show up, along with a few mates we haven't seen for a bit. I almost forget we have a gig, but we do.
The Winchester Club is, like Mono, a good reason to move to Glasgow. They always play great music and the bands are usually excellent (though I have to admit seeing the worst performance of any band in my life there, naming no names), and I'm thrilled to be here. The Woodside Social Club where it's held is a bit of a Phoenix Nights gaff, but all the more charming for it, especially with the mirrorball and comfy seats.
The attendance tonight is blighted by some rather heavy competing events; Belle & Sebastian are playing a festival in Castlemilk, The Go! Team are playing nearby too, and Lucky Luke are owning Sleazys. Sarah and Dan go flyering in Sleazys just in case our 10.00pm stage time can attract any post-Luke stragglers. By the time we go on though, there's a decent enough amout of people. I know from experience that unless you're the headline band or really good, folk tend to sit around the outskirts rather than stand in front of the stage, so I’m happy to explain away the mass of open area in front of us. The sound is apparently better than last night, and though I think we play a bit sluggishly, it seems I'm the only one with that opinion. We play Dreams Never End for Gav, who's putting us up for the night and provided a bass amp and spare guitar amp, and it gets well received. Plastic Bag, however, seems to be the runaway favourite of both nights, and rightly so.
Watching State Of Samuel and Speedmarket Avenue is inspring and gives us a taste of how damn good they are; everything from their tunes to the harmonies to the community-minded onstage intermingling of band membrs over their sets is infectious and a good indicator of how to get the best out of a large band setup. Definitely worth watching. On top of that, they're all lovely guys and gals too.
Post-club, a lot of umm-ing and ahhh-ing ends up with us going back to Nal's place for a party. The fact that Nal lives in a rather expansive castle owned by an eminent legal professor is only a good thing; the other bands turn up, and a splendid time is had by all. I stay on the couch while Andrew argues politics. Good times all round. So much so, in fact, that we don't get back to Gav's til 6am. With the prospect of having to drive back home at midday, surely sleep would be the most sensible option? I take the hint and go to bed. Martin decides that staying up 'til half seven drinking whiskey with our gracious host is the way forward. Lucky him- he doesn't have to drive! As it happens, his rock n roll antics end up with his face pressed into the toilet bowl, puking his guts out; don't expect any sympathy (or a smooth ride) from me, fella...