Tourbus japery

It's me again! I'll keep it short as I'm at work and even though I've done my work I want to go home and have a shower because I smell. Sorry to tell you, but it's always important to set the scene…

Andrew's away in Croatia at the moment (or he may have got back, I can't remember), and John's off on holiday next week- somewhere ridiculously exotic no doubt- which means we're sort of on hold for October. This is, for me, a bit of a pity, as one of my friends is over from California and is enough of a fan to have bought five copies of Shiftwork, but never had the opportunity to see us live. She leaves the day John gets back, so until we get that US tour going, I fear she'll never see us! Sorry Kelly!

We have been playing gigs since the last entry though- two of our best, in fact. And it's all down to a message we got on myspace about five months ago from a chap called Neil in Edinburgh who runs the Teviot live shows for the uni. Veteran readers will remember that last year we had a jolly time at Teviot playing with Lucky Luke thanks to Amy's generosity and trust in a pushy band she'd never heard (can we ever repay her? No, I don't think so). So we decided to repeat our tour for 2006. This year, learning the lesson of last year's day-long drive from Glasgow to London after the second date of the 'tour', we decided to play it slightly safer and find a gig in our native country so that Sunday wasn't too packed with six disgruntled, grouchy musicians. Luckily, another fellow called Neil came up trumps in Leeds and we were on for The Cardigan Arms

As last year, Andrew managed to secure us some luxury transport- a nice six-seater van with plenty of room. Even better, since Kerry decided she'd drive up in her car with her friends, there's be ample room for the remaining five. Right? Wrong. Once all the guitars, synths, laptops, cymbals, last-minute bass amps and glockenspiels were in, it was small wonder there was room for all of us (had Kerry actually travelled with us, we'd have had to have left some stuff at home. Like Sharon.). Nonetheless, we somehow traversed the highways of Great Britain, making good time to Edinburgh and no road rage incidents (that's me).

The gig itself was amazing. As I've noted in the gig archive, the stage was enormous, the lighting machine was very professional and the smoke machine was just great. From where I was stood, I had a space the size of the Windmill stage all to myself. And I made damn sure I used it! Being acustomed to have to stay still, lest I accidentally batter anyone's face with my guitar, this was akin to being let out of my cage. We all certainly felt that freedom which was reflected in our spirited performance- one of our best, as I said- and the sheer joy of getting our teeth into Cricket Bat, which is probably my favourite Flyers song now. Likewise, it was a nice thing to finally perform Higher Education live, a whole 15 months after it was initially slated to appear.

After Martin, Sharon and I stayed with our pals Kristin and Jonny again (though sadly not again- they're moving out of their beautiful flat very soon), we picked up Waz, Andrew & Kerry, we made our way to Leeds- again without incident, other than some cross words from everyone else when I talked over the football scores. The Cardigan Arms, where we played was, by contrast, a smaller place, with an upstairs live room. It did smell a bit, but it didn't put us off. Kerry's friends were impressed with Friday night's performance, and equally impressed (I think) with Saturday's set, which we managed to make almost totally different from Friday's. I think there were only four songs that got played both nights. What was even better was that Sharon's entire family turned up to see us. Only her parents have seen us before, and that was at our first gig, so it was quite a treat for them all to see her belting out Foolscap and Red Nose Day. Even without them however, I think we drew quite a crowd- my friend Georgie (who I havne't seen for years) bravely showed up on her own, as did our hosts for the night- Lauren Christopher and Ker. Even Jens managed to put in an appearance from Berlin! We certainly have Lauren and co. to thank for letting us have their beds, and also for taking us to their local post-gig, which remained open suspiciously- but not unwelcomely- late. Hooray!

So, all that excitement in one weekend has meant it's been a hard couple of weeks without anything going on. We spent all of last practice playing Martin's new one 'Give it Up' (bit of a polish and it'll be ready, I reckon), and we'll be back in the saddle on Wednesday for more rehearsal-room japes. We've got three London gigs coming up, and a spot of recording, though I'm still looking for Christmas gigs and stuff for January. If you have any ideas, let me know!

Hopefully see you at
Saturday 11th Nov: The Archway Tavern, Archway, London
Saturday 18th Nov: The Bull & Gate, Kentish Town, London
Friday 24th November: Barden's Boudoir, Stoke Newington, London


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