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DIY tour diary - leg 2

Just a quick jaunt this one, v.London-centric with a gig at The Cricketers in Kingston, and one for a friend’s brother’s 18th birthday party. Let’s forget the fact that I went to the dayjob for a bit inbetween and call this:

Day 9: Kingston
Another thoroughly hardcore Radio 4 soundtracked journey, with a justifiable sense of déjà-vu from last Friday’s identical jaunt. Arriving at The Cricketer’s to meet Del and Zoe I immediately have suggestions of getting a curry implanted into my not-actually-that-hungry brain…..yumcurrytimeyum. Erstwhile tour buddy Kev from [edit] Radio arrived to keep me company for this jaunt, then it was rock o’(massive)clock.

Gig itself was fun, if a little sparse crowd-wise (about 3 other events happening in K-Town tonight +The Great Escape Festival just down the road in Brighton – excellent timing!) and the venue had some quite serious quirks with its enormous non-running clock, furry carpeted stage, and shonky monitor platforms that barely took my weight…but that I stood (and probably stamped) on anyway. Tonight was my first Luke Leighfield experience, a highlight of which was a fairly lengthy improvised song on the subject of cake – which I’m pretty sure I filmed so will upload soon enough. Hopefully he’ll take on my suggestion of an entirely cake themed concept album; Luke Cakefield, yum.

Afterwards we piled back to Del’s famous shed where I drank a bottle of rosé wine like it was beer (i.e. far too fast), ate crisps, and played Guitar Hero until the early hours of the morning.  Watching Del attempt Hotel California on Expert made me realise how insane that game can be sometimes – if you turned the sound off you’d swear he was attempting some ridiculous Dragonforce track, rather than the relatively-easy-to-play-on-an-actual-guitar country-rock classic. It’s for that reason that I refuse to play on a greater difficulty level than “medium”, and not because I suck and am bitter about it, oh no.

Day 10: London
An early-ish start to pop back into Banquet Records and vandalise a few more copies of my album with silver and gold pens – thanks for buying from them, if you did…and if not my album is at: www.banquetrecords.com/btr9  - and then off into East London to drop off some baggage and find a way to kill a few hours. Kev and I decided to spend the day in Shoreditch playing “Spot The Dickhead – we lost count – and went for a meaty combo feast at the Hoxton Bar & Grill: YUM. Later we strolled around, ending up at the Big Chill Bar just off Brick Lane to meet up with a couple more pals before heading to gigland.

Tonight’s gig was part of Josaka head honcho Jim Bowes’ little brother’s 18th birthday party. Now, birthday party gigs can go one of two ways; either they’re relentless blasts of fun packed with people intent on having an awesome time, or they’re soul destroying evenings where you play to a crowd more intent on getting trashed and chatting to their mates than paying any attention whatsoever to the bands onstage. So it was with a little trepidation that I set up in the quirky Jamboree venue in the middle of the Cable Street Studios complex, the slight hangover and lack of sleep creating a bit of a negative mood.

Thankfully I needn’t have worried at all – Josh and his friends were up for it from the moment they arrived, and were an absolutely lovely bunch; singing along, headbanging, dancing, doing absolutely everything you could possibly ask of an audience and making for one of the most fun 30 minutes I have ever spent on a stage. Highlights for me were asking Josh if he was looking forward to his first ever alcoholic drink (as obviously he’d not have had one before the legal drinking age of 18, right?) and changing the words of “Gold” to “Josh” in the last chorus so everyone could shout his name over and over. Fun fun fun fun FUN.

 Headliners Six Nation State got, if anything, an even more enthusiastic reaction, and the party was still going strong as I reluctantly ran for what I thought was my last train (it wasn’t – the TFL website lied/I was too drunk to read it properly). An awesome evening, thanks for having me along.