Thursday, February 09, 2006

it was NOT a stalking holiday!!!

... were the words i found myself saying to someone on my return to leeds yesterday.

so, yeah, i chased clogs and the books over the uk a little bit. it's been a bittersweet experience.

apologies for the shite photos, it was an incredibly cheap camera and only some of them came out.

this is going to be the longest blog post i've ever written.
(edit: so long, in fact, that i've had to split it into three chunks. and the ethical shopping essayrant hadn't been written at this point.)

ok, schedule first, music later.


i started out by going to malton (after a wild scramble to get a young persons' railcard application form from the station, get it up to uni and approved, and back to the station and issued, all in the space of thirty minutes) on tuesday with merrick to a venue called the shed , which is bang smack in the middle of nowhere. it's basically a village hall with an amazing reputation for live acts. we had a chat with padma & bryce from clogs (we followed the national round a bit last year, and they're in both groups) and said hello and stuff.. and i cheekily asked if i could get guestlisted for the rest of the tour due to skintness but enthusiasm.. .they said yes, which made me a very happy bunny. i also asked the books if i could interview them at some point in the tour, probably brighton, and the said yes too. i was an even happier bunny. then i drank wine and awaited our transport 'home'... after the gig, we got picked up by the b&b owners (who were among the most obliging, friendly and generous people i've ever met), and tried to rescue a runaway dog on the way back. it wasn't having any of it though.


woke up to a cracking vegan breakfast, and went charidee shopping in malton. two michael jackson albums, two banjo party albums and a gorgeous velvet jacket (all for about eight quid!) later, merrick made his way to york & Other Things, and i waited for a later train to york in order to go to glasgow.

except i evidently can't be left alone for two minutes. i got on the wrong train to the wrong place going in the wrong direction. ended up in scarbrough for fifteen minutes, cried at a train guard (in pure *waaah*ness, not as a damsel-in-distress ruse), got my ticket amended for free (thank you, mr humane train guard) and was only an hour late getting further up north.

glasgow was, as ever, gorgeous. quick catch-up with a blast from my past (and a lovely catch-up it was too), and then onto the gig at the arches. my two friends went through the doors ahead of me, and i gave one of them my original ticket, as my name was meant to be 'down on the list'.
except it wasn't. so, bought a ticket and went in. after the gig, double checked about the guestlist and interview for brighton, and was told it was all good.

some lesbanian rrrock bar socialising, windowsill glossing, glassbreakages and newly acquired 2ndhand levi's later, it was ....


i was heading back to leeds for a short respite.

but did i rest? did i arse.

got into leeds at nine, straight up to the 'horse to see the remarkable quack quack and then to the faversham at eleven to see colder. absolutely brilliant gig, shame about the lack of publicity and few people there. nice that the snake-hipped singer agreed to an interview, though. bit of a dance at gigantic, home to bed and then work at nine on ...


finished work at twelve, on megabus to london at half past.

friday was my gig day off. i didn't go to see clogs or the books. i also didn't go to see king creosote. or bauhaus. but i did meet up with a couple of Good People in brixton, and then further afield somewhere near walthamstowe, i experienced fantastic company, a comfy sofa, immense hospitality and my first bong in about a decade. top stuff.


was brighton night. i met up with s. in london first for a few hours for drinks, brunchiness and good conversation, almost got stuck in the waitangi day kiwi district & circle line pub crawl. it was the first time i've ever heard a tube announcer say 'would you please LET GO of the doors'. arrived at victoria coach station 10 minutes before my megabus was due to leave, only to find i'd either written the wrong reference number or booked for the wrong date and couldn't get on. frantic phoning of anyone and everyone i knew with internet access to try get another ticket ensued, with no success. national express saved my life (and gyrus kindly did his best to help too).

trawled into brighton about half seven, found the venue, went to the ticket booth... and unlisted. again. panic.
a very kind lady listened to my rabid garbling and sorted me out a ticket. thank you, whoever you were :)
after the gig, i spoke to (i think) the tour organiser to check again it was ok for the books interview. he said it was fine, to wait out front and someone would 'come find me'.

i waited. and waited. smoked a few fags. waited a bit more. when i could no longer feel my feet and staff started locking the doors to the venue, i conceded defeat (an interview is being emailed, to give them the benefit of the doubt. if they don't reply though, they are barstids) and hopped in a taxi to the cowley club.

co-incidentally, i am a big fan of all things russian/eastern european.

imagine my joy when i walked in to find they were having a slavic night, described as "a barbaric benefit for some very tough Polish streetfighters who wrestle bears, eat nails and shit crowbars". Lots of stamping and clapping and 'oy!' ing and dancing. hurray!


so my adventure ended at an evil 9am, crawling out of brighton on a national express

i arrived home & safe at about six. it's been a productive trip - i've read more of my set texts, rewritten and revised more of my notes and thought about my uni course a lot more than i normally would when not travelling. i've also done some drawings to torment the world with.

exhausted but happy, and a wee bit over budget, all in all a good not stalking holiday.

nb a quick note about the travelling round the country after bands thing - from this post, it's obviously not just about that. it's about catching up with fantastic people. seeing more of this island. meeting good random strangers. meeting bad random strangers and Learning Life Lessons. working out how to make coach journeys go faster. having time by myself to think. a vacation from the cats. adreneline rushes when it all goes wrong, and overwhelming relief when it all goes right. and about developing new and interesting sleep patterns on getting home. next time i shall take a week off life afterwards.


Blogger drphunk said...

it was nice to see you again too. hopefully more time next time.

Trying to get interviews with bands can be a total nightmare. People in bands always seem to think they are cool and sometimes really mess you around. I had a total pain in the arse time with the beta band (wankers)


7:46 pm  
Blogger zoe said...

definitely, dr phunk.

i will cast no 'wanker' apsersions on this lot until they return my emails in terror saying 'never contact us again' or 'no longer at this address'.

11:45 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home