It was around this point of the tour where we all became wine connoisseurs (winos, in other words). Tempranillo, Rioja and Chianti aplenty!
The Point at Cardiff was a cool venue. It’s a converted church and it’s still got the stained windows and gothic arches everywhere. Right up our street. We had an excellent gig there. We seemed to have settled in and found our stride. We had some great feedback and someone also took some cracking photos of us.
The night after Cardiff we had a night off and we spent it with Joe and crew in Liverpool. A few snifters at the hotel bar then on to a curry house on the docks. One of the strangest curry houses we have ever frequented in recent times, also one of the most expensive. Can’t remember the name of it but don’t go there, it’s not a proper curry house. But the wine there was good. Then onto another bar. A few more drinks and our lift home decided it was time to go. So we headed back to the hotel to where the car was parked, walked past the car and into the hotel bar. An hour or so later we left drum-tech Aaron and guitar-tech Dave to their own devices while we stumbled to the car.
The next day in Birkenhead, Aaron told us about him and Dave the night before looking for a beer after we had left. They had run out of money and then found a couple of spare beer cans on the tour bus. The problem was that the beer was warm. The solution? Put the cans in a bucket acquired from somewhere and unload a fire extinguisher into the bucket. Then chuck the extinguisher out of the window. The best thing was that Aaron had caught it all on his mobile! Dave said he was ‘that’ far away from going all rock ‘n’ roll and chucking the television out of the window as well. The question is; did the extinguisher cool down the beers? The answer is a resounding ‘Hell yeah!’
Birkenhead was a bit of a strange do. There were a couple of hecklers but the rest of crowd were digging it.
South Shields Customs House is a proper theatre and the sound guys there had never really done a band before. They did alright in the end but we did have to shift a couple of microphones to their rightful places. It was a sit down gig so I found it weird that we were rockin’ out while people were sitting down. I felt like we should have been doing a hey-nonny set or something. Mind you, the dressing rooms were probably the best we had of the tour.
This is where the tour was originally scheduled to finish. Two other dates were added. One in Sutton and the other in Blackpool. Blackpool; we’ve never really had good luck there and when you come and see us, ask Michael, he’ll tell you. Anyway, we played a working men’s club which was like the Phoenix club incarnate. Cabaret? In the room next to us there was a bad Elvis impersonator and at the back of our stage there was a life size mock up of the gates of Graceland! Thankyouverymuch!
The last gig of the tour was at the Sutton Boom Boom Rooms. The stage was an odd shape and we could just about fit all the gear on. I had to use Bogie’s kit as we couldn’t fit two kits on the stage. The ceiling was low. Joe’s bass player Mark is over 6 foot tall and his head was an inch off the ceiling. Michael and Joe both knocked guitars into the ceiling during sound check as they took them off.
It’s the last gig of the tour, Joe’s band and two thirds of SSR are struggling with an arse of a cold, it’s a crap stage with a low ceiling and the place is packed.
We had a right blast! Not the tightest gig we’ve ever played but we had a great time playing it. Dave was plying us with screwdrivers while we were playing and some guy was in front was rockin’ out and throwing horns. It was all good.
After, we drank and watched Joe do his thing, then drank some more. Then it all became a bit of a blur. I know we said goodbye to everybody and I know Aaron and Dave were drunk ‘cos they went through the best part of a couple of bottles of vodka together. The next thing I remember was throwing up in the bushes in the car park of the Travel Inn we were staying in. Then upon entering the hotel room, I threw up again. I did manage to get it in the toilet though. Then I crashed.
The next morning after waking up and not actually feeling too bad, Lee showed me some footage from the night before on his camcorder.
Apart from the cringingly embarrassing sight of us all talking complete bollocks into the camera there’s a scene in the van where I could see myself downing what was left from a bottle of Jack. I never drink Jack, because it makes me ill but I was already (and obviously) too drunk to make the right decision not to drink it. That did explain the vomit. Probably a good job I threw it up ‘cos Michael had also been downing the Jack in spectacular fashion and had not thrown up. He though, was looking very ill.
With all of us apart from Bryan feeling tired, grumpy and poisoned (Bryan was a little grumpy though.) we set off back to Manchester to recoup and give our livers a rest.
The tour was more successful than we imagined it would be, we made some friends along the way and we are all chomping at the bit to do it again as soon as possible.
Thanks to everyone who came up to talk to us or bought a CD. You helped make it for us.