The Sights Tour Diary Entry No. 42: Tales from the Riverbank
Wolverhampton is a city we played back in ’03 but on this trip it represents the day my girlfriend rolled into town. I was very excited to see her, and when I heard a taxicab door shut I knew it was her. She’d flown across the Atlantic, got on a handful of trains, tubes, and buses and got to us — I was very proud of her.
As Patrick, the D’s guitar tech noted, there was an extra step in my spring, and he was right. Our show was great and we immediately split for Ben’s place in Somerset, in the West Country. We rolled in just after midnight, popped open a few beers, and listened to a giant pile of vinyl. It was fun to watch Ben geek about certain records (PiL, Stranglers) and see our tastes cross paths (we both like Blur!?).
We slept in and after our jog Ben walked down the road to the farmer for eggs and milk. I asked for a receipt when he returned and he just laughed. He told me the farmer can barely read or write, and doesn’t own a cash register. I want to know people like that, who live off the grid. Somehow they seem purer than others.
After our first beans on toast of the tour, we went to the grocery store and bought supplies for dinner. Ben made a spaghetti dinner with wine and we had a relaxing candlelit meal. Of course, it was followed by a trip to the local pub, and we might have been a little too rowdy in there, singing (yelling?) “Everybody Knows this is Nowhere.” Good times.
After collapsing into bed we woke the next morning for our Manchester gig. Manchester has always been one of the wildest U.K. cities to play, but this time ’round it was quite sedate. It was cool to watch the D’s song “Jazz” morph into this great live piece, where Jack draws the audience in by teasing them about the greatness of jazz. When he explains to them that jazz is the best style of music, better than metal, that’s when the boos start. Then he turns it around and wins them over with the tune. It’s great showmanship.
Post-gig we popped next door to Apsley Cottage for a nightcapper with the cooks from catering. It was good to hear them talking about seeing the Jam and other bands of my teenage years.
All the best,
Skip’s Current State: hungover.