Thursday, 12 September 2013

The three wknd tour!

CAR'S PACKED. Stuffed to the gunnels.
Piano on the roof-rack, amps and PA in the trailer, guitars strapped on the trailer roof. Violin and mandolin, tents and tarps crammed into the boot of the car. The four of us squashed inside. Costa coffees and cake crumbs. The piano player's rambling on, nonsensical ramblings, about this and that, mainly inaudible as the car's humming loudly and straining under the weight. The bass player's reading the map in the back, trying to remain calm while I'm driving, trying to keep the ship from sinking. The guitar player, seldom flustered, is now flustered, he's got a sweat on, trying to liaise with the film crew up ahead where we can get a few shots done. But he doesn't think we're on the same road and the bass player's confused as to which direction we're going! The engine's gone soprano as we try and overtake a lorry and the piano player spills his Copella apple juice on his lap. It's mayhem. The Odd Folk on tour. 

The poor drummer, a new addition, is travelling up in an air-conditioned estate with the film crew. They're up ahead, preparing to set-up and shoot us hurtling around the corner, or so they think, but we're on a different road, heading in a forgotten direction, all four of us talking at the same time about completely different things.

It's quite conceivable the car will break down. Or the trailer tyres will pop and we'll come to a halt on a lay-by somewhere on the A9000 near the the town of Shittington. After numerous phone calls we'll realise the AA membership has run-out. The film-crew and drummer will be out out of signal as they climb into the Peak District and approach the town of Matlock for the evening's gig, none the wiser. We'll either hide the trailer in the bushes for the evening and continue with the car, or if the car has given up we'll continue on foot arriving 2 days late for the concert and 1 day late for the radio interview the next morning!

I hope by writing this I am not temping fate! We're hoping for a crammed but smooth journey, and a fun little insight into our world and our music. We're very blessed to welcome Paul Mackeson on board to film the 2nd leg of our tour and excited by the new addition of our drummer, who is hoping his first gig isn't a drum solo in Matlock!

We're on a 900 mile, three weekend tour that began in rural Cornwall with amps on hay-bales and cows joining in on the chorus, and after Matlock, we shoe-foot up to the big smoke of the capital (that's if the car still works!) for a gig at the Underbelly in Hoxton. Last time we did London we actually were on foot, carrying drums, keyboard, amps etc at rush hour on the northern line! Never straight forward, always a little odd, prone to taking the longer and roundabout routes. It's not how we planned it, it just kinda happened that way. We bought LX tape so we could tape our leads together but we've never used it and the lead bag is like a bowl of spaghetti. My guitar case is held together with gaffer tape and bungee's and the piano player uses an ironing board as he's long since lost his stand. Ramshackle at best!

The tour then takes us back to Bristol for a German folk magazine interview where we have to take the nice lady to our two favourite places in the city, although none of us can decide where to go, the piano player keeps suggesting places that aren't even in Bristol! The guitar player, always one to cut corners, reckons the 1st should be our house and the 2nd should be the venue of the gig! Simple. We play at The Plough that night before tramping back down to Cornwall for The Little Big Festival.

So far so good. The car and trailer made it to Bristol so we know it works. We're confident we'll make the 2nd leg, from Bristol to Derbyshire. Fingers crossed.Tightly crossed.

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poster by Mae Voogd