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June 2019
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2003-11-04 North London Drunk Designes Tour Around Britain

Being a singer must be such a glamorous lifestyle.


Being a singer must be such a glamorous lifestyle.


If I had a euro for every time I heard those words, I could clear my mortgage in one go. Undoubtedly there are glamorous episodes like recording in Abbey Road, singing "Danny Boy" with Bill Clinton, intermittent sojourns in plush hotel suites or on six-star cruises around the Virgin Islands,or singing to a crowd of 12,000 at Birmingham's NEC having been snubbed by snooty Lady Beckham! But please don't for a moment think it is all glamour.


Come with me now, if you will, on our recent debut tour of the UK. Make yourself comfortable in your lovely purple airline seat aboard our intimate rock `n roll tour-bus. Our schedule has been designed by a drunk in a North London pub with the aid of sixteen darts and a map of England. We begin in Cambridge, up to York, down to Bournemouth, all the way back up to Yorkshire again (Halifax) south-west to Cardiff north to Manchester and seven hours down to Worthing. Then London to Newcastle, no day-off, and a show every night.


After the performance we meet our appreciative audiences, sign their programmes and CDs, and get high on adulation. Most nights, familiar faces from my past life turn up to surprise me in the foyer, but we have to move on, we cannot spend time with our old acquaintances. Email and phone numbers are swopped, and we are on our way once more to the hotel or the next town. I can fully empathise with the loneliness of many of the big stars, one moment being surrounded by thousands of adoring fans, and the next watching Sky News alone in a hotel room. As the band make merry into the wee hours, I drift away into the `land of Nod' until breakfast. After an invigorating shower we are back on the bus for our daily six-hour drive to our sound-check and gig, with sometimes the occasional radio or press `phoner' thrown in.


We become well-acquainted with the British motorway network, and with every `Moto' and `Welcome Break' services. We have refused membership to the AA and the RAC, and the offer of a low-rate credit card, on a daily basis. Some `services' offer healthier options, but mostly it is a diet of fast-food, fish `n chips, mushy peas, cumberland sausages and salad bars of wilted congealed vegetables suffocating in a smothering of mayonnaise.


Then it's off to the newsagents to drive the final nail into last summer's health regime with the help of more junk, and to stock up on a supply of magazines which range from "House and Home" to "Miss Voluptuous", the latter for the band! Our little travelling adult-Montessori school sets off again, up and down the same stretches of motorway. With our unrelenting schedule, some defences are down, sneezing has begun, and so the trick is to avoid infections which are being recycled throughout the vehicle.