I started my 51st year with an Upper Cut gig, and I'm pleased to say that I'm starting my 52nd year in the same way - we're at The Dolphin in Uxbridge this Friday, the same night as the opening ceremony of The London Olympics. I guess this means that everybody will be at home watching it on television (well, let's face it, no ordinary person can afford a ticket to be there in person can they?) and so there'll be no one at the gig. Bah! Oh well - we'll have a good time anyway!
|The festival poster.|
Sometime around 7.25 a.m. my Metropolitan Line train sat for just that little bit too long at Harrow On The Hill station. I exchanged a few nervous looks and bleary smiles with my fellow passengers until the tension was broken by a disembodied voice over the speakers telling us that the destination of the train had changed, and that it was now terminating at Harrow On The Hill. Relative disinterest immediately turned into panic followed by a near-stampede to get on to the train waiting on the adjacent platform - I soon realised that as I was carrying a bag, guitar and (for the first time on an excursion such as this) a pedalboard there was no way that I was going to get on board the already-congested train. Curses! Resigning myself to waiting for the next arrival I stumbled somewhat dejectedly back towards my original train, whereby I heard the driver saying something along the lines of 'well I don't know what that was all about but we're definitely going to Aldgate' and instigating another stampede in the process. I nearly got stuck in the doors, but even got my old seat back. An annoying little incident, which pales into insignificance compared to what happened next...
|The Adriatic Sea as seen |
from Fort Punta Christo.
To cut a long story short (for once!) I eventually made it to Stansted Airport at 10.40 - the gate for our flight was closing at 11.05. Tour manager Pablo had left my tickets with in his words 'a very helpful lady' at the information desk in Area A, the Ryanair last minute check desk was suitably (and surprisingly) swift, the lady at the outsize baggage section took her time a bit under the circumstances and the £5 that I paid for priority security clearance proved to be well worth the money. When I got the gate 41 (they're always a long way off when you're late aren't they? Still at least I now hold the World land speed record...) I found everyone waiting to get on board, and then waited for 15 minutes before the queue started moving. What was all the fuss about eh?
|The view from the stage |
during our soundcheck
|Seamus and the ill-fated |
|Here's where we stayed. |
Nice isn't it?
With the next band starting their set in the background Segs, Dave and Molara gave a television interview; there's more alcohol and the promise of some Mexican food but Seamus and myself decide that it's been a long enough day and ask Al to drive us back to where we're staying. As we're getting into the van an enthusiastic young man stops us and says that we were amazing. It's good when that happens!
And we made the newspapers too -
I wonder what the headline says - any ideas?