|'Why? Because Krakatoa's|
So far, so sarcastic - but how had I got there?
I met the van at 9am on Friday at Driving Me Crazy in Brentford. As I got there my new friend Dawn was just reversing the vehicle into place - when I commented on her New Model Army shirt she revealed that she works for them and then offered to put me on the guest list for their show at The Forum in November. Result!
If I now tell you that we arrived at 53 Degrees in Preston just before 6.30pm after a journey that should have taken around 4 hours you will have some idea of how our day went. Why does this country completely fall apart when it rains? That said although the journey was long it wasn't by any means totally unenjoyable, as Seamus told some hilarious stories about his time playing with Paul Weller (it's best that they're not repeated here, believe me!) matched by Dave coming out with a seemingly endless succession of bad jokes among the many amusing diversions. It was all more fun than it looks written down here, honest!
|Backstage passes for the gigs,|
and the 'short but sweet'
With everything packed away it was back to The Holiday Inn where thankfully the bar was still open. Phil from Bug joined us with his wife, brother and mum (they'd all been at the gig, I don't think that he has them with him all the time!) and drinks were drunk, stories were told and the day ended on a much more optimistic note than I for one felt as though it might when we were on the endless M6. Good!
Saturday started in a leisurely manner, with breakfast finishing at 11am and the band leaving for Newcastle at midday. Our journey goes well and we're checking in at The Ramada Encore in no time where the food is good and the mood is relaxed. We're playing at the North West Calling festival at The O2 Academy where we're sharing a dressing room with The U.K. Subs who are on after us with Sham 69 topping the bill. I meet Subs guitar man Jet in the afore-mentioned room, and since we've both got our instruments handy a spot of guitar nerdery takes place, much to the horror of other band members and onlookers. Great stuff!
|The doorway that |
leads to adventure -
or in this case,
an in depth discussion of
electric guitar intonation
and fret wire gauge.
With our gear all packed away it's off out front to watch a couple of songs from The U.K. Subs (who sounded great - apparently their soundman just left our settings up on the mixing desk!) before joining our driver Mark behind the merch desk which slightly oddly is up on the second floor. You can't see the stage from there but business is brisk,with plenty of positive comments from many-a punter. Tony who saw us in Stockton back in March shows us his new Ruts D.C. tattoo and local record dealer Pod presents Segs and myself with compilation DVDs of old Ruts footage as Sham 69 blast though their set in the background - it's been a great evening. The rest of the band take the van back to the hotel while Segs and myself pack the merchandise away then take a taxi through the Newcastle streets which are full of people - as we stop to let an endless stream of them cross the road the driver asks us if there's anything we need. The evening then takes a slightly surreal turn when offers us some Viagra - which we decline in case you were wondering - then when we get to the hotel there's a St. Pauli-themed hen party at the bar. I'll leave you to do your own punchline...
The next day's journey back to London goes well if somewhat blearily - I get home and fall asleep for a couple of hours before getting on Skype and participating in episode 128 of the Music Scene Investigation podcast. Watching it now I'm not entirely sure that I was awake during the broadcast either - have a look here and see what you think. And I should perhaps have had an early night on Monday after a day in the shop but instead journeyed up to London where despite guitar amplifier problems during their first couple of songs The Duel were in fine form at their Madame Jojo's Monday night residency.
And there's more on the horizon from Ruts D.C. this weekend as we're playing at Sub89 in Reading this Friday 13th September. Unlucky for some? Hopefully not for us...