TUESDAY 04 MAY – MANCHESTER HOP AND GRAPE.
Today was definitely more like it. On time and on form. Leaving Nottingham on time was a good start, and watching Boyz In The Hood on the way for the fifteen time sent me to sleep, so that passed away a few miles. I love the travelling, but I wish we had room to bring a whole load of movies with us. After what seems like fifty service station stops for drinks/snacks/piss/coffee/more piss etc we get to the venue in plenty of time……FOR ONCE! The gear gets unloaded, and I take a walk around the local student market – loads of shit books, shit CDs and shit pottery being sold to the poor students who cant afford to be fussy. If I was in some position of power, I would ensure free stuff from Tower Records, Levis and Waterstones Books for everyone trying to battle for an education. Maybe that’s why I’m not Prime Minister?
So we get a good sound-check in, and everyone goes off to eat, but since I know they are going to end up in some horrible greasy kebab house, eating suspect looking meat bits in a soggy bread thing, I decline and sit talking to Burton and Jeff from Pist.On for about an hour. Eventually, my lot return, and we get changed and go onstage. And I realise its going to be a tough one. Its respectably full, but everyone, without any exception is stood all around the three sides of the hall. This leaves a massive space in the centre of the room with NO people in it!! Oh shit, I think, as we launch into Red Shift….How do we fill that space? But we did it. By the time the last song, Rush, comes along, people are in that space and moving along to the songs. We definitely made some friends tonight and I totally enjoyed the set that we did – It felt loud, well played and tight, and it was one of those rare occasions that I actually felt good when I came off the stage.
After the show, it was the usual routine of pack the equipment away, load the van, and set off in search of somewhere to stay. Tonight’s lucky winner is……….Our drummer, Jason, poor man. But the twist is that Jason has a heated swimming pool in his house, so we are all looking forward to that oh-so-civilized early morning dip! We must be paying him way too much!! See ya tomorrow.