Sunday, 19 April 2009

Random Snaps From My Recent Travels.

Peter, Jai and Stephen.

A Doggy.

The Dohingtons.

Happy Campers.

Fuck Forever, Dundee.

Mr Slater's Parrot.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Am I Rude?

I have just been told I am rude. I don't like that, but who would. I know I am often cheeky but not so much rude. There's a vast difference between being cheeky and being rude.
The person who told me I was rude was a Babyshambles fan who had come to see Peter play solo in Norwich. I remember this show but I don't remember being rude to anyone. I did tell some lads to fuck off later in the evening when they started getting a bit lairy and creepy but that wasn't rudeness it was more ehm .... shall we say stating a fact. i.e. For every action there is a reaction. For every act there are consequences. Start shouting abuse at me and the crew at two in the morning then there will certainly a reaction, a consequence and being told to "Fuck off ya trumpet!" is quite a minor consequence really when you consider the options.

When it is a gig day I do have a bit of a personality change. My business partner and even my parents have even been quite taken aback by it. My only concern is to get the act onstage, have a great show and get the band and crew safely on the bus stowed away for the next show.

I have developed what I would describe my 'show day head' which could appear as abrupt or short. It is often taken for abrupt, short and even rude by people when they encounter me. It's normally described as rude when they are not getting what they want.

You see that's what it really comes down to ....
If I am asked a question I will consider my answer and give it. This answer is generally a 'yes' or a 'no'. 'Yes' never requires an explanation but say no to someone and they're gonna want a detailed fuckin' essay on why not? Either that or they are going to want to change my mind. Neither of these things are going to happen so when they start down that road I politely say 'no' again. That'll be it all starting over again with the 'why not's?' and the 'go on's' .... sorry folks I ain't got the time and I have made my mind up for considered reasons and if you don't like that because you're not getting what / where you want then what can I say really .... it's you who are ruder and more selfish than me.

Other potential sources of my rudeness ....

1. The Bus.
The bus is our home. The bus is where we sleep. The bus is where we relax. The bus is where we argue. The bus is where we make up. The bus is where we store our private possessions and valuables. Am I rude because I won't let you on it? Am I rude because when I find you messing with the door in a dark car park I tell you to stop it? Am I rude when I stop you writing 'I Love U Pete' in marker pen on the trailer? Would you go up to the front door of someone you don't know have a fiddle with the door and if it's unlocked have a wander about inside? No, didn't think so. So that's me not being rude there either.

2. The Dressing Room.
Now quite why someone would want to hang out in a dressing room is beyond me. In general they are small, cramped, often smelly and have absolutely NOTHING to do in them. Believe me, I know, I have been bored senseless in enough of them in my time. The idea that this is some kind of mystical shangrila, a door to a magical land of rock 'n' roll fun and mystery is .... frankly a load of old cobblers. To be honest most of the band and crew avoid the dressing room until just before the gig and leave it shortly after the gig. Before the show the band want (and often need) to be alone to prepare themselves so if someone had managed to get in (unlikely) and I ask them to leave this is not rude although it is often taken as such. If someone tries to get in after th show and I won't let them in it's because either a.) they're not supposed to be there or b.) the band have just come off stage after having poured their hearts out for an hour and a bit and maybe would like  breather and a bit of peace and quiet.

Another thing about the dressing room is that very often it's another private place to store valuables or instruments and for this reasons understandably off limits.

At The Troxy show I had the misfortune of meeting a minor celebrity and her coterie of lickspittles but every cloud has a silver lining .... I had the pleasure of booting their sorry arses out of the dressing room. Picture this .... the band are on stage of the last night of the tour, a tour which a lot of people had put a lot of blood, sweat and tears (literally) into, I walk past the dressing room and hear a racket going on in there.
Now this was a new venue and the securty staff perhaps not as experienced as I am sure they will become. My pass system may appear complex but it is actually pretty simple. Band, crew, management and assistants will have a laminate. No-one without a laminate gets in the dressing room without one unless accompanied by someone with an escort laminate (of which there are only three). So quite how ten people managed to get through this system and esconce themselves in the dressing room I am not sure but it happened.

Anyhow, the dressing room contained all our food, drinks, clothes, some bags and a smoke alarm. A smoke alarm which had been redundant because not even the band were smoking in there because of the punative fine associated with it and the fact that there was a smoking exit about five feet away. Did these nobs care? Nah, not their problem.

So, I'm walking down the corridor to get something mid-show, and that's the important bit .... mid-show, I hear the noise from the dressing room and go in to find little Miss Sunshine and her hangers on helping themselves to our hospitality. Now, they got their tickets for free (not from me I may add), they got into the show, they had passes which would have gotten them into an aftershow party if we decided to have one but .... not good enough. They didn't even have the courtesy to watch the performance. I am sure you can imagine what happened next but was that me being rude? I don't think so. I think the rudeness was coming from their side not mine. How disrespectful is that? They were further annoyed when they tried to get on the side of the stage (a working area). They certainly didn't want to watch from the front where you can actually hear the show properly. God forbid they mix with the 'civilians' (fuck I hate that term, only ever used by arseholes) and see / hear the show properly. They'd rather be seen stageside because it makes them 'special' .... fuck 'em!

2. Access To The Band (Peter In Particular).
Now, I have never worked with a band who are as genuinely close to their fans as Babyshambles. Whenever appropriate they will spend as much time as possible with them, keep in touch on the internet, hang out, get them involved, give them work experience, sneak them into sold out shows, make arrangements for them to be more comfortable at shows, fight with heavy handed security staff, monitor the crowd for arseholes or danger situations, pull a fan in distress out of the crowd, sink a beer with them etc etc etc.

I also fully understand the love the fans have for the band members and how special they are to their lives for a million different reasons. I know that it's the dream of many fans to meet their heroes, have a chat etc etc but sometimes this isn't possible. The reasons for this vary from the fact that they might be sleeping or need a bit of time on their own to the fact that there may be a crush or a scrum outside the bus which is potentially dangerous for the band member or the fan alike. If that is the case then I will pull them indoors and close it until the crowd disperses to a safe level. Sorry but that just the way it is and if that means you didn't get you ticket signed it may have been worth it because it may have meant that some kid didn't get their arm broken.

I'm trying to come up with other examples when I may be perceived as rude but I am at a loss now. Suggestions welcome ....

Oh! There's is one .... the fact that I am a curmudgeonly bastard with no manners!

Thursday, 9 April 2009

My Dinner (Or Lunch If Your English).

I just ate a bowl of pasta which while very tasty was absolutely enormous. I don't eat much on tour and my stomach and appetite seem to shrink. However, since my return it's been getting back to it's normal level. Today it surpassed itself. I looked at the mound in front of me thinking 'I'm never going to get through all that' but I did and now my stomach hurts .... but in a nice way.
Only two and a half hours until dinner though but I reckon I'll be raring to go again in no time. I have pork chops, which will be delicious, but no sides yet. I have an idea that I may just go to the Co-op and get some macarroni cheese and cauliflower cheese .... now that sounds like a feast to me!

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Rainy Gourock.

Finally got home after a slog of about six weeks all told. Had a lot of fun, some ups, some downs, some scrapes, some adventures, some misadventures, met a lot of lovely people, heard a LOT of great music, hung out with some old friends, hung out with some new friends ....
Post tour blues isn't uncommon. It's odd waking up without the imminent adrenaline buzz of the show to look forward.
That's why days off on tour are strange. You really need them, you really do. Mine however seem to be spent in an unrelaxed state of knowing there's always something to be done, in an unfamiliar (though generally pretty comfortable) hotel room, wondering whether to go out, stay in, read, sleep, watch telly .... an odd state of affairs.
We got back from France on Saturday too late to get he train back to Scotland so I spent most of the day hunting down a hotel. I don't know what was happening in London but my travel agent couldn't find me one for love nor money. I eventually fell upon the kindness of friends (Sarah from The Good Mixer) who made a prompt call and I found myself in a room above a pub in Belsize Park. Five star it was not .... in fact it wouldn't merit one star really as it had no lock on the door, in fact a big hole in the door where a lock used to be but my head was down by ten and out like a light. It was a nice pub but I couldn't even muster the energy for a pint.
Train back to Scotland the next day .... Sunday service sheesh! All off at Carlisle for a 'luxury' i.e. decrepit coach to Glasgow then onwards to Gourock and getting my head down back at the folks.
Home cooking on the table! My own bed in for the first time in what seemed like an eternity. I even struggled to stay awake so I could roll over a few times and luxuriate and get that Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh feeling a few times. Thirteen straight hours sleep. Heaven.
Back up and at it Monday though and looking forward to the next batch!
Couple of snaps arrived from a photographer chum which I'll stick up and a few more later maybe. I didn't take many photies on this run. I don't know why because I really should have for the scrapbook. It's all in the head though and it'll stay there as one big lump filed in the Happy Memories archive of the brain.

Aaah, the photies came out at the top and in the wrong order. One day I'll get used to this malarkey.