Sunday, 17 May 2009
Cafe by the river in the old town.
The Sandeman can ....
Finally got some quiet time .... a little 'me' time. So, I think I'll gibber on here a little. Could be fun, could be boring. Most folks might find this news a little late and a little overshadowed by the current hoo ha about 're-unions' but what the hey? Being out of date and irrelevent has never stopped me before.
I guess the main thing happening lately has been our little trip to Portugal. Gosh, we had a great time and I met loads of lovely people. First off a big hello to Luis who made us very welcome, showed us around and helped out .... thanks ever so much. Then also a big howdy must go to Emmerson who is probably the most laid back promoter I have come across but still takes care of business with the best of 'em.
I flew in early because of the usual connecting flight palavers that flying out of Glasgow brings. All this flying is taking me back to the beginning of 2008 when it seems like we were on a flight every day, in fact generally we were. Those were a pretty mental couple of months .... the tour eveyone thought we'd never manage but manage we did with no cancellations and no-one dying. Doesn't really get better than that.
I won't bore you with the usual old hotel bollocks. Nice room etc etc. It seems like getting spoilt a little now that a hotel has to be pretty spectacular now before you'd pass comment on it. I still remember the days of no hotels and night drives and transit vans so I guess I should be grateful for small luxuries.
Well, the show in Porto went purty damn well. The usual solo contingent of Peter, McBoabie and The Slater were augmented by The Candles (The Superinnas and Clandestine) lighting up our lives once again. The show was an absurdly late one by my standards but not for the Portugese it seems. We were off to bed well before the party peaked for those folks. Oh well, different horses for different courses.
Me and The Slater had decided to spend an extra day in Porto for a wee holiday and Peter stayed out too. We started our day in a relaxed fashion with Caipirinhas by the pool. Nice .... In typical Scottish fashion I gradually turned from light blue to pale to roasted pink. Typical. I was skelpin' within minutes and had to do most of my sunbathing under towels which kind of defeats the object of sunbathing. Mr Slater proved himself quite adept at aquatic clowning and we whiled away a lovely few hours splashing around like children in the cool water of the rooftop pool.
A quick snooze later and off we popped to the old town. I have been to Porto before and somehow got the impression that it was quite industrial and never really saw anything which caught my fancy and struck me as pretty or .... hmmm don't quite know how to describe what I mean here. However, how wrong I was. A short cab ride from the hotel takes you down to the old town by the river and my oh my it's lovely.
Old bars and restuarants line the river with the old port wine family businesses .... terrace bars and restaurants, simply lovely. Peter, myself and McMeldrew supped on cold Superbocks and old port, ate some tasty cheeses, pastel de bacalhau and olives. There was also the added interest of the Napoleonic re-enactment of the first battle of Porto where the British aided the Portugese in their defeat of Napoleons forces. Quite a significant battle it would seem as there were hundreds of people re-enacting the event and hanging out in the bars and cafes of riverside Porto. The attention to detail in the uniforms was quite something and by gum these folks take it seriously. All in all a lovely day and we finished off back at the hotel garden with a few beers and acoustic songs into the night.
Quite a busy day the following day. We hopped in Luis' car and off to the Gaia district for a wee studio session. Knocked about a few ideas and got a version of The Ballad Of Grimaldi down for our efforts before .... Off to the football!
Emmerson had kindly scored us some tickets to the Porto game. I hadn't been to a big game for a while and to be honest Emmerson really came up trumps for us. The game was a sell out and if Porto won then they took the championship. Now I have a few reservations about Porto after their style of play in the UEFA cup final against Celtic a few years back but I couldn't let that spoil the evening. It turned out quite an average game but on the sense of occaision was immense. It turned out Porto won 1 - 0 which was the trigger for the whole town to go buck wild! The stadium was packed, the streets were packed, everywhere was going mental. Scorchio! A bloody wild night and a perfect end to the trip.
Back at the hotel we said our goodbyes to Peter who was off on a solo mission to Lisbon and myself and Iain prepared for the trips back to Gourock and Hastings respectively.
All in all a lovely trip, a successful trip and a safe return for everyone .... and to quote myself it doesn't really get better than that!
Monday, 11 May 2009
Ok folks, just explaining the ease of a blog to Mr Slater's Parrot at the moment. We've had an extra super smashing time in Porto. We've met a LOT of great folks and had some wonderful adventures. However these will all have to wait until I get off the plane on Monday, sleep and find some time on Tuesday to have a mess about on this old blog palaver of mine ....
In the meantime McMeldrew would like me to point out that the name of the doggie in one of my last posts is Dylan. We're also bigging up Claire, Andy and the Gladstone Terrace clan! One love etc etc and as the young folks say .... Yo!
Friday, 1 May 2009
The Senor Boabie and Peter.
The real Bilobear.
Note broken lock on my suitcase .... Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
Dropper modeling Gio Goi.
The Slater modeling Fred Perry and Scottish teeth.
Good day sunshine.
The Senor Boabie invades the stage.
Adam hard at work doing a 'set list' i.e. wish list in Murcia.
Drew, Drew's haircut and A.J.
THE SHOWER OF DEATH!!!!
Flew in Easyjet from Glasgow to Alicante yesterday for Murcia's SOS festival. The flight was a horrorshow but thanks to Easyjet's smashing system of speedy boarding i.e. pay eight quid to juke the queue I got a prime seat to run off as soon as we landed and escape the baying hoards of pink stetsoned hen parties blowing penis shaped whistles all the way and what seemed to be every thug in Glasgow going on holiday at the same time. The guy beside me was obviously a veteran of such flights. Such is the demand for booze that the trolley often doesn't reach the back seats before landing! He bought six vodkas and three cans of lager for himself as soon as we took of and got steadily more pissed and steadily more lairy as the flight progressed.
It was quite funny watching people stagger to the toilet and open everything with tissues (swine flu). I imagine if they came into contact with any virus it'd immediately be killed with the amount of alcohol swilling around their system.
I'd also like to give a special big 'FUCK YOU' mention to the old twats on their golf outing who thought it was hilarious to camp it up and mince around and generally insult the boy on check in because they had decided he was gay. He may have been, he may not, that's his business but it seems these dicks had a more finely tuned gaydar than most though .... closet and over-compensating mehinks!
Anyhoo, my driver wasn't there to meet me and had parked about half a mile away across a motorway when he eventually turned up but he was a nice bloke and we chatted (him: pidgin English / me: pidgin Spanish = pidgin Spanglish) about footballl, Barcelona (even though we were in Murcia, our mutual dislike of Chelsea FC (Ashley Cole, he ees wankers, how you say?) and the Godlike genius that is Henrik Larsson.
Got dropped off at the hotel to meet the Three Stooges (Brucie, Big Baby Slater and The Boabie). Had a few beers and tapas, Iain got all McMeldrew on us and sloped off in a huff (as he normally does when a bill arrives), Kenny then went back to the hotel and me and The Brucie went to have a wander in the town centre. Lovely warm night and a couple of glasses of chilled rose on the terrace of a bar suited us fine before a taxi home and bed. I was kind of hoping the golf boys would pass by because the sight of myself and The Brucie sipping rose in such a romantic setting would have been guaranteed to turn them out of the closet.
Woke up to a lovely day in a lovely room in a lovely hotel with a lovely pool .... perfect. The rest of the party seem to be ok with their travel and we all intend to have a smashing time. Just of out for some lunch in a small tapas bar along the street before having a dip.
I just had a bath which was lovely but the shower had been fascinating me since I cast my eyes on it. So I hopped in. It resembles what a shower in the year 2000 should look like if you were watching Blue Peter in 1973. All sort of nobs and pipes and nozzles .... I had to have a go.
Well at first nothing came out, then something came out the bottom about shin height then something came out the showerhead then a load of high pressure jets came searing out of pinholes all over and I nearly fouled the shower stall. This wasn't hi tech relaxation and hygiene this was a torture chamber in my hotel room toilet! Whoever designed this must have been head of torture at Franco's military college in a new career. Not only that but it looked like he forgot to include a plug hole in the contraption because I am now nursing my wounds on my bed and watching the overflow from the shower into the bathroom slowly ooze out into the bedroom! I shall not be trying that again!
Righto, back in the old suite after a nice walk. Bit short of eateries when we went out. Plenty of places but we chose to wander during siesta so most of them were closed. Found a very pleasant bar to dine in though, boquerones, blood sausage and patatas .... delicious washed down with a tasty (albeit tiny) glass of the local beer. Belly satisfied for a while, a short while. Breakfast was smashing too. Fresh fruit salad (non-fizzy thankfully), asparagus, jamon, tortilla, bacon, walnuts, chorizo, tomatoes and scrambled egg. It was self service and eat as much as you like .... so I did! Now I only have a few hours to wait until catering. I may try and get an extra ticket so I can have dinner and then a supper later.
Everyone's here now barring Mick who is coming in on a later flight. All are doing their own thing some eating, some resting .... Me, The Brucie and Senor Boabie (see what I did there) exposed ourselves poolside for a little while and frightened the locals with our paleness. I had my camera but I thought it best to refrain from taking any snaps though Senor Boabie would have been perfect for setting the white balance I'd say.
So, now it's just the waiting game for dinner and the show and I am drooling at the prospects both hold.
Righto, another few hours later and another bubbly bath with my book, mmmmmm. I avoided a second round with the Shower Of Death and had a quick hose down with the bathrooms second shower (yes, it's that posh) it's got two sinks! Two I tells ye! Oh the loneliness! I had no-one to share my sinks with. I could have asked Senor McBoabie but I dread to consider the repercussions of such a move. Definite pregnancy for one of us .... I'd like to think him!
So, almost time for lobby call. Mooch about the site, visit CATERING and do the show. I can hear the festival from my room and there're fireworks and everything! Woooooo!
Oh, I am quite looking forward to this!
Righto, a quick update from my hotel in Hasselt. Got a good night's kip. Everyone was totally fucked from yesterday's efforts .... a true tale of bravery and perseverance against all odds.
We got back from the festival in Murcia to the hotel about four in the morning and I was dearly looking forward to my scratcher. Oooops, shit I just realised it's lobby call, gotta go .... will write more later! Suffice to say The Boabie went beyond the call of duty with his spiderman skilles and quite literally took one for the team when 'diving on the grenade' in Frankfurt airport. The man needs a medal .... and locking up for his own safety and the safety of all those around him.
Now then, back online at €22 for 24hrs in the Luxembourg hotel where a burger is only €19 and a pint €6.50. Good Lord! However, the journey was sedate compared to yesterday and the mood in the camp is fine.
Yesterday however .... The shambles show in Murcia was fun for all. Met some nicey nice people, hello These Dancing Days (don't forget to say Hi to Helen for me). All in all a good time had by all. It was a late finish so got back to hotel in the early hours to discover that there was no electricity in the room. Farcical behaviour followed (which I won't go into) and I eventually got to bed by the light of my trusty zippo only to be greeted by the dawn chorus of The Brucie and The Slater bellowing out of the windows, so not much of a kip was had. Oh Well!
Lobby call beckoned and I made my way to the lift only to see out the side window quite a spectacular sight. Senor Boabie had decided to go walkabout on a 1ft wide ledge six floors up. The man either has a death wish or some gadgets attached to his wrists which squirt out spider's web.
However, airport was made and boarding smooth. Then we got to Frankfurt on a plane 25 min late but not worried as we had 35 minutes before the Brussels connection left. "Not good enough" said the rather unhelpful lady at check in and even though the plane wasn't leaving for another twenty minutes at this point we were refused boarding privileges. Drat!
The other flights offered couldn't get there on time for stage so the only alternative was a car. Problem was, our luggage was "still in the system". It's at times like these that apoplexy is a possibility but it's often better to adopt an aura of zen-like calm .... we tried, and mostly succeeded .... apart from Herr Boabie (at this point).
We had to resign ourselves to the loss of a lovely Gibson acoustic and an Epiphone heavyhorse but being the forward thinkers we are had decided to take an acoustic as hand luggage in the event that our luggage would go amiss. We simply had to hunker down and wait for the personal luggage to come through. It eventually did .... three quarters of an hour later and (and I can only assume here not accuse) €xxxx missing from a padlocked pouch within my trolley case. Lock broken, pouch rifled etc etc. Not happy obviously but the only thing on my mind was getting to Hasselt so as not to let the fans down. Pretty philosophical about it even now because in the light of the odyssey we endured yesterday to even have done the show was good enough for me.
We wouldn't even have gotten the luggage and made the show hadn't it been for the valour of The Herr Boabie who, while I was away, spotted a suspicious bag had been discarded by one of the carousels and was about to become a major incident (area cleared / taped off etc). Unfortunately it was the area our bags were due to come through .... a potential wait of hours and no appearance in Hasselt!
Showing bravery beyond the call of duty boosted by a little Dutch courage (I assume) The Herr Boabie penetrated the police cordon and heroically tackled the 'bomb' himself, nearly getting arrested and / or shot in the process. The bomb eventually turned out to be an half eaten sandwich ....
God bless you The Herr Boabie!
Righto kind having a conundrum at the moment. Do I start another post or just carry on regardless? Who knows?
Anyhow, where did I leave off? Luxembourg ....
Odd place, great gig. Fuck it. I am tired. I only came on to post some snaps so here they are.
Travelled for ten hours today and currently in a proper soulless hotel in Porto and the mob are arriving tomorrow. Solo show so only the Superinnas, The Boabie and The Slater coming in on the plane. Mowgli is already 'in country' and traveling by other means which means I'll see him later. Righto, knackered so I'll concentrate on photos and then snooze for a fresh start early tomorrow.