November 3, 2017
All the days roll into one. On our drive from Edinburgh to Ipswich I consult with Vinny about our trip from Newcastle to Scotland.
I am a day late writing and already the time is misty in my memory.
We left soon after midday.
Although we play Glasgow tonight, it is to Edinburgh we head.
I play there next, and it is preferable to stay in one room for two nights.
We arrive in Edinburgh. Check in, and then set off for the gig, alighting just in time for a 5pm soundcheck at The Royal Concert Hall.
Another venue I remember by its backstage.
I get a suite here.
A room to get made up in that also has a bathroom, and a lounge that abuts it, replete with a baby grand piano.
It has a telly.
That has made me happy on many an occasion here.
It breaks the anxiety that gearing up for a show used to evoke.
Now I am sanguine and favour audio books, it is left dormant.
Glasgow has always been a lively affair.
There is so much heart and lust for life here and in its people.
It is impossible for me not to be charmed by the energy.
I come from a shouty, volatile family, so the heat in the character is a familiar and comfortable place for me.
The accent though can challenge a southerner.
When I was a young punk, one of our associates in Southend was a cropped and bleached haired bruiser called, inventively, Scotty.
He was as hard as you like.
Combustible as white spirit.
Couldn’t understand a thing he said.
If he made noises, frowning, we shook our heads.
If he made sounds smiling, we laughed.
These responses seemed to satisfy him well enough, and none of us got head butted as a consequence.
He was always friendly to me.
Steve (Coatsie) who Is my digital manager, who I met many years ago as a fan and is now my dear friend and confidant, is Glaswegian.
I won’t talk to him on the phone. Can’t understand a fucking word.
That’s not entirely true.
I in 5 lands.
I see him in person where I can lip read, or we write.
Steve, he is a bookish font of knowledge, tells me the hotel I am staying in, used to be an insane asylum.
He knows I like facts like that.
Just the mess of staircases here, is enough to drive a soul to distraction.
To get to my room required a lift to the second floor, a small fight of stairs down, a corridor to cross, a sharp turn and then a steep flight of stairs up.
That challenged my memory plenty.
Steve says a famous Scottish poet died there at only 24, as an inpatient.
What of, I ask.
He fell down the stairs, Steve tells me.
On stage, we are welcomed vigorously.
Sold out, this is a crowd that wants to party, and whilst my set has banging moments, there is also time where reflection and sensitivity is to be engaged.
Our audience accepted it all with good grace.
Glaswegians have big thirsts and tiny bladders.
The swinging doors create light shows all of their own.
They heckled me where it was fun to, and respected the still.
I made the occasional fuck up, announcing the wrong ‘classic’ and chose once to restart when I was not happy with a first note, and we duly laughed it off together.
It was a good night.
I had mixed myself a gin and soda before going on, in my drinks flask, and Vinny, by request, had a plastic cup of ice in the car ready for when we left straight after to drive back to Edinburgh.
Happy in the back. I poured my mix, took a lime from my bag, pierced it with tweezers and squeezed it like a lemon.
I had soup in bed.
My 5 a day combined in there somewhere.
I’m a seasoned pro.
Happy Birthday to my darling.