Day 1 – Newcastle
In the interests of economy the band and crew traveled together in the back of the van, in the interests of comfort we tool a three piece suite (which wasn’t quite big enough to seat the seven people sentenced to suffer in there) and against the interests of safety the door wouldn’t open from the inside and on being opened, wouldn’t shut properly, adding some much needed ventilation and come completely unnecessary air conditioning. So in high spirits (if not temperatures) the merry band set forth. Within seconds of arrival confusion ensued with the first of many contractual cock ups which were to mar the proceedings. This time it was merely the inconvenience of having no monitors or lights – it was an ominous portant of what was to come…. Undaunted, on with the business at hand and the Rhubarbs (Tour Support band) were unleashed on an unsuspecting audience, the nature of their stage show cannot be wholly described with words alone, and therefore must remain largely undocumented, suffice to say there was a subtle blend of lingerie, celery, cabbage leaves & red dye (Rhubarb being out of season until the final gig of the tour) and a hefty chunk of no messin rock and roll. Encompassing subject matter of an unashamedly dubious nature – 10 out of 10 for entertainment value. Show time – The Rose justify their long layoff by being breathtakingly good. After the gig members of the audience come backstage for a chat and litation – a good time was had by all. One incident of note in the van – one of Dave’s by means of a one word answer reduced the band to hysteria which lasted until the pain became too great and we had to stop laughing.
And so North of the border to sunny Glasgow where further unnecessary irritations occurred, due to double booking the Rubes were unable to perform – The Rose however can and do. After the gig the guys to go one of the few hotels that will still allow us in and the two degenerates room ends up resembling a battle ground after the mobile party.
Arrived and the many hangovers took their respective owners round the Waverly Centre where the see through lifts and massive escalators made life bearable for a short while, but eventually more orthodox methods had to be used, so coffee was consumed by the gallon. The gig with the Rhubarbs actually playing playing, again went down a storm. After arctic conditions in the back of the van that night there was a noticeable addition of a stupendously large quilt and numerous layers of extra clothing.
Where absolutely nothing happened apart from Om the Sound man parading in front of the dressing room windows clad only in women’s underwear.
Contractual cockups yet again prevent the Rhubes from doing their by now semi legendary thing, but the Rose cruise through yet another spine tingler, and at the post gig celebration two young ladies were chatting with the band until quite late, but then the tete a tete was interrupted by the intrusion of a matronly figure shouting “where’s my daughter” The band packed up and left quickly in case they were charged with corrupting minors. Two days respite and thawing out.
On the way there we managed to find a low bridge & the van becomes slightly scared. At the gig problems occur when Mark’s drum kit pegs out rather suddenly, but against all odds the team still prevail. Notable for the fact that there was more beer than could be downed by the lads in the after gig session, and of course the inevitable mobile party ensued. It was at this point we realised how difficult it was to communicate with the tour manager in the front of the van for calls of nature.
Frenzied activity results in the acquisition and subsequent unveiling of the gleaming golden emergency replacement drumkit. The evenings performance is more dazzling then usual. 7 dates into the tour and no casualties as yet. B & B with the welcome feature of an open bar as long as you’re upright private bar. But moderation prevails and all retire to the seeming safety of their rooms where discovery of the substantial remains of the Wolverhampton rider ignites a spontaneous session that last into the wee hours. Traditions must be maintained and certain crew members were found wandering the corridors.
A strange venue, tin roofs over cables with stuffed cats on – the overall decor is reminiscent of a Victorian antique shop, apart from the TV’s dotted around which the promoter delights in showing us his personal collection of videos that are painstakingly woven together to create a delicate tapestry of blood and sex. The video most prominent tonight is his favorite, the classic Killer Clowns from Outer Space. Perhaps he was trying to tell us something. Still the Rhubarbs and the Rose both prevail over cramped stage conditions and an inadequate PA, to rip it up. The lads then spend 5 hours in the back of the van and hit home for two days off to contract the hypothermia.
Where the doorman display the usual courtesy and tact when ushering out guests, crew, the band. There is a retributive strike on the van leaving permanently scarred. Due to over zealous consumption of alcohol 3 girls become amenable to the suggestion they travel 300 miles in the back of the van with 7 people who are almost human, and who’s mental equilibrium’s is more than a bit disturbed. Inevitably the situation becomes interesting in the following struggle. Om transforms into a raging beast and visits his wrath on one of the poor unfortunates – naturally the recipient of the punishment objects and plants her Doc Marten in Dave’s head head so hard it sounds like John Bonhams bass drum. The next morning they awoke with no recollection of the previous evening and the question that always springs to mind on these occasions – “Where am I?”
The home straight, the final three gigs and so with composure regained and relatively sober onto the final onslaught. As always with the end in sight things really start coming together. The momentum picks up at a blistering pace and the boards are left smoldering.
The circus arrives in London at the Marquee, which contrary to prevailing beliefs is not the be all and end all of rock venues that it’s cracked up to be. What self-respecting venue would be wimpy enough to have a PA cut out at 98 db’s – Not very rock & roll. They are also too snotty to allow a backdrop to cover their logo. They justify this insanity by saying that it’s an enormous honour to play there – was say Pah! Despite these tiresome drawbacks & uncivilized bottle throwing incident the evening was a resounding success. The extra leg room on stage gave rise to the usual scintillating performance blah, blah, blah.
It seems that no one came remember Leeds so all we can say is that it must have been good, or bad depending on which way you look at it.
Tour Set List
1.What’s Going Down?
2.The World Is Ours
4.Nowhere To Run
5.Not Another Day
6.Never Another Sunset
7.You Don’t Belong
9.King of Fools
10.Don’t Fly To High
11.A Romantic Vision
12.Too Many Castles In The Sky