Greetings my friends - reporting back from our one off gig in Chester, near Manchester, a town I don't remember ever having played before (unless it was way back in our rural touring days - which are now a dim and distant memory). I haven't had a difficult journey to a gig for quite a while, so I was overdue a bad one and today delivered big style.
The morning had started with my journey up to London (the gig was in the North East of England and I live in the South West) being royally screwed up by engineering works on the train line near my home, which meant I had to drive the ten miles to Folkestone West (where the trains were running) park my car and walk ten minutes to the station - in the pissing rain (naturally!). I arrived in London to find the concourse at Euston absolutely packed and my train to Chester delayed by forty five minutes - I bumped into Will outside and confessed that because I had booked my ticket late, I had been unable to get a seat reservation.
So that meant sitting on the floor for the first hour of the journey - I haven't done that since I was a student, untill the the conductor mentioned that there were several free seats dotted around in other carriages, one of which I went and sat in. I passed the rest of the journey dozing and watching the new Quincy Jones documentary on Netfilx (recommended).
On arrival at Crewe, I hooked up again with Will and we changed trains to connect to Chester.
Waiting for the Chester train at Crewe - another crowded platform. Unfortunately we were again delayed which meant that we arrived at the soundcheck a full hour late. There are some journeys that go wrong straight away (usually cancellations) while others are a slow process of being ground down over a long period of time - when we arrived at the Storyhouse theatre, I'd been on the road for eight hours.
Nevertheless, the Storyhouse theatre turned out to be a nice place - new (about eighteen months old) and we had very good food from the in house restaurant.
Arriving at the soundcheck
Ukes in the green room
Despite being tired, I played the gig on nervous energy and we went over well (the show was sold out). For some reason I also had an incredibly itchy nose and I spent a lot of time sniffing and rubbing it, I always think this makes me look like the bands resident coke addict (I was bopping around in my chair a lot too) - if only people knew the dull truth!
Going down the stairs to sign - we sold a lot of merch for an 800 seat theatre.
It turned out that the theatre also incorporated the towns public library and leafing through the books Ben came across Will's ukulele book - a thumping good read Campers! We stayed in the theatre bar for a drink and chatted to punters before it was time to go back to our hotel.
Chester is a very pretty medaeval town and walking back through the town I couldn't help noticing how lively it was for a Sunday night with clubbers queueing up to get into the local nightclub - not for me, my friends, my nightclubbing days are in the dim and distant past. See you in a couple of weeks in Huddersfield.