In the same way you know that someone starting a conversation with: "I'm not racist, but" - is going to spout some dreadful cringy bile, I myself would strenously deny being any kind of an awkward 'showbiz' prima donna. However, I can't help noticing that the 'spreads' that greet us in English theatres tend to be a tiny bit on the modest side.  Now, I like an honest cup of tea as much as the next vainglorious preening egomaniac, and it has to be added all the backstage guys here in Dartford are great, the theatre comfortable, the dressing rooms warm and clean.

'Light snacks' in Ludwigshaven Dec 2017

Nevertheless, if there's one thing worse that being a vainglorious preening egomaniac, its being an unpatriotic vainglorious preening egomaniac. But I still can't help comparing tonight's (or any nights) sustenance or 'fayre' in the UK with the groaning and baroque tables of food that greet us in Germany. Indeed for the arduous journey from dressing room to soundcheck, the exhausted musician may tuck into any number of hors d'ouevres, bon bouches and delicacies on wafer thin pumpernickel bread to make sure they arrive onstage fortified for the evening ahead (and thats ahead of the main pre gig meal)!

So after a short journey up the motoway (2 hours) still in Kent, but the other end, I arrived at the theatre. We've played Dartford several times before (usually every two years) and I'm beginning to think that we are not dissimilar to the old music hall acts of 100 years ago, who would tour all the theatres in the country and by the time they'd got back to where they started from, the audiences would have forgotten all the songs and all the jokes, so they could start again!

The Dartford Orchard Theatre - Look on my works ye mighty and despair! Regard how far the once groovy Marti Pellow has fallen (mind you the wages are meant to be pretty good in Panto).

Richie and Ben were studiously practicing their parts in musicianly fashion until I came in, whereupon they quickly changed into rock gods!

Since no one seemd to be making a stupid face for the soundcheck picture, I thought I might as well do it myself

It was a Sunday night show in Dartford and the only option was to head out to eat - Will, Jonty and me all opted for an Indian takeaway (I should have got a picture) - heading back to the theatre, I espied Dave, sitting down to enjoy a plate of spaghetti, like some 19th century alderman, with me, the poor urchin on the street with my nose pressed up against the window (albeit with an iphone).

and Ben opted to go to Subway

I'm the only one staying in a hotel, everyone else has gone home and Hester is skipping this show, so we were seven tonight. The show went well and we met one lady who was over from Martha's Vineyard in the States and saw we were playing and came along - I wished her Happy Thanksgiving!

Premier Inn, Dartford - pretty homely eh?

And blow me down with a feather, if I didn't wake up the next day to open my window to see the Queen Elizabeth Bridge, which I'll be crossing in two days time (Inshallah) on my way to Buxton, in Yorkshire - I'll see you then Campers.


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