Apologies Campers - this tour has been too exhausting to write up each show individually so I've lumped four gigs into one blog. We are playing our show "When this Lousy War is Over" commisioned by the Birmingham Symphony Hall in 2014 to commemorate the First World War. We've played it several times since then, most notably in 2014 (when the war started), then again in 2016, at the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme and now here we are again playing it to commemorate the end of the war in 2018. We had done a rehearsal in London, but got to the first gig in Bradford on Avon early to run through the material again before the show.
Going through the show backstage at the Wiltshire Music Centre ahead of our performance in Bradford on Avon.
More backstage rehearsing
Beautiful sunset as autumn starts to kick in - goodbye summer - its been a good one.
Preparing to go on for the second half of the show at Bradford on Avon.
My hotel room had a four poster bed. After a good nights sleep I drove back to Kent the next day.
The day after was the next show, in Ilkley, Yorkshire and it took an incredible eight hours driving to get there, notwithstanding rain, traffic jams and a near accident (thank you to my dear old talisman). I made the gig with forty minutes to spare. My knuckles were pretty white and like claws upon arrival.
Still driving up the A1(M)!
Lovely hall at ilkley, the guy on the right is Nick Browning who is playing with us and helped devise the show along with Leisa and George.
Snapped this nice photo at the start of the second half where Jonty, Nick and Ben play "Banks of Green Willow" by the composer George Butterworth who died at the Battle of the Somme.
Our hotel in Ilkley - looks forbidding and while the room was comfortable, the hot water wasn't working, so I had a cold shower in the morning.
It was some kind of health spa joint way back in the day, according to this plaque.
Arrival in Doncaster
The Cast theatre in Doncaster
Soundchecking at the Cast
Soundchecking again (but from a different angle)
All the shows have gone well, but during the second half of our performance in Doncaster, while we were half way through 'From Marble Arch to Leicester Square' - Leisas song: a wierd motif that sounded like a clarinet being played repetitively started and the sound went out in the theatre. The stage manager appeared and announced that there was a fire in the theatre - blimey we've never had that happen! We went outside backstage, while the audience went out the front - its cold up here in Doncaster and after a ten minute wait we went back onstage to finish our show.
Doncaster or 'Donny' as locals call it, is a party town, and it was saturday night so the town was heaving with revellers. On my way back to the hotel (walking distance) I decided to pop into "Munchez" to grab a quick kebab and was soon chatting to some girls which enabled me to queue-barge, which could have caused a bit of a problem, but the girls pretty much told the assembled throng to f*** off and leave me alone - wherupon I gallantly scarpered. After a few drinks with my bandmates back at the hotel, I went to my room but was woken a couple of hours later by the sound of some guy trying to force his way into the room next door - Crazy times - Crazy place!
Some of the patrons of Munchez
Next morning I gave Hester a lift to Durham, a two hour drive which we passed chatting - I had forgotten my coat, hence the wierd apparel and my top button done up.
This is the Gala Theatre Durham - as far as joints go its pretty classy.
Getting ready in the dressing room, the show went well and thanks to many old friends who came along to see us, particularly @nipnapshite and his wife (great to see you John!) - tomorrow I'll make the long journey back home - we're back on the road in a week Campers - see you there.