After our gig last night, we had a chance to unwind with a few drinks back at the hotel bar as we weren't leaving for our next gig in Belfast until late morning. Here we are in our bus travelling up to Northern Ireland.And arriving in Belfast - the journey took two hours, which considering some of the marathon bus journeys we do in the US, is a breeze!Our hotel is mid town and walking distance from the Ulster Hall, its always good to be close to the gig - this is the first time I've been to Ireland where it hasn't rained! Some nice old buildings here.Strolling down the street I came upon the Hotel Europa, which, back in the day was famous as the most bombed hotel in Europe. Since we're in the north, we've made a couple of discreet song changes to our set: Anarchy in the UK , sung by Richie - the Sex Pistols song with its reference to to the IRA has been replaced with Pharrell Williams's Happy - best to 'keep it light' as they say in showbiz! Dressing room sceneAuditorium at the Ulster Hall One thing I notice is that publicity for our shows at the venues we play can be pretty patchy (there were no posters at all at the Ulster Hall). Consequently, we do a fair bit of online promotion which is cheap I guess, and most of our fans keep in touch with us online, or through our mailing list. Here we are doing a little film for Halloween, shot against the old organ in the hall - very gothic! Getting ready to on During the interval, I popped out the stage door for some fresh air and got collared by a couple of drunks, both clutching their bottles of Buckfast - the drunker one (missing several front teeth) insisted on shaking Jonty and Doug's hand, but when he turned to me, made the classic, but tiresome assumption that as a tall person, I must be some sort of tough guy. Mostly being tall is about being stared at a lot - boring but not dangerous, but since this guy was waving a bottle around - I gave him a considerable amount of aimiable chat to 'talk him down' from this notion, ending with me suggesting a selfie. Everybody in the band has warned me that my height is going to be majorly remarked upon when we travel to China next month.
The concert was good fun and it was good to see the Belfast Ukulele Jam again - a great group who prosthelytize for all things ukulele in Belfast. So when the show was over and all the signing done, off we went with our Dublin promoter Pat Byrne and his partner Ailbhe to the beautiful Crown pub, with its amazing interior (which rivals Liverpools amazing Philharmonic pub as one of the most beautiful in the UK) for some more Guinness.We're flying home tomorrow, and then up to Greenwich, on the river in London, to play on the MS Europa on tuesday - see you there.