The day started miserably, but ended magnificently. There is no heat on this bus, it smells like mould and piss, the bunks are the size of “cozy coffins” and the lounge is just about tall enough for a Hobbit. It’s a miserable vehicle. We hit stop-and-go rush hour traffic outside of London at about 6am and that is what we did for two hours, stopped and go’ed. Not the best for sleeping. When we finally got to where we were supposed to be, a parking lot near the gig, the bus got stuck in the narrow entrance and our driver, Kevin, had to attempt to free himself but raising and lowering the suspension, which inside of our coffins, sounded a lot like one would imagine it sounded like in the hull of the Titanic as it ran up against the iceberg. Definitely not the best for sleeping. Abandoning ship seemed to be the best alternative but it was 8am, cold and pouring rain. As I said, the day started miserably.
Fortunately, Jared, our tour manager, is resourceful and responsible beyond his years and spent the next three hours in the rain securing a spot for the bus right next to the Stage door entrance, which made getting in and out of the venue and loading the equipment a lot easier in the continuing rain showers. I abandoned ship at one point to do an interview at the BBC (which was strike free today) and the rest of the Hobbits, alternately, wandered around and tried to catch up on their sleep. The gig tonight was at Union Chapel which is exactly that, a chapel. It’s a beautiful, but deteriorating old building, but it has a certain charm and a history of live music. Backstage it smells an awful lot like the bus and is perhaps a few degrees colder. I know now why all of those Kings and Queens were such miserable cusses: living in those castles and palaces they were forever chilled and no doubt they had the same sewage issues that seem to plague modern day London. In any case the whole day evaporated once we stepped on-stage. It was a sold out show, with a very enthused and excited audience and we played a very good set. One can put up with a lot discomfort and inconvenience if at the end of it all you get the type of lift and buzz that this type of night delivers. As I said, it ended magnificently.