2nd October 2007 – Leicester Charlotte
Or “Tunnel to Devon”
Or “I want a slapper”
Or “I’m going to find a slag”
Steven Horry’s top tips for touring bands #1: DO NOT SHAG ANY MEMBER OF THE TOURING PARTY.
Steven Horry’s top tips for touring bands #2: If you are going to shag a member of the touring party, DO NOT go on the prowl for other hip young sexing partners in front of that member of the touring party. Seriously: keep. It. In. Your. Pants.
Being tired, hungover and – in Sam’s case – disturbed by (allegedly) spending a night fending off Simon and Grants erect penises, it was decided that I should spend some time with the tour accounts to work out whether we could afford a hotel for the night. The news was good: we were almost comfortably in profit, so we could – if we used a little of our own money – afford a cheap hotel room for the night. Hurrah. It would leave us penniless, but we’d worry about the ramifications later. We arrived in Leicester to discover that SohoDolls had already parked up and were checking in to the local Travelodge, so we joined them there. Deb had travelled with them in their van for some reason. I didn’t read anything into this at the time, as I’d have travelled in their van given the choice. It was much nicer than ours. They had a splitter van with seats for all. We had a transit van with a really stinky mattress.
We unpacked and showered and went off to explore the locality. Bar a comic book shop that was only of interest to me – and I couldn’t now afford to buy anything anyway – there wasn’t a great deal else to do. Appropriately, we got bored really, really quickly and, with no other option available, we caved in and went to the pub. We were joined by Matt, the session musician bassist from SohoDolls. I took a sketchbook and doodled while everyone bantered. Matt and Deborah seemed to be flirting, but again, I didn’t read anything into this at the time.
Matt eventually left us to go to the venue for his soundcheck. We didn’t rush as we knew they would be hours, but decided after another pint to go drop our equipment at the venue before anyone got drunk. When we got there, SohoDolls were having problems: the venue’s sound was awful. There were no bass frequencies and every time the band started playing together the PA would start shrieking with feedback. This was eventually fixed, but was replaced by a bizarre low frequency bass rumble that no-one could work out how to stop. It eventually became apparent that we were not going to get a soundcheck. With no other option, we caved in and went to the pub. Again. But we got some food this time as well.
Wined and dined, we started to dawdle back to the venue. I was last to arrive, as I was adamant I was not going to watch the local support band. Two and a half weeks in, I had cracked: they had all been shit and I wasn’t going to waste any more hours of my life watching another shitty support band. None of the fuckers ever stuck around to watch us, anyway. I timed my arrival perfectly to miss the first band’s set, feeling dead chuffed with myself for doing so. As I strutted in on a smug high, Sam was the first to greet me.
“The first band were AMAZING!”
Ah. As I made my way into the venue, every one of my band mates greeted me by banging on about how good the openers – a band called Zil – had been. And to make things worse, they were really nice too. Balls. We set up, line checked and kicked off our set with the a cappella intro to Money Is The Drug, fighting to be heard above that bloody ugly bass hum. The members of Zil stood near the front, watching attentively. I felt like a right bastard.
For the first time in what felt like ages there were actually more women in the audience than men. I had gotten used to playing to impatient, disinterested middle-aged men so it actually threw me for a bit. We finished with I Am Not A Monkey, SohoDolls took over and we retired to the merch stall. Maya had been complaining of voice trouble earlier in the day so they finished their set early as a consequence. Aided by an afternoon and evening in the pub and fuelled by the beer and crisps on the rider, most of 586 were in the mood to hit the town. We interrogated the boys from Zil for local nightclub tips. Simon wanted electro. I wanted indie. Deb and Grant wanted to drink more and Sam just wanted to go back to the hotel to sleep. Zil recommended Mash, which promised us “three floors of indie, pop and dirty electro”. Perfect. Off we trotted, leaving Sam to find her own way back to the Travelodge and taking a handful of SohoDolls and some fans of both bands with us. The club was massive. We paid in and excitedly made our way to the bar and then the various dancefloors. And then it all went wrong.
Everyone scattered in various directions. I kept losing everyone and was getting bored. Every now and then a random would come up to tell me they loved my band, but this was not enough to stop me getting sulky about the fact I couldn’t find my bandmates. For whatever reason the night was a non-starter, so I eventually decided to go back to the hotel and get some sleep. I passed out straight away, only to be woken at an unspecified hour of the morning by the hotel room door slamming open. Deborah, Grant and Simon staggered into the room, absolutely shitfaced, drunkenly bumping into things and – in Deborah’s case – tear stained and quite obviously very, very upset.
I told them to keep the fucking noise down, rolled over and went back to sleep.