15th September 2007 – Milton Keynes Pitz Club
Or “Grant, get the fish”
After showers and breakfast, we left Congleton for Milton Keynes. Pitz Club was a giant sports hall and our second enormous empty venue of the tour. Whoo-hoo. While SohoDolls did their usual three year soundcheck thing, we went off to explore Milton Keynes. It’s a cliché to observe that there are a lot of roundabouts in Milton Keynes, but really, there are a LOT of roundabouts in Milton Keynes. I was in the back of the van being jolted around with our instruments while we tried to find somewhere to park so felt quite sick by the time we parked up. For the second day on the trot, we ended up roaming listlessly round an identikit shopping centre before getting bored and settling in a local Wetherspoon’s.
After a couple of hours the call to soundcheck finally came and we made our way back to the venue and were shown to our dressing room, which we shared with the two local support bands. SohoDolls had their very own exclusive dressing room with a laminated door sign that we mocked ruthlessly until we decided that, actually, we had two female members and all our stuff – laptops, clothes, hair straighteners and so on – and we couldn’t leave it in the van, so we absolutely must, I say, must have our very own lockable dressing room too. Deborah went and had a chat with the promoters and within 15 minutes they had very graciously thrown the local supports out and provided us with a key to the room. Hurrah for us.
Flashback: Paris, April 26th 2007. 586 have arrived at tonight’s venue, La Maroquinerie, and we are excited; we are supporting punk legends The Slits. We are shown to the basement dressing room the two bands will be sharing with Ebony Bones. 586 are opening the show, followed by Ebony Bones, then The Slits are headlining. Shows in Europe are always exciting but this one is more so; not only do we love the other bands, but this dressing room has the greatest rider we have ever seen. There is wine, beer, bread and cheese, candles, incense, cake, crisps, more wine, expensive chocolate. The Slits have not arrived yet, so we have time to kill. We make ourselves comfortable. We eat cheese. We crack open the wine. Finally, they arrive. They stick their heads in the dressing room, but I don’t see them as I’m pissing in the open toilet at the back of the room. The Slits disappear. One of the venue staff arrives. There ‘as been ze mix-up, you cannot share zis leetle room. Ze Slits are not keen on sharing. We are hurried out into a corridor while the venue staff try to find somewhere else to put us and Ze Slits get comfortable. Ebony Bones are allowed to stay in the dressing room with them.
We are quite offended by this.
Malcolm and a friend of his from Live Nation had driven up from London for the show. They came to our room, told some rock showbizzy anecdotes, and we settled into our new routine of bitching about the local band(s) before we went on. The venue was only really a quarter full, but instead of Crewe’s backs-against-the-wall attitude, the audience were mostly up against the barriers at the front of the stage, so at least we could see and interact with people. The songs sounded immense as they echoed round the hall and it was great again to have so much space onstage.
Once the show was over, we left Malcolm on the merch stall while SohoDolls played and made our way back to London to enjoy our Sunday off. Thanks to roadworks, this ended up taking three hours longer than it should have done, so Malcolm beat us home. The fucker.
Flashback: Paris, April 26th 2007, part two. We are eventually given a room upstairs, high above the venue in what feels like a turret. The venue is on a hill in Montmartre, so we have the most glorious view of the Paris skyline at night. It is absolutely beautiful and we are very happy to be here. Any annoyance or disappointment is soon forgotten as we drink up and marvel at the sights. Then at some point after all the bands have finished playing a very drunk Deborah chucks a glass out of the window, possessed by the Spirit of Paris. One of the hangers-on we had acquired post-show decides to get involved and throws many more out, one of which almost takes out Slits singer Ari Up. Ari Up is furious and security bundle us out of the venue. I’m a bit too drunk to realise the seriousness of what is going on. After some persuasion, Ari Up is convinced to not sue our arses off. We are off the hook, but we will never play Paris again. We arrive in Camden to play a show at The Purple Turtle the following day. As we arrive, Malcolm calls and goes MENTAL at us. Well, Deb.