Road Blog: Monday October 08, 2018 - London, UK
October 8, 2018
The drive to the venue last night was a lot easier than the drive to the AirBB last night. Traffic wasn’t too bad and our new GPS seems to have his shit together. Still, driving in London is on an entirely different level altogether. We drove into the Whitechapel neighborhood, perhaps best known historically as the hunting grounds of Jack the Ripper in the 1800s, and found our venue in short time. We got rock star parking in a reserved spot right next to the bar, checked out the room, met the staff, and loaded in. The band room is upstairs at The Urban Bar Whitechapel, a small, square, wooden room, with a bar in one corner and a stage in the opposite corner. We were to use house gear, as isn’t uncommon in some of the biggest cities. It’s a drag, because the gear is almost always less than desirable, and we like our own stuff, but when you’re looking at 3 flights of stairs it’s a blessing too. The sound engineer showed up, a younger guy who’s studying sound engineering and was eager to chat about the Detroit electronic music scene. We did a soundcheck, making the best use of the gear that we could, and headed out for dinner.
London is known for its curry, Indian food, and whenever I’m here I like to take in as much as possible. TrooperGirl22 isn’t a huge fan, so it’s a good opportunity when I’m out with the boys. Our sound engineer suggested a nearby place called Tayyabs, which is a Punjabi restaurant serving cuisine from Northern India and Pakistan. We ordered up our curries and nans and had a great meal, then walked back to the bar. I ordered a pint and called home and checked in with Troopergirl22 who seems to be doing well, keeping busy and holding down the fort in my absence.
Opener Gent Music went on around 8:40 and played a good set of solo-acoustic rock. He was no Dylan-wannabe, attacking his guitar with power-chords and punk tempos, embodying Dave Grohl at times, Richard Thompson and Joe Jackson at others. It was a fun set and he’s a nice guy. We went on shortly after. To say that the crowd was thin would be generous, but the few in attendance were enjoying themselves, watching attentively, and enjoying beers. We played about 40 minutes, told a couple stories, and then sold some merch to the faithful few before loading out. Some butthole in a white Land Rover parked illegally right up behind us and we barely had room to pull up and open the back hatch. Eventually we managed and loaded up, locked up the van, and ordered a pint, hoping the owner of the Land Rover would show up so we could leave. He never did. We walked up and down the block a bit, got some supplies for the AirBB, returned to The Urban Bar, and eventually Patty just zig-zagged his way out of the tight spot and we were on our way. The van lost acceleration on the way back to the AirBB again, and we knew then that it was something we were going to have to deal with on Tuesday.
Back at the AirBB we had a snack and crashed out. Gigs here end early, so we were in bed sometime between midnight and 1am. I got a solid 8+ hours of sleep for the second time on this tour, and, like the last time, it came at a point when I really needed it. It’s a beautiful morning in London. We’re in the process of swapping out the van, Patty’s gone into the city to meet some friends, I’ve got a run in and am about to change the stings on the Telecaster and enjoy a little downtime before our early load-in at tonight’s show. We’re back in London for the second night – at The Islington 1 Tolpuddle Street – which looks like a great place! Five bands playing tonight, but it’s an early show, we’re on at 9:45. Music starts at 6:45 with Dan Tredget, blu ernest, Evert Outen Music and Jimmy Regal and the Royals. It’s the mid-point of the tour. Come on out before we head north tomorrow!