I'm getting used to traveling around on trains at this point. I was actually alright the first day. I guess one of the benefits that I hadn't expected from growing up in Long Island and eventually living in New York City is that I know how to read a train schedule and find the platform I'm heading to in a split second, because I'm usually late for shit in New York. It helps to balance out the fifty or so pounds of electronics, clothes, musical equipment and spraypaint that I have flaking off of me at any given moment that I'm walking around a town.
Last night I finally got a good night's sleep. Dave, the owner of the Cavern Club, called me up earlier in the day to ask me if I had other people with me because he reserved two hotel rooms. I had no idea what to say really! I smartly fought off the temptation to say "No hotel room necessary, mate! I'm PUNK PUNK PUNK PUNK PUNK!" and said "There's just one of me!" After a night of drinking and talking films, I headed to a small room on a side street in Exeter. I went to bed feeling lonely, not having crashed with any new friends, staying up til the wee hours of the morning playing acoustic guitars or drinking cider. I woke up at 6 AM and had a slightly hard time falling back asleep, but when I did I slept so hard that I missed my checkout time. I woke up with enough energy to pack up all my shit as fast as I could and realized shit! I hadn't had more that five hours night's sleep in about a week. My body no longer felt like it was run over by a truck from running around with all my luggage for days.
Yesterday morning was another story. I had played a show at a punk house called the Homestead in Southampton. I was a little freaked out and worried because there was no PA, meaning no microphones, meaning no iPods, meaning I didn't have anything to really cover up the fact that I'm not all that good at what I do. Thankfully the attitude of everyone in the house was pretty amazing and after one of the housemates heated me up some vegetarian curry and some new friends gave me a few beers I felt a little less worried about disappointing folks. Of course, I broke the acoustic guitar before I even started so I went Billy Bragg style with no microphone. It was nice to be able to fuck around more than usual, without having to stick to what the iPod's doing. At the end of the show some people picked me up and put me on their shoulders while I was playing guitar as well as put together a people pyramid. Man, I shouldn't worry so damn much!
I woke up in the pretty early, pretty hungover and jumped at the opportunity to have a weird feeling gross hangover bike ride to the shop at the bottom of the hill. Adam, the same mate who gave me some curry cooked up an enormous English breakfast - veggie sausage, veggie riblets, onion rings, hash browns, beans, toast, eggs… DAMN! It was awesome! Last time I was in England all I ate was expensive bullshit that made me feel terrible. This shit made me feel like a fucking champion! Stop eating at pubs, Mustard Plug and the Planet Smashers! We hung out for a while, I missed what felt like a million buses and trains. Eventually Bubbles (another housemate) got me settled with some internet, I realized my whole tour itinerary was done with inaccurate train times, rushed through a few sites and was on my way to Exeter.
What's been exciting me most for the past few days is my little scene of friends at home, and how proud I am when I'm overseas. People have told me that it's their dream to be on the Pink Couch Sessions and how lucky I am to have seen Get Bent before they broke up. I go into punk rock pubs and instead of playing whatever 1980's hardcore band is more obscure than the 1980's hardcore band that everyone else likes, they're playing Lemuria and Bridge and Tunnel. This morning, the server at the Cavern Club was wearing an O Pioneers! t-shirt. I know it probably sounds corny as hell, but it really makes a tour that has the potential to be lonely and isolating a lot more familiar, knowing that when you get to the next place you're going, some of your buddies are gonna be there in some form and those buddies are probably gonna be pretty pumped when you come home and tell them how other countries are pretty pumped on all the hard work they've put into punk rock.
squeeze - singles 45's and under
gaslight anthem - '59 sound
lemuria - get better