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Thursday, June 24

Two years ago, I was excited about wearing out a guitar string. I've just gone one better - I've worn out a guitar lead! What next? An entire instrument!? It's possible that I could sweat through the varnish, but surely not through the wood too...? I'll look forward to announcing that one.

I'm so very very tired at the moment. This is probably a result of the last couple of days' gigs. On Tuesday, I took a half day, drove to London, did a gig and then, at midnight, finally got back to my car for the return trip home. Bed at 4.30am. I maybe got 3 and a half hours' sleep.

Yesterday was no better, I left the office at 17.15 and then drove to Edinburgh - leaving Edinburgh at late-o'clock, I didn't get to bed until 3.30am. I got marginally more sleep before coming into the office this morning... but I'm really tired and, therefore, feeling quite low. Tonight is a night at the theatre in Durham. However, it should be a relatively early night (i.e. it should still be night when I get home, rather than morning), and I don't have anything social to do between leaving Durham tonight and driving to Glasgow on Saturday lunchtime.

London gigs indeed
I'm so provincial. I live up here in Geordie-land, and every so often, I head down to the big smoke to "seek me fortune". I should know better. It's highly unsatisfactory on current experience. I had a really tough time on stage on Tuesday and, although I got them in the end, it was a little demoralising. However, a lot of driving and soul-searching and I feel a lot better.

The next stress is filling the Etcetera theatre on 17th and 18th July with The Musical!. We need a packed audience, both nights... ticket sales so far are looking like they need support. However, I've only just started hassling people - there's plenty of time... no really there is!

The journey to Edinburgh last night was rather good fun. I like travelling with my cohort from the North East and he was as game as I was when it came to picking up two road-side hitch-hikers with a badly worded sign. They wanted to go to Edimbur. It turned out that they were Czech students and so it's fair enough that they might not know how to spell... though they did have a map.

For a short while in the journey, I felt like I did not trust them. Not that I thought they were up to something evil - like making us pull over so they could stab us - more that I honestly believed that they were English people taking the piss. Their story - going to Birmingham, near Dundee to pick Raspberries - it sounded a bit fishy... as did their accents...

However, their genuine naivety and inability to understand a lot of what we tried to speak about shone through and I soon realised that we had a couple of explorers, making a good job in a country they probably couldn't possibly understand within a couple of hours of arriving.

Sadly, we had car trouble. A tyre which had been low at the petrol station, was not holding much air, so I pulled over to swap it for the spare. I showed Luke (the Czech) the problem - more to explain why they were going to have to get their stuff out of the boot... in other words "don't worry - I'm not ditching you here". He took charge (as though I needed help) and we changed the wheel together. We compromised on how to do it... you see arguing over mechanical things doesn't need language.

I drove us on the spare to the next garage - the spare wasn't especially well inflated either, you see. We filled the spare with air... and then I took Luke into the petrol station - suggested he chose a drink - he was sheepish and mentioned money... but I think "being bought a drink" is another universal language thing. We'd bonded - we were the tyre change team.

I dropped Luke and Petra off at a petrol station near Musselburgh - I hope they found a car to take them on the city bypass to the North.

New material
Last night's gig was at a place I've played loads before. I had some new stuff I wanted to try. Edits, new jokes, this and that... I was the perfect open spot - even taking my notes on stage with me... and managed to do a 20 minute set with a mix of new and old stuff. A lot of the new stuff worked quite nicely, so I should continue to do it. Maybe some of the new stuff would also work better in London. I'll get those wascally wondoners one day!


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