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NO SLEEP TILL FROME

2007 Tour Diary Part 1       posted 30th September 2007

Day 1 - 5 Rehearsals

We're booked for five days of rehearsals in a flash rehearsal studio in Putney, but the total amount of rehearsing we've done could fit into one afternoon. I don't think the whole band were ever in the same room at any point. And most of the time is spent in bitching, whining and swearing. In fact the general tone is one of floccinauciniliphication (look it up). On the last evening our transport arrives. For the first time ever, we've got two buses instead of one. There's the Nice bus, containing the crew, non-smokers, and those with potentially dangerous medical conditions, and there’s the Nasty bus, housing smokers, sybarites and those with potentially dangerous psychological conditions. Larry calls them the Crew Bus and the Zoo Bus. I have a theory that over time the inhabitants of theses vehicles will evolve into two entirely different races, with different physical characteristics, Like the Morelocks and the Ewoks in The Time Machine by H.G.Wells.

Exeter

I'm really sorry but I can't remember a single bloody thing about the first gig of the tour. I've tried, I really have. It's gone. Nothing. Sorry. Oh, I just remembered. I got drunk and bet Eddie he wouldn't grow a big bushy beard. If he hasn't shaved after 10 days, I've either got to give him £150 quid or shave all my hair off. Shit.

Leeds

Waking back in the coffin that will be my bed for the next four weeks, its like I've always been on tour. The intervening time, the rest of my life, is just an odd dream.

Leeds metropolitan University is a Brave New World of well-sculpted young men and women. Over the road is a fab pub called the 'Dry Dock’, which is a boat, basically, plunked down in the middle of the city. There I meet my friend Clarita, who is an ace photographer, and her friends Gillian, who is very funny and sarcastic, and Erica, who is a Canadian paleontologist. Between them, they are succeeding admirably in the vital work of bringing some neo-new wave glamour to the proceedings.

The first couple of gigs of a tour are almost always very ropey. You're over - exited, and under - rehearsed. Given the fact we haven't toured in two years and this only the second show, it’s understandable to expect we might not be at our best...

Actually we ROCKED it. Ha.... Fuck You!

After the show I'm kidnapped by Clarita and co. and taken to a secret terrorist cell in Bradford, where they force feed me Vodka and make me listen to Adam and the Ants and watch and video's of 70's kids tv show 'Rainbow'.


photo courtesy of Clarita Lulic

Manchester

Pain. Psychic Pain. I forgot what this what like. I pull myself out of my bunk, sweating like a rapist, and haul myself across another anonymous carpark. I stagger into Steve, driver on the Nice Bus, I tell him that so far, I’m having a rather bad day. He tells me about his mate, Nigel. Nigel had a bit of a row with his missus, not an uncommon occurrence, which culminated in her smacking him in the head with a beer bottle. Like any normal, well-adjusted person faced with important relationship issues, he decided to go down the pub. With a slight headache, he went to take a sip of his first pint, and his left eyeball fell out his head and into his Stella. Quite reasonably, he decided that it might be time to pay a visit to the local hospital, where looking through the hole in his face where his eye used to be, they found a brain tumour the size of grapefruit. He went into a coma and died soon after. And i thought I was having a bad day. Galvanized with Shadenfreude, I decide to live each day on this tour as if my eyes might fall out at any moment...

We love Manchester. Ever since our first gig here and we met up with a troupe of Dadaist performance artistes from Hulme. Back in the day, the ratmaze of the Hulme estate was taken over by a colony of, poets, freaks, perverts and Black Magicians. A complete police no-go area, the council simply didn’t have the resources to fight an invasion of Venusian squatters. Quite sensibly, they just let them stay, and the place spontaneously became a, self-policing anarchist Wonderland. Which was very nice. Representing the Hulm-anns tonight are the Gorgeous Ginettee, who is now a university lecturer in Women's Studies, Lucy, who is a professional pyromaniac, and Billie Wizz the sarky, dreadlocked Andre Breton to Manchester’s' surrealist resistance.

Bring it On....

© Orlando Harrison 2007