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THE TOUR WITH NO NAME - DAY 18
THE TOUR WITH NO NAME - DAY 18
The End of the Tour
The crowning gig of the tour, the Dublin Tripod was a happy affair; a warm, exuberant crowd. It’s the last show; we've made it through. Before the show, Mary Eagle gives me a big white fake-fur coat. There's a long mirror at the back of the venue; from my keyboard riser I can see the entire band in panorama. The fur coat picks up all of Dumbledore's lights; it looks like a load of dancing skeletons flanked by a massive luminous Womble. Shane Mcgowan lurches on stage to help us murder 'Dirty Old Town'. Backstage he gives a master class in dipsomaniac gibberish that makes D. Wayne sound like David Niven. But the guy has an undeniable Aura; He's like the Pope, in some desperate eschatology, which I think makes Larry the Archbishop of Canterbury. I come away with a holy relic; the great poet's stripy jumper, left behind in the dressing room as Shane's minders bundle him home. Sorry Shane. 'Underground, Overground...'
Sam, our impish, flame-haired tour manager gave us an option on the ride home. An hour long flight, at our own expense, to Stanstead airport, or four hours on the ferry over a treacherous sea to get the bus at Hollyhead and then get the bus back to Brixton arriving seven hours later. It's a no-brainer. Here I come Stenna Sealink! I want to be in the middle of the Irish sea with Nick Diesel, Steve Finnerty, Glenda,Taff, Ace photographer Lairy Love and Dumbledore with four hours to kill and nothing to do but drink, me hearties.
I Love the boat. They try to dress it up as a sea-borne Travelodge, with the Burger king and the Fruities and the W H Smiths. It doesn’t fool me. It's a ship, subject to the same rules as the Marie Celeste, or the Titanic. On the boat, land-locked principles are suspended. Fuck the plane. Fuck being strapped into a cigar, spoon fed Hollywood propaganda then dying a death of polite, controlled terror. The boat is magic. On the boat, anything can happen. The boat is weird.
It's a quiet place, inhabited by lost souls who either cant afford the plane, or are carrying a cargo too heavy or precious or illegal to entrust to Ryan Air. On the boat, still munted from last night's show, our crew wander around the decks like gibbering ghouls from the Rhyme of the ancient mariner.
During the passage, me and Lairy Love bond over a shared love of eyeliner and PJ Harvey. Lairy is quiet, intense and vampiristic in looks. He's also a brilliant photographer. You can tell he has an eye highly attuned to beauty and higher cosmic truths - he spends most of the voyage proffering pink sweeties and taking pictures of me. I particularly like the shot of Lairy and I doing hot Lesbo action in the children's play area.
In the bar, it’s hard to determine exactly how drunk you are because the boat is listing severely. As she rocks and rolls, and me and Steve spend possibly the last hour of our lives playing poker with Nick Diesel, D.Wayne romances a glamorous Irish Brunette while Dumbledore tells me bout when he did the lights for David Bowie, and Glenda tells us bout how he fucked the pigs. Harr Harr...
Two hours later, Stuffing Diesels P.D's into my pocket, I drift past the bar, desperately seeking nothing. In the desolate arena that is Stenna Sealink Burger King, a black man is sadly devouring a Whopper. He looks familiar; I saw him on the last boat, outward bound to Dublin.
'Alright mate! I saw you last time.... you're one of Beyonce's crew! What happened? Did you get sacked?' I joke.
Too late I realize that this is an entirely accurate appraisal of his situation.
'Bro, I was surplus to requirements. Everyone wants to be with her. There's a long queue.'
'Fucking right. It's the longest queue in the world. I'm right behind you!'
But I catch his haunted eye and know he's lost, cast out from Heaven onto a cruel sea. An Albatross-shooting motherfucker, just like me.
© Orlando Harrison 2009