Back of van
I’m currently in the back of a van. It doesn’t really matter what mode of transport we’re taking- I always seem to be at the back of it. This includes plane flights, on which I am consistently seated at the very back, next to the toilets and no more than two rows away from an infirm baby that sounds like it’s singing Slayer covers. It is a conspiracy. But I digress.
The UK tour has been delightfully disjointed (and free of air travel) compared to previous tours this year. This is partly because the country is comparatively miniscule, so we’ve been able to dash home to London immediately after gigs. Sacrificing post-gig drinks in the dressing room has been a small price to pay to appease wives/girlfriends/families/pets. It has been great to play to some home crowds too. Whilst British reserve is certainly no myth, the audiences here have shown that they can match the Yanks for going mental when necessary.
You always know when you’re in Britain. I mentioned the service stations here in my last blog. There’s something about them which is inherently British. You certainly see people of all shapes and sizes, a cross-section of the population, on the move. Owing to one band members’ peanut-sized bladder, we’ve visited a hideous number of services in the last few weeks. The comedian Bill Bailey describes them as, “cathedrals of disappointment”, and quite frankly, who could
disagree? For me though, they are a welcome chance to escape the confines of the tour van… and Rory.
On long drives, most of the band enjoy normal pursuits- reading, listening to music or sleeping. Sadly, these activities are not enough to keep Rory amused for more than ten minutes. As soon as we hit the motorway, his mental age halves and I am periodically subjected to a host of shouty alter-egos, seat-prodding and mock smuggery. He will eventually fall asleep, which is confusingly pleasant considering his default hood up/mouth open sleeping position.
The next leg of ‘The Pursuit’ tour takes us to mainland Europe. We hope not to be affected by the Icelandic ash cloud again on our journey out there, but if it does intervene, we face a twenty-seven hour van journey to Portugal. I shall inevitably be in the back, trying to sleep- with my ear-plugs in.
Originally posted on Jamie Cullum’s website.