The Institution of Touring.I’m still wide awake; It’s 02 30am, and I agreed last week to take a call from my chum living in deepest Mongolia. He is teaching English in one of the Universities out there and he asked if I’d Skype his class. I agreed and now I’m using matchsticks to keep my eyes open. Their local time, a respectable 08 45am, post breakfast and looking forward to Yak-burgers for lunch.
My time in Germany, now an unsteady 02 45am and no hope of a coffee from room service. “Hello Mongolia; How’s the weather with you?” We did our last show tonight at a rather fancy and trendy Hotel in Frankfurt. It was a fitting end to a marvelous tour, and one that suited the slight feeling of deflation after so many highs, several TV appearances and sixteen consecutive concerts.
Before we started three weeks ago, I was dreading it. I had done so many tours in the past, and the thought of
packing, travelling, and moving about in a van filled me with a tangible and nauseous dread. And even now I can’t really say that the last three weeks have gone that quickly. It’s been slow, and at times, like skating uphill through Mars Bars. But I was aware this morning, whilst pacing around the cold, wet and dismal Sunday streets of Karlsruhe, that I was yet again becoming institutionalized towards touring;
I could look forward to breakfast between 8am-11am. Laundry and Room service on tap, as well as constant and almost embarrassing requests to tidy my room and refill the mini-bar.
The insistent schedule that dictates where one should be that day is strangely reassuring, despite it being unreal, irrelevant and completely unimportant.
I am slightly weird when it comes to order, tidiness and habits. The fact that I choose the same spoon for my breakfast at home, whilst debating the pattern on the tablecloth wherein I can place my bowl is certainly worrying. I like a ‘cable free zone’ in my studio and everything has its place whether it be papers, instruments, or general rubbish!
Touring can certainly endorse and encourage this kind of behavior and knowing that there are certain things that are available without anyone losing limbs or any animals being hurt is rather attractive, albeit financially conditional.
Walking into Jem’s room however is a different thing. Like at home, we employ a cleaner to do our Bedroom, and a Priest to do hers and Amy’s. There have been rumours of food growing under the bed for anything up to a year, and people getting completely lost, Narnia style.
Her hotel room is no exception, and as she enters each new room, the suitcase bursts into animated life and somehow empties itself, like a Disney cartoon, over the bed, TV, chairs, carpet, and any other clear surface.
“Can I borrow your scissors, Dad?”
“Why; To cut yourself OUT of your room??”
So despite the desire and ‘Saudade’ * of coming home, there is now still this feeling that I have to make an effort once I return.
But the absolute highlight of being able to tour with a close family member is second to none. And certainly the blogs, pictures and general banter have gone a long way to bring a decent amount of nonsense to the proceedings.
The delight of meeting so many encouraging, and lovely people in so many places.
The kind words spoken, and written, which at times have been baffling , humbling, and tear-inducing.
The applause and threefold encores…… Amazing!
Next time maybe we should bring out the whole Family? Teen, the TV presenter who can work a room and extract money from the most cynical of punters.
Amy, who drives like she’s in charge of a tank, would charm and enchant yet at the same time ‘Stomp’ and protect her big sister with her life.
Watch out Germany, there is more to come and it could be bigger, better, and even more powerful.
Be afraid, and joyfully look forward. Thank you for your support; We will wear it always!
( * Saudade – Porguguese for ‘longing’- or so we’ve been told!)