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the last in a series from John

When I walked offstage I knew I was fucked. I knew that I had to get back to my warm hotel room as quickly as possible, which meant after I had done the dutiful meet and greet, and checked in with my family, Eddie and Liz, their boys Jack and Joe, their girlfriends, and their friends Dave and Denise, veterans of many DD tours.

They particularly wanted to meet Mark, so I asked him if he would come down and say hello. He was most gracious. The moment of hilarity (at my expense) came when Ed’s mate Dave reached towards Mark with a CD and a pen and I immediately took it to be an album he was asking me to sign, most likely for a friend or a family member who couldn’t come. Almost snatching it out of Dave’s hand my zealousness was rewarded by the sight of Mark’s ‘Version’ album. Even I could not justify signing this album. Oh dear, how embarrassing! I was the subject of much mirth, some of it my own…

I got back to my room coughing and sneezing profusely. Fuck fuck fuck!… I’m sick!..
Two days before Lovebox, the night of the Edinburgh Castle show, gigs I’ve looked forward to for months… shit shit shit!.. AND… I don’t have any medication, and the concierge tells me there are no late night pharmacies open locally. That was a long night my brothers and sisters.. It’s times like that, I got to tell you, I’m glad I have a higher power in my life, because at 2.30am I’m freaking out, thinking how the hell am I going to get up onstage in front of the Lovebox crowd in less than forty-eight hours? And my head is saying, relax, turn it over… Let it go. God hasn’t brought you this far to fuck you up or make a fool of you now, okay? So that’s what I do, I let it go. Turn it over in recovery parlance. Next thing I know it’s 11am and I’m still breathing, and I know I can make it to the plane, to London, to my next hotel…. and then I’ll get to rest again and take another few deep, deep breaths.

On the plane flying down to London we all listen to some of the new tracks we’ve been working on. We are all super-excited by the noises we are making. It’s a good opportunity to reaffirm our goals and plans for the completion of the album. It’s probably going to be December by the time we have all the lyrics written and vocals recorded, and the music mixed, and that’s cool.. Our plan is to put the music out in the Spring of next year, with shows to follow.

I’ve chosen to stay on the east side of the city, at the Four Seasons in Canary Wharf. I have a friend over from Los Angeles, so we meet up in Shoreditch for some Vietnamese soup that slides down so so well… I just know that’s helping my cold. After I get back to the hotel I curl up with a box of tissues and some chamomile tea to watch, yep, Clint Eastwood again, in ‘Gran Torino’, which happens to be on the in-house movie system. It’s a wonderful film I have to say, I just loved it. It’s like reimagining your Dad as Dirty Harry.

I sleep pretty good and wake feeling better. Well enough to know I can make it through the day and get my ass onstage tonight and do what I gotta do. What is really frustrating is being in a fourth floor room on the River Thames and not be able to open the goddamned window. ‘I’m sorry sir, we aren’t allowed to open any of the windows on the fourth floor….’ How stupid is that? So I spend the day reading and doing frigging crosswords surrounded by my own germs.

The day goes by so slowly, all I can do is watch the weather. Will it rain? Will it stay dry? Our record for outdoor gigs has been pretty poor lately, we get lots of rain, often, it seems. But today, as cloudy as threatening to rain it seems, rain itself does not come… until… ah yes… maybe an hour before I’m set to leave… here it comes!!

I’m happy to say it never really pours… just a little refreshment for everyone down at the festival. It’s a great day’s bill at Lovebox, and I had intended to at least watch NERD, but I just cannot put any energy into that, instead arriving at about eight o’clock, an hour before we are due on.

Were you there? It was great wasn’t it?!!.. It was just one of those brilliant gigs. It took a few songs for my London nerves to dissipate, but Simon was great tonight. He was so ON!!! I just followed his lead. Soon we were all rocking out, and just having a blast.

It really felt like everything we had been working at, on concert stages over the last couple of years, showed tonight. The shit paid off. The labor, the patience and the tolerance. The big three ingredients.

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