It’s 4am on a Sunday morning (check out Rives talk on TED for more details about this particular time of the day) and you’re driving back from an awesome gig in lovely Manchester. For almost 70 miles you have seen signs saying “M6 Junction 10 > 11 closed” and you get to the junction just to discover it’s actually the last one before you need to get onto the M5. And it’s the one that’s closed.
Okay, so not many of you will have experienced this particular situation but we all know how awful it is to be ‘so near, yet so far’ I wish I could continue this story with a lovely tale of how we sneaked around cones and carried on defiantly. I wish I could continue this story with a tale of personal heroism from a benevolent road worker who jumped in the Scarship (TC’s domestic touring vehicle/kitchen/hospital/hotel) and navigated us through said roadworks.
Sadly, I cannot.
The last bloody thing you want to do in that situation is take an extra 30 minutes on the surface roads of Brum, with 12 hours travelling and playing behind you as well as an extra stop to take on fuel.
Except it wasn’t just another 12 hours behind us, it was three days worth of gigs and three nights of our driver having to remain sober.
Yeah – we’ve announced a number of festivals over the last couple of weeks (headline at Cheltenham Jazz Fest, Eden Festival, Battstock) but we’ve got EVEN more to add and we’ll be posting them up on here rather soon – so keep an eye out. That’s not all the news we’ll have for you, but you know how we like to tease out any bigger announcements – especially as there’s quite a lot on our basket-plates at the moment…
Two Week Catch Up
Well, we had four sets during Cheltenham Raceweek (tiring) then a week of practise (sort of) followed by another three sets the week just gone (more tiring)
Thanks to shatteringly scheduled tours of late we’re actually quite good at coping with this – most bands in our situation normally only ever play 30/45 minute sets. The “Thrill Collins Average”
where [h=number of hours in each set] and [g=total number of gigs] defines our mean (arithmetic average, not ‘nasty’) set time as sitting at just over two hours. I’m pretty sure that’s longer than Stevie Wonder’s headline set at Glasto last year and he’s at LEAST twice as good as us even if we don’t awkwardly, perhaps inexplicably, make our increasingly secular British audiences chant “God is good”…
Cheltenham Raceweek has (and always will be) the same kind of experience for us as a band and we love it for/despite all its faces. The only thing Thrill doesn’t like about this particularly polarising week for the local populace is the indiscriminate littering of our beautiful, stunning Cotswold town.
This week was a lot more varied. We played our first ever book launch (!) for the Cheltenham Independents (supporting local business and innovation – we thought it was most worthy) then onto the ever-rowdy Cafe Rene in Gloucester on Friday for an ‘Allo Allo themed night where we gathered our Glostoneberet garb and spent until the wee hours playing to a packed house of beret wearers, English airmen and innumerable saucy French maids. Sometimes you just got to suck it in yeah?
Which brings us nicely back to where we began: 4am on Sunday morning.
Manchester was a great night – the venue almost bought tears to our eyes as we supped on (yet more) free booze.
Not such much from the usual drunken man-anguish (manguish?) of self-denial from admitting that your mates are your best friends “in the whole fucking world” but from the fact that the on tap features included:
Franzinkaner Wiessbier (or “memories of Berlin & WTFF”) and
Brooklyn Lager (or “memories of NYC & National Underground”)
Two Thrill Collins’ tipples we would whole-heartedly recommend to anyone, anywhere.
A Brief Apology
Thrill Collins would like to sincerely apologise for the overuse of parenthesis (especially in this sentence) that has been used in this particular blog.
Congratulations for reading this far – we’ve tried to make it as difficult as possible this month.
We’ve had fun typing (Robbie and Andrew take each side of the qwerty alphabet, Tristan is in charge of numerics 9999999999999999999) and we hope you’ve had as much fun reading 65444444444