‘Knights of the Travelodge, on our black steed we ride!’ Early wake ups are a thing of the past as all of us are trying to grab as much sleep as we can till 11.30 then scrambling around like lemmings trying to get out before 12.00pm checkout. Uuurrrgghhh…
Sonia Waterfield – Day 12 – Glasgow
It was only whilst working out where we were staying tonight and the absence of the others that it clicked with me, Luke and Eddie and we realised that we were staying here for another night!
Trekking back to the room and dumping bags we ventured to the services for caffeine and then back to the van for nicotine. ‘Tea, fag, tea, fag’ is now the morning ritual.
Along with this, the addition of much medicine for those chesty coughs and blocked noses which were now plaguing us all.
Breakfast was consumed and back in our trusty steed we got. Hitting the motorway, which must be one of the scenic roads that I have ever travelled, mountains, waterfalls and forestry passing, ‘Family Guy’ was put on the box and we settled down for the three hour journey feeling physically exhausted but mentally happy as the end was drawing nearer.
With the fact that this was going to be the longest slog, as we were driving for three hours back to the Lodge straight after the gig, it was a mental mission. However, having the knowledge that the journey from Preston to Nottingham was a short hop and an even shorter hop from Rock City to Brum, this was the last of the long treks.
Matty and I were looking on the net and were very pleased to see some awesome reviews (check out Rock The North’s by Viki) and great videos from Manchester already up, showing the fantastic appreciation from the crowd, it gave us all a renewed excitement and glee for tonight’s gig.
Two hours into the journey, the earlier caffeine intake was severely taking it’s toll on me to the point of desperation. It got to the point I was even considering peeing into the empty coffee cup, which was quickly dismissed by the guys. To save embarrasment, Chris gracefully shouted to the drivers ‘Sonia needs to squeeze her lemon’ – pleasant eh? With the response that a fuel stop was also needed, a sigh of relief escaped me as the cramping and urge became crucial. The things you have to do eh?
By now, ‘Family Guy’ had finished, so only by looking at the beautiful scenery whizzing past was I able to keep my mind off the situation.
Thankfully, Happendon Services was my saviour. The moment we pulled up the pump I was out like a flash. It felt like one of the longest wees ever and with a sigh of relief, I was able to move freely again. Pepperami and salt and vinegar Discos in hand, whilst the others grabbed snacks too, we jumped back onto the van for the last leg.
The excitement eh?
Mountains got bigger, valleys got wider and the sky got greyer the further north we got and again, memories of home tugged strongly at my heart. Only three more gigs and two more nights to go before a night in the bed. As the end of the tour became apparent, mixed feelings kicked in, with us all wanting to be back in our individual beds and surroundings but already knowing that we would miss the camaraderie and experiences that you can only have on the road.
For the bigger bands, I can certainly see why illegal substance use is widespread, as you are constantly going from a high before and after the gig to a low once the party is over and the travelling tiredness kicks in, along with the emotions of being away from home but having such a great laugh with the people you are with. It’s like a close knit family.
Saying that, silence was on the cards for this leg and it was welcomed under the circumstances. At 4.00pm, we passed Glasgow Business Park with its wire sculpted horse and onto the rather congested road leading into the city.
Joe entertained us with a few gutter jokes he received from his mate and a few short laughs were heard before back to the silence. Luke was busy with his reading of his Horatio Nelson book of which he has been reading for this past week, recalling the stories of his adventures, whilst the rest of us were still engrossed in our phones. Who said communication is dead?
As we entered Glasgow, I asked Matty if he was excited about playing in his home town. The answer I received was “looking forward to me Haggis supper, haggis and chips…” and then trying to convince me that it was a great thing!
Now, two things come out of this. I must explain that Matty boy, or Scotty Dog as he is affectionately called by me, loves his food… a lot, and secondly, not that I have anything against any Scottish traditions, but the idea of consuming sheep’s intestines and other offal parts really doesn’t appeal to me. Sorry all of you Scotty peoples!
As the tower blocks arose like sentinels around us, a cry of “Glasgee!” came from Matty who used to live in the Dumbarton area.
We had travelled all the way into Glasgow with no hassle, then at the last turning, we find the roads closed, so we had to navigate around to what sounded like ‘Sucky Hole Street’ from Matt’s lips. Around Charing Cross we went around and got to the venue. Big slap on the back to Ed who got us here in good time and safely, even though he was feeling grim.
After navigating a massive gradient of the road up with the clutch grinding, we took a left turning where Ed expertly navigated his way around a chicane of roadwork barriers to find a dead end. A 180 was made and we followed the road round to the back of the venue and parked up by Mike Monroe’s bus to find crew waiting for us.
With the aid of the burly young lads, the gear was loaded in very quickly indeed.
Me, Tony, Matt and Chris headed off to find the nearest chemist to find cures for their ailments. Boots was our target and luckily there was one located nearby on ‘Sucky Hole’ Street. After the lads spoke to the lovely young lady who helped them out, we received a phone call for soundcheck.
Walking as quickly as we could, we walked up the 45% gradient to the rear of the venue. Whizzing straight onto the stage, they went through their songs and I sorted out me merch stall which was located out the back of the main hall, down some stairs and into a room tucked away near the venue entrance. The idea of being set up in such a secluded and easily missed room did not bring me much joy.
As I wandered out to the van, Ginger and Sami appeared out of the dressing room because the band were off to do an acoustic set at a local radio station. I wished them luck and continued my walk to the van. Arriving there, Steve Conte clobbered me and Ste (Monroe merch man) to ask if we could set up as per the previous night as he wanted his cd info on sight. We assured him this would be done and off into the taxi he hopped.
Ed hard at work
Finally, I got into the van and got my head down for a couple of hours as I would still have time to set up my stand whilst Matt joined his brother for a curry and the others rested in the dressing room.
The alarm went off at 6.45pm and I wandered to the stall and set up with minutes to spare before the doors opened. Due to the location of the merch area the punters were walking right past, blissfully unaware of our presence. Gits!
The New York guys started their performance to a jam packed full venue, which was excellent and received a fantastic applause. The heat and atmosphere was warming up.
By the time Voodoo Six graced the stage the air was electric due to alchoholic merriness and the Scottish people partying away. There was a small army of Voodoo Six fans crammed at the front, cheering for the guys to appear. When they did a loud roar and cheer was heard.
Ploughing through their 35 minute set, you could feel the excitement. It was an almost big festival feel, with people rocking out, whooping and applauding through. This was reflected in the guys’ performance who gave it their all.
The sound was fantastic and every note could be heard perfectly. The guys were hot in both senses, great on performance and sweaty from the heat emanating from the crowd. They left the stage to an almighty applause and cries for an encore. As they went, hands from the front two rows reached out and each band member bent over to touch them. Matt was so happy with the night in his hometown that he was buzzing for the rest of the night, having brandy and coke bought for him.
Some fans came down to the merch area and pondered what they were going to purchase after the show and asked if signings were going to be happening after the show, to which I advised they were.
Whistles and shouts grew into a crescendo from the dedicated Hanoi Rocks/Monroe audience. The atmosphere rose to a frenzy when Michael and his troupe bounded onto the stage, with people pushing and jostling to get as close to them as possible. Talk about sardines, it was maniacal madness!
All the way through the set, people were singing along, rocking themselves stupid and the band absolutely loved it! Full of smiles, they seemed to be urged on by the crowd, almost in competition as to who could rock out the most. To be honest, out of them all, this must have been the best gig of the whole tour for audience participation.
The time came for the set to end. It was an early curfew due to the venue holding a chavvy disco.
Now, the merch stall had been dead all night, but now it had turned into havoc, with fans baying at our stalls, fighting amongst each other to get their t-shirts or albums.
After they had showered, Steve Conte and Ginger came out for photo opportunities and to flog their solo project’s albums. It was funny to see the fans divide between the two who were competing against each other. Talk about bringing confusion to the masses, the fans didn’t know what to do.
With a choice of Monroe merch, personally signed Ginger and Conte albums, I have never seen so many starstruck and frazzled looks in one place. It was hilarious to see.
Amongst the throng were the original and longstanding Voodoo Six Street Team ladies Pauline and Helen. Two rocking ladies who do fantastic work for the lads. It was so lovely to see them and chat to them, pre-merch madness.
The Voodoo Six stall was under pressure from the weight of new and established fans all trying to get their items and for them to be signed by the lads, which gave me a lovely warm feeling. I felt so proud for them, bless their cottons!
The main gear had already been loaded, so once the masses had been swept away by the Security, we packed the merch stall up and hopped into the van.
Think someones lost their teeth!
Matty wanted haggis supper after the gig so we headed off for food. We stopped at the Blue Lagoon, where the boys braved a haggis supper and I opted for a saveloy – mmm, mm!
Chip suppers consumed, Luke went for a slash down the alley way next to the chippy and saw a couple banging up against the wall. On his way out, two women started kicking off, shouting “ya wee skank” which was was heard up the street from outside the Iron Horse pub.
Tony’s words of wisdom on the matter; “alcohol, bin helping, ugly people have sex for 300 years”. Then caveman behaviour and Jez Kyle came up.
The topic of conversation turned to the Scottish accent and how the ladies speak soft and quiet, whilst the males sound thick and harsh. Joe decided that the Geordie accent is better and expressed his want to go back.
Then deep discussion into haggis and it’s contents followed by laughter at a poor woman who was skimpily dressed, wobbling around in high heels and how her legs looking like two pieces of string dangling from her dress.
After our deeply ‘intelligent’ sociological discussion we got back on the van. Tony had the task of doing the two and a half hour drive back to the ‘Lodge, which he did marvellously, getting us safely back. Upon arrival, we hastily made it to our rooms and sleep was instant. We are such rockstars eh?