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Blog: Hello Leeds!

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Friday morning found me ASLEEP until very nearly Friday afternoon. It was LOVELY. We had a DELIGHTFUL luncheon with Tom's parents, finished watching the video of the Bull & Gate gig, said our goodbyes, and then headed off onto PHASE 3 of our Yorkshire Tour.

Our first top was Hull's local comic shop - we knew we were approaching by the small huddle of GOTH TEENAGERS smoking self-consciously nearby. We found it CLOSED, so popped round the corner to look in the Tom's Model Shop Of His Youth, which was ACE and nostalgic for me also due to having been a child of the '70's and had a Model Shop Of MY Youth too. I wonder if The Kids Today know the simple joy of a well joined spitfire wing? ANYWAY, we then nipped back to the comic shop, got my PROVISIONS, and then it was HO! for the Open Road!

The journey was GLORIOUS, as we sped along listening to "Warriors Of Nanpantan". This was the first time i'd listened to it EVER in a proper CD player (as opposed to a computer) so i was MIGHTILY RELIEVED to find that it worked, and we were BOTH quite surprised to find ourselves enjoying it so much. Hey! Some of these songs aren't bad! We got into Leeds full of CHEER, and then got lost, and then got GLARED at by a RIGHT ARSEY car parking attendant, which rather took the edge off things. Still, we got out, got INTO the Marvellous Queens Hotel, LEEDS, checked in, and said SEE YUZZ to each other.

There then followed a BEAUTIFUL 2 hours in which i had a BATH, then sat watching telly and drinking tea. It was LOVELY. For the first time in several days I was CLEAN.

We regrouped, and went back to the long stay car park to find we'd got it a bit wrong, and that it'd cost us ANOTHER 16 quid to take the car out, so HAULED Tom's MASSIVE amp down four flights of stairs to try and find a taxi rank... which we couldn't find, then waited 20 minutes for a taxi to arrive as ordered by the hotel. STRESS! EVENTUALLY we got to the venue to meet Mr Pattison and soon Mr Fleay, and STOOD AROUND for a couple of hours while nothing much happened. For some reason the venue wanted NO SOUNDCHECK whilst The Rugby was on, so JUST when we could have got started, they had to stop doing things...

ARGH! I was so BORED i could understand WHY people start on the DRUGS. It wasn't so much being BORED as being WIRED at the same time ... anyway, Emma had by now turned up, and so myself and Messrs McClure and Pattison headed off to get some CHIPS, leaving her and Mr Fleay to CHAT. We walked MILES to find the Proper Yorkshire Chip Shop we'd been recommended, and we found it closed. We thus went to the Dodgy Looking Kebab Shop next door, and were AMAZED to find it serving UTTERLY DELICIOUS Onion Bhajii's. If i could work out how to get the pictures off my phone i would show you the PHOTO i took.

When we got back it was time for a quick soundcheck at half-time - WHY the venue insisted on no noise during the game i do not know, for precisely NOBODY was watching on the three small tellys (which all had the sound turned off anyway), and there was a massive sports bar next door anyway. Oh yeah, and the game ITSELF was in LEEDS. BAH! We did "Quality Of Life Enhancement Device", which sounded pretty groovy, and a YOUTH came up afterwards and promised to return for the whole set later. He did too - it was like playing an ADVERT or TRAILER.

By now the place was getting PACKED, and getting packed with... shall we say, "younger drinkers". Everywhere you looked were KIDS falling about and/or SNOGGING each other. It was all very sweet, although a bit worrying that THE POLICE were ALSO there, FILMING the shenanigans, as a Licence Check. Hmmm.

EVENTUALLY the rugby finished, the first band on finished, and it was US! HOORAH! It was SUCH a GRATE feeling to get started at last, and by GOLLY we had a good time - here's what we played:
The Gay Train
Hey Hey 16K
Quality Of Life Enhancement Device
The Lesson Of The Smiths
Billy Jones Is Dead
Breaks In The Journey
The Fight For History
Post-Subsonic Bass
Never Going Back To Aldi's
Things'll Be Different
The Symbol Of Our Nation
Easily Impressed
MAN! It was FUN! There were a few small CLUTCHES of people who seemed to know the words to the old songs, which is ALWAYS a JOY, and as I looked around I could see people GETTING INTO IT. It was LOVELY! My favourite bit was in Easily Impressed when I saw someone at the back of the room doing the "OI HIBBETT!" bit, then looking DISTRAUGHT when she forgot what came next. BLESS. THE KIDS, in general, seemed to DIG it, and we rode a WAVE OF JOY all the way to the end.

And then we had LOTS to DRINK. AT LAST! We'd all been MIND BENDINGLY careful beforehand, over the course of FOUR HOURS not one of us had had more than three pints - ASTOUNDING! Mr Fleay FLED for Derby, and the rest of us got STUCK IN to the BEER. HOOPLA! The Pattisons left sometime before 12.30am, and me and Tom went to chat to the lovely Tasty Fanzine POSSE. Unwilling to end the evening when the bar kicked us out at 1.30 we invited them back TO OUR HOTEL, where a small group of us held court with MORE BEER until the No Longer Particularly Early Hours Of The Morning. ROCK! also ROLL! I distinctly recall correcting Sam Tasty firstly on his choice of BOOZE ("Lager is not a drink for a MAN! It is for CHILDREN!") and secondly on his opinion of the Beatles - this latter was MOST fun as his co-organiser AGREED whole-heartedly with ME - "He's right - you'll come round one day. You'll see."

Well, I enjoyed it anyway. LESS fun was how i felt the next morning when Tom and I met for BREAKFAST, and even LESS fun was how i felt on the EXTREMELY LONG journey home. Still, I was WARMED by the thought that it was all over and had all gone RATHER well. That was a WHOLE lot of fun, being on Tour, it's BLOODY GRATE!

posted 8/2/2005 by MJ Hibbett

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