A restful few days off in London, where I mostly didn’t do much. Felt I was getting ill in Cardiff a little so the rest proved of value. So this brings me to Saturday 28th. This was the Brainlove all day event in the Windmill Brixton. I went early intending to be part of some filmed sessions which never happened, I helped decorate the place in its stead.
Musically Brainlobe attracts affable oddballs like Mat Riviere, Pagan Wanderer Lu, Napoleon iiird, Bastardgeist from Chicago, some nuts Estonians he encountered recently in Tallinn Music Week, and myself. It was nice to see Bear Driver and Rob St john too. Recommended.
After the mess and magic of the previous night it was going to be difficult for Norwich to pull anything out of the bag. Well it did. It was a shopping bag from the market, and it was food what was pulled out. Thank you Ros for what I can now officially call best in tour. The show was long and a struggle against some tiredness I had accumulated. I tried to liven or perhaps just change the formula a little for this one time and asked Tawny Owl if they wanted to join in towards the rear of my set and they jumped at it. Some lovely lads what played a Brainlove, huddled around one amp in the rain, now had their individual amps and some space in the dry. Drone and distortion backing band. Well done.
Onwards, after an outburst at Norwich Train Station where I thought I wouldn’t make it to the Manchester show. I apologise again to the station staff for that. The next train got me there just in time so no worries, silly David. The rail journey up to Manchester is really nice, you go through the lowlands of Norfolk and Cambridgshire which are fine in themselves, I swear I saw a bullfinch on a wire, when I was looking at the collard dove, it was just there. Then you pass through the Peak District a little later, like great cross section of British Countryside or what? Then, for all you brick fans, you go into Manchester via Stockport…
I arrive with just enough time to get off at Oxford Road Station, fly down the steps and cross to the Palace Hotel to sign in and get my pass for ‘Eurocultured’ Festival – I am in the Arch, and it is a stage set up in a massive railway arch (I was just on top of this arriving by train). With genuine stalactites and filth. Oh, and appalling sound and five engineers struggling to find out how to make it work. We all survived it though. I caught the end of Spokes (who I have liked in the past) and watched Kyrie Kristmanson and Bushman’s Revenge. Amazingly the festival had rooms at the Palace Hotel (big rooms – highest ceilings – unnecessarily large windows – history).
The next morning I just make it to my train after a breakfast at the ‘Spoons. And so to Oxford. I arrive in warm sunshine and I don’t need to tell you how much better anywhere looks with this factor at play. I laze around for a bit admiring some old college or church or something. I find out where to go for the gig and go there. This lovely little church where our show was the first of it’s kind in the place. Delightful. Rob and Emma looked after me very well and it was a pleasure to meet them.
It would be hard to beat this high. The show was accompanied by Sebastian from Braindead Collective on the piano. Not to mention a cameo from Rob towards the climax. I enjoyed this one immensely.
It was not beaten by Cambridge the next day. Cambridge, I’m afraid, did not have the pleasant atmosphere of Oxford. They had my last show for a while and it was intense. And having residence for the night in Girton college, not to mention a fry up in the refectory in the morning. I must say that James put a lot of effort into the show and it was a full room so he did well. AND, the Padang Food Tigers were excellent. I guess, over time, I will reassess my opinion of the place. My mind was already on the plane back East.