Tour Diary - Day One

DAY ONE – SOUTHAMPTON
 
As with all rock and roll tours, this one started with a trip to the House of Lords.

Two beards with men attached. 

Louis and I hurtled from Manchester down to London, bellowing out Disney hits and discussing who the best James Bond is. You know. Real shit. Upon arrival, Louis scarpered for the train for a night in Portsmouth, and I headed to the seat of power in the nation for the oddest gig of the year: playing quietly in the background of a wedding reception in the belly of the Palace of Westminster. The second I arrived and was trying to explain to a machine-gun wielding policeman A) Why I was trying to drive into where they make the laws in a car full of guitars, and B) why I was dressed like a pirate roadie from the 70’s, the conversation was interrupted by a thousand people riding past on bikes, totally naked.

You may have seen The World Naked Bike Ride on the news, but trust me, the reality was Technicolor and glorious. I was worried the already harassed-looking policeman might find some way of blaming ME for the flurry of penises that was fluttering past, but he merely sighed extravagantly and waved me through.

Me and my brother Charlie. Remembering to look cool for photos. 

The rest of the day was a jazzy blur, and I ended up shooting out of London for Southampton and my rendezvous with Louis the next day. We congregated at my parents’ house and readied ourselves. Then it was off to Southampton and Larry’s house.

Good old Larry. For those of you who don’t know the man, he has made an indelible mark on our collective consciousnesses by turning up to our live video shoot wearing a parrot costume and dancing like a man on fire. A solid gold member of the A-Team.



He and his parents had kindly allowed their house to be the first stop on our tour of sitting rooms and lawns, and we got stuck in to barbecues, cocktails and homemade sushi like any musicians faced with free food are obliged to do. Eventually the sun went down and we trooped into the living room to get things going.

Louis went first. And I got to savour one of my favourite things – watching people who have never heard of Louis see him perform for the first time. One moment there is a very polite man in a shirt chatting amiably, the next he has been replaced by a cavorting madman, his eyes and moustache bristling, his voice growling and his legs EVERYWHERE. They exhibited all the usual signs – the shocked gasps, then the wide eyes, then the huge, beaming grins.

He smashed it, and I headed for my allocated bit of carpet with nerves jangling and pride dangling on a thread. But Larry and his horde of friends sang, danced and formed impromptu percussion sections when commanded, and were the very best type of audience. We had a bloody lovely time.

Larry the parrot - going above and beyond. 

Singing done, we drank and laughed and danced. Then, with hugs and grins we loaded up the tour wagon and shot into the dark for sleeps and recuperation.

Thanks Larry! Next stop: BRIGHTON. 

3 comments

  • Sarah

    Sarah Taunton

    Deeply jealous, sounds fab. Where can I get a parrot costume!

    Deeply jealous, sounds fab.
    Where can I get a parrot costume!

  • Put-lug

    Put-lug Sunny south coast

    How did I miss this!!

    How did I miss this!!

  • mike rolfe

    mike rolfe southampton

    Missed your gig at Larry's parents, but the mum (my friend Sarah) told me all about it and showed me your YouTube gig with Larry's (Lawrence to his mum) parrot. We were knocked out and have shown it to other friends and family, all of whom want to see you! So if you fancy another house gig at Totton (between Southampton and the New Forest) please get in touch. My sister is also impressed and her thatched cottage at Whiteparish would make a lovely venue. We saw Louis at Sarah's recently and what a superb double bill you must be.

    Missed your gig at Larry's parents, but the mum (my friend Sarah) told me all about it and showed me your YouTube gig with Larry's (Lawrence to his mum) parrot. We were knocked out and have shown it to other friends and family, all of whom want to see you! So if you fancy another house gig at Totton (between Southampton and the New Forest) please get in touch. My sister is also impressed and her thatched cottage at Whiteparish would make a lovely venue. We saw Louis at Sarah's recently and what a superb double bill you must be.

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