Tour Diary - Day Eight

Preston – Caroline & Mike’s house
 
After a long and leisurely day of drawing cartoons for a book that a friend of mine is working on (don’t be fooled. I’m shit at drawing and am baffled as to why I was asked. However my Emu was convincing) I picked up Louis and off we went to Preston. These northern gigs have all taken place within relatively safe distance of our two Manchester dwellings, so we’ve been able to enjoy the visceral thrill of being on tour while at home. Which basically means lounging about all day whilst telling the world we’re “at work”.
 
We arrived in a leafy suburb (why are suburbs always “leafy”? It’s the only adjective they’re allowed, I suppose) and pulled up outside a massive house. This was the home of Caroline and Mike, the two most die-hard Bedlam Six fans I’ve ever met. Their house was festooned with copies in every medium of everything Louis has ever sung into a microphone. It was clear that while I was most welcome indeed, it was Louis who was pulling them in that night, so we tacitly agreed that this must be the gig where our roles were reversed, and I should warm them up for him. 
 
However before all that there was the matter of the food. We have been continually delighted by the culinary wonders we have been presented on this tour, and any thoughts I had of shedding my holiday curves were lost somewhere between Brighton’s massive pasta marathon and Surrey’s meringue bonanza. And these folks were going for broke. We had a vast tray of different exotic Spanish sausage, freshly retrieved from the continent by their gourmand friend who happily toured me around his meaty presentation. I just read that sentence back. Yep. I’m leaving it in.
 
Three homemade curries! All the diet coke I could cram into my glum sober mouth! It was ace. We sat about outside, chatting with the younger contingent of the event, Mike and Caroline’s kids and their friends. All of these folk seem to gravitate around the Ferret in Preston, which Louis tells me is an awesome place to play. Looks like I’ll be back in Preston before I know it.
 
Performance time rolled around, and our hosts had gone to town on the performance space, hefting sofas and chairs into a makeshift auditorium for the large crowd. I tuned up and cracked into it.
 
I opted for a shorter set than usual, as I was well aware that these folks were clamouring for Barabbas. How very biblical. But I wanted to get them riled up for him, so I grabbed a few of the rowdier element from the crowd and press-ganged them into a percussion section to accompany one of my less-successful guitar solos. Luckily they took to their instruments/objects with such gusto that my seal-flippered attempts at rock triumph were drowned out by a chorus of thuds.

Fingers forgetting they have a music degree
 
I finished with Kiss The Misfits, a new song which (I CAN EXCLUSIVELY REVEAL…) will be coming out on the latest Xtra Mile Compilation (Details HERE. It's the title track of our upcoming new EP and HOWFUCKINGCOOLISTHAT). They hurled themselves into the end crowd vocal with tremendous enthusiasm, and I left the stage feeling very supported by this lovely bunch of new friends.

Continuing my series of Patrick Swayze tributes, here is the finale from Ghost
 
Louis hit the stage with grandeur. It was lovely to see him work a crowd who were clearly so familiar with his stuff. Their love for him was tangible, and they sang all the big bits in songs like “Mother” without the slightest hesitation. They even bombarded him with requests that precipitated some serious lyric revision on his part, so far back in the back catalogue they were. It was a bloody pleasure to watch. He daringly finished with one of the songs from his musical rather than an old favourite, and it paid off in spades as the whole crowd rose up and wailed the repeated chorus over and over, their grins widening with every bar. It was great.
 
Drinks, chats, hugs and warm goodbyes later, we loaded up and set off once more for home. Preston is ace.

 
 
Thanks Caroline and Mike!
 
Next stop: WARRINGTON
 
Read Louis’ tour diary HERE

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