Brighton and London were our two homecoming shows of sorts. We were back in the comforts of BedZed, with both shows being short drives. This means no Travelodge for a bit. Incidentally, the drive into the city center of London took about the same time as the 45-mile drive to Brighton.
Brighton was described to us as the “Portland, OR of England.” More commonly, it's “the London by the sea”, and it proved to be a really beautiful coastal town. Well, what we could see of it in the darkness. The pier was reminiscent of Santa Monica, and the people were a bit on hippie side, so I figure the aforementioned description was pretty accurate.
Note the legs on the roof.
Sadly, Brighton was also the last show for Wire's sound guy, Lawrence, who was heading to America to do sound for Beirut's tour. As pictured below, he was a happy source of t-shirt wearing inspiration. Also, of napping inspiration.
Wire in Brighton.
That's really all I have to say on Brighton, mainly because we drove into town, played a show, drove home. Not much time for fraternizing with the Patchouli-wearing hobos. Actually, I have no idea what they use to cover up their body odor in England.
Side note: Despite what my musings might leave you to perceive, both the city and people of Brighton were rad, and the show was great.
Finally, we were in London playing the city we've called home for the better part of the past two weeks. Props to XOYO for providing us with some of the best parking and wireless we've had all tour. It was also the best show I've seen all tour by both Talk Normal and Wire. It was the most packed show to date, so the energy was high and both bands performed a raucous, punk-inspired set. This also left the bands in high spirits, and we were able to score a healthy bounty from the green room, which went towards our Thanksgiving feast the following day.
Wire in London
Death Grips and Impose were chillin' backstage together.
At this point I would also like to bid a fond farewell to my partner in driving and merchandising crime, Gijs. Turns out the guys in Wire were smart enough to hire a crew in two segments, with a second soundman and merch guy/driver taking over after the London show. Still, it was hard to see Gijs go. Definitely a rad dude who's done a lot of good things for independent bands touring in Europe. He'll be missed, but I'm sure we'll meet again one day. Until then, let us remember him in the two positions I will always think of him in.
Side note: While driving home from the London show, we heard Robbie Williams' “You Know Me“, which I now know is the song Dirty Beaches sampled the piano line for “Lord Knows Best“. And yes, I realize other people have probably already pointed this out, but do you really think I read music blogs or listen to Robbie Williams?
We also saw Occupy London on our way home.
This brings us to Thanksgiving, which is probably worthy of a post all by itself considering we spent it in a studio alongside Viv Albertine, original member and primary songwriter of the Slits. Apparently Talk Normal will be represented on Viv's upcoming album, and while details are still a bit unclear at the time I'm writing this, it will presumably be an album featuring plenty of special guests. I hope I haven't already said too much, but I will add that the recording was done in one take and that the track they cut is a ripper.
Crossing Tower Bridge on our way to the studio.
Side note: Viv Albertine is seriously a MILF.
After the recording, we stopped into Rough Trade for a spell before Talk Normal's manager took us to an amazing Indian restaurant in Upper Tooting (HA! had to be said) for Thanksgiving. It might not have been a traditional turkey and stuffing, but I gorged like it was, as it was one of the few proper meals we've had along our route. And by proper, I mean meat-filled. Talk Normal were nice enough to pay for my dinner, presumably for the heaving lifting and long driving I've been doing, but regardless, I think it's appropriate to end my Thanksgiving update with a proper thank you to Sarah and Andrya for bringing me on this amazing journey.
Side note: We're just about half-way through.
Sarah selling some rekkids.
The ceiling at Rough Trade
The Wire / Talk Normal poster I stole from Rough Trade.
A heated game of Connect Four was also played in the store.
A little taste of home on our way to the restaurant.