On the drive up to Glasgow today, humming past muddied wool sheep on fields of rolling green, I asked our tour manager Ben if Scotland is a country. “Yes…” he answered, equally confident and hesitant. “So what is the United Kingdom then? Is that a country?” Ben further elaborated, “If Scotland is doing poorly economically, for example, then it’s its own country.” I figure if a guy from Somerset doesn’t have the facts completely sorted out, then learning them myself is nothing urgent.
In England they clear out the venues ultra fast. We go backstage after a set, catch our breath, crack open some beers, and when we walk back out, all that remains is a floor full of empty plastic cups. It’s kind of a bummer. Seb, our stage manager, commented to me after tonight’s set in Glasgow, “It’s a lonely feeling after the show.” In Germany, they do it right. We finish playing, and the people are allowed to mill about and trickle out as they please. The band gets the meet the listeners, flirt with girls…we get to come down off the thrill of an audience nice and easy.
I’ve upgraded my tour habits. For the last two days, I’ve been coming to the venues equipped with a dry shirt. No more embarrassing wet hugs for me. No more freezing wet fabric in the shiverous October cold as loadout and band roundup plods its way through the night. Dry shirt. The next level.