Scarlet's Well in Spain - Sept 14th-16th, 2006
We flew to Barcelona a day early, to sight-see before the 3 tour dates. Unfortunately, all the sight-seeing we got to do on the 13th was the inside of Gatwick Airport, the Barcelona Airport train platform, and a taxi through the traffic-jammed streets. Thanks for the delay, Easyjet! We did manage to have a nice meal, a few beers, and a fairly early night.
The next day was scheduled for rain, so of course we took the bus to the Gaudi Park. It was a good way to see the soggy city. Just as we got there lightning broke out, so we took shelter in the museum, where I saw a sculpture entitled "The Degenerates". I joked that would be us in a few hours, little did I know how true that would be... The rain stopped as we left the park, and we saw a few more things, had Lunch and a siesta. Then, I was ready to ROCK!
The Sidecar club was a trek of 30 second walk from the hotel, and to my delight a beautiful drumkit was unpacked from hire boxes. I was required to help set up, and I banged away as the soundman checked out the drums, unaware that our accordion player was having huge traumas with his instrument. Everything was miraculously sorted out, and we finished the soundcheck and headed off for food/changing.
I got nervous as it didn't seem super-full in the club, but I needn't have been. A friend who lives in Barcelona showed up unexpectedly, and it was good to have a familar face in the audience. We stormed through our set (in actuality I couldn't hear anything but bass) in an hour and a half, and, although I couldn't see the audence so well, I was assured by those in the 'front line' that we had a terrific reaction. At one point I was startled by the hatch behind me opening up and a lady with a camera poking out to take pictures. I think this made me miss some beats in 'The stars that fall' but no one seemed to notice.
We had an encore or two, and set about enjoying the rest of the night. The club night promised some old 70's and 80's hits, and I had a boogie or two. I retired back to the hotel at 2.30am, hoping I could sleep off all the beers.
The next morning I didn't feel so good, but felt a lot less hangover-y when I saw some of the other members of the band appear. We caught a flight to Madrid, which wasn't delayed, although I was informed by Bid afterwards that my cymbals nearly went into the airport ether as they didn't have luggage tags for them. Thank goodness I didn't know at the time. The airport in Madrid was space-age, I wondered what all the weird structures were for. Our instruments didn't turn up for ages, but I realised how you can't feel bored or jaded if you listen to They Might Be Giants. I was sashaying towards the exit to 'Istanbul not Constantinople' with my trolley of instruments.
We spent less than 24 hours in Madrid, so it's a bit of a blur in my memory. Public transport to the venue, an amazing venue called the Moby Dick Club that had a nautical theme! The gig was great - the sound was amaaazing thanks to the record company's soundmen, and we played with another Siesta act Christina Georgina. Her drummer was excellent - he did a lot of good bossa-nova stuff, and I really want to nick one or two of his beats. I did ask, I think he'll let me! Public transport back to the hotel, we were all extreemly tired (still recovering from the night before). We passed the Real Madrid football ground and a bar called "tequila" - cue singing from me that bemused our spanish escort.
I had my usual travel stress the next morning even though the train station was a mere walk across the street from the hotel. It served one purpose though - I realised before the rest of the band that we were in completely the wrong place. Even though there was a sign that said 'Trains' there was another place to get trains too. We had a lovely 5 hour train ride through the Spanish countryside to Murcia - lots of olive trees, and Wind Turbines and caves in the side of the limestone cliffs. At Murcia, we checked into the hotel and found a restaurant that did the most amazing steak I've ever tasted. There was no menu, just a cabinet with meat in it that you pointed at. Yumm.
Bid, Martin, Alice and Peter had to rush their meal - they were off to be interviewed by the 'Spanish John Peel' who was talking to bands playing Lemon Pop. I was happy that I wasn't required for this, so had a lovely few hours 'off' having coffee and going to the supermarket with the rest of the girls. (I have nothing to say for interviews, unless of course a drumming-related mag wants to have a chat!)
We walked on over to the open-air auditorium to the sound check. At first sight I was overjoyed. I had a DRUM RISER! 70cm, I think!!! And also we had one of those sound guys at the side of the stage you could ask for more of whatever instument in your monitor by miming. And, best of all, although we were second on, the band before us had NO drums. That means I didn't have to set ANYthing up before I played (Madrid's drumkit was particulary tricky to adjust - I ended up spilling 2 beers all over the stage before playing. Peter said it was OK, amplifiers run better with beer in them...). Anyway, then it was just back to the hotel for a quick change and shower.
I was too nervous to go out into the auditorium with the trendy young spanish kids before we played, so I hung out in our very own dressing room. I sipped water and cola despite the beers and whisky left out for us (I can't drink and drum you know). Then, it was our turn to go on. I was high above eveyone else on my drum riser, nothing around me but open air, and I could see lots of people in the audience having a good time, and even managed to smile and make eye contact with people. There's a moment when I drum and everyone stops playing during "Jacob's Ladder", whilst they sing a-capella. Just as my moment came up... the dry ice machine kicked in completely hiding me. How very Spinal Tap!
The rest of the evening was fun - we watched the other bands from the side of the stage, chatted with people, and ended up in this club down the road dancing to Morrissey and Dusty Springfield. Next morning - I was quite hungover again (had gone to bed at 4am!) but we found a bar selling ham sandwiches and coffee. The other punters in the bar (men avoiding church I think), were downing Tequilas at 10.30 in the morning... It was time to fly home, and, after another few hours delay courtesy of easyjet, we were back in London, and I was going home to hit my bed for some much needed sleep.