Kaotican Alphabet

Roadie #42 – Blog #183

#42 writes from his plane to New Zealand

Greetings from 30,000 feet, folks.

I’m going to move swiftly past jokes about the mile high club and welcome you to my first blog sent from a comfy chair moving through the air at 500 miles an hour. I’m heading down to New Zealand a little ahead of the main party to see some friends of mine and there’s wifi on the plane. The future has truly arrived!

Before take-off, I was sitting in the airport lounge musing at the wonder of another piece of technology – namely my iPhone. I’d been sent some photos by “Mystic”. If you’ve been to see a Coldplay show, you may have seen Mystic onstage before the show, pottering about getting things ready. (He’s a right potterer…)

Mystic has sent me some photos of Tony Smith for the upcoming Digital Tourbook. I’m forwarding these to our digital editor, Anchorman. He’s finalising material for use by our design-and-build ninjas Slender Fungus in LA.

Tony is on the email chain and wants to make it very clear to me that I should choose the image that he likes from the three options. He doesn’t want people seeing the one of him looking rather camp. He wants nobody to see that. Nobody at all. I promise to make sure it doesn’t go in the book.

I didn’t say, though, that I wouldn’t put it in the blog…

(Photo by “Mystic” Nick Davis).

Tony, by the way, works at the opposite end of the signal chain to Mystic. Broadly speaking, Mystic deals with all the microphones onstage that suck in the noise the band makes. Tony is where the buck stops on all how all that noise gets blown back out at the audience. Dan Green, of course, is somewhere in between, making decisions on the balance, but Tony and Mystic deal with the art and the science of the big machinery.

Moving back again to my musings on the wonders of technology, I can’t help but think that it’s amazing that the phone in my pocket is bouncing an image from the north of England off to LA, all the while being watched over by the photo’s subject, who lives in Spain.

As the email conversation broadens (as emails with more than one person on the cc list have a tendency to), I mention that I’m about to get on a plane. Suddenly it becomes clear that Tony isn’t in Spain – in fact he’s at the same airport as me, in the lounge next door.

Had the email chain not started, we’d have simply got on two different planes on two different airlines and met up on the other side of the planet, none the wiser. We celebrate the chance meeting by disappearing off for a beer.

He’s flying via Dubai and heads off first. I’m going via Singapore. We’ll arrive within an hour of each other at the Auckland end. I’m delighted when we get in the air, to find that my plane does indeed have wifi. I email Tony to ask if his plane does. I suggest we could have a superbly ridiculous game of battleships by email as we race each other 20,000 feet over the planet down to Auckland.

Sadly, it’s not to be. There’s no reply from Tony, so he’s either asleep or in the digital darkness. I decide to write a blog instead.

I’m looking forward to the upcoming shows, it has to be said. I adore New Zealand and Australia, I genuinely do. The schedule looks quite agreeable and six weeks off usually puts the entire touring party in the best possible frame of mind. After the year or so of Mylo that we’ve had, it’s a nice final lap – perhaps a chance to take it all in properly before it disappears. It ain’t over yet though!