Kaotican Alphabet

Roadie #42 – Blog #47

#42 and the scary driver

Philly is close enough to drive from Manhattan. We’re in the van bringing up the rear (oo-err missus, etc etc). For reasons best known to security folks (and quite possibly insurance companies), it’s better for all the vehicles to travel "in convoy". Being in the back vehicle as we are today is occasionally a hair raising experience. A string of vehicles takes up as much space as a truck, but fellow road users don’t always understand that you’re going to move as one. It seems today’s driver is somewhat unused to this role. This means that by the time we’re almost at the gig most of the folks in our van have knuckles whiter than Hollywood teeth.

We get to the highway exit for the venue and we sail straight past. It would appear that our man at the wheel finds it easier to follow his sat nav than the back of the vehicle in front. Franksy asks what exactly is going on and is informed that it’s ok, we’re all going to the same place. Suitably reassured, we hold tight and hope for the best.

Folks have been turning out in force with banners and signs on this tour and more than ever they’ve been getting organised about it, too. Harking back for a moment to a couple of blogs ago, to talk about the wonders of the information superhighway, it seems that folks are organising themselves to not only have the same sign, but they’re co-ordinated enough that wherever they are in the arena, they all hold them up at the same time. This has been happening a lot on this tour (I’m looking in your direction and it never fails to raise a smile.

It’s another show in a venue we’ve done recently. We were here at the end of the first US arena run on this campaign. I wonder if anyone here saw both shows – and if they did, how different it felt. To me, things seem more assured and confident now. From where I was though, it seems like a grand time was had by all.

The fact that come the runner, our vanload has decreased to just three people completely fails to remind me of the journey here. In fact, it only clicks with me that we still have Satan’s chauffeur up front when soundman Dan Green almost goes headfirst through the windscreen. He’s standing upfront leaning over the cool box getting a beer when our captain slams the anchors on like he’s just spotted a blind pregnant pensioner chasing a cute little kitten into the road. We lurch forwards alarmingly, then glide gracefully into the back of the SUV in front of us. I’m now faced with a dilemma. My beer bottle is three quarters full, but completely inverted and on the carpet. If I try to lift it, I lose the rest of my drink. If I leave it there, it will slowly drain away. I attempt a trick with a piece of card, but unsurprisingly, it’s all over.

I decide against kissing the ground Pope-style when we get out of the van outside the hotel, but I have to say that pavement has never been so welcome. I pass Franksy on the way in  His driver has shut the van door on his leather jacket leaving a rather large and expensive tear. It would appear that Coldplay didn’t get the A team from the car company today. I suspect there must have been someone famous in town…. 😉

Roadie #42