I start the day today by filling out forms for my Japanese visa, in readiness for the February trip. Somewhat less glamorously (if indeed, filling out forms could ever be considered glamorous), I then move on to the launderette. We’re a day or two from leaving New York, so it makes sense to walk around the corner and drop in my smalls for a fluff and fold.
My washbag is one of my favourite pieces of tour swag ever. (Roadie glossary: "Swag" – primarily refers to merchandise for sale at shows. Also, in this case, refers to promotional items distributed free to the crew). Free t-shirts, jackets and hats are a very handy perk of the job. A nice drawstring bag for your washing, though? Now that’s something you can be grateful for every single day. Before the last tour, I just used to "borrow" laundry bags from nice hotels. The X&Y tour gave us our very first Coldplay laundry bags. They arrived at a "shed" show in the States. I note though, as I wander through the hotel’s swanky lobby, that the old faithful has become somewhat worn and ragged.
Imagine my delight then, when we arrive in Detroit to find that we’ve been swagged up with brand new VIVA laundry bags!
Aside from this, Detroit’s show is notable for a dedication of Lovers In Japan to Jonny’s baby. The Detroit show falls on her first birthday. It’s all rather lovely as Chris sings "Happy Birthday" as the last of the butterfly confetti falls.
The day off falls on election day. I flip the TV news on and watch the results come in from around 7pm. Slowly, it becomes apparent that I’m watching history. My windows are open and I start to hear cheers on the streets of Manhattan. Once the news is announced, I decide that really, I should take a wander up to Times Square to take in the scene. Firstly I figure, I should see who is downstairs in the bar watching on the big screen. I can catch Mr. Obama’s speech in the company of friends. Yasmine, our tour accountant is here with a friend from her time touring with The Who. Guy is also here with his friend Mags.
Watching the speech drives the stake of history into the ground. It’s incredible after the past eight years to see a President who can not only string a sentence together, but can use words to inspire so greatly and give such optimism for the future. I stay for a drink and a chat before deciding to take to the streets to soak it up. Car horns mingle with whoops and cheers. Strangers are high fiving as they pass on the pavement. Now, I’m as cynical as the next fella, possibly more so. It’s impossible though, not to feel like the world could really change for the better now. Folks over here have been fed a steady diet of fear for a dark few years now. The taste of hope is intoxicating. Don’t let us down eh fella?
So the United States has a new President and I have a new bag for my dirty socks. That’s the news – onto sports now.
Aside from the fella’s love for footy, there is a fiercely fought table tennis league on the tour. This reached its peak on the European leg, when Albert Hammond’s band and crew were also keen. Detroit though, saw Chris unusually beaten by Trainer Dan. In order to focus, he decides that a wager is required for his match against Kelly his personal security fella. I was not present for this match, but I am led to believe that the rarely beaten Mr. Martin had "his arse handed to him on a plate", leaving Kelly somewhat pleased with himself and rather better off than he had been minutes earlier.
I’m sure you’ll join me in wishing Mr Samuels all the best in his future employment. Anyone requiring an experienced security chief should contact him via coldplay.com…