Kaotican Alphabet

Roadie #42 – Blog #61

#42 and the hometown show

Finally, I spend an entire day off in bed and so see an end to the misery that is "the tour cold". Everyone is suffering. Folks have either had it, just finished it, or are right in the middle of it. It seems poor old Jon Hopkins has been hit harder than most though. He’s come down with something a bit heavier than a cold and he’s not with us for the Manchester shows. Let’s hope he’s better for London. I’m really looking forward to seeing him together with Viva co-conspirator Dav at the O2…

Manchester is a bit of a strange one, in that I wake up in my own bed and have breakfast at home, then go into the gig. This must be what it feels like having a proper job….

Chris comes in to soundcheck in Manchester. He’s just running through a few new things on his own which are being recorded for reference back at the Bakery. A lot of songs begin like this. I remember the first time I ever heard Lost!, it was in an empty arena in Chicago, with just piano and voice. I still have the recording I made that day. It’s a lot like the version on the EP (Lost?), except with a huge swimmy arena echo backing it. It was impossible to hear it then and not be blown away.

Similarly today’s tunes encapsulate the extremes of both the stripped down intimacy of one man singing on a stage and the vastness of the arena reverb. I wonder how much work will take place twisting, moulding and refining these songs before they blast their way out into an arena full of people who have the CD at home. (If indeed CDs still exist by the time the next release comes along…)

As well as new songs bubbling away, things have changed very slightly in the show on this UK leg. Firstly, the fellas now take to the stage carrying sparklers. It’s gloriously low tech visual echo of the fizzing crackling synths of the Escapist intro.

There’s also some old friends returning for Yellow….

Being as it’s a home town show for me, I bail rather swiftly after the show finishes and manage to hail a cab before it makes it into the chaos of the leaving punters. As we get out of town and up towards 42 Towers, another cab pulls up in my street and a couple get out clutching a tour programme and assorted other swag from the show.

We’ve been all over the place with this tour – and by the time it finishes, it’ll be a good swing over the planet we’ve done. It seems strange watching people who live within sight of my own front door coming home from the show. Can’t quite explain why. Still, they were grinning broadly, so I guess it must’ve been a good one!

Roadie #42