Support for this tour comes from Irish Mythen, who Young’uns Podcast listeners may remember from the interview and session we did with her in Kansas last year. She was due to fly in to Manchester from Canada on Monday, a couple of days before the start of the tour, but then she got a blood clot in her kidneys which meant she couldn’t fly until Wednesday. To be honest, I think she just fancied a couple of days off her relentless touring schedule and so dredged up the old all-too-familiar blood clot in the kidneys excuse; we’ve all done it at least once. I don’t know just how gullible she thinks we are.
This meant that she missed Wednesday’s Grantham gig. She’d probably got wind of the fact that she wouldn’t be allowed to drink on stage, which Irish always does, and so decided to wheel out the old trusty kidney blood clot line. She’s also got a thing about covering light shades, so it might have been that as well. You can’t pull the wool over my eyes, Irish. Oh yes, she also has a thing for covering eyes as well as light shades; not sure what that’s all about, she is weird.
Her new flight was due to arrive in Manchester at 11am yesterday. The plan was for Michael to pick up the hire car from Manchester airport, pick Irish up from the airport and take her to the Robert Gillow pub in Lancaster, which was where our first community event of the tour was taking place.
We dropped Michael off at the Sheffield train station, and then drove The Young’uns van back to Sean’s, while Michael took a train to Manchester Airport. However, no sooner had the train pulled away, he got a call from Irish informing him that she had missed her flight to Manchester because her flight to Heathrow had been delayed. The next possible flight she could get to Manchester would get her in at 5pm. Michael was due to arrive at the airport for 11am. So Michael was now heading to the airport to pick someone up who wasn’t going to be there for another six hours. He couldn’t just wait at the airport until 5pm, as he had to be at the pub in Lancaster for 1pm. He had no choice but to pick up the hire car, which Irish had paid for but was unable to drive for insurance reasons, and drive to Lancaster. But that didn’t solve the problem of how we were going to get Irish to the gig.
Mark, the landlord of the Robert Gillow Pub is an inspirational man. He is one of these people who makes the pub the heart of the local community, so much more than just a place that sells lager, has a fruit machine and Sky Sports. It serves quality ale and food and has music and entertainment on everyday, including hosting the local folk club and lots of other music nights supporting local performers. But this is just one factor that makes his pub the heart of the local community, because serving quality beer and food and putting on music nights is what a good pub does. When the floods hit the area last year, he opened up his pub to everyone and served free non-alcoholic drinks and food to people, and created sleeping spaces for people who’s homes had been flooded. His pub continues to serve free food and non-alcoholic drinks to anyone who wants it, and works on a trust basis whereby those who can afford it will pay, but those who can’t can have something to eat and drink and somewhere warm to go.
It was a great way to start our run of community events. The pub was full of people, and there was a nice mix of pub regulars who’d not heard of us before, and people who’d come especially because they knew we were on. The event also seemed to fit with the ethos of the landlord and his pub, as we were doing a gig for free, possibly playing to some people who might not feel they have the money to spend on going to an arts centre to watch a gig.
The atmosphere was really friendly and everyone seemed to really enjoy us. We’d been a bit on edge at our Grantham gigs because of the new songs and it being the first day of the tour, but the friendly atmosphere of the pub meant that we were able to fully relax and just let rip and have lots of fun. They’d set up a PA for us, but we decided to just do it unplugged and unaccompanied, as the acoustics were great and it would feel much more intimate than standing on the stage area in front of mics. Everyone seemed to really enjoy it, and people weren’t afraid to shout out and join in, in a good and friendly way I mean.
We played for about twenty-five minutes. I’m mentioning this in case there is anyone reading who is getting annoyed that they paid £14 to see us in an arts centre, when they could have just seen us in a pub for free. It was only twenty-five minutes, and we didn’t do any songs with instruments, plus we deliberately made a couple of mistakes in every song, to make sure that these none-paying listeners weren’t getting as polished an experience as you. We also spat at them as well, so don’t worry about being cheated out of your money. I hope that has eased your troubled mind.
After the pub gig, Michael rushed off to get Irish from Manchester Airport. It was a gamble, because we were on stage in Kendal at 830 and Irish started at 8. Irish’s flight was due at 5, but then she’d have to get her luggage and get out of the airport, which could easily take half an hour. Michael would then have to drive from Manchester Airport, through rush hour Manchester traffic to Kendal in time for our gig. It should be easily doable, unless the traffic was really bad. One traffic jam though, and the whole evening could potentially go up in smoke, like a light shade in a pyromaniac’s dressing room in Grantham. The other option was for Irish to get the train. But this would mean that she would definitely miss another gig, as the train wouldn’t get in until 8.
But, Irish’s flight arrived on time, there was no traffic jam, and so they got to the gig with about an hour to spare. Michael seemed surprisingly fresh and lively, considering he’d been driving so much today. Normally he gets quite tired after long driving sessions. Could it be that it might be sharing a van with me and Sean that’s grinding him down, rather than the actual driving? No, of course not.
Last night’s gig in Kendal was really enjoyable. The new songs felt familiar and I was much more relaxed than last night. There was more audience interaction than Grantham too, with people feeling relaxed enough to join in, shout out, sing along and heckle.
Talking of heckling, the other two were a bit nervous at the start of the tour that these Dollops might result in people shouting out odd Dollop-related heckles, which would confuse the general Young’uns fans, who aren’t clever enough to have started reading or listening to these daily blogs. But this hasn’t happened yet. If you are coming to any of the gigs on this tour, then please feel free to randomly shout out Dollop-related phrases, such as, “pissing dog-lady,” “I wouldn’t imagine it would taste very nice,” or maybe try and get a chant of “kettles, kettles, kettles” going. It will amuse me, annoy the other two, confuse a lot of the stupid none-dollop readers, and also I will be forced into a situation where I’ll have to pretend to be all embarrassed and talk about the David’s Daily Digital Dollop project, thus giving me free promotion.
We’re in York today. Sadly, there is no community event taking place in the afternoon. We tried to get in touch with Bull Lane Mosque, which is where the biscuits, tea and football gesture to the English Defence League Protesters occurred. They are fund raising to build a proper mosque, because they are currently worshipping in a community centre. We thought that we could maybe do a short performance as part of one of their fund raising events, and also this would give the people responsible for the biscuits and tea incident to hear the song we’d written about it. We tried phoning, emailing and sending a letter with a copy of the cD featuring the song, but we heard nothing back. I suggested maybe trying to get their attention by pretending to be English defence League members. Then we could turn up at the community centre at worship time, and we’d be immediately invited in for tea and biscuits. Then we could reveal our true identity, sing them a few songs and help them raise some money. It’s a fool proof plan, but for some reason the other two didn’t agree.
The good news is that this has given me more free time today, meaning that I’ve been able to spend a couple of hours perfecting this amazing Dollop that you’re currently reading. If you’ve enjoyed this Dollop, then you have the Islamic community of York to thank. Conversely, if you’ve found this Dollop too lengthy and long-winded, complain to the people at the Bull Lane Mosque, although, chances are they won’t reply, unless you’re prepared to stand outside there posing as an English defence League member, in which case expect a hearty welcome.