Thursday May 16th was a day off in Glasgow. Managed to sleep in 'til 8:30, had a pot of crap coffee sent up to the room then I was down to the gym. For those who've followed these notes from previous tours, you might recall a pretty serious rant dating from 9 October 2011 and found here: https://richard-bennett.com/notes-from-the-road/mark-knopfler-and-bob-dylan-tour-2011. It all began with the gym in this hotel which is claustrophobic, poorly equipped and simply not happening. Two years ago the hotel suggested I try an outside facility just around the corner where I had an experience so profoundly annoying it was difficult to believe, thus leading to the rant mentioned above. This time it was the lesser of two evils and the convenience of the crap gym at the hotel. There are no treadmills, in fact there is not A treadmill, so I just ploughed straight in to the weights and made do with what was there. I'm not a tall guy but the ceiling was so low that I could not fully raise the dumb bells above my head without hitting it. Really I don't know what people are thinking about when they put these things together. Mercifully there was no music and I was the only soul in there. Enough. Shower and out for a walk. It was a few different days out there this afternoon, sunny, warm, cloudy, cool, clear, rainy. Welcome to Scotland. I mindlessly walked through a shopping arcade wanting and buying nothing, headed back out on the street and stopped in at an Italian restaurant for a passable pizza and pint of Peroni. The sky opened up just as I was being seated and I watched it pour all through lunch. The sun popped out again as I paid my bill and went wandering before heading back to the hotel as another battering of rain set in. On the way I passed Pure Gym of above mentioned rant and crossed to the other side of the street.
Spent the afternoon working on some new songs and headed down to the hotel bar for a great gathering to celebrate John McCusker turning 40. It seems like we've already been celebrating it for days now and it will no doubt continue another few. A wonderful turn out, John's wife Heidi, parents, friends, Mark, the band and crew. A bar full of great people all having a grand time.
A quiet Friday working on some songs, then out this afternoon for a sandwich and coffee. Tonight's gig was at the SECC to a sold-out capacity audience of 4,414. Our friend and brilliant sax player Nigel Hitchcock joined us this evening for the first in a series of U.K. dates. Nigel's a legendary sax man throughout the U.K., played on loads of records, shows and a book of transcriptions of his most famous recorded solos has been published. It's great to have him on board and he played brilliantly which is little surprise. A good, relaxed gig tonight... maybe due to the late night celebrating John's 40th. Certainly not error free on my part, but really enjoyable and judging from the audience's reaction, it went down a storm with them as well.
We pull up stakes tomorrow heading south to Newcastle.