A 1:30 lobby call for the drive north to Birmingham. 120 miles and 2.5 hours on the M1 and M6 motorways made for a vehicle full of nodding heads. Threading through London traffic on Saturday afternoon just to get to the M1 took nearly an hour.
When we arrived at N.E.C… National Exhibition Centre… it was a beeline to catering for a bowl of steaming hot butternut squash and bean soup and a cup of tea followed by soundcheck, dinner and a 7:30 show.
Still very early days and this only our 7th show but tonight’s performance in Birmingham had all the hallmarks of a seasoned tour performance… fully in control but remarkably relaxed. The audience of nearly 7,000 felt intimate compared to last night’s O2 show in London and it no doubt added to the loose surety of Mark and band. We always enjoy playing Birmingham and tonight was no exception.
From the stage to the cars and a runner back to London. One of the cars was designated the gin vehicle and was fully stocked, courtesy of our St. Peter McKay, with glasses, ice, quartered limes, tonic and Bombay Sapphire. Nigel, Guy and I luxuriated with a couple of g&t’s, were back in the hotel at midnight and a final nightcap was in order. With the main bar closing at 12, we were directed to a discreet “residence bar” on the far side of the lobby. You’d never know it was there… unless you knew. A miracle… small, polished dark wood panelled with jazz playing low. Open until 1 o’clock, it was just a few of us and the bartender, a perfect end to a perfect day.
Sunday is a off and we’re looking ahead to two nights at Albert Hall.