Sunday Driver play the Portland Arms, Cambridge

Getting set up at the Portland Arms

Or “I left my harp in San Francisco Lolworth Travelodge”

On Friday night Sunday Driver played at the Portland Arms in Cambridge, as part of a Christmas benefit gig for local radio station 209.

The Portland has been the scene of many of our gigs, dating back to our earliest days (now further away than any of us care to remember…), and it’s always great to play there.  It’s a music venue where a bit of thought has actually gone into it – rather than just bunging in a few mics and speakers, there’s a proper little stage, and foam baffling on parts of the walls. And although the PA is basic, it always sounds good.

I was a bit grumpy when I arrived, after rushing away from my office Christmas lunch to hammer up the M11 for a 6pm soundcheck – only to sit around for an hour and a half before I played a note… Grrrrr.

Anyway, the gig itself was brilliant. We were joined by our new drummer Scott, who really added some oomph to our sound, and we played two new songs – including one written by me (yay!) called Daniel’s Grave. Despite what my sister thinks, this isn’t about wishing my brother-in-law Dan was dead…

Sunday Driver at the Portland Arms. L-R - Chemise, me (obscured), Chandy, Scott on drums, Goshi on tabla, Mel

We were cheered on by a lovely crowd, who may have been sweetened up by the cakes I made – lemon & poppyseed and chocolate:

Two lonely lemon cakes. We gave them away as prizes for dancing

I finally stumbled back to the car and sped out of town a couple of miles to my bed for the night – Lolworth Travelodge.  We were rehearsing in Cambridge the next day, so I decided it would be better to stay somewhere than drive home to London and back. And I’m getting a bit old and creaky for sleeping on a friend’s floor.

The guy on reception was more than a little baffled when I wheeled the harp into the hotel just before midnight. He looked like he’d seen a lot in his time, but never anything like that.  I felt more than a bit seedy – like I was bringing in a dodgy prostitute or something.

View from within Lolworth Travelodge. The harp was not impressed to be staying in a sub-five star location. I reminded her she needed to quit whining and get better paying gigs...

All in all, a great night. Apart from the bit where I got woken up at 2.30 am by a bunch of drunk blokes having a very sweary fist-fight outside my window. Classy.

2 responses to “Sunday Driver play the Portland Arms, Cambridge

  1. That’s Cambridge for you…

    (re the drunk blokes)

    Sorry to have missed the gig. I should be more on the ball.

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