It was a long and drizzly drive from Liverpool to Southampton for the next leg of our tour, and we were all feeling pretty tired. Arriving in Southampton didn’t do much to lift our mood as we drove aimlessly round the university campus in search of the Turner Sims concert hall.
We found it in the end, after some Fargo-esque banter with a local:
Ellie and Kath wait under the posters of Toumani:
When we eventually got to the venue things got worse, as they hadn’t got the right backline for Toumani’s band, we didn’t have a proper dressing room, the staff were less than helpful, and our soundcheck was dogged by technical problems.
The look on Ellie’s face here pretty much sums up our attitude to the soundcheck:
As a result, we were a bit more apprehensive about the gig than usual.
Luckily it went really well, although my onstage monitor was crackling the entire way through, which was very off-putting. Still, Toumani’s set was amazing, and Stephen joined him onstage for another performance of the song they’re been writing together this week:
We retired to the dressing room afterwards to listen to Chris’ diatribe about the state of European politics. Ellie and Kath were clearly fascinated:
Then it was time to get back in the van and haul ass to London to sleep in our own beds at last in preparation for the next gig – one of the highest-profile nights of the tour at a sold-out Union Chapel in Islington. Eeeek!