Roadwarrior returns, triumphant but tired
Ah, it was a bit of a slog on the way up there- it took me an hour to do 38 miles and I almost gave up and went home; but just as I got dispirited, along came Aretha on the iPod, and off I went again.
The M1 is a bugger of a road; one-headlight bashed cars belting along in the fast lane at 100, articulated lorries trying in vain to overtake each other in the middle lane, and men in white vans with issues aggressive-tailgating with chronic headlightflash syndrome.
The AA routefinder did me proud and I got there only 20 minutes late, to be greeted by the friendly RPM people. Yo Yo is a massive trendy restaurant with lots of glass surfaces and coloured leather bucket seats; it was a warm crowd and I REALLY enjoyed singing after all that just sitting in the car and driving. There was a chordspotter in the audience, watching my left hand, which was hugely flattering.
The other band was The Girl With The Replaceable Head, whose guitarist used to play with the Geordie band Hurrah. I had to leave halfway through their set to set off for home but I did like their songs- bittersweet lyrics sung by a female guitarist/singer, and thrashy distorted guitar from the Hurrahguy. I hope I get to play with them again because I'd like to see and hear more of what they do.
I had been worried that it was a stupid and mad thing to do, to drive all that way, but I am glad that I did. It was a really unusual place to play; for a performer, it was great because the promoter, Julian, who also DJs, was well-organised and welcoming, and the sound was good, and the crowd was mellow- a bit talky at times but they clapped thunderously enough to make the ego twinkle. Even some of the eaters put down their knives and forks to clap.
I pelted home, fuelled by some of the most disgusting coffee in the universe (shame on you Welcome Break- just because it's after midnight doesn't mean the travellers' tastebuds have all turned to pumpkins). I drew up outside the house (not mine, some berk had pinched my parking space) at 1.45, which was pretty good; it had been just me and a hundred giant lorries plodding along on the way back. And Aretha, of course.