after the london disaster, we headed off to wolverhampton while most people on the bus slept off their alcohol induced comas. we arrived just a few hours later, and i thought i'd literally been transported to hobbit-shire or something. to use the word "quaint" wouldn't be too far off, for sure. i went inside to try and locate the backstage, and i'm pretty sure i ran into david bowie in the labyrinthine maze of corridors leading to the backstage...where of course, there was no catering.
so, after parking the suitcase in the backstage, aaron, lisa and i went off in search of some kind of food. we walked around the town for a while, and of course, since it's a sunday everything is shuttered. and of course, it's raining and cold...we probably walked around for at least 45min before lisa asked some guys if there was anything that was open where we could eat. the accent was quite strange, but they managed to direct us to a place that actually had veggie burgers and other edible products, so after walking about 30min further, we were able to get some actual food. it was sort of a series of variations on cardboard and paste, but it was food, so we ate it. nothing remarkable, but edible. "your sources are on the tabble"
then back to the club where we saw the other two opening acts (luckily at this show, no one in between our set time and mesh's set time) loading in. went back upstairs to shower and get ready in general for another early show. everyone agreed that it was sort of an anti-climax to end such a great tour in such an inauspicious setting (rich: "i mean, wolverhampton? on a sunday night? not even birmingham, but wolverhampton?"), but nothing we could do about it. another night with no internet access at the venue, and pretty bad dinner catering.
we missed the first two bands, who seemed aesthetically at odds with both us and mesh's sound, they were more of an 'industrial' type of feel, i suppose. this venue was definitely not used to accommodating bands with mesh's requirements, they didn't have enough cables or channels at the desk to run all the bands on their own channels, and they were pulling cables to share between the bands all night. i mean, hey these things happen, for sure, but this was definitely new to this tour...adding to the whole anti-climactic feel of the evening in general. there was a pretty palpable bummer feeling in the backstage, everyone trying to avoid the obvious reality that this was the end of the line, and we wouldn't be seeing each other every day after this.
finally we went on, and surprisingly, i think we actually sounded pretty good. though they were obviously overextended, i think the local soundcrew did a good job with our sound, and pete of course took over the lights since there was no actual lighting rig in the venue's setup. actually, they didn't even have a fogger or hazer machine! one had to be brought up from london, and arrived just in time for mesh's set. it was kind of weird playing without fog, not something i'm eager to repeat really soon. so, our set went reasonably well, even though i was pretty sad the entire time i was performing. it was hard to really give the show the energy they deserved because my heart just wasn't in it. but there were some people out there dancing, who seemed to be really into what we were doing, and i'm always grateful to see that. i missed the german super fans too, of course.
once we finished, we had to go back upstairs to try and settle up some bills, and repack our suitcases with our equipment and figure out what to do with all the unsold merchandise. ultimately, we packed everything into our suitcases again, raising the weight limit to something like 80lbs apiece, and went back downstairs to watch mesh play for the final time. it was beautiful as always, but much like us, i think they were sad too.
after the show, it was just a clusterfuck of figuring out who was going where and how people were going to get there. we loaded everything back out into the bus for the last time, and started saying our goodbyes. pete, the worlds best lighting designer, was taking all the light rigging with him back to his offices, so he was the first to go. jan, the best tour manager in europe, was heading to birmingham airport to fly back to kologne. once we dropped him off, we were on our way to bristol to drop off mark, rich, sean, wendy and colin. i tried to sleep for a bit and pretend like it wasn't really happening. when we got there, we helped them unload all the merch and gear and pack it into their cars, and saw them off in the freezing cold rain. then we were off to heathrow to catch our flights. i tried to sleep again, but it just wasn't happening. i really was trying not to think too much about returning to the states again, since i didn't really want to come back. geoff and his friend from mechanical cabaret (who looked just like vince noir from the mighty boosh) stayed on the bus, and i think the crew (alex, michael, and tueni) were all passed out when we got off, so we didn't get to say goodbye to any of them. we said our good byes to geoff and patrick, and headed into the bright lights of heathrow international's fluorescent tomorrow....
thanks again to everyone on the entire team: mark, rich, sean, geoff, janosch, wendy, sandra, jan, patrick, pete, alex, michael, tueni, keith, ned, andrew, rainbow, colin, other sandra, pinky, claus, chris, betty, iris, anja, everyone that we met, all the other bands we played with, all the local crew in all the venues (except london and berlin) and everyone that managed to make it out to see us perform!! we love you!!! (sorry if i forgot anyone)