Birmingham rocked, The Brewery Arts was a revelation, thanks to the incredibly talented and resourceful crew, Sam, Jeff, and David.
jb, dave, sam (fabulous sound engineer) jeff
The Sage at Gateshead, just gorgeous.
sage from the stage
And even little Jim came back stage to say hello.
Jim, not quite convinced!
It still amazes me as I chip away at the world outside the US, that people will show up on good faith, and then they're usually thrilled they did. I still have so many 7th grade moments, even after all these years on the road, performing in every incarnation of myself. To explain: no matter what I do or where I am, I will always be nervous before a show. I want everything to be perfect; I want to be engaging; I want to sing my heart out. Most nights there will be transcendent moments where I'm almost floating above my body. It feels like some current that I have no control over is running down and through me.
But there are also, often, moments out of time, when I will look out over the audience and see, (like last night) a couple of guys who intimidate me for some reason. I start imagining that maybe they got dragged to the gig by their girlfriend, maybe they're sitting with their arms crossed like they want me to prove myself to them. But then, like magic, at some point during the evening, one of them, the intimidating hunks, will ask for "West Point." WEST POINT! The delicate, musing, lilting, feminine. I will never cease to be touched, surprised and grateful for the moments like this. Seventh grade is indeed over. And I'm returned to my confident adult self.
I'm enchanted by so many things in the UK. But the countryside is just gorgeous, lush, lonely.
steps built in to the endless walls. who stacked all these stones?
Driving across from Kendal to Gateshead and then back today, it was all I could do not to just pull off and take the tiny roads to nowhere for a few days. Of course the sheep are hysterical to me.
Some seem to like the attention, others turn and run. Two actually turned right around and pooped right at me.
then they whispered their sheep secrets.
At one point I was on a teeny road and there was no where to turn around; I had fleeting images of me stuck there on the blustery moors, stuck in the mud, no one to hear me except the sheep. Then I came across this herd, the gate to their little paddock was open, and they started following me. Oh no! I thought, shit, the farmer is probably going to come after me with a blunt instrument if his sheep suddenly started traipsing about the A66.
Stopped at a graveyard in a tiny town called Ravenstonedale.
Now I'm back in Kendal, trying to figure out whether I've got time to go to the Lake Region and walk around a bit. It's not too cold, and it only rains intermittently.
the original red bull with a charming underbite
On to Leicester tomorrow. I finally figured out how to find a good coffee here. You go to Costa (not too shabby) ask for 4 shots, and some whole milk steamed on the side. It's the only way not to get a milky frigging latte. But these are the small battles! I think I'm winning the big ones.