Crow’s Feet [Release date 25.06.21] With one album to her name to date Emily Wolfe – who has a recently released custom guitar the Epiphone Sheraton Stealth, Emily Wolfe – she has decided to stretch her musical boundaries on this … Continue reading
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Wake up! The Boo Radleys are back after 23 years with a fantastic new single, minus their lynchpin songwriter and guitarist Martin Carr. Can they still cut it? You decide. They had a chequered career which included the ‘NME Album Of The Year’ – Giant Steps which featured a stunning array of tunes including Barney (and me) plus the thrilling track of grand proportions Lazarus which stills sounds massive today. They were labelled one hit wonders to the Joe Public, yet to the music heads they were forward thinking with that Scouse psych sound which launched the sound of future bands like The Coral and The Zutons to name a few. Nice to have them back I say… Read on…
Critically-adored sonic explorers, The Boo Radleys return with their first new music in over two decades, releasing the dark beauty of A Full Syringe And Memories Of You on Thu 8 July 2021. Originally immersed in the category of cult band for those in the know thanks to their 1993 classic album Giant Steps, the last music fans heard from Merseyside-originated band was 1998’s Kingsize, their final album for Creation Records. Led by pure, creative restlessness The Boo Radley’s first new music in almost a quarter of a century stems from reconciliation, chance meetings and curiosity.
A Full Syringe And Memories Of You is layered with instantly recognisable vocals, rich orchestration and the type of instant, alt-pop sensibility that found them swept into the mid-nineties mainstream. The single isn’t to be a one-off release from the band. Promising a full-blooded return, The Boo Radleys include A Full Syringe And Memories Of You on an upcoming, to-be-confirmed EP with album sessions and rehearsals for a tour later this year all in advanced stages.
Singer-songwriter, Simon ‘Sice’ Rowbottom says of the new and unexpected release: “A Full
Syringe And Memories Of You tackles the religious hypocrisy that privileges the longevity of life above all other measures of worth and seeks to redress the distorted view that life is always worth living whatever the cost.”
Having originally formed in 1988, The Boo Radleys developed a reputation for adventurous genre-indistinct songwriting, starting with 1990s Ichabod and I, which emerged on Lancashire’s Action Records and gained such a response amongst discerning music fans that Creation put a deal on the table. Their rapid follow up, Everything’s Alright Forever was released to positive reviews in 1992, but it was the following year’s Giant Steps, acclaimed by NME as the album of the year, that secured The Boo Radley’s status as unpredictable sonic explorers with few peers. The Boo Radleys were famously swept into the slipstream of the mid-nineties, British guitar pop revival, with 1995’s runaway hit, Wake Up Boo, lifted from their UK Album Chart Number One album, Wake Up! Their 1996 follow up, C’Mon Kids! took a thrilling, more caustic turn out of the retro, anthemic sound of the era, yet brought the band further success with three Top 40 singles, including What’s In The Box? (See Whatcha Got). The four members, including influential guitarist and songwriter, Martin Carr, retreated from life as The Boo Radleys shortly after the release of sixth album, Kingsize. Having been largely out of contact since the end of the sessions for that final album, all members of The Boo Radleys have come together in recent years to discuss future plans. As a result, The Boo Radleys in 2021 are Tim Brown (bass/guitar/keyboards), Sice (guitar/vocals) and Rob Cieka (drums). Martin Carr does not appear in the current line-up.
Words by Wayne Carey, Reviews Editor for Louder Than War. His author profile is here
The post News! The Boo Radleys are back after 23 years with new single and video! appeared first on Louder Than War.
Geddy Laurance and Michael O: Split EP
New transatlantic Split EP from indie artists Geddy Laurance and Michael O released with two accompanying videos via the Safe Suburban Home label.
There’s something innately ‘indie’ about a split EP. The very idea of sharing a release by splitting it right down the middle. Sharing the glory with a kindred spirit. Safe Suburban Home may be a reasonably new label yet it’s this somewhat old school indie aesthetic that they embody. The fact that the EP comes on cassette feels like the proverbial cherry on the cake. Don’t worry, there’s a download to be had too. Over the course of 4 charming tracks, we’re introduced to songwriters Geddy Laurance and Michael O.
Known locally as Ged, Geddy Laurance has played drums with legendary indie-punks Boyracer and has sung, drummed and played bass for acts like Downdime, City Yelps and Wonderswan. He currently plays drums for The Vat-Egg Imposition (who, coincidentally, might just be your favourite new band if you give them a listen). If all that wasn’t indie enough, Boyracer released material via the genuinely legendary Sarah Records and Slumberland Records. To say Ged has indie pedigree would be a huge understatement.
Ged starts with a gorgeously whimsical solo track, Just One Of Those Things. A flurry of acoustic strums, breathless drums and delicate lead guitar create an undeniably lovely tune. The track swoons and sways like all classic indie-pop should as it takes us on a melancholic wonder through the night time, the sky lit with shooting stars. It’s also an ironic song about facing complex situations with a simple, “it’s just one of those things”. Ged’s second contribution comes in the form of the blissfully dreamlike Prolonged. A song of hope and encouragement for environmental activist Greta Thunberg; the track effortlessly floats along with a beautiful sunlit melody.
Press eject and turn the cassette over and we’re introduced to Bay Area indie veteran, Michael Olivares (or Michael O for short). The self-described “part time musician for life and hire” sings in psych-pop act The Mantles. He started down the solo path sometime around 2013 with occasional assistance from members of local acts like The Oilies, The Art Museums and The Bananas. His first offering on the split EP finds him in a blissfully reflective mood. See Me Again is a quirky slice of jangle-pop that has a laid-back, impromptu vibe that recalls the spirit of lovable oddballs like Kevin Ayers. Flesh Flies is a similarly chilled slice of acoustic bohemia with an intimacy that puts you right there in Olivares’ front room. Two effortlessly charming tracks inspired by, “occult activities, science, isolation, and the great outdoors”.
Ged and Michael have created an EP as indie as Robert Forster’s sun-dappled daydreams. If you enjoy the sweetness of The Field Mice and the subdued eccentricity of Syd Barrett, you’ll find something to your liking here. If all this wasn’t DIY enough for you, the cassette comes with a reversible cover with each respective side designed by Ged and Michael. A real treat!
Check it out on Bandcamp
All words by Andy Brown. You can visit his author profile and read more of his reviews for Louder Than War here.
Fixers: The Sun, The Moon, The Wind, The Sea
(Dolphin Love Records)
LP | DL
As we wander ever further into the stagnant, murky waters of 2021, a large dose of multi-coloured escapism is required from time to time. Enter Fixers. Back with a bang, these crafty Oxfordian psych poppers have just let rip with their long-awaited second album, the follow up to 2012’s We’ll Be The Moon. Thankfully, it doesn’t disappoint.
Continuing where the first album left off (the melancholy chime of Good Night serves as an intro to the opening track, You And I), this second effort opens up a psychedelic broom cupboard of sound, vision, noise and colour, taking the listener on an acid-spiked train journey into the inner realm, and then back home in time for tea and cakes. Synth soaked psych-pop delights such as Swan and This Is Warmth sound like the Merry Pranksters hijacking an OMD recording session, whilst Jack Goldstein’s falsetto reaches new heights on the likes of the filthy glam stomp of Altruistic Love and the Beach Boys campfire singalong of Hex.
Elsewhere, silver and gold collide with squelch and harmony on the epic Rosetti Fields, while A Touch Of Your Invisible recalls Ram-era McCartney with its willow patterned pop harmonies reaching for the starry sky. Twisted carnival vibes abound on the gloriously unhinged Skies Above, only for the album to end with the lilting torch ballad It Won’t Be Long, eventually building up to an epic crescendo.
Fixers have triumphed again, serving up a gloriously optimistic psychedelic salad to take away the four walls of the present, a wet dream for nightmarish times. Well worth the wait.
The Sun, The Moon, The Wind, The Sea is available to buy digital and on limited edition gold vinyl on the band’s Bandcamp page.
Follow Fixers on Facebook.
All words by Sean Diamond. More writing by Sean can be found at his author’s archive.
The post Fixers: The Sun, The Moon, The Wind, The Sea – album review appeared first on Louder Than War.
BLAME Recordings [Release date 18.06.21] Fans of Brighton based Tigercub have been waiting patiently for this, the band’s second album, after releasing their well-received debut in 2016. In between times main songwriter, vocalist and guitarist Jamie Hall has been busy … Continue reading
Sweet Relief [Release date 25.06.21] The Sweet Relief Musicians Fund provides financial assistance to all types of career musicians and music industry workers who are struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability, or age-related problems. One of those … Continue reading
Photo credit: Adrian Davies.
W H Lung are fresh out of lockdown with a new sound that spells a MkII reinvention of their original Krautrock electronica from the stables of Everything Everything, Working Mens Club and the Manchester dance and house scene. LTW have had them on their radar since writer William Metcalfe mentioned them here back in 2019 as an up and coming talent. I’ve since listened to their debut Incidental Music and was amazed they didn’t hit our Top fifty albums that year. I may have missed out but they’ve dragged me in with the excellent new tune Pearl In The Palm. Read on and listen…
“We were raring to go,” says the W H Lung vocalist Tom Sharkett of the band’s desire to keep the momentum going after the huge success of their debut album 2019’s Incidental Music, a vivacious concoction of krautrock, synth pop and infectious grooves, which topped end of year lists with the likes of Piccadilly Records and Resident. However, it quickly became apparent that a repeat performance was of no interest to the band. “We were 100% sure on it not being Incidental Music part 2.”
The resultant Vanities is a bold electronic leap forward into the dance music they love. A record that is direct, punchy and potent – an ode to the dance floor that they had missed over the last year or so. Singer Joe Evans explains. “We wanted to move away from easing people in and grab them by the heart straight away. I reflected on how we played live shows and romanticised about launching onto the stage in a bundle of energy and starting the party, no messing. The directness comes from making music more intuitively, and more from a place of fun. We were writing music that affirmed how much we missed dancing in sweaty rooms, enjoying the company of a collection of beautiful friendly strangers.”
Pearl in the Palm is the first single. “A transition from the old W. H. Lung to new,” says Tom. It marries pulsing synths, galloping drums and a vocal take that is both caramel smooth but also fervently intense. Directed by Joe himself, the video was shot in January across the beauty of the Irish midlands in Co. Offaly and Co. Laois. “Another source of inspiration for the album was getting out into nature,” he reveals. The core songwriting duo had moved from Manchester to Todmorden before lockdown and enjoyed the Calder Valley scenery. “Sitting with and walking in the abundance of the natural world has fed into some of the playfulness and light spirit of the album.”
“The story of the video speaks to that connection with nature so everything was shot outside, in the rain, in the cold, in the quiet of the early morning. There’s water, there’s forest, there’s bog, there’s a donkey. We wanted to say something about creative expressiveness too, which comes through in the amazing outfits. I think there’s also something in the video about spontaneous living and flowing with the unexpected. Like, a balloon? I’ll have a day out with it!”
Perhaps most remarkable thing about Vanities – aside from the unflinching new sonic leaps it takes – is that the band have taken a dormant year void of live experiences, sweaty clubs, or anything resembling fun times, and have made an album that makes that world feel palpable – that you can crawl inside it. “Lockdown gave me the time to pour work into myself and out came this wonderful album,” reflects Joe. “It was strange at first and I missed seeing my mates and having a laugh and dancing but this album is a direct reflection of creative flow brought on by the space given to us.”
Vanities is a very rare beast of a record: an album created in solitude that feels bursting with vitality and the love, promise and transcendence of shared dance floor experiences. Just in time for when we crave those the most…
New album released 3rd September 2021 on Melodic
31 Jul – Deershed Basecamp, Yorkshire
8 Aug – Get Together, Sheffield
2-5 Sep – End Of The Road Festival
16 Nov – Scala – London
13 Dec – Brighton – Concorde 2
14 Dec – Birmingham – Hare + Hounds 2
15 Dec – Leeds – Brudenell Community Room
16 Dec – Glasgow – The Hug + Pint
17 Dec – Manchester – Gorilla
18 Dec – Bristol – Rough Trade
Pre order album here.
Forewords by Wayne Carey, Reviews Editor for Louder Than War. His author profile is here
The post W H Lung new single Pearl In The Palm and albums news! appeared first on Louder Than War.
www.ianmcnabb.com [Release date 05.03.21] Utopian is the final part of a trilogy Ian McNabb began with ‘Star Smile Strong’ (2017), and continued with ‘Our Future In Space’ (2018). Recording took on a very different approach during 2020’s global pandemic, with … Continue reading
Indie-rock’s finest offering, Hongza releases his music video for Cure Me, following his recent EP, Gen Z. Have an exclusive first look at the video here at Louder Than War.
With growing support from Live Nation, Apple and Spotify, the buzz that is surrounding London-based, Hongza is no secret. Combine this with a TikTok influencer career and Hongza’s reflection on Gen Z life becomes more and more apparent. His open and warm attitude towards being a musician is one that adds to his endearing character and is helping him harvest the success he deserves.
Speaking to Louder Than War exclusively, Hongza states, “Cure Me was one of the first songs I wrote for Gen Z. It means so much to me because it’s about coming out of a bad place through growing up, finding love & comfort from the closest people to you. I wanted to capture all the things that helped to cure me on film and turn it into the video. Pure & Authentic moments.”
Cure Me can easily be applied to the world’s current pandemic situation. The track is about finding your true friends, spending time with your family and learning to love yourself during a rough time; Hongza applies this message to the world as we slowly ease out of lockdown,
“Cure Me [was] originally about growing up and recovering from a break-up but I realised the track is more than that. It’s about surrounding yourselves with people that support you and help to mend you during such a hard time like lockdown. My friends, family, girlfriend are the people that have kept me sane during a tough period of my life. I always thought my mental health was so strong, but lockdown showed me that it wasn’t. I’m so glad to have had these people in my life help me come out ‘normal’ coming out of lockdown.”
Have an exclusive first at the video look here!
All words by Jasmine Hodge. More writing by Jasmine can be found in her author’s archive. Jasmine is also on Twitter as @ObviouslyItsJaz
LTW presents extracts from Gary Whelan’s Happy Mondays‘ tour diaries. Honest, insightful and of course a bloody good laugh! We share a few snippets from his on-the-road memoirs as he right now releases the new tune with The Magic Village – Say Who You Are.
Teaming up with old mates Magic Village is Johnny Evans (vocals) Wayne Edwards (bass, guitar, keys) and Whelan on guitar/vocals… a tight and like-minded trio who played together in Gaz’s former band/project Hippy Mafia. MV’s first release is an acoustic cover of The Stone Roses’ Ten Storey Love Song, out just a couple of months ago.
To this their latest, Say Who You Are, is a number which struts out true to form with that well known Manchester confidence and ‘one love’ mindset, but yet with a real presence of mind and a kinda half yearning for some transcendence. It’s a summer tune we could all do with a bit of right now.
Running along with its strong calming chorus and captivating hook SWYA also diverts from the norm with an awesome set of bars and slick rhyming in the middle eight performed by John Orpheus (the rap artist who also worked on Whelan’s Hippy Mafia project). Look out for the single on Bandcamp and all the usual platforms.. and keep up to date with MV on Twitter.
So, with dates out there now, Happy Mondays are set to go on tour once again, this time with James in Nov/Dec tour as well as appearing at The Isle Of Wight Fest this coming September. In fact, it’s well over 30 odd years of touring now for the Mondays, playing to almost all continents from S, America to the Far East & Australia, then back again.
And it’s during such times as Gaz Whelan would watch the world go by from a tour bus or hotel window, the Mondays drummer would also take a moment to write down his thoughts and feelings while on the road. All based around the usual tour activities of airports, coaches, venues and hotels he’d sometimes take to recording some of his everyday random tour experiences (i.e – just as he did when LTW shared an early draft and short story taken from his still in progress bio & Happy Mondays’ memoirs – All My Friends Are Junkies, check it out below)
And though these entries are written some years after the days of the Mondays’ riotous and celebratory acid-House era-inspired tour schedules, and maybe just as well, it’s perhaps a slightly older/wiser and just as humorous perspective which Whelan displays in these entries following the band on the road in and around both the UK and Europe, enjoy.
Happy Mondays on the road, Gary Whelan’s tour diaries/Thurs, 19 April 2007 (Bristol and Nottingham)
We meet late morning at the rehearsal room in the Cheshire satellite town of Stockport. We are greeted by our new Tour manager ‘Gus the bus’ as he is commonly known, although we have already adopted two new names for him. A pleasant man with lots of bon ‘homie’ and geniality. A man from the old school style of tour managing, which suits us, hence nickname number one ‘SAXENDALE’. He has in his possession the most tranquil whisper accompanied by a husky hoarse, smokes-3-packs-a-day voice. Think a heavily sedated Lois Armstrong with flu crossed with a condescending, psychiatrist (is there any other type?) and you’re halfway there. Hence name number two, ‘The HOARSE WHISPERER’. We love him!
The bus driver can only be described as ‘Textbook’. He looks like a retired ‘ultimate fighter’ fervently abiding by ‘the blue-collar male code of behaviour’ as well as being the proud unabashed owner of the largest collection of Gentlemen’s Revue in the north of England…. He turns out to be a lovely bloke!
We spend a mellow uneventful journey to Bristol passing time watching DVD’s, Bill Hicks, (an old favourite) and a documentary on The Band, which I’ve personally seen 20 times. Having said that, this was the first time I had noticed (due to extremely tight 70’s trousers) that the late great music god that is Rick Danko tends to keep all ‘his eggs in one basket’ so to speak, and that he dresses to the left (somewhat un-orthodox). This was something I hadn’t notice on the previous 19 viewings. Unbelievable.
We arrive at the venue for ‘pre-production’ (rehearsal in an empty room) and duly notice that situated next door is an Indian restaurant….result. Also next door to that was a Chinese Shaun’s favourite….double, double good!!
We finish rehearsing somewhat prematurely and ‘bounce’ next door for our curry fix only to be informed it was closed due to a private function, the out-of-towner’s worst nightmare. To add insult to injury the Chinese restaurant was a Karaoke buffet…very annoying. In the past we have struggled through wasteland, frozen wilderness and burning deserts to find a good curry house and this one looked like a ‘no-brainer’. It felt like winning a gold medal only to fail the drugs test. Intoxicated with failure and weakened by despair (a bit much I know, but we LOVE curry) we head back to the hotel for a nightcap and bed.
FRIDAY 20TH APRIL (gig day)
We arrive at the venue around 8pm to find Bez ‘Hermes’ like wearing ‘golden’ footwear having his own party in the dressing room whilst a small CD player almost apologetically played the Trojan Reggae Collection. I say apologetically not because it was bad, it wasn’t, in fact it was great, it was just that it was so low in volume even a Jack Russell dog would have had difficulty hearing it.
The gig was reminiscent of Mondays gig’s back in the day, loud, frantic and chaotic. We over-run the strict curfew (another of our old tricks) so without any sound on stage because the venue killed the power, we re-played Angels and whores, one of the new songs. But without stage sound it’s almost impossible so we declared halfway through. Good crowd, good buzz.
It was the first time Bez had heard the new tunes and he loved them, is important for us to get his seal of approval as he knows his music.
SATURDAY 21ST NOTTINGHAM
En-route we watch Ike and Tina’s 1973 tour of Ghana, West Africa. A country I am personally familiar with as my father-in-law is from Ghana and I have visited several times. We discuss the previous evening’s shenanigans and the last two days spent in Bristol which we really enjoyed. ‘X’, Shaun’s nickname for the past 20 yrs (I will explain more at a later date) exclaiming that he liked Bristol especially the ‘middle class pigeons’. He had a good point, the ones we saw were sporting very impressive plumage and cooing with almost regal overtones…….seriously!
We arrive in Nottingham and sound check then head out to the nearest restaurant. We find a small establishment that appears to have potential. As we enter we are greeted by two, not one but two of the ‘skinniest’ waitress’s I have ever seen, who were both obviously and sadly suffering from chronic eating disorders. This didn’t exactly fill us with confidence regarding the menu…think a leper selling moisturiser?? We were fittingly seated right next to the toilets and our initial fears were soon realised as the food didn’t match the inflated price. But to be fair, the place was busy and 12 sweaty, hung-over post-sound check musicians wasn’t their usual or ideal customer.
We returned to the venue which was a great little place. The kind of venue I would imagine Ronnie Wood to have in his back garden so he could perform as well as go to gigs without leaving home.
The gig itself was again a quantum leap back to the good old days. There is something about a cramped, sweaty gig that fuels onstage energy and attitude. Maybe it’s the ‘cornered fighter’, nowhere to escape analogy and all that bullshit? The gig turns out to be one we all really enjoyed. Some of us even discard certain items of clothing for the encore! Umm classy.
After the show I join X for an extended interview with UNCUT magazine, extended because some lunatic has parked their car directly behind the tour bus blocking us in. The Guinness flowed and subsequently loosened our tongues, not sure if this is a good or bad thing, only time will tell?
After about an hour Bez joins us for a short time and sums up with a few carefully placed profanities pretty much what X and I have been tentatively pontificating for the past hour or so (yes, yes I know it’s an oxymoron).
Bez then announces that he had better ‘get off’ as he had parked directly behind the tour bus and was blocking us in, unbelievable….yet priceless!
Three days off then ‘Coachella’.
Until then…love, light and all that hippie shit…
We finally depart Edinburgh around 4 a.m. and begin our overnight journey to Belgium. Fortunately, we are travelling in extreme comfort and style. Tour buses are incredible machines, some containing every luxury possible for a hard working touring musician or even the most pampered Roman emperor. But due to the late addition of the Belgium and Croatia gigs coupled with the fact that it’s festival season very few buses are available and our destiny is again in the lap of the gods. But like Athena looking down upon Odysseus and his troops a certain god unbeknown to us is smiling in our direction.
The Chilli peppers cancel last minute and decide to fly during their U.K. tour leaving a magnificent and luxurious bus available for our leisure, pleasure, travel…. and oh work as well. Parquet flooring, plasma TV’s, 2 lounges, 2 bathrooms, queen size bunks with individual TV’s and Bang & Olufsen music systems, and a state of the art kitchen all of which wouldn’t be out of place in a Manhattan loft apartment. Suddenly the 30-hour drive back from Croatia doesn’t seem so daunting?
We arrive in Belgium around 10pm (stage time 12.15) and are greeted with a friendly-looking ’boutique’ hotel tentatively balancing on the banks of an unnatural but very picturesque looking river. The cobbled streets are littered with families riding bikes that look older than the small unassuming Gothic-style church that is gently ringing its bells to announce our arrival (…as if!). The mist is mischievously hovering over the river like a seasoned mugger in a doorway that gives the whole town a feeling that it’s harbouring some kind of secret. All suggestions and accusations come spewing out from every member of our party at a flattering pace (mostly connected to WW2), but this was just releasing tension after the long journey. Though my mind did wonder for a minute to someone putting their finger in a dyke (ooh Mrs) but that was a different country.
Once our paranoia had lapsed we all notice just how beautiful the town is. We are received at the hotel reception by a man aged around 40, a lithe like character stretching to around 6ft tall sporting short hair that proudly displayed blonde highlights and a suggestive camp demeanour, which could only be described as resembling a SS officer who had been a successful provincial hairdresser prior to the war. Someone behind me whispers, “fuckin’ ‘ell it’s a Belgium Gaz Whelan”, which I choose to ignore.
On my way up to my room I think…why is it that as soon as we Brits hit mainland Europe we resort to WW2 gags… pathetic really.
We meet in the bar for a ‘cheeky one’ before the gig. Behind the bar is the same man from reception but this time he’s sporting a bright white barman’s apron and balancing a striped tea towel over his left forearm. Whilst he pours our drinks he commentates in a somewhat stern like manner on how Belgium beer is the best in the world and that English ale is shit. This couldn’t be the polite individual who checked us in 10 minutes earlier could it? Or was it his alpha twin brother, Basil van faulty. Either way we race to finish our beers (Rob, soundman and scouser always wins) and we jump in the awaiting vehicles to take us to the festival site 200 yards away!
The show goes well but not as electric as the previous show in Edinburgh, though many do fail to match up to Scottish shows. We all head back for an early night as the hotel bar is closed and all the staff are asleep…..OR ARE THEY???
After a welcomed night’s rest, I descend to the dining room for breakfast and I’m greeted by a full turnout from our crew, very unusual. All are present and fully refreshed and ready for the 19-hour journey to Croatia. However, joy soon turns to sadness as I’m audibly assaulted by the sound of the Pet Shop Boys escaping out of the kitchen like a tooled-up prisoner of war escaping to freedom with a promise of vengeance. Sorry, at it again.
As I park my boney butt at a vacant table I notice that there was only cold fare on offer…the old ‘continental breakfast blag’. But before I could moan (and I am an Olympic champion at this) I’m confronted by the breakfast waiter….tall, blond, camp…shit, identical triplets?…can’t be? No it was the same man as last night, but this time with tailored fitting jeans buckled just below his chest so as the shortest route to his back pocket would be over either shoulder. He made Simon Cowell look like a gangsta rapper.
In all my semi-comatose state and with all innocence, although some would disagree. I politely enquire, “anything hot on offer?” A pleasant smile invaded the face I thought unable of any vertical expressions. “Only me”, he replied whilst tilting his head to one side and loosely biting on his pencil. As I struggled for a response his manner rapidly returned to a man void of any humour. “I’ll send over the waitress”. Well that’s more like it I think.
A PLEASANT SMILE INVADED THE FACE I THOUGHT UNABLE OF ANY VERTICAL EXPRESSIONS
The waitress is in her late 80’s and probably harboured more war stories than a seaman’s mission. I instantly like her, no nonsense get on with it kind of attitude who doesn’t suffer fools gladly, the kind of woman I admire. She is also a lot more mobile than any of us. With much more caution I enquire, “do you serve anything hot? “Yes, tea and coffee, “food” I plead, “no.” She responded, cutting me short mid sentence “Then tea it is”, I say. So much for a sturdy meal to help me on my way but a pleasant and business like overnight stay.
As we settle down on-board our cruise ship on wheels and start our journey to Scandinavia we pass festival goers leaving the site and heading home in long lines down each side of the road. Most are head to toe in mud and are carrying rucksacks. I can’t help but think that they look like a defeated army returning from days of battle. My conscience gets the better of me and I start to think about the huge dept we owe Belgium for what they sacrificed for us during the war in Europe. But I stop myself before this all starts getting too fuckin’ Hollywood.
We hit the motorway and I return to the present and happily join in with the orchestra of flatulence that is playing amongst the cold breakfast/Belgium ale club sitting around me.
It’s going to be a long drive.