W.A.S.H tour #12 – Berlin

As I type it’s 1.30am, the show is long over, and I’m tucked up in bed with you, laptop. That’s right…bed. We’re all in a hotel tonight. A nice one at that. Ramada, Alexanderplatz. For some the night is young, and they’ll be out for drinks. I can’t be arsed.

After many hours of loud noises and on-stage buffoonery, there’s a cut-off point. I have no more attention to give. And when you drink you need a lot of attention. Plus, I saw something tonight that I can’t unsee…can’t unsober up from.

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You get a bunch of musicians on stage, and a bad idea spreads like the plague. Just…no. The Americans started it.

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Today was much the same as yesterday. Load in at 2pm, set up, soundcheck until (almost) doors at 7. Then a break for all of 45 minutes or so, followed by three hours on stage, and an hour to pack up and load. Done by midnight. It’s a ten-hour day with a lunch break. In music industry terms that’s not the longest of days, but all the faffing before and after work has an impact. Living out of a suitcase, getting dressed on a bus, organising your stuff, venue showers, finding a hot meal…ask anyone who’s ever been on tour: even brushing your teeth is a pain in the arse. Let’s not start on the topic of laundry.

Again during tonight’s show I struggled to stay awake. It was worse than last night. My head keeled over a few times while sitting in guitar world. Standing helps to stay awake, but for three hours straight? Nope.

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Aside from my head’s physical wobbles, mentally it’s fairly stable. During set-up I thought I detected some crew friction, but it was light. Always hard to know whether I’m the cause of it, or just taking the brunt of it. In ye olde days, I wouldn’t hesitate to try and get the last word. But now I feel it’s better to try and remember a simple rule: shut up. If you’re the cause of friction, silence will help you. If you’re an innocent scapegoat, keeping your mouth shut denies people the excuse to vent on you.

When on tour, there’s always a chance that people are tired. Tiredness affects patience and tolerance. Little things that annoy you begin to consume you. Everyone has the capacity to ruin someone else’s day, and words tend to exacerbate low moods. So shut up.

Day off tomorrow. Laundry.

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