I’m sat here in the inner courtyard of a hotel on the outer periphery of Bristol. Between an industrial estate and the ring road. It’s quiet apart from the far off hum of a hoover.
I have the ring of last night’s Glastonbury gig in my ears, and the mud of last night’s Glastonbury wanderings on my boots and trousers.
It’s always a terrific crowd there, and we had sunny evening, but i’m vaguely dissatisfied with the gig that happened. There’s a snippet of advice that get’s handed down, something about the festival being bigger than you, so don’t worry, just get out and do your best. I don’t subscribe to that. You can do your best, but if you’re not moving people in the way that you know your music can and ought to, then you are perhaps better not being there.
That was always the feeling i had when i first stood up in a pub to sing. As Stuart David’s book reminded me, if i thought people weren’t listening, couldn’t hear, or the sound was terrible, i would usually just stop and wander off – wait for more favourable circumstance.
You can’t act that way however when you’ve invested your time, and the time of and money of many other people, in the planned endeavor of touring the world with a rock and roll and strings and dance band. Can’t just wander off. Such behaviour not encouraged. You can do it once, but you better make sure it’s accompanied by a pile of clothes on a beach somewhere, and a lengthy disappearance.. else where’s the story?
Once the parameters of the tour have been set out: budget, production size, venues, countries, tv appearances, etc, really the only thing that can be altered are the colour of your shirt and the order and choice of songs.
And by God, you better believe that i belabour the latter..
When we got to the site yesterday, i took myself off to see Lionel. When i got there, i saw half a song from the fringes, enough to feel like i’d seen him. Then I wandered off in the general direction of the hills thinking about a milk run i had in the 80s, and how he was always on the radio on a saturday. Him and Hall and Oates. And i liked that better than actually watching him play.
So i went up to the Healing Fields (of course), and i slipped into a tent where a woman laid me down (on a lay line) and laid her hands on me. The sun came low in through the door of the tent and fell on me like i was the special stone on the longest day. And all was right with the world.
Lionel drifted up the hill towards us, like the comfort memory he most certainly was.