Postman Pat, Pete Doherty and puking
Tuesday 4 April, 3.30pm (Lightyears Chalet, Saint-Bon, French Alps):
Everyone’s looking a bit battered by this point, as the hefty gigging schedule starts to take its toll. Tony is beginning to regret his decision to drum whilst standing up, on account of the fact that our 2-hour sets leave his leg muscles spasming like a crack addict with an embolism. He is now concerned that the audience will think he has Parkinson’s Disease. John is sitting on the sofa, head in a book, fingers in a rancid pot of vinegar, in a vain attempt to relieve the massive blisters on the ends of his fingers. My voice is suffering from last night’s gig and I’m sounding more and more like a cross between Joan Collins, Barry White and that girl from The Exorcist by the second. Finally, George, though remaining the most upbeat of the band, is on the phone to our booking agent – apparently, outdoor gigs at the Rond Point in Meribel have now been permanently banned by order of the Mayor since we rocked the place too hard yesterday. Nice to know we’ve left a legacy then.
Tuesday 4 April, 11.45pm (Ski Lodge, La Tania, French Alps):
It’s Cross Dressing Night at the Ski Lodge in La Tania. Excellent timing for our first gig there then. To my surprise, we turn out to be the perfect soundtrack to a bunch of 6-foot transvestites staggering about downing dirty pints and picking fights with Australians. Plus fifteen of our mates from Reading turn up so, all-in-all, a successful night.
Thursday 6 April, 11.30am (Lightyears Chalet, Saint-Bon, French Alps):
Tony has run short of war stories about touring Denmark in a transit and has been reduced to keeping us entertained with golden nuggets of wisdom concerning flower-arranging. Apparently you must always – I repeat, always – display your blooms in odd numbers. Later on we have a full-blown row about whether or not it would be artistic suicide to play the Postman Pat theme tune in our set. Tour hysteria has, it seems, finally set in.
Sunday 9 April, 4.30pm (Ski slopes, Courchevel 1650, French Alps):
George, John and I have spent the weekend snowboarding down the slopes of Courchevel. Tony has declined in the name of professionalism – “Boys, boys, boys… if you break your arm, what’ll happen to the band for the next six months?”. The three of us have taken a rather more cavalier approach to the whole thing; I mean, how hard can it be, really, to play guitar with a ruptured spinal column? Whilst travelling down the mountain, I find myself surveying the snowy landscape and trying to find a plausible explanation for my extremely valuable ski-pass being entirely white. I’d have loved to have been a fly-on-the-wall at that board meeting.
Monday 10 April, 11.30am (Lightyears Chalet, Saint-Bon, French Alps):
Tony stumbled into the living room this morning looking like the abandoned love-child of Quasimodo and Pete Doherty. He’s been up all night battling a rather graphic stomach bug that’s left him, as it were, ‘mostly empty’. We have two gigs today, and he’s starting to worry that he might not make it through them without “honking on the drum-kit”. Provided he can hold off until the finale we can always say it’s part of our act.
Will Postman Pat rear his ugly head at tonight’s gig? Will Tony’s drums escape the tour without being splattered with puke? Watch this space for the next instalment of the Lightyears European Adventure…