Week # 4, 5 London, Cardiff, Bristol, Nottingham, Wakefield, Manchester

Simon with a nice messageWhen we arrived in London it was really cold. Luckily, we were warmly greeted by our old pals Simon and Tina. They whisked us off to the Stag’s Head where we shared the bill with one of our favorite London artists: David Cronenberg’s Wife.  The Stag’s Head  was great. We met a girl from Lawrence, KS who works at Liberty Hall as well as a  tall, sweet, dred-locked, bartender named Chewy. Before the show we had some pretty tasty Asian fusion that came in special looking boxes. A nice well rounded evening I’d say.

The next day was a much needed day off in London. Luckily, our friends Simon and Kelly were cool with us camping out in their living room for 24 hours. I have to say, they were more than amazing. Kelly cooked us delicious vegan meals, Simon entertained by showing us his cool collection of guitars and records. Nan really liked this one especially.Nan's London Rock Fantasy

The second UK show was in Cardiff, Wales where our new friend Owen put us on with a couple of other cool local grunge bands; Landslides and Bear Be Good. We also met Molly, who was oddly enough, the first cat of the tour. More MollyWe went for a nice walk in Cardiff and came upon this lovely rainbow that only lasted for about 3 minutes. It was almost like it was there just for us. Cardiff Rainbow

The next night it was Cafe Kino (an incredible vegetarian restaurant) in Bristol. We shared the bill with our old pals My Two Toms. Here’s the first part of a cool little doc. about a tour that they did accross the US midwest with Charlie Parr.

The next evening, in Nottingham, the show was at The Chameleaon Arts Space. We were greeted by Nick the bar owner. Intially, Nick came off as salty old fellow but he turned out to be very sweet. He gave us some vegetable soup and we talked about the recent hurricane that had just hit the east coast. He said that he was a poet, an artist, a comedian, an alcoholic, a husband, a father…amongst other things throughout his long life. We would later learn that Nick was responsible for the paintings that were on display upstairs in the venue. This is my favorite. Nick from Nottingham's work.We shared the bill with a really fun duo called Burly Nagasaki and nice fellow from Leicester called The Ranters. That night we crashed at Theresa’s place  (from Burly Nagasaki). The next morning her roommate Angie, made us delicious breakfast quesadillas (pretty good for a Brit.). Angie and Theresa are both in another band called Fists.There is a gal in Notingham named Angie who makes the most amazing breakfast quesadillas.

The next night was Halloween. It was pretty rainy. Before the show, Nan and I went for a walk in the rain and got a tea. We saw a couple of trick or treaters walking down the main road with their Moms, but not many. Halloween is not quite as big a deal in the UK as is in the states. But we had a nice show in Wakefield, a smaller town just outside of Leeds. Our friends Michael, Melanie, and Amy (who carved this amazing Nan ‘n Matt-O-Lantern for us) dropped by. We tried to put on our best scary faces for the picture.IMG_2840Sharing the bill with us that night were three really cool garagey local bands: Balloons, The Sun Beams, and Fur Blend. Fur Blend reminded us a bit of Wussy.

The next day it was Manchester. We played at The Castle Hotel, which was rumored to be one of many haunts of Mark E. Smith of The Fall. Unfortuntately, he wasn’t around. But I did discover this fine Ale that somehow seems relatable.Old Man Ale

We’re in the home stretch. Just three more shows in the UK and it’s back to home sweet Kansas. To be continued…

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