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Scottish & Newcastle

Day 6 – Newcastle Upon Tyne
Try as we might we couldn’t cancel the guest house in Dunstable the previous night to make a bit of headway on the road North. The landlady and her massive dog – with a tongue like carwash roller – was adamant we must endure her hospitality, despite the fact that the lad on the desk looked us in the eye and admitted he didn’t know what he was doing.
A long drive next morning was rewarded with the emotional sight of the Tyne’s many bridges, hello Newcastle, I miss you.
My lass flies home from the states today, she left before the tour started and it’ll be another week or so before I see her, she send’s me messages using a combination of phone text, smart phone app and facebook. I have a new HTC phone and it’s driving me nuts. I cannot keep track. Hello Bron, I miss you.
The Tyne Theatre itself is a beautiful venue, I’d seen Jonny Vegas here in 2002 and now poster’s for Sarah Millican adorn the wall, nice. They still make hand painted signs that hang outside the venue advertising the shows. I want to bring my own show here sooooo much. The tech’s are chatty, the very definition of ‘canny’. We share some ‘on the road’ stories, and later the show is very canny too, maybe the best yet. Some mates from way back come and watch, they loved it, I loved doing it, it’s all beautiful. Again it’s the old theatre’s that are the better ones, they feel both vast and intimate at the same time.
I stay at my folks, my mum has made biscuits and also her own recipie bread. It’s late. i’m hungry. I watch doctor again. I must be tired and emotional. I’m so happy I could cry.

Day 7 – Consett
I used to hate it up here. The Durham/Northumberland border is gorgeous country, but in my early twenties living outside Durham for a couple of years there was simply nothing to do. The venue is nice enough and easy to get to, but If anything it’s me thats a little off form. After the high’s of Newcastle, try as I might, I’m not feeling it tonight. There is a chatty lady in the house, as it turn’s out she is a ‘behavioral specialist’. Go figure. Charlie is staying in the Derwent valley hotel, which used to be owned by Rowan Atkinson apparently. It over looks the Derwent Valley (doh) and some amazing views, on the way back after the show I get a great photo of the sunset, thank you Consett and goodnight.

Day 8 – Glenrothes
Tarmac is bleeding out of my ears. It’s only as we drive into Glethrothes from Consett after five and a half hours that it dawns on me that I pressed ‘no’ to toll roads on the satnav, taking us a whole hour and a half longer to get to the venue by avoiding the fourth bridge and driving right round the not insubstantial coastline of Scotland. Fife, We have no business being anywhere near there. The venue is the Rothes hall and is capacious. I still have my make-shift empty pot noodle tub drinking recepticle. It has already com in handy on several occasions. My missus made it back into the country without incident, a thought on my mind since the americans shot Cat Stevens in the teatowel. Today is full of win so far.

Day 3 – Worcester Swan
I thought I’d played this venue, but I’d not. I’ve been to Worcester before, when Danny Pensive went in search of Worcester sauce, and found none. Another good show, but not a match for the epic night in Bury which has set the benchmark for the run. We did get a Darth Vader tonight, which was pretty cool, as not everyone can be a sith lord, you need to be over 3 foot 6.

Day 4 – Stratford Upon Avon
No show today, but we thought it better to go halfway and stay in Shakespeare country, but we didn’t get that far before stopping for a brown sign and banner trumpetting ‘Ragley Hall Falconry Fair – Today!’  Had no idea  what to expect, apart form birds, but as we drove up the drive to the big stately home and got hassled by a man for eleven quid each we suddenly found ourselves deep in the countryside and one massive fete. Bald eagles, owls, vultures, kestrels you name it they had it, and also dogs, and more dogs and guns, and dogs and hunting dogs and more guns, and er…huntsmen with jodpurs and riding crops, and guns, and huntsmen round the back of tents whipping their spaniels, and dogs and a man on a microphone telling us about the hunt and the goverment , and soldiers. And everyone is cheering….and….oh fuck. I’m at a pro hunting rally? I’m at a pro hunting rally, as Danny Pensive – with coat on in the blistering sun – recording everything on my phone. I’m surprised I didn’t get hassle, but they clearly didn’t like it. I don’t thing it really was a rally, as all the falconry stuff was aces, loads of birds and demonstrations of them doing there  thing, I think we just showed up at the wrong time. Very much people from the countryside, doing their thing.Rocked up to the guest house late and they had wifi with a strong enough signal to watch Doctor Who. Hurray.

Day 5 – Dunstable
I’m so glad we didn’t come here a day early. The theatre looks great, and modern, but when the asda across the road only stocks it’s own ‘smart price’ brand for everything, you have to wonder about the town. Not sure on number for tonight but and already excited for tomorrow, not the 5 hour drive, but the Tyne Theatre in Newcastle. It’s is a venue I’ve always wanted to play.