October 21, 2006 - DB's Imperial College Union - London, UK
Had the pleasure this morning of tooling around Angel, in Islington. Tons of nice-looking restaurants and bars and shops. Reminds me of a cross between Fillmore and Valencia streets back at home. Bought a couple of gifts for people, then met up with cw and took the van up to Crouch End to get Dan and Adrienne. I'm finally starting to get the hang of driving in this town, which feels like an accomplishment. I now at least know where to look for street signs, even if there isn't one at a particular intersection. One of the hardest things to get used to is the fact that pedestrians rarely have the right of way in this country. There are some crossings with flashing yellow orbs, where the driver is required to yield to pedestrians, but otherwise you fend for your life every time you step into an intersection. There have been several times when I stopped to allow someone to cross the road, and they just gave me a kind of perplexed look. But now anymore, no sir. Now I plow through those intersections with abandon, walkers beware! Outta my way, beeeee-atches!!!
adrienne has a diary entry for this date as well
Sadly, one of the things you do most often when driving in London is sit in traffic. And that's exactly what we did for most of an hour and a half on our way to the show, which looked close enough on a map, but was on the other side of town, at the Imperial College Union in South Kensington. It turns out that our show is right next door to the Royal Albert Hall, so now, if someone asks where we've played, we can say "Oh, you know Royal Albert Hall? We played over there." Or, we can do as Los Angeleno realtors do in less desirable neighborhoods, and say that we played "Royal Albert Hall-adjacent". As we are unloading, we watch group after group of octogenarians walk into the Hall, each group dressed in matching bow ties or blazers or both. We decide it's either some form of reunion, or a masonic gathering.
Stressed at how late we are, I run into the venue to find Paul and Claire of A Badge of Friendship, who immediately put me at ease. We eventually run through a soundcheck, and then head out for food with Torkel, our booking agent for the tour. The neighborhood of the campus is very very posh, but we manage to find a reasonably priced bite to eat, then head back.
I love playing on university campuses. The mood is very different from most of the bars and clubs we play. And the crowds are always great. This was no exception. The show was a ton of fun, and afterwards we spent time talking with Paul and Claire and Matt (another of the promoters for the evening). Such a nice and great bunch of people. After load-out, we take a picture with Torkel in front of Royal Albert Hall, both to memorialize our proximity to the location, and to memorialize the human existence of Torkel, with whom we'd only previously corresponded via email.
I go to bed with a smile on my face.
This entry is part of the US/UK 2006 tour