What to say about our quick trip to London? We arrived Tuesday morning, with cramped necks and swollen feet from trying to sleep on a very crowded, very tight aeroplane. The first day was uneventful: mostly spent napping and recovering from jet lag. Murray and I went for a walk and had a huge, labourous Italian dinner. Then we popped in to catch some of Bella Union’s first night at the RFH with Fionn Reagan and Howling Bells. After that, we went back to the hotel, shared a bottle of wine and talked about music and how much we missed the baby – we left Neptune at home with my mom and missed her so much! But for such a short trip it was just easier not to bring her along. Murray and I took advantage by having our little date night. I know, now the single and childless readers want to barf, but that’s just what being a parent is.
Wednesday was a full day: we loaded in to the Royal Festival Hall at noon for the second night of Bella Union’s 10th year anniversary. We got the stage at 2:30 and setting up took about two hours, as we have a bit of a complicated set up and weren’t travelling with our usual crew (though our FOH Spike did an amazing job). The local crew took a while but got it happening and were super pro about it. We played like two songs, and then were out of time. By 5 Murray and I left to cram in a couple meetings, not realising that we hadn’t eaten anything all day. At 8:30 it was back to the venue for changeover and our set. I thought it was just an OK set, but its always weird playing a rock show in a soft-seated venue: there’s no way to tell if the audience is actually enjoying it.
The after party was in what seemed an upstairs conferemce room, terribly lit with flourescent lights, but having a wonderful view out over the Thames with the London Eye glowing down upon us. We drank a lot and met some great people, one of our tour managers Patch came by and it was good to see him. A couple of The Kissaway Trail dudes were totally drunk and one guy was getting up in everyone’s grill; I talked with two kids that were like 20 so I felt totally old, giving them advice on girls and being in a band. Very motherly. Friends of Midlake, actor Jason Lee was there, and the editor of Drowned in Sound was the DJ. At one point during the drunkery, Tim (I think it was) from Midlake just took down this really wasted dude who was being a loser. It was this really quick, ninja style move, too, and Tim is about half the size of the guy. Anyway, they also took down an entire table and a bin full of ice and about 50 bottles of beer, so it was a bit of a dramatic moment. It was obviously too undignified for the Royal Festival Hall and the party was shut down soon after – which was probably for the best. We returned to the hotel, and my dinner ended up being a cup of roasted peanuts and an Orangina. Very annoying, but London seems to close so early…us Montrealers are just not accustomed to that! So in the end, my power shopping session never happened, which made me sad since I really needed a new pair of shoes and shopping in Montreal is totally the worst.
All said, really, really good to be back home again!