After Iceland it was on to England where I had two lovely shows in London and Manchester. In amongst those shows I was fortunate to get a few days break from the tour with my family in North West England.
The rain did not let up over this period, but I managed to sneak in some adventures during those breaks in the cloud. I took a really nice bike ride along a repurposed rail line onto an old canal tow path through Burnley. The path abutted the backs of old cotton mills and weaved its way through a number of towns in the area and on that day was populated by people fishing (of questionable sanity, working these murky waters) and the occasional cider drinker. I’d grown up in and around Burnley, but the path the canal traveled was new to me and I’d never seen these parts of the town before. During this ride we caught sight of a massive 1612 marked on the side of the giant slug that is Pendle Hill. The 500foot tall number was laid in cloth to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Pendle Witch trials, where the fabled Chattox, Demdyke and others were put to death following accusations of witchcraft.
I also had the pleasure of seeing my home town football team romp home to a 2-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers, in amongst chants of “JUDAS! WHAT’S THE SCORE?”. The back story to this is that the Bolton coach was none other than Owen Coyle – originally a super hero to Burnley fans, he got the team promoted to the Premier League after a 33 year absence from the top division and to within a couple of minutes of the League Cup final. At one point he was referred to as God by the fans, and a pastry effigy of him was built by a local bakery. Coyle then turned super villain after he left the team in the middle of that first premiership season to coach local rivals Bolton, taking half of the back room staff and a number of players with him. The team was relegated. He’s since been rechristened ‘Judas’ by the Burnley faithful. Don’t know what happened to that effigy.
After a very brief stop in London and a curry that melted my insides it was onto the Eurostar to Germany. It was good to get on the road again, but I’ll miss the family and the very well-stocked refrigerator. Won’t miss the non-stop rain or non-stop TV.
Big thanks to Col and Fernanda, Will and Joe at the Slaughtered Lamb, Oscar and Ian at the Dulcimer, Gary for the bike ride, Ewan and Ed for the hospitality and the family for everything else!
2012 EUROPEAN TOUR DATES
15 August – Reykjavik, IS – Hemmi & Valdi
16 August – Reykjavik, IS – Faktory
22 August – London, UK – the Slaughtered Lamb
23 August – Chorlton, Manchester, UK – The Dulcimer
4 September – Gottingen, DE – Pools Club
5 September – Braunschweig, DE – Nexus
6 September – Mainz, DE – Haus Mainusch
7 September – Oberhausen, DE – Drucklufthaus
8 September – Dusseldorf, DE – Brause
9 September – Bonn, DE – NYX
10 September – Koln, DE – Mosaik
12 September – Paris, FR – Galerie Goutte de Terre
13 September – Maastricht, NL – Landhuis
14 September – Ghent, BE – House Show
15 September – Antwerp, BE – House Show
16 September – Vosselaar, BE – Cafe De Zwaan
17 September – Brussels, BE – Live Music Cafe
18 September – Erfurt, DE - Süße Ecke
20 September – Hamburg, DE – Reeperbahn Festival – Devilduck Records showcase @ Hasenschaukel
21 September – Berlin, DE – Myxa
24 September – Dresden, DE – venue TBC
25 September – Vienna, AU – Fluc
26 September – Innsbruck, AU – Die Baeckerei
27 September – Paris, FR – le Motel