Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Goodbye, London! Hello, Raleigh!

Yeah, I know, I'm slack. Never kept my blog up during the run of London shows. Probably because I never sat down and made time to write anything about it. Have to say, this has been by FAR the best vacation I've ever taken. Got to see 7 Mott The Hoople shows altogether (2 in Wales, 5 in London), and got to meet the entire band one afternoon during their rehearsals in Wales. Imagine doing the same with YOUR favorite band of all time…what a rush!

There are many details, too many really, to dig up about the last 10 days. Suffice to say, I had a blast.

Dave and I camped out for 5 nights at the K-West Hotel in Shepherd's Bush, a musician-friendly hotel I've stayed at before while touring. Great location, lots to do, tons of great restaurants and bars around, and only about 8-10 minutes by cab from the Hammersmith Apollo, the venue hosting the Mott shows.

Every night's show was a blast. I managed to video a bunch of the songs over the 5-night run. You can check out those vids on YouTube by searching my member name, ofifoto. Seventeen of the 21 videos that pop up on that search are mine – you'll see 'em.

Helen Johns, the Box Office Manager at the Apollo, was kind enough to give me passes to the venue's private VIP bar every night. This was great, as it was upstairs and away from the crowd. We pretty much spent every night in there, before and after the show. Various members of the band would show up after the show, along with a few of the celebrity rockers in attendance.

One night, Dave and I shared our bar table with Suggs (singer from Madness), Woody Woodmansey (drummer from David Bowie's Spiders From Mars band), Lisa Ronson (Mick Ronson's daughter), Glen Matlock (bass player from the Sex Pistols), and Gary Kemp (guitarist from Spandau Ballet). That's what it was like most every night.

There was no show on Sunday night (the 4th). That night, Dave dragged me out to dinner to meet a friend of his, who turned out to be Simon Kossoff, whose brother Paul Kossoff had been the guitarist for the band Free (I'm sure you know "All Right Now") and after they disbanded, Backstreet Crawler. Had it not been for the Mott shows, that may have been my favorite night in London.

The night of the final show (the 6th), I changed hotels out to the Sheraton by Heathrow, so I could avoid the long commute from central London to the airport this morning.

For now, it's back to work. Had an 11am flight today, London to Boston to Raleigh. Got home around 6pm, started some laundry, and dashed out the door to go see Robin Trower at the Lincoln Theatre. Wow, what a show – close your eyes and it's 1978 all over again. Robin played a nice mix of new and old songs, and lucky for me, the old ones were heavy on tunes from my fave album of his, "Bridge of Sighs."

More posts soon…