All of a sudden, I was alone. Where once there had been four, there was now just me. After yesterday’s tragic Mixer Mishap, wherein my Motu bag containing Jack’s mixer, all his wires and leads, my Lars Attack T-Shirt AND MY COWBELL had accidentally stayed on the train to Manchester when we changed at Bristol, it had been decided that Jack would have to return to London to get another, and I would travel to Northampton solo.
I was excited to go and play in Northampton. Alan Moore lives there. It’s the oldest city in the country (I think). It has a strange magic and mystery about it. So I did a reckie on the Travelodge, counted my bags, checked my pockets, and called a cab. 27 minutes later my cab arrived, and 12 minutes after THAT I was frantically trying to get the stupid bloody ticket machine to give me my prebooked ticket as my train made ominous About To Leave noises. 2 minutes later me and my many bags were flying down a flight of stairs and through the closing train doors, and the thing heaved off with me collapsed on a table panting like a lapdog in the desert.
I only had to change once, which gave me the perfect opportunity to drop my coffee on the platform like a fucking wet BOMB, and I did a lot of work on the trains with my magical Dongle, which pleased me greatly. I also met a self-professed Nomad, whose brother did sound at the venue we were going to be playing at that night, so I gave her a CD to help her on her travels.
Jack, meanwhile, had got to London, and had gotten to his mixer and wires and leads, but was finding it difficult getting hold of his lift back. I said, “don’t worry G, everything will be awesome,” because I think that to be true.
Northampton greeted me with a thick wet sky the colour and consistency of porridge, and a hill stretching out into infinity. So up the hill I went, me and my bags, like Dorothy up the Yellow Brick Road, observing the many sights and sounds and smells of this new place, and after 20 minutes I happened upon a troupe of Amateur Dramaticians, who introduced me to The Legendary Roadmenders, our venue for the night.
The Legendary Roadmenders is a colossal, labyrinthine collection of rooms of varying sizes, some containing stages, some containing speakers, some containing bongos and crisps. I realsied that I had seen the place before, recently – in a very vivid and detailed dream, so make of that what you will. At any rate, it wasn’t long before I got the sad news: Jack was stuck in London, and would not be able to play with us tonight.
"OH NOES!" I thought.
“Where’s Jack?” said Lars.
“Jack’s coming back, right?” said Tour Managing Fireball Thrower Ryu.
“Oh no, that sucks for Jack,” said Weerd Science, sadly.
“What are you going to do without Jack?” asked MC Kal.
It was a good question. But we are resourceful people, and we come prepared, so OF COURSE I have all my instrumentals on my laptop, and OF COURSE Jack bought me a toy robot for my birthday, and if you are confused as to how a toy robot could help in such a situation, first you must be made aware that what many people love about our show on this tour is our rapport. “I love the way you and Jack Nimble talk to each other during the set, it’s so funny,” said Lars after the first night, and variations on that righteous statement occur nightly.
And so, I took that yellow robot that talks when you squeeze his hand out onstage with me that night, dear reader, and lo he did keep me company up there, and his banter was pretty good, but not a patch on Jack’s, obviously, and he DID start singing and refused to stop at one point, so I had to chuck him on the drums and leave him be.
And yes, it was pretty tricky up there with no DJ having to press laptop buttons all the time and stuff, AND it was a pretty quiet night as far as numbers of people in the building were concerned, but those that WERE there were awesome, and as you ought to know by now, I am a G, and I smash the crap out of stages, and I bring the party, and lo, I did smash the crap out of the stage AND I bought the party. Here's me doing Thanks For All The AIDS, courtesy of Ben Sorrie's magical camera:
MC Chris continued the party, and did a good job of dealing with a large, bearded heckler/loudmouth, deflecting his crudery with wittery, and giving the best performance of that song about Neville Longbottom of the tour thusfar.
MC Lars and Weerd Science were brilliant yet again, and turned a small room of people into a zoo. Science then told the zoo how sad he was that Jack Nimble was stuck in London, and how much we all missed him, and how we were a family now, and how being on this tour was like being on tour with your best friends, and everyone went, “WHOOOOOOOOO! JACK NIMBLE!” and lo the Northamptpn Magic I’d been wondering about on the train did make itself very apparent, and lo, we did boogie, in honour of our absent friend.