LONDON, Brooklyn Bowl – 22nd July – Day 10
A fully rested tour party arrive at the palatial Brooklyn Bowl, to be greeted by my old buddy Jake Szufnarowski, who runs the venue. His warm smile is accompanied by endless jugs of beer and cider. Hey! Hello! are here to open the show. Sean Hill has turned up to tattoo people. Delicious food is being served. Today couldn’t be less typical and more welcome.
After soundcheck, with good company and a fresh tattoo of the new Hey! Hello! logo (in a very painful part of the ribs) eating up the hours and it’s time for Hey! Hello! take to the stage for the first gig in a few weeks. It is a lovely feeling to be with the band and, with sound gremlins aside, it’s a well greeted and fun set.
I get to jump up onstage with Ryan and the boys again, for another run through of ‘Take It On The Run’ by REO Speedwagon. Bittersweet feelings envelop me as I finally realise this will be the final show with Ryan. We have become great friends with him and his wonderful pack, and seeing them all leave later will sting with a familiar parting stab. The best thing about touring is making new friends, the worst is saying goodbye to them at the end.
The headline set welcomes my good friend Micko, from Courtney Love’s band, up onstage for a run through of ‘If You Find Yourself In London Town’, which has just been released today. It’s a passionate rendition that conveys the emotions that everyone is feeling.
My in-ear gizmo finally shits the bed, so I rip it out of my ear and get to play the final half of the set with the full, onstage bombardment of Marshall mayhem. It’s a great send off as we retire to the comfortable dressing room to say goodbye to friends new and old.
Someone offers me a line of coke. Hey, it’s the last show, why not? What could be more fitting?
The next day I will find out it was, in fact, MDMA, and I will lose hours of time evidently microwaving anything that will fit into the microwave, and generally behaving in an uncontainable and jolly yet distinctly out of character fashion. Of course I remember nothing other than I woke up in my clothes and the bus was full of different people.
As painful goodbye’s go, it was an agony free transition.
Bye Ryan, travel safe and hope to see you soon.