Leeds-Newcastle 18, 19 May

Leeds 18 May

One of those days where we spanned 3 cities, 2 countries, 2 air flights and 1 show. We departed Berlin after several enjoyable days in that great city. I suspect there will be a massive restocking of beer and sausages at Augustiner now that we’ve decamped. It took longer to get to the Berlin airport than the actual flight to Leeds. Tonight’s show at First Direct Arena was to a sell out capacity 6,300 and we all thought it was a great night of playing and people loving it. A runner for a 19 minute flight up to Newcastle where we’ll spend the night and play tomorrow

Newcastle 19, May

The hotel we’re in is trying very hard to be upscale but is simply tatty, old and tired. The internet is in-op, the rooms are little larger than a walk in closet with no ventilation and windows that will not open. The gym is what I expected given everything else. Two treadmills, one not working, sorry for the inconvenience. Several other bits of equipment also tagged with ‘sorry for the inconvenience’ notices. When I piled in there this morning it was mercifully empty so I took the one working treadmill and managed to get a work out with few bits that were functional. Got back to my room and, it was hot and airless. The hallway was at least 10 degrees cooler so there was little else to do but prop open my door to get some cool air circulating. I happily sat there playing guitar to passing maids and guests. We’ll all gladly check out this afternoon prior to the gig. It’s the Utilita Arena tonight in Mark’s hometown, Newcastle. A sell-out to the ceiling crowd, MK & Co. it top form. A runner and a short Indian food fuelled flight down south to London’s Luton airport. We’ll base from here for nearly three weeks while playing shows in the U.K. as well as having numerous days off. A late night-cap with John and Jim and off to bed. Tomorrow being one of those days off.

Richard Bennett