It was a well needed and well used day off in London yesterday, swinging Soho to be precise. A lazy start to the day then down to the gym for a couple of hours. After a quick shower I poured out into the street for a prowl round Soho. Loads of great cafes, Italian, Indian, Asian, Vegetarian, espresso joints, book shoppes, music stores, jazz clubs, clothes stores etc. On my walk I passed the De Lane Lea Studios, a large recording complex where I'd done some sessions 35 years ago for an artist named Earl Jordon. It was the first time I've been back in Soho in all this time. For me there's nothing better than a day off rummaging round books, records and musical instruments. Also did a little shopping down Oxford Street which is one of the main thoroughfares that border the Soho area and later met up with Glenn Worf for a brilliant Indian dinner at The Delhi Brasserie located next door to Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club. Between the two of us it got four thumbs up and is highly recommended.
This morning we checked out of the fabulous Soho Hotel wishing we had another day off and drove about two and a half hours to Birmingham and the N.E.C. where we played tonight. I probably mentioned in my notes from 2005 that I'd met Prince Charles and Princess Diana in this venue while playing with Neil Diamond many years ago and I will always associate the N.E.C. with them. Tonight we had a royal visit of our own, Robert Collins our long time and beloved front of house sound mixer popped in to say hello. Robert lost his wife to cancer a couple of weeks prior to the start of rehearsals and understandably passed on this tour. We think of him every day, it was good to catch up and give him a hug.
Tonight was our first show of a two week run in the U.K. The N.E.C. has a wicked, low end build up and things seemed just a little unfocused sonically on stage due to that, but it was a fun and relaxed show nonetheless and frankly I think Brothers In Arms was as good as we have ever played it. The 7,000+ fans seemed to be enjoying it as much as we were and when it's said and done, that's what this whole thing should be about.
Back in the cars after the final encore for another push northward to Manchester where we stay tonight and play tomorrow.