August 09, 2006

2:45 PM
My goal of drinking Newcastle in Newcastle was thwarted by the fact that I'm just not a big drinker..... and beer didn't sound appealing to me. Actually I bought a Newcastle, took a few sips and then gave it to Chris. Oh well... The novelty of being a tourist and trying to do what's right. Like being in Japan and having to eat sushi or garlic in Gilroy or Pizza in NYC. It's all quite silly don't you think??

Wow...the days are blurring by now. What was just yesterday seems like it was weeks ago. But yeah, I was in Edinburgh yesterday morning and now I'm just north of Leeds. Back in England proper and wondering what day is what. Was I just staring at the Edinburgh Castle yesterday?? my goodness. Well, we arrived in Newcastle around 6 PM yesterday. Rain was coming down quite hard, but luckily the venue was just down the street. Actually, it was in eye sight of the main entrance. A quick sprint down to the club and time to get organized as we settled in. The club was at a place called the DOG AND PARROT. Acutually, it was next door upstairs. There were 4 acts opening for me. Damn, I hate long shows, but that's ok. The biggest problem was the smoke. My allergies really kicked in and even before the show started I realized I needed to get the heck out of there before I had an anxiety attack of sorts. Which was quite a shame as both Chris and Hiro told me I missed out on some great bands. In particular Shermer. Named after the fictitious city in John Hughes films such as Pretty In Pink, Breakfast Club. BLAH BLAH BLAH

But I walked around aimlessly until I ran into two lads who were going to my show. They took me to a holiday inn where we sat and drank coffee for a bit. It was 2 pounds for coffee, but worth every cent. They had a self serve coffee maker that had espresso, cappucino, latte, mochas, etc.. I had 4 shots of espresso before realizing that I had the shakes. That's no good. So I drank cups of hot water to dillute my caffeine high. Not sure why I would think that would help, but why not try?? I stayed there for a good two hours before making my way back to the club. It was hot and smoky inside. As I arrived, the last band had just finished, so I timed things perfectly. We set up quickly and I was singing my first notes just minutes upon arrival. The sound system was just a practice PA, which usually isn't a problem, but the sound was spotty at best. I sounded like I was singing out of a tin can. But it didn't really matter. I believe everyone enjoyed themselves and Newcastle has always resulted in good shows for me. Thanks to Stephen, the promoter for hooking up such a great show.

We had no place to stay last night, so I asked the crowd if we could stay with someone. After the show we had at least 5 people offer a place, so I started asking more questions such as how far do you live? How clean is your place? To get the best feel for our stay. We ended up going to this guy named NICKS flat. He was with his mates NIEVE aned EWING and his place was just a 5 minute walk from the club and very clean. They had an extensive movie collection, which seems to be the norm in the UK. A running inside joke amongst Chris, Hiro, and I is to see if someone has TERMINATOR 3. Not sure why this has become a quest of ours, but holy shmoly. Nicks housemates had it. Definitely the worst of the 3 Terminator flicks, but we were excited to see it.

Nick was a gracious host. Offering tea and even making us food. What a kind gentleman. We put a load of laundry in the wash, took advantage of his wireless internet, and relaxed in his flat. before T3, we played a video game on playstation 2. Not sure the name, but it's a music game show. 4 players can participate. Answering questions about popular music. I came in last place. Thinking I would do well..... Not even close. I didn't know any of the songs. The clock was ticking as we started up T3 at around 1 AM. Hiro hadn't seen it, but for some reason he was busy doing other things and missed most of the movie. Sometime near the end of the movie, we realized the wash was still going??? Over two hours. We couldn't figure it out. We couldn't even open the door. But fiddled with it and finally got it open. But this only gave us a few hours of dry time, so I put my clothes in the microwave for 5 minutes. Taking it out halfway through to air out. A few cycles withthe microwave and my clothes were on their way to being dry. Hiro put his clothes in too long and his socks caught on fire. DOH!!! Though I was extremely tired I didn't get to sleep til' past 4. The flat that Nick lived in sat on the top floor and out roofside view was quite beautiful and the breeze that ran through the room was so nice and soothing. I'm a bit tired now, but hopefully I can stay awake and get a good nights sleep tonight.

Nick had to go to work at 11 AM, so we walked to the local coffee shop. Dammnit, I'll admit it. We went to Starbucks, but it was across from the station and a good place to relax for 3 hours. I bought one tea and used free wireless coming from the train station hotel. Damn, I've been really supporting the almighty's on this tour:
SUBWAY, STARBUCKS, and PIZZA HUT. I swear this is not normal practice for me. I never do this at home, but sometimes when you're away you look for some familiarity. And I ate so much at PIZZA HUT, they had to have lost money on me. Anyways, just 4 more shows. Be well people.
Mike Park