The train returns - November 10
The Glasgow Ferry
Photo © Kenny Mathieson
Sunrise over Glasgow
Steve in festive Brighton
As our tour blasted back into the UK the sparks flew in a full house at the Brook, Southampton. The new train set chuffed into life fuelled by an enthusiastic welcome!
I'd long wanted to unveil The Golden Age of Steam as a live number with its shunting strings. Luckily technology plus great versatility of the team made a plausible marching band morph into an unstoppable war machine. The band breathed new life into refurbished old carriages - songs from the sidings dusted down. In short we revived Valley of the Kings, Sierra Quemada, Watcher of the Skies, Carpet Crawlers as well as Shadow of the Hierophant and we introduced embryonic Prairie Angel.
From trains to boats, down the star spangled gang plank of the Renfrew Ferry in Glasgow, the band raised the roof and shivered the timbers. On to Manchester University containing the Academy 3, Manchester is not just a centre of football but is also the birthplace of several great British bands such as the Hollies, but the crowd made our band feel equally at home.
Pontardawe, South Wales, was our next stop, a stone's throw from Swansea. The Arts Centre there has a great vaudeville atmosphere - music hall meets rock. The crowd were fantastic and the place seemed full of friendly ghosts and memories - Those were the days my friend... This town is the birthplace of sweet Mary Hopkins, with whom I worked briefly some years ago.
Back in England at the Leamington Spa Assembly, we once again enjoyed both the powerful atmosphere on stage and the funky backstage mini amusement arcade, including Tammy Wynette's famous trailer. It was great to see family at that gig too.
Next station the Komedia at Brighton was a blast. We staggered off stage, completely gone but ecstatic! I felt like I was dreaming with open eyes once again...
The band is firmly back on the rails and the sleepers have come to life. Emergency brakes on for a day off and then we'll be screaming into to Bath tomorrow for the next leg of our whistle stop tour.
Manchester Academy 3
Photo © Alan Hewitt
Nick's travelling sleeping gear
Moments to relax backstage at Leamington