Tour 2018 - York (Day 2) / by Mark Messerly


SoTD: Onion Rings by Sainsbury’s - Similar in flavor to Funyuns but described as onion flavored maize and wheat semolina snacks. I’m ambivalent. After a drink they’re better than a fevered wank,* but when you eat them you get a feeling as if your body is rejecting them. Not forcibly, but a gentle wave of sweet nausea passes through you similarly, if on a much smaller scale, to that first prick of morphine you recieve after a mortar attack on your trench has removed your shin. Or not. Salty, very slightly spicy, with a definite tear the roof off of your mouth texture.

Britishism: Absolute Cack - piece of shit. Kath apologized for the directions to the load-in at the BBC. “Oh you got the old directions didn’t you? Sorry, those are absolute cack. The new ones are superlative.”

Holiday weekend traffic sucked so we didn’t get into York until 3:00 with load-in being at 4:00. We bopped down to the Shambles, the open air market and twisty narrow road-ed shopping area in the old town center area. Think Diagon Alley, and with three shops devoted to Harry Potter within 100 feet of each other you’re clearly meant to, and you’ll have an idea.

We were playing at the Crescent, as we did last time here. The show was put on by, what one person with the necessary knowledge described as one of the only honest promoters in the business, the fabulous Joe Coates. He’s just a kind, endlessly amusing man. Both shows he promoted had full houses so obviously good at his job as well. We loaded in at 4:00 but due to a sound ordinance could make no noise until 6:00. By the time soundcheck was over we had maybe an hour and a half before showtime. Alas, exploration of the magical city of York would largely have to be relinquished. Shaun and I had an amazing meal at a place in the Shambles called El Piano. Everything is vegetarian and gluten free so we were set. We ate sitting on a bench facing the Minster Cathedral. We passed the birthplace of Guy Fawkes and tipped our hats to the failed hairy plotter. If you’re not familiar with Guy Fawkes look him and the gunpowder revolution up. The failure of the plot to blow up the King is now yearly celebrated with the burning of effigies and dispensing of fireworks. His goal was to restore Catholicism to England via blood and fire, which is rather hard to get behind. Let’s see, I’ll take “More Murder for God” Alex. We have in the states our own failed, possibly batshit revolutionary, by the name of John Brown. His suicidal attack on Harper’s Ferry is barely talked about much less celebrated with fireworks. His goal was to light the flame that would free the slaves. And some say in that at least he succeeded. Violence is abhorrent but I’d rather celebrate a bonkers man who thought he could systematically take down slavery rather than that mass-murdering fuckhead Christopher Columbus. Oh, and did you know that using the word guy to refer to a man comes directly from Guy Fawkes' name. Initially it meant a poorly or oddly dressed man, but by the time it travelled across the ocean it just meant male. Now you know…..

Joe’s family, containing a grandmother, two babies, and three adults were travelling up from North Cumberbatch, or wherever, and got stuck in six hours of traffic. There was vomiting, crying, Ted Talks, and desperation. Joe was stressed and worried, Chuck was frustrated trying to play on a series of borrowed guitars, and I, while walking back to the venue had looked down into some medieval storm drain and heard the abyss yell, ”Tag!!” Great. I had hoped it would take longer to find me seeing as I had put an ocean between us, but now it was once again my turn to look back into it. So we were in tender shape considering it was only our second show. The audience was attentive but quiet enough to make us wonder if we were going over. When the show was done though they erupted into gleeful shouting and showered us with enough praise so as to make us feel like we had found a long lost family.

I love love love this city.
Tomorrow is Durham

*I’m in England. It’s fun. Leave me alone.