Luke Leighfield / Sam Little / Jose Vanders Tour Blog, March 2010.
March was a busy, stressful month all round, so I didn’t manage to blog each individual day on this tour. Therefore, you may find that this blog lacks some of my usual miniscule details, like what I ate for breakfast each day and stuff like that. However, I hope this tour blog will give you a flavour of what we got up to on tour.
All of the accompanying photos from the tour are on my Flickr account. Check them out!
Saturday 20th March | The Joiners | Southampton
Day one of the tour! I started this day super early and drove to Callow End to pick up Tom’s drum kit from his grandparents’ house. Afterwards, I headed to Redditch to collect Tom. Then we drove to Slough to meet Carl for a band practice and pick him up for the gig. However, we decided en route that we couldn’t be bothered to get the stuff out of the car for practice. Instead we just went with Carl to deliver some m-cat (Carl deals legal drugs, okay?) to some of his clients. We’re literally that cool.
Carl treated us to chip butties for lunch (maximum carbs, maximum good times) and then revealed that he was going to drive himself to tonight’s gig because he had to be back to do something in the morning. So, essentially, we drove to Slough for absolutely no reason. And I got up really early for no reason. Tom and I drove to Southampton to see some of my friends before tonight’s show, then we headed to The Joiners to soundcheck and stuff like that. We also did an interview with some guys called HB!TV! which mostly consisted of Carl saying appalling things (part 1 / bloopers).
The gig itself was awesome. The Joiners is my favourite venue in the UK because of its high stage, great sound, and small room. Loads of my friends came down and sang along, which made me feel like a massive, massive pop star. I finished off the night with Singapore chow mein. It was really spicy and hurt my bum when I defecated the next day.
Sunday 21st March | The Blues Loft | High Wycombe
Got up early and went to church with Jose. I think it weirded her out. Had lunch out at Trago Lounge. I had a soup. It was amazing. Drove to Wycombe, watched John Candy (side project of some of the guys in Futures) soundcheck, then I went to Morrisons with Jose to get some dinner. She nearly crashed her car because she was holding her sat nav and trying to drive whilst attempting to get an egg out of a packet. I was genuinely scared for my life.
My friend Holly Partridge came to the show and had made me some personalised cakes. They were unbelievably good. I was touched. The show was pretty rocking, and afterwards we went to Carl’s house in Slough to sleep. Before we did that, Tom and I went cruising around Slough with Carl as he dropped off m-cat to some of his clients. Tom asked Carl to take us to the most dangerous place in Slough, so Carl drove us to some place called Primrose Hill, basically the dogging/drug-dealing/sex/guns hotspot of Slough. There was another car there and Carl thought it was just a couple having sex. However, they drove behind us as if they were going to nudge us off the hill, then started creeping away down the road. We immediately raced in the opposite direction, but they pursued us at high speed. This is not a joke. They probably had guns. Eventually we managed to lose them and we went home. Big day.
Monday 22nd March | The Brixton Windmill | London
We thought no-one would turn up to tonight’s show because we’d basically promoted it ourselves. Thankfully some people did come and it turned out to be a great night. We drove back home afterwards. I can’t remember anything else about the gig. I should have definitely blogged this at the time.
Saturday 27th March | The Forum | Tunbridge Wells
Again, I can’t remember much about this day, but what I do remember is this: I ate a meatball Subway and it was great. Jose rocked it really hard. None of us could get the monitors onstage to sound right. Quite a lot of people came. I signed more posters than I’ve ever signed before. We stayed in Slough afterwards.
Sunday 28th March | The Birdcage | Norwich
Today we drove east. Norwich is really far from anywhere. We had a minor disaster in that the room was too small for me to play full band, because it would have been way too loud. Never mind. This was arguably the most fun night of tour. Jose, Sam and I had maximum onstage banter. Jose’s boyfriend, Joe, and my drummer, Tom, basically hooked up. It was pretty romantic. I told appalling onstage stories.
Afterwards we went back to a Travelodge, courtesy of Sam Little, and everyone got crunked apart from Sam and I. We almost got kicked out because Tom and Joe were really loud. Carl snorted m-cat. Joe, Tom and Jose ended up in bed together in their underwear. I read a book and drank some coffee. Carl went out to a club by himself and got talking to the bouncer. This was probably the most rock ‘n’ roll night of tour.
Monday 29th March | The Luxe Cinema | Wisbech
We woke up in varying degrees of disarray and states of hangover and went to explore Norwich for the day. Sam and I went to TK Maxx and I bought a smart-ish t-shirt, because I don’t really own any smart-ish t-shirts. Sam also mended Joe’s blackberry. Sam used to work in a phone shop. He is multi-talented. We basically mooched around all day.
Wisbech was just under an hour down the road so we set off at 4.30ish. I drank a chocolate fudge milkshake on Sam’s advice. It was pretty good. There are no words for how beautiful the venue tonight was. It was an independent cinema with incredible armchairs and an amazing bar, and tonight was the first gig ever to take place there. We were totally spoilt with massive pizzas for tea, and the whole night was awesome. Unfortunately though, I had to play solo again because the drums were too loud for the room. So Carl and Tom basically came to these last two gigs for no reason other than to eat pizza.
We all rocked it big time, and afterwards I raided the office for old film posters. I got some pretty great ones, although the best was probably a Where the Wild Things Are poster for my friend, Dave. He loves that film. I have no room to put up any posters, but I hope that one day I’ll have a big house where I can finally stick them all up. This was a 100% great night. Thanks so much to Simon for organising it!
Sunday 4th April | The Musician | Leicester
Final day of tour. Emotions running high. I had to play this show solo because Tom had a dodgy curry in Redditch the night before and was too busy puking up to rock out. Sam and I journeyed together because he’d been staying at mine for a couple of days beforehand, just partying down. That’s what we do. Our journey to Leicester was soundtracked by Sara Bareilles, Ben Folds, Lee Mitchell and some other stuff. For the record, that Sara Bareilles album is AMAZING. The production is out of this world. Do listen to it.
We were spoilt with another lovely venue and promoter today. The room was amazing, although all the other acts who were playing there in the coming weeks looked pretty weird. Our promoter, Adam, was only 16 (sorry for sounding patronising, Adam!) yet organised the night better than most promoters who do it for a living. Adam and all his friends were totally lovely and looked after us really well. The night was basically sold out. Great times.
We all played killer sets (as per) although I compared Jose to Susan Boyle onstage. It didn’t go down too well. I made up for it by leading the crowd in a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday for her, though. Not for kicks. It was her birthday. We met so many great people and had a lovely night. Afterwards, Adam and co. took us out to get some food. We went to the best dirty chicken outlet. I got a fillet meal for something stupid like £2.50. Outrageous. A brilliant end to tour.
Sorry for this blog not being up to my usual impeccable standards. I’ll be back on form for the next one, promise. Thank you to everyone who came to a gig, and to all the new friends we made. This was the most fun tour I’ve ever done, and I’ve done a lot of tours! Thank you to Jose and Sam for being such lovely, talented tour partners and for teaching me so much in such a short space of time. You will both go far, I’m sure of that. Thank you to the promoters who put us on. Thank you to my bandmates, Tom and Carl. Admittedly you only got to play four gigs, but you rocked those four gigs very hard. I’ll hopefully be hitting the road with Sam and Jose again in the not-too-distant future. Without them I am nothing. I’ll stop now because this sounds like an acceptance speech at the Oscars.