First Official Entry of UK TOUR DIARY!!
Today is July 21, 2009 -- This entry covers the first day or two of the tour, Wed July 15 and Thurs July 16...
I'm writing from blimey Londontown in the wee hours of the morning, from the second floor of a three story haunted artist haven / friend's home I'm staying in. The man who lived here before her...DIED!
It's a beautiful place with amazing trimmins and fireplaces and windows and a large very british looking garden and a big fat black cat that comes to visit mysteriously seeking vittles. There is a super creepy rape alley behind the place though that I have to walk down to get to and from the overground (train) but I always have my rape whistle handy so I should be okay.
I left for the UK on Wed at 6 from JFK. I had a crummy experience at the check-in booth -- my suitcase was 85 lbs (too heavy) so they tried to charge me $300 extra. Sounds reasonable, right? The deal is -- if you have a suitcase that is 50 pounds, you're fine. If you have a suitcase that is 50 pounds and then a second suitcase that is also 50 pounds or less, they charge $50. But if you have one suitcase that is 85 pounds, go *$&( yourself, mister. You're walking to the UK. Or you're paying an extra $300.
I amazingly, luckily was able to round up another suitcase and split my stuff into two suitcases. I met up with Stuckey & Murray and Mrs. Murray and they were amazing and cool, helping me unpack and repack my suitcase into the new case and sticking things into their own suitcases because the barking dude was threatening to have a yard sale outside with my belongings. The rest of the flight, with the exception of boarding a little behind schedule and a woman and a man getting into a very loud verbal altercation behind us was without incident. The yelling match was comical and uncomfortable. It went a little like this:
WOMAN: Do not try to cut in front of me or I will call security.
MAN: I'm not trying to cut in front of you.
WOMAN: I know what you're trying to do. Security!
MAN: I'm not doing anything wrong!
And then the best line of the year:
WOMAN: God bless you. Because he knows what you are.
I don't really know what it is that she meant he was, but I will never forget the line as long as I live.
We arrived at Heathrow at 7 am and took a train to a train to a train to a train to a bus a bus to the festival. It was a long journey, me now dragging 2 suitcases instead of one, and we got in around 4 or 5 pm. Thankfully, I had the awesome Stuckey and the terrific Murrays to help me along.
All our stuff and people, including DJ, our new pal we met on the train
When we got to the festival, our tents were already set up, and next to each other which was awesome, and also across from the performer food / bar and next to the hot showers.
The festival spanned a few acres on a beautiful stretch of grass and trees known as Henham Park. The bus driver told us that the park belonged to an Australian man who didn't care to deal with it so he just let the locals run the space and have events and do stuff on it. There was also a bed and breakfast on the premises. But who needs a b&b when ya got a sweet tent? Or a fat tour bus like Grace Jones or Pretenders? (Both of whom performed at the fest!)
We were so wiped out when we arrived, we pretty much just got a six pack of beer and walked around checking out the grounds before hitting the sack pretty early. It was nice to see the grounds all fresh and untarnished, waiting for the 30,000 or so people to show up and wreck it with fun and drunken times.
Thursday was pretty much just a "show up and chill out before the shit hits the fan" kind of a day.
Untainted main stage
The festival had a collection of sheep grazing near the lighted trees, the sheep were dyed hot pink and bright green. Some festival employees told us they dunked them into a dunker of dye to get them to be that color but I don't know if it is true or not, because they seemed high. They gave Stuckey a make-over which I will post photos of later!
Pink sheep! (Sounds like a band)
I was tickled to see we each had dressing "rooms" (trailers) with fridges stocked with booze, beer and wine, snacks and sodas, a big lighted mirror, a little couch and other comforts. This continued for each set we did -- a sweet trailer stocked with booze and snacks and our names on the door. It was a nice touch!
Latitude Festival knows that booze helps prevent boos
Who put champagne and vodka on my rider? Give them a raise!
Another nice gesture
This entry is already long enough and I have to wake up early for tech rehearsal -- my show is opening at Soho Theatre, 21 Dean Street, tomorrow at 10 PM.