Issue No.21 – Further On Down The Road

They say we all have our fifteen minutes of fame at some point in our lives and on our journey home from Poland and the Sopot Festival I couldn’t help but wonder if my allotted time had been cut down to a meagre three minutes when I was on that stage in that forest. Or maybe the remaining twelve minutes were to be restored to me further on down the road? Anyway, the fat lady had sung her heart out and it was back to the good old blighty for us. 

Back in those days fuel and transport costs had not reached the astronomical heights that they are today so most of our gigs were pretty well scattered all around the country, we even managed to make it as far as Dundee! Mind you, we were in good company when it came to travelling here there and everywhere… all of which was of course made possible by our good old Ford Transit, well you just weren’t cool unless you had one, in fact ours was even cooler than the rest because it had fitted aircraft seats! (Sorry if that sounds a bit sad). 

Anyway, there were always a good number of other bands spending hour after hour slogging up and down the motorways… I say motorways but this consisted mainly of the M1 and the M4 (although this only went as far as Reading) so as a rule you had to allow plenty of time to get to wherever you were going. Any trips down to the West Country (yes we did go as far as deepest darkest Cornwall) were indeed a long hard slog, made even more of a trial during the summer months when every caravan and tractor made it their sole aim to make your journey a living hell! Having said all that we did have some great times catching up with fellow bands at all-night cafes and motorway services and many an amusing tale was told over a plate of grease and a mug of stewed tea. No, we didn’t have much respect for our arteries back then.

I do find it sad to admit that those days (and nights) are all long gone now. Bands just can’t afford to travel further than their own back yards and pubs and small clubs can only pay for local talent. Of course, the big touring names and venues are still around but belong only in the realms of the favoured few. 

By the way, has anybody caught sight of my missing twelve minutes?

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