May 7th, 2005

gamiila sig #2

The Big Write-Up: party at O'Neill's

Because London looks so very, very different in the early, early morning, when it's all quiet and peaceful and deserted, we began our epic journey up North with a demented half an hour's search for the carpark where anonypooh had left her car; but once we had found it, and from then on, things couldn't have gone more smoothly. We had figured 7 hours, if not more, to reach Glasgow -- we did it in under 6, listening to Corn Mo and CoRo all the way. We stopped off for breakfast along the way, and drove through some stunningly beautiful scenery on the way up, notably in the Lake District, which I will have to come back to and look at some more at a later date. For now though, we were in a hurry to get to Scotland, where I had the ulterior motive of meeting up with Carol, who I'd 'met' years ago on the BBC boards, and who had agreed to meet me for coffee and a real life chat. We found the hotel without too much trouble, but were told our room wouldn't be ready for another hour yet, and so we decided to look for the venue first, O'Neill's in Sauchiehall St -- which was basically the street we were on, so it could't be too far away. It wasn't, and so 15 minutes later we found ourselves in Starbucks opposite, from where I called my friend while Julia and Sherry asked for directions to the nearest Internet café. Back we went to the hotel, and checked in. I noticed an error had been made, and they expected us to pay £70 per person for the room, but Jules had brought the confirmation e-mail that stated that the room was ours for £75 per night, and so that was changed and we got our key. The room was beautiful: light, airy, spaceous and very comfy, with all the mod cons and a little ensuite...a steal at only £25 a head!

I had first dibs on the bathroom, and I'd only just finished my toilette when the receptionist came to inform us my friend had arrived and was waiting for me in the lobby. I said goodbye to my roommates and went off to explore Glasgow with Carol, who took me to the West End and university area. We had coffee, went shopping, and had a leisurely walk through the park, because the sun was out and even though the wind was still cold, as long as you could manage to stay out of it, it was glorious. Of course, I only saw a little bit of Glasgow, but what I saw, I liked -- I will definitely have to come back for a longer stay some day. All too soon though, Carol had to go; and I went back towards the other side of town in the hope of finding my fellow travellers. I didn't find them at the Internet café in Hope St, but as I was getting peckish, I bought a sandwich and made my way back down Sauchiehall St (which Carol had told me was named for the poplars that used to line it in olden days) and popped into O'Neill's to see if they were there. They weren't, but as I came back out, I spotted them across the street, where anonypooh had again found another Internet phone booth. She was just finishing up her previous evening's report when I joined them. Eric came out, and walked down the street with his guitar case in his hand. We had about an hour before the doors would open, which meant we went back in for a drink or two.

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The venue was a large backroom with a bar to the side and a slight elevation at the back, wooden floors and a few seats, which by the time we had ordered our drinks and turned round, had all been taken. However, having walked all over town for hours, I really did feel my ankle quite badly, and I asked the German contingent to give me a little room on the bench they were hogging. When Corn Mo started We Are The Champions and I couldn't get them to sway and sing along, I joined Jules and Sherry on the floor, and stayed there for the rest of the night. I snagged his little setlist after he was done playing.

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The setlist wasn't enough of a souvenir though, and I went over and bought one of his CDs and a DVD, which he was kind enough to sign for me.

When CoRo came on, they started with Day For A Day again, followed by Indie Rockin' and

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This gig stands out in my memory because it was so intimate. The venue was by no means sold out (Adam at one point mentioned "64 and change" as the number of attendants), there was a very relaxed atmosphere, and I don't think they dimmed the lights at all, or all that well. There was also a Glaswegian fan who wanted to hear Sit Down, and shouted this out at the time the band were getting ready to perform Cowboy. "Okay", said Adam with his usual aplomb, "Whatever you want, it's your show..."

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"No", she tried again, "Sit down and sing that Sit Down song"; but to no avail, the band launched into Cowboy sitting down. They stood again for the next song, Pay Me, on which Corn Mo joined them, but after this, Adam decided we'd left them plenty of room in front of the stage and they've been doing plenty of living rooms, so next we got an extended off mic section. During his solo, eyes fixed on that screw in the wall, Eric very nearly trod on me and my bad ankle, and I barely managed to scoot back in time.

Again, the band came out and mingled after the show. We had a chat with Corn Mo, and Adam, and Jordan; and at one point, I found myself cornered by a man called Jimmy, who smelled of booze and talked complete bollocks, but who was pretty harmless and quite entertaining in his own unique way. Apparently, he's been banned from quite a few pubs in Glasgow, though I can't imagine what for. Anyway, I suppose I proved quite a disappointment to him, as I couldn't guess what celeb he was trying to impersonate; and when I came back with a tentative "Sweet little mystery?" on his expectant "Sweet mystery, I've found you", which he kept repeating while looking up at me with bleary eyes, he finally stalked off, but not without telling me I lacked education.

I went to pick up my photos earlier. They weren't there yet, so this entry is once again illustrated by pictures from Julia's Shutterfly album