"I woke up sweating in my little bunk unable to sleep because of the absolute silence. I'm one of those people that needs some sort of soothing noise in the background in order to sleep. I think it comes from my childhood summers, listening to the oscillating fan as I lay in bed. I get distracted easily by outside noise and the other noise helps mask that. Pretty crazy!
Anyway, with 9 grown men in a bus that's sealed up like the space shuttle the air got pretty stale. I think I slept for about 3 hours before the deafening stillness got to me. I stumbled outside desperate for fresh sweet air! It was a beautiful Morning. Paul followed me (he has the same problem). Evidently Duncan parked the bus in the wee hours of the morning at a hotel in Sheffield and went inside to get a room and some sleep. He left us to suffocate in the vacuum.
Paul and I found a note on the front window. It clarified that Duncan was snoozing in a room. He also said we could grab some breakfast in the hotel. So we woke up anyone that wanted to join us and went inside for a bite. Tim, Brad and Jack came in with us. We looked like homeless people and felt stares but we had a "camping mentality" so it didn't bother us.
The food was good. It was our first experience with Chips, beans, eggs and bangers. Very interesting indeed. Good tea. After breakfast we hung outside while the other guys went in and did the same. Duncan came out and gave me his room key so we could grab a quick shower. That was a nice surprise. After a shower and a place to brush your teeth you always feel better. By the time everyone had showered I was getting bored with standing in the parking lot. I noticed an Irish Bar accross the street so Paul, Jack, Tim, Brad and I went over to investigate.
Inside was about 7 people all over 60 (except the bar tenders). They stared at us and I noticed they were drinking some morning beers... when in Sheffield do as the locals do. I ordered a Guinness. In Europe they serve it "cold" or "regular". Pretty cool. I got mine "regular" for fear of being laughed at by the locals for drinking cold beer. It was damn good. By the time I finished my beer the other band mates had walked in looking for us. Everyone made themselves comfortable and pulled up a stool. We are pretty normal guys so it was only a matter of time before we were laughing with the locals and getting to know everyone.
We had to be at the club by 3pm (15:00 in europe time) so we couldn't get too relaxed. We got to the club and had an easy load in (no 39 steps from Hell!) The tech was a cool guy, the back stage area was clean and big and they had a stew cooking in a crock pot for us.
We got a nice sound check and were able to chill out for awhile. We had an opener, a young woman singer song writer. The night went very smooth. It was a nice crowd and we played well. Everyone was so nice. I'm glad we got a chance to talk to some of the people after the show.
The load out was easy and before we knew it we were on the bus again. I went to sleep immediately, taking advantage of the calming rumble of the bus as we drove to the chunnel. The AC was on too so we had a fresh supply of air! Sweet sweet air, sweet sweet sleep. Nighty night rabbit....."