Leeds. Perhaps the home of guitar lead? I know it’s not the same spelling, but it is quite close. Coincidence?
Leeds. Perhaps the home of guitar lead? I know it’s not the same spelling, but it is quite close. Coincidence? I think not. Rumour has it that Elvis Presley himself came to Leeds in the 40s seeking something that could make his acoustic guitar louder - he came across a man named Edward Riff who had been working on something to connect his own guitar to the not yet invented (but it is for the purpose of this story) Marshall amplifier that currently had no use to anybody as no-one had invented something to connect the two together. Edward Riff created the guitar lead out of nothing more than rope and a bit of self belief. And thus, Rock N’ Roll was born.
Leeds is also where we were playing on the second night of our headline tour, at the cheekily named Cockpit, which would have made me chuckle if I was still in high school. I’m sure a joke may have been aimed in the direction of an ‘easy lady’ of ‘easy gay man’ involving the venue name on at least 1,000 occasions in the past. We finally got a full nights sleep after the show in Sheffield, I think we all slept about 10 hours each and woke up looking 10 times more alive than we had in a few weeks. Apart from Sam, who had got sick and looked like a slug who had been sprinkled with enough salt not to kill, but to shrivel up just a little.
It was an eeeeaaaazzzeeee 45 minute drive to Leeds from the hotel so we took the time to indulge in the pinnacle of tour dining. The Morrison’s breakfast. To think we only found out about this masterpiece at the end of November last year thanks to our friend and survival food mentor Matt Cogley, I don’t think we could realistically be a band without it anymore. Enough to sustain a man for over two weeks in one breakfast, it cannot be beaten. We had yet more time to kill after this so tried to find a photo booth so Barry could get his passport photos taken as his face has changed so much since we started this band that his old passport photos are considered invalid. But all the photo booths with a five mile radius were broken! Clearly the ‘Passport Photo Kid’ that has been all over the Sheffield newspapers is still on the loose, busting up photo booths where ever he roams.
45 minutes later we were outside the Cockpit after expert reversing technique by Big Baz, who has a bright future as a driving instructor if the band ever gets too much for him. We were playing the smaller room outside as Municipal Waste were playing the big room, and we weren’t up for trying to swap with them as they all have beards, and only one of us has a beard. By basic maths we can figure out that they’d be able to beat us in a fight because they have more beard. Simple really. Our show sold out so it was going to be a very cramped and sweaty occasion, which we relish as we can play as badly as we like and nobody realises because they’re too busy concentrating on not getting crushed. Canterbury made it today after stomach cramp based problems yesterday, and they all seemed like lovely chaps. Very polite too. It turns out Municipal Waste were also very nice too, they must use their beards to fit in with their tough guy persona. They did tell me that smoking weed was good for you, and I don’t think that’s strictly true.
The show itself was a complete riot, within two songs about seven people had already careered into Barry’s pedal board and the normally separate dynamic of band and crowd was pretty much gone and all melted into one. Slowly but surely all our gear started to break due to the heat and objects and humans falling on it, and then the cold sweat started to fall from the roof - the definitive sign that a show has turned into an endurance test. We managed to finish the show though, Barry down to just two pedals instead of his normal 100, and it was certainly one to remember. Thank you Leeds, you broke all our stuff but it certainly felt good.
We packed up and left pretty quickly afterwards as the Slam Dunk club night was on and was deemed ‘TOO GOOD’ after we went last time we played in Leeds. We weren’t quite ready for another round of it, I think we need another twelve months at least. Back to the T-Lodge it was, too watch the very end of a film where it looked like someone may have drowned, and other people were sad about it. After this, I was too emotional to do anything else, so I went to sleep with the Arcade Fire as my soundtrack. Preeeeeeetttyyy good.
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"If rock'n'roll's dead you can kill me right now!"