Smoke Fairies tour diary part 2

We arrived at The Sage last night to be greeted at load-in by a plethora of helpful chaps that seemingly love putting things on trolleys, which made the arduous daily task of carrying a million and one things into the venue easy as pie. Is pie easy? I guess so. It's such a pleasingly professional venue. We've played The Sage before but in the larger room supporting Richard Hawley, I remember someone saying to us at the time that they've had support acts here before who've gone on to headline the smaller room and it's heartening to actually make the transition. What's more, we very nearly sold out the 400 capacity venue. In Gateshead. In January; surely the quietest of months for gigs. Ridiculous.

The previous night we played the Lancaster Library which seemed like an odd place to house a live gig considering the usual mode of conduct in a library is to be as quiet as humanly possible, but it turned out to be a marvellous setting with book cases framing the audience. The show was performed in the Sci-Fi and Fantasy section and the sound desk was aptly in the Audio Book section.

We had a day off in Lancaster the day before the library show and were planning on having a nice meal for my birthday, followed by the inevitable booze fest, after the long drive from Nottingham. We turned up at this gastro pub and I was lead into this dark room and was hit by a roar of "surprise" by friends and family. It was flabbergasting, completely unexpected and bizarrely disorientating having all these people I've known for years in this room in Lancaster. It was such a lovely surprise. Fun times.

The shows on the 19th and 20th were at Glee. Luba in Birmingham and Nottingham respectively. The Birmingham show ended in disaster when drummer Rob fell down a hole when we were loading out resulting in a tenis ball sized swollen ankle and he spent the rest of the evening with buckets full of ice round his ankle. The Nottingham show would have proved an impossibility had it not been for copious amounts of painkillers a foot strap and Rob's unflappable demeanour of "it'll be fine". If it had happened to me I'd be constantly crying like a little boy who's just witnessed his new bike being crushed by a freak incident with a steam roller.

The show must go on, and it has. Hat's off to Rob.


  1. and hats off to you Neil. Just come across this. European tour ... wow! exciting times Jon (ex-Articles)