After a full English including black pudding, which I don’t touch, It’s back to Lime Street Station and onwards: Off to play at the End of Spring Festival. Change at Birmingham and here we are in very sunny Cheltenham just a few hours later. Although it looks like quite a long way on my trusted phone map, I decide to walk through town and am slowly getting used to the guitar on my back and the suitcase in hand. In fact, if there’s now a brief moment where I’m carrying neither, it feels oddly light as if I’ve forgotten something.
The Festival is held at the Frog and Fiddle, a rather large pub with the dubious slogan “More than you expected” on the glass windows. It’s hosted by Chris Townsend, lead singer of indi band ‘Oui Legionnaires’, who open the show with synth-stylings and quite a cool cover of “Psycho Killer”. I’m playing in the side room and the audience is small (again, in numbers, not in height!), but attentive and do really well in singing along. I notice my voice just eases into the set without warming up – that seems to always happen on tour after a few shows. So, five shows in, I feel my voice is there, ready and reliable – huzzah!
I can’t stay after the show and have to rush off straight away to catch my train back home to London. I’m actually really exhausted and am looking forward to bed, although that’s at least three good hours away. It’s Saturday night and the train in occupied by boozed up commuters, travelling to London for a night out. Along the way we stop on the tracks and the conductor warns that if the rowdy passengers do not get off at Swindon, the train will terminate there. They’re not in my compartment, but had seen them pass through and can hear them as after a good fight they disembark. They cheer and swoop their fists in the air as the train drives off leaving them behind, as if they’re triumphed by getting kicked off. In telling the story tomorrow, this will probably be the glorified highlight of their night.
So what have I learnt? Summer is here and Swindon is full of rowdy people on a Saturday night.
I’ve got a bit of rest ahead of me and then it’s off to Glasgow on Tuesday, first trip to Scotland!