On Friday I left for London. I got into Derby really early... For some reason when catching trains I always give the bus half an hour to get there, even though it takes about ten minutes. So I had a little wonder around Derby and ended up sitting on one of the comfy chairs in the new shopping centre where I started re-reading The Catcher in the Rye. Apart from getting up to walk to the station and on to a train that pretty much continued until London. I headed to Waterloo to meet Paul and Sophie (and Chris Lomas briefly!) and we headed up the Jubilee line to visit a potential venue for Summer in the City. The guy in charge was cool... He reminded me of a guy I know that runs a pub in Glossop, mostly because they both run gig venues and are Scottish, but still. The place looked great and hopefully they will have us... I still have to persuade him to let under 18s in, but I think he'll come around!
After that we went off to get food, but only found drink. Had a pint in Camden before asking the very foreign staff where KOKO was... One of them kind of knew and gave me directions that sounded rough but turned out to be very accurate. We got there a bit late - missed most of the support who sounded pretty good. It was the first time I'd been to KOKO, which is a wonderful venue - not very deep but there are a few layers of balconies like at a theatre, which I imagine it was originally. It also has one of the biggest glitter balls I've ever seen.
Ben Kweller, who I realise I haven't mentioned yet, though he was the reason we were there, came on and played some tracks from his new album Changing Horses as well as quite a few from all of his older albums. They worked quite well together considering his new album is very country, whereas the old stuff is more indie/rock/I'm no good with genre names.
I've seen him plenty of times before so I knew what to expect. The first time I went, my friend sent a text to someone to describe the show and he just wrote 'This is talent.' Kweller is an immensely talented man and he surrounds himself with great musicians. But the one thing that stands out about him is how much he loves what he does. I've never seen anybody more comfortable on stage, he absolutely loves it!
The rest of the night involved a few more drinks, getting a hi five from some random woman because I unplugged the speaker that was drowning out our conversation, going back to Sophie's where we met Ian and Lex, and cooking pasta, which was the first thing I'd eaten in about 15 hours.
The next day we had to get up fairly early, which none of us are very good at, but we managed it. Even though Sophie made us miss one train we got on the next one and went to see a hostel. I'm trying to sort something out with this hostel for Summer in the City. It's quite a complicated situation and I'm going to think about how best to work it later on today, but the place is beautiful and Renee who I've been talking to over email and who showed us round was really nice. Then I rushed back towards St Pancras, while the others rushed back to Waterloo. I made it on my train back with about one minute to spare, which is always a good feeling!
So that was my day in London. There was some more Catcher in the Rye on the train home, but not much more as I could barely keep my eyes open.
Still tired now, but good times had.