Early start this morning. PC World 7:30am, usual coffee run to MacDonalds. Heading south today, first gig in London. Aiming for Shoreditch. Up and coming area of London, apparently. Usual run south down the motorway – Adam behind the wheel for the second time. Usual stop off at Tebay service, this place has changed, firm thumbs down from the TO crew. Never been the same since the revamp. A £3 scotch egg, no thanks. Moving on, second stop at Waitrose, humus, bean salad, focaccia, fresh fruit, falafels, greek salad, what next for this band – picnic hampers, green tea and yoga? Entering London, Ali thinks he spots Amy Winehouse’s dad in a cab, huge excitement, Mitch Winehouse, number one TO fan. Get to the venue, cool vibe. Shoreditch seems a good place to be, hints of Berlin, young and arty. Cargo – cool bar, nice wee beer garden out the bag. Suits the boys nicely. Out for dinner- tonight its either pizza or Vietnamese. Gig time, decent crowd in for a first London show, they seem up for it. Usual mayhem ensues, everyone on there feet for the last number. London, nailed, seriously hot on stage. Ice box full of Heineken stubbies greets the band, cold beer, the very thing. Band splits, some back to the Hotel, some stay to take London on. Day off tomorrow. Maximum recovery time, what could possibly go wrong!!
After everyone’s day off the tour bus heads for Shoreham-by-Sea. Like London, this is uncharted TO territory. Adam at the wheel, Ross on Navigation. Special van guest Natalie Haran gets to sample life in the TO bus for a couple of hours. Bet she’s delighted! Ali and Innes recreate scenes from the movies using an biscuit box, some orange peel and a few oatcakes. “Back to the Future” and “Wickerman” get the back of the van cinematic treatment. Entertainment TO style. We arrive in Shoreham, nice little town by the seaside, if only we had more time we’d all be reaching for the bucket and spade. Definite opportunity to bury some TO member in the sand missed. Arrive at the venue, great wee arts centre, good gig space, going to be fun. Smoked Mackerel sandwiches, ham and chutney focaccia and enough chips to sink a ship; good feed but backstage now honking of vinegar. So it comes to the last show of the tour. A decent crowd in, few older faces, do some of these folk expect a real orchestra!? Slight change in set list tonight, gig builds nicely, interval, quick refreshment, perhaps a small end of tour perk-up, band takes to the stage for the second half, Saturday night crowd definitely feeling up for it, set climaxes with Sausages before the new encore – no more cages. Happy faces all round, job done. Quick after show pint, local ale pretty good. Then its departure time, some of the boys head straight up the road on the mammoth drive, some stay to sample a touch of the night life. A good place to end the tour. From the first gig in Perth to the wilds of the West to the sea air of the deep south this has been a tour of changing scenery, some good laughs and some brilliant shows. Roll on the next one.