We woke up in Kingston and walked to the train station. We had to activate our Brit Rail passes so we waited in line right in front of an Indian dago type (picture if Slumdog Millionaire and the Situation collided in a brutal culture pile-up) wearing some of the most ridiculously expensive looking pre-distressed jeans I’ve ever seen and an unequivocally racist skinhead t shirt. I don’t have any idea what was going on there, but Dan and I debated whether he was an extremely misguided Nazi skinhead (Dan’s theory) or he was just some clueless douche who liked the style of the shirt (my theory).
We took our first train to some weird station where we had to transfer south. Dan waited outside the bathroom with the guitars and bags while I went in to take a dump. When I came out and it was Dan’s turn to go in, I said “wow, there’s something in there I’ve never seen before.” Dan went in, and I began chatting with two of the maintenance dudes who were working. The one guy was about 50. He had huge porkchop sideburns and a bunch of rockabilly tattoos and told me he was in some band that was experiencing an exciting revival and he was, for the first time in his life, making money playing music. Dan came out of the bathroom, wide eyed, and said “glory hole!” I said “I know!!!!! Crazy, right?” and the rockabilly janitor started laughing. “We just put that bathroom in! Those guys get those holes up quick, don’t they?” We all had a good chuckle, while questioning how exactly someone goes about boring a hole through the formica or whatever the fuck the stall was made of and then we all agreed that the hole was a bit snug, diameter-wise.
We kissed the maintenance guys goodbye and boarded the train to Brighton. I had a Scrumpy John on the train, which is like an extremely warm cider and we were in Brighton before we knew it.
Brighton is a cool, seaside town and it generally has a kind of collegey-gay neighborhood vibe throughout. The club was above a cool little pub that had the famous 2-cops-making-out Banksy original emblazoned on the side of it. We loaded in, had some Guinness and then linked up with Sam Russo and headed out to see what we could find.
We wound up at a pub where Dan and I both ordered fish and chips. Sam, in what I can only imagine was a vulgar display of his Britishness ordered some kind of brie and cranberry sandwich monstrosity. From there, we headed back to the club and dicked around until the show.
Steve showed up and mentioned that he had gone to his audition anyway (sans tap shoes) and he’d blown hitting some high note in the first song, and right there he knew that the whole thing was over, but he still had to go through the motions of finishing the entire 40 minute audition. He was boozing heavily.
The show was packed and the response was great. After the show there was a little bit of drama regarding the way that the door was split up and we were generally a little bit bummed, but we were told that the promoter had some friends who were ‘adults’ with a ‘nice place to stay, bedding, couches etc.’ and we decided ‘eh, fuck it. That’s cool.’ We set off cautiously optimistic about a good end to a night peppered with dizzying highs and excruciating lows.
Sam, Dan and I arrived at this house to find that the nice couches and bedding could actually be more accurately described as a tiny, completely empty room (save the encrusted filth) that didn’t even have a lightbulb. The dudes that lived there were all in their early 20’s and with the exception of one roommate (who was trying to sleep and came out and yelled at the other dudes about bringing us there [and who looked like a tapout loving dingus]) they were all getting high and playing Tony Hawk. I felt like I’d gone back in time 15 years. Anyway, they got us some ‘things to sleep on’ which were their own soiled sleeping bags and we settled into a nice sleep, just me, Dan and Sam, crammed into a tiny room, sleeping right next to each other, touching elbows and touching the walls because the shit was so fucking tiny. This was the first low point of the tour. Dan was bummed. I was bummed, and Sam woke up to the mongo Tapout roommate stomping around and playing loud music, screaming shit like “You wake me up, I wake you up! AAAAAAAAHRGH!”
Now, let me state unequivocally that putting strangers up in your house is a nice thing to do and I don’t want to sound ungrateful, BUT I also don’t want to sleep on a fucking floor next to a 35 year old man who doesn’t want to sleep next to me either. Had there been a little more honesty about what the situation was, we would have happily gotten a hotel and no one would have woken up furious and broken-spirited. As it happened, we woke up pissed, exhausted and at least one of us (name rhymes with Ham Pandriano) was seriously considering pulling the plug on the whole tour. With this blackness deep in our souls, we called a cab and set out for the great unknown that was to be Tunbridge Wells.