We walked into the Sheffield train station and the next train to Glasgow was leaving in 4 minutes. We were hungry and we decided ‘fuck it. We’ll wait for the next one’ and sat down to a nice breakfast. We contemplated eating burger king, but eventually settled on some weird baguette place. Dan got a sandwich with brie and pesto and mine was just cheese. Dan’s sandwich was notable for having too much brie. Sam and Clare strolled into the station and hung out with us for a while as we waited and waited to see when the next train to Glasgow was leaving. After about 20 minutes of not seeing another train bound for Glasgow, we started to become slightly concerned. Dan checked the information desk and was told “nope, you dumb dicks missed the last train to Glasgow.” We decided to take the train to Edinburgh instead and then shoot over on the commuter. It was a bummer. At the time, we were saying things like “man, we really fucked up” as though this was gonna be the worst train disaster we’d encounter on this tour. In fact, this minor detour proved to be nothing more than a minor blip…a bug on the windshield as it were, compared to the massive horseshit we’d endure in the days to come, but I digress.
The train to Edinburgh was crowded as shit but we had seats together after the first 2 hours. We had some beers and some snacks and the ladies that ran the drink trolley were right nice ol’ dames, who took pride in how cold their ciders were (for the record, they were standard American coldness).
The Edinburgh train station was one of the most haphazardly assembled pigfucks I’ve ever encountered. Tracks 4, 18, 2 and 6 were this way, while tracks 1, 22 and 7 were this way. The rest of the tracks were across the street and down the road. We made a very quick transfer and then shot over to Glasgow on a very nice train that was empty except for a fat woman giving Dan the stinkeye and an old man who sat next to me despite the fact that there was nothing but open seats on the train.
We got off in Glasgow, walked past a modern kilt shop (f’real) and eventually found the club, down an alley, 4 stories beneath a vegan restaurant in a bunker that could have been used to wait out a nuclear attack.
My cable was broken and I was out of guitar strings, so I sent a runner to get that stuff for me while Dan and I went and got (are you ready for this?) burritos down the road. Dan described his burrito as ‘strangely tangy’ and I would concur wholeheartedly with that assessment. Mine was bean and cheese and I believe Dans was carnitas (or the local equivalent).
We got back and soundchecked as the crowd rolled in. We then hustled down the road to a hotel that also doubled as a very nice youth hostel. We checked into our room which had bunkbeds made out of pipes and a beautiful view of the river, and then I hauled ass back to the club so I could play. I showed up right around the time Sam was finishing, took a quick slug of Jim Beam and hit the stage. My shit was malfunctioning a bit and by the time I played my first note, I was drenched in sweat. It was a rough start to what turned out to be a great show.
When Dan played, a young lady standing by me literally burst into tears during one of the more heartwrenching numbers. We finished the night up hanging out with some of the kids, including one dude who told me that he’d just been diagnosed with cancer, and that he had been listening to my solo album to lift his spirits. He was, not to put too fine a point on it, an extremely brave dude and the whole thing was very humbling and potentially heavy, but his attitude was so great that it was more impressive than anything.
We went back to the bar in our hotel and drank Guinness until close while the chubby bartender marveled at the fact that a real live member of the Alkaline Trio was drinking in her bar. We then retired to the upstairs where we watched a little South Park and Tosh.O before passing out.