Dan and I woke up in Tunbridge Wells, he on the stage and I in the backstage, feeling refreshed and headed to a lovely little café where we had a bizarre version of iced coffee (something that the world at large outside US borders seems to not quite fully understand) and a pair of sandwiches (mine was cheese, Dan’s had meat and cheese). From there, it was off to Southampton. I don’t really remember the train ride, but it wasn’t very long, and we showed up in Southampton way early. The venue was very nice and we had a good, secure backstage. This was cool, because by this time, Dan and I were both overdue for some accounting, napping and not talking. Unfortunately, a bunch of the local kids promoting the show came back and hung out, which put us in a weird position. These were cool kids, but we kind of needed our space. When you’re on the road, privacy is fleeting and being vigilant about keeping your valuables and money safe is a top priority. Therefore, there’s no counting money or relaxing when there are people you don’t know 100% in the backstage. We sat there and bullshitted with everyone for a while, then I left and went for a walk, hoping everyone else would follow suit, then Dan left and went for a walk, and the kids just stayed.
Now, I get it. This is their show and their club and again, these are good folks who had worked hard to make sure the show went well (they even let us stay with them, in fact) but this only served to make it even harder to say “hey, you guys need to get the fuck out of here and leave us alone. We got money to count and naps to take and we both need to stop talking and relax or else we’re gonna sound like shit tonight.” Fortunately, before it actually became an unavoidable issue, the doors opened everyone took off to go hang out in the crowd.
And the crowd in Southampton was awesome. When I started playing, I felt, for the first time on the tour, like I didn’t have to bust my ass to win everyone over. People were singing along from the first word and it was overall, up to that point, the best show for me of the tour. This is due in no small part to the fact that 2 years before, I’d played an acoustic show in Southampton, where I was not only introduced to Buckfast (google it) but where I also wore a condom (under my pants), just to be safe. All the same folks were there, both in terms of promotion and attendance and in general, it was an all around great show. This was right around the time where Russo started joining Dan and I on stage to do the Falcon song entitled Unicorn Odyssey near the end of my set. This beautiful combination of guitars and voices would so enrapture me in the coming days that I would eventually proclaim Sam a part of the Falcon. As many of you know, The Falcon is a band I started with Dan, Todd Mohney and Neil Hennessy, which has featured such notable members as Chris McCaughan, Eli Caterer, Rob Kellenberger and Derek Grant over the years. Live, The Falcon is a bit more of a collective notion than a cut and dry lineup (the orignal lineup has never played a show, and I haven’t even SEEN Todd in probably 7 years except for one night at 3 am in a cheesedick hipster bar on his wedding night) and it’s a pleasure to welcome the talented and gorgeous Sam Russo into the ranks.
The real upshot of all this is that this version of Unicorn Odyssey that we were playing was, in essence, almost a complete Falcon lineup. Pretty cool.
Anyway, after I blew everyone away with my unique combination of good looks (if you squint), passable singing and dick jokes, Dan took the stage and was spectacular as usual.
When the show ended we went back to Paul’s house, where I saw the biggest Flappy I’ve ever seen. Paul was nice enough to let us stay with him even though he was moving the very next morning (which is fucking insane…though, to be fair, in England, apparently most flats come furnished and so moving is really just packing up your food, t shirts and dildo collections and transporting it all across town. It’s not the utter nightmare that it is in the states). It was getting late and the pubs were shutting down but Dan, Sam and I were desperate for a little late night fun, so we went to some goofy place that was 80’s themed, and had stripper poles and all sorts of other wacky shit going on. Dan and Sam did some pole/cage dancing and I spent a long time waiting for the hot, cunty bartender to serve me before I came to my senses and went over to the way less hot, but way more accommodating male bartender. Somehow, while we were in this ludicrous dance club, someone over the PA bellowed “We’d like to welcome Dan Andriano and Brendan Kelly from the States to [whatever the place was called]” and the crowd, who didn’t have any fucking idea what that meant, went wild anyway. It was pretty kick ass, overall.
We got back to Paul’s house super late and sat around drinking Bushmills for a while before I collapsed in a sweaty heap on the living room couch and Dan retired to a lovely spare bedroom upstairs. And as the giant, twin moons of Southampton shone down, guarding our slumber, we regrouped, and prepared our souls for Bristol, and what would definitely go down as the stinkiest club of the whole tour.