We’re four hairy Americans in a van with German license plates, so I suppose that could account in part for the crude reception from other drivers on the English roads. I’m trying to give them the benefit of the doubt, but the truth of the matter is that drivers in the UK are among the rudest and most incompetent in the western world. They are like petulant children, always flashing their lights and trying to cut you off. I’ve taken to driving extra crazy, with a mix of the worst habits of LA, NYC, and rural Michigan, just to exact a little revenge. After all, they’ll blame it on the Germans.
The shows have been great. Much better than we expected. Lots of drunken hollering and all-request sets. We spent Valentines day in Newport, South Wales and one rather large Welsh bloke spent part of our set doing cartwheels in front of the stage. Well, I guess two of them may have qualified as cartwheels and the rest fell somewhere into the somersault category. All three of my bandmates were missing their little Valentines back at home, so I tried to cheer them up by saying things like “Being on tour isn’t so bad, except for the crushing, oppressive loneliness”, and I could tell it made them feel a little better.
Our hotel in London was in an orthodox Jewish neighborhood, so in the morning we enjoyed some falafel from a restaurant run by Iraqi Jews, and then spent an hour marveling over the selections in all the kosher butcher shops. London is like ten thousand Greenwich Villages thrown randomly down, with some castles mixed in.
Now we’re in Exeter, which is a university town in the southwest of England. The scenery down here is so damned quaint I always expect the townspeople to be a bunch of hobbits dressed in tweed and velvet, but in fact the kids are all wearing Good Charlotte t-shirts and have black mascara running down their cheeks. Booo. We’re playing on a bill with some young English band who drove up in a tour bus with fancy haircuts and lots of swagger. Your humble Long Winters, in contrast, look like a group of Viking plumbing contractors.
Tomorrow we drive from here to Barcelona, which is freaking far. Wish us luck!