Tour Diary: Loyal Trooper (Part 5)

By on Friday, 29th May 2009 at 12:00 pm

The other week I told you about a TGTF favourite’s new tour last week. Loyal Trooper has been doing the rounds of the UK, and we’ve been lucky enough to secure his personal tour diary – so settle back and enjoy a “warts and all” account of his week on the road.

Leeds Cardigan Arms

That was a long day. I left Northampton at 10am with the meanest hangover known to man and got to Leeds at half six in the evening. I missed the afternoon, what the hell is up with that!? I walked to the Cardi Arms which took forty five minutes. I was in a surprisingly good mood considering. Perhaps this is down me realising that I cannot dictate my life on tour, I have to accept whichever direction it takes me in. I could want sleep at midnight but if everyone else I am with is necking Sambucca till 5am, then that’s what I do. I’ve been much more content since coming to this conclusion.

Whiskas formerly of iForward Russia! fame did my sound and like last time it was excellent. I wouldn’t mention him if he wasn’t such a lovely guy, I’m not the name-dropping type. That and probably the famous person I know is a guy from school who played a tree in the junior school production of ‘The Whizz’. Anyway, he’s always really friendly, chatty and makes me feel like I’m not lost anymore. Thanks Whiskas. So, I drink some pound-a-bottle lager and play. It’s the best I’ve played on this tour. Perhaps the sound is bettered only by the Roadhouse but it still sounds great through my monitors. I’m playing on a bill with three punk rock bands but it’s not as hard work as you’d think. Everyone listens and most people enjoy it. I’m pleased. More lager is brought to me. I’m elated.

So then we drink. The bands are all really good. We have a good time. I talk to some guy from Bradford for a long time about my songs and how much he likes them. I talk to a few people about Tommy Spurr. I get a song dedicated to me. I feel honored. We go into Leeds city center around midnight. We’ve missed the Dinosaur Pile Up gig. People say it was okay but it’s a new venue still finding it’s feet so the sound wasn’t perfect. However, Tom (also previously of Forward Russia) has done my sound before and I’m reliably informed that it’s not his fault.

Anyway, much merriment follows. I get to a point where I’ve not eaten anything but an egg and cress sandwich all day and have had too much lager. I defect to whiskey. Someone buys me Jeagermeister. Gah! We drink in Santiago’s for a few hours. Some drunken guy falls off a chair and nearly shatters his head open on broken glass. Oh how we laughed. Compassion is a rare commodity tonight. About 4pm we go back to Neil’s. I buy a Sheffield A-Z for his wife as a present. We drink vodka and talk a great deal of rubbish. This appears to be a central theme of the last few days. Eventually it’s 7am and I need to go to bed. I sleep for three hours, get up and go to the coach station. It’s hot and I’m dehydrated to fudge. I’m happy I’m coming home. I can see an end to looking, feeling and smelling like I do.

Loyal Trooper (part 5 tour diary pic)

London Boogaloo

I came back home where frankly, I just wanted to pass out and sleep for about two decades. I had a shave and changed my clothes. After five days in the same t-shirt, jeans and cardigan you miss not stinking of your own and other peoples sweat and bodily fluids. Those tour t-shirts of mine are getting burnt I swear. Well, actually I’m going to recycle them. I am recycling these days.

I get to the Boogaloo, which isn’t far from my house, a little later than planned. A combination of a slow bus and my body pretty much stopping working are the main contributers to my folly. There’s no sound check. It’s probably a good job. It’s a bank holiday, everyone is already steaming and it’s only 6.30pm. I join in an neck a whiskey. I’ve lost the gipping sensation that can occur with such things. I am the personification of alcohol this week seemingly. A group of my friends has come to see me, this makes me incredibly happy. Familiar faces and threads that don’t smell like anus. I am a winner today.

My set was short but enjoyable. I was celebrating the end of my tour, everyone else was celebrating the fact that there was one more day in the week where it was acceptable to get wasted. My voice had taken a battering after seven hours sleep out of forty eight and an alcohol consumption that must have been exceptionally high. Pretty much twelve hours drinking both Friday and Saturday. Hmmm…pride in my ability to drink. What a talent. Anyway, the set was good. Many people talked but I expected that to be honest due to the carnival type atmosphere of the afternoon. My banter improved to a point where I didn’t make a total moron of myself, well, hopefully. My banter spawned a fictional character called Dexter. Dexter is a stuffed ferret who serenades people with his ukulele. Oh and did I mention he’s a superhero? Well, he is. He’s got the trademark pants on the outside of his costume vibe going on. What a legend.

Then we drank. A lot. Much fun was had all round. The night No One Died put on was excellent. They are really good promoters and lovely people. I recommend them as good London related people. A lot of promoters round here are vermin. We had a £3 pizza in a restaurant. Real food! Hot food! Amazing! And a Belgian beer. Awesome. On the way back there was a piggy back ride race down Archway Road. I swear we won. The Boogaloo closed early so we go to a jazz cafe that wasn’t playing anything resembling jazz. A friend of mine teaches me some funky house ‘shapes’. Winner. We dance like fools to Queen, S Club, Bryan Adams etc. The whiskey flows. Eventually it’s 3am. I’ve had the best night in ages. A good tour all round. I finally realise that I have achieved one of my goals in life: to travel, to play people, sell records and live my life as a musician. This revelation pleases me. Now it’s time for sleep.

The following parts of Andy’s tour diary will be serialised here this week on TGTF. Read part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here, part 4 here

Haven’t come across Loyal Trooper before? Read our introduction to Andy’s music, and our interview. Also, download some free music from him below:

MP3: Loyal Trooper – Crystal Missile (demo)
MP3: Loyal Trooper – Holloway to Beeston Express
MP3: Loyal Trooper – Nottingham wasn’t built for me
MP3: Loyal Trooper – Division Street Blues

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