I’m penning a quick mid-tour blog. It’s quite special in a way, to be laying my thoughts down while here in the U.K. I honestly had my doubts that we’d make it, and the ongoing daily struggles to pull this tour off, are testament to those fears.
The most important thing is that, after a 20 month hiatus, the audiences are there in droves and the band is really on fire. The Phoenix Rising Tour indeed. From my position on stage you can really feel the energy from the guys, which alone is amazing considering that in Wales tomorrow, we’ll be featuring our 4th drummer of the tour. As previously mentioned, Joe Crabtree could only do half the tour anyway, but he got called away two days early and we were faced with an emergency in Leeds. Enter Mike Trusscott, Mark Abrahams’ old partner from his days in Coyote. With no rehearsal, Mike hit some amazing grooves right out of the box. Can’t thank him enough and it was such a pleasure. I’m sure we’ll do this again – I hope so.
As planned, we are hooking up with Mike Sturgis in Wales tomorrow for the balance of the tour dates – and looking forward to renewing and reliving old times, and playing some songs from his era in the band. However, back to this week and that still left two shows with no drummer. Enter, phase 2, Windsor McGilvray, who some will know, was our drummer in Bilbao recently. He didn’t hesitate to jump on a train and step into the breach. Playing with his again, was a blast and he amped it up while keeping the band ‘medicated’ and supplying some beautiful Cardu whisky into the bargain. What a champ! In his words “All good fun” and it certainly was.
I’ve mentioned on stage, how we’ve been coping during lock down and really can’t complain, except that I lost my dear mother, who passed away recently, at the ripe old age of 100 years. Such an inspiration to me and while not being able to be at her bedside at the end, I felt fortunate that Pauline and I could orchestrate her funeral before the tour kicked off. As one of my dear cousins put it,”Ruby was of that generation that – just got on with it”. I think some of that has rubbed off on me. Don’t sweat the small things and be grateful for each day – my creed. I miss her a lot.
It’s been great hanging out with my buds in the band again. Like a good night down the pub – every night. That’s what touring is like for me and them, I’m sure, and it shows in the joy that we all bring to the stage each night under the patronage of you, the audience. You support us and uplift us all and support these tours and we make the music. It’s simple. These really are communal events.