March 1st, 2011
|05:40 pm - Final UK tour recap|
The second half was much better than the first. I would say I'm glad I went, but I still believe it was a huge mistake. If that makes sense. It was, you know, character-building, or something.
I lost a ton of money. I expected to lose money but gain fans. I lost more money and gained fewer fans than I'd hoped. The audiences were exactly the same size as my audiences stateside -- 20-50 people, usually on the lower side -- I have practically zero draw anywhere I go. But they were more attentive and quiet than most audiences over here. I didn't have the experience anywhere of playing for a noisy bar, that was nice. Of course I refuse to do that over here either, anymore.
I left my original hosts shortly after writing the last public entry on here. We had a misunderstanding. I was fevered and sick and went to stay with a friend of a friend. He miraculously welcomed me and made chili for me and set me up in his little guest room. The next night I was feeling slightly better and made it out to our London gig, and resolved to be pleasant and gracious because otherwise there would be more drama with original hosts. We made up and from that point on got along great. The show went OK.
Basically every show, the performance went great and the turnout was disappointing. My problem of having near-zero draw did not magically disappear overseas.
The next day, Thursday, we met on the train to Newcastle. Newcastle may have been my funnest show. I was losing my voice but I pulled it off for my short set. I had my best bit of onstage me-soundguy banter ever. For the tour I'd planned five different covers, one for each area I was playing in. For Newcastle I introduced The Police's "Wrapped Around Your Finger" saying, this song is by an artist from Newcastle. The sound guy said, "me!" I said, "he's known to practice tantric sex" (I was *finally* starting to get my mojo back and feeling a little saucy) and he said "ME!" and I said, "thank you SO much for saying that! I haven't decided who to go home with tonight." (pause, wait for it) "and I have a really short attention span, so I know it's not you!" (after the set he was very sweet and said he did not mind the ribbing.) Unwomanizer Deotriese came all the way from Edinburgh to see the show and it was lovely to meet her, she even brought me gluten-free treats. I tried to get her to sing on stage in my place when I lost my voice, but she was chicken.
The next day we went to Manchester and had an off night. After a nap I wake up to our host playing some weird as hell music in the next room. It's the band Pin-Up Went Down, who are amazingly schizophrenic. Like. Then we went for some amazing curry in Eccles. Saturday was to be our Manchester show, and our host was awesome enough to organize an outing in Chinatown for Thai food and the art museum and invite a bunch of the local goths. It was so great socializing with all the people and I made a few new friends who will be my online friends forever. Our show that night was our last one and it was a little emotional, but I think I played well. Especially because of getting to actually meet the people there, I think Manchester was my favorite. (Though the Geordie accents in Newcastle were so hot.)
I had an off day in London on the Monday and went to the Tate Modern alone. It was my third museum of the trip and possibly my favorite, though possible just because I was on my own. I love going to museums alone -- I get to look at what I want to look at, write my own notes. My London host made amazing Paella and we went to sleep early and he walked me to the tube station the next morning, early, and I flew home. I am really, really glad to be home.
I would do some things differently when I do it again, which I intend to in 10 years or so, and possibly turn a profit.
Out of curiosity, did you meet Rosie Lugosi, Manchester's lesbian vampire poet? I don't know if she's still around or not, but she was back in '00 when I was there, and she was teh ossum...
I do know what you mean about things being a mistake but being glad one did them...
When I was in San Jose for a con' over President's Day, I can say that several of the events I organized or performed in or what-have-you were successful, but I was disappointed in turnout for the ones that were, in many ways, the best. I am not trying to make a living at that, though (although, by tangents, I sort of am...but anyway)...I'm sorry to hear that turnout wasn't great in the U.K., but it does sound like there were many enjoyable moments.
I didn't know you had celiac disease. That must be a hassle when you travel. :(
BTW, Rosie Lugosi is pretty awesome. I assume a lot of her fans know she was one of the original singers of the March Violets.