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Mike Randle


“Get back to work, Mike Randle, you lazy F*ck!”
August 27 2002

Well, that was the message parlayed to me from a fan at the Cantebury Festival last night. I was being accused of abandoning the diary; leaving it for dead, for vultures to devour it into oblivion. “Fear not, ye drunken maiden,” i relayed to the stumbling woman. “i have been down, yet i am not yet out. Over the last week, i have not had the spirit to write, type or talk about anything interesting. So, please leave me be before i sick Glenn Povey on you to feed you these wretched alien pups they are passing off as sausages at the food stand.” She then got the picture; i wasn’t to be f*cked with. The Cantebury Festival, the brainchild of one Glenn Povey, was an interesting piece of history. Firstly, i decided to let a fan write my diaries (don’t know if she has or if she simply forgot?) and got her backstage and handed her a papers i’d been pouring soul into and as we were walking we stepped in the wrong spot (at the absolute wrong time…) and fell into this lake which appeared completely black at the time. in a matter of seconds i was chin high in water. She confessed to not being a very good swimmer (and really only concerned with her cigarette, from what i could tell…) so i proceeded to lift her slightly higher than i, out of the water and got us both to shore before drowning and being in tomorrow’s paper as the two knuckleheads who fell into the water.

But all wound up ok and everyone had a laugh, including her friends who were staying at the same hotel as we were (the Damned seamed to have a whole generation staying there…). I can say that everyone at the Festival was very nice and the Damned were just great. Seeing Captain Sensible was a real treat. Arthur Brown was an absolute gentlemen, as were the Pretty Things who 100% came to rock. Anyone who calls them Geezers can simply go F*ck themselves next to PIRATE! So that was our festival trip and my embarrassment. I encouraged the young lady to write out my stories and told her i wasn’t sure if i was gonna write anymore on this trip so if she does write anything and this seems redundant, please pardon the repitition.

The first show of this tour, Aberdeen, was really fun. The show sold out and the Scots were out in full force. We played for about 100 minutes including August and Good Humour Man. Yes, loads of fun. Afterwards the fans were very nice and the Singer signed MANY autographs…Also, a woman named Paulina kept kissing me on the cheek…but not saying anything…oh well…so we had a fun time there and the woman who ran the place MARJ was really strict and made us follow all the rules, as she was a stickler for that sort of thing. I tried to get all kinds of free things from her like booze and stuff but MARJ wouldn’t budge. She knew i was trying to charm her but she wasn’t buying it.

Next night, we played EDINBURGH and we’d just played this same club, the LIQUID ROOM, june 3, so we were familiar with the venue and the crew. this show was great and all the LOVE characters showed up including Ainsley, Paul Barr, Nat Donald and that french coupl that came to a bunch of shows…those really fun french fans…gotta love em! We rocked out and afterwards went to the balbirne manor where we stayed for the 2 days we were there (www.balbirnie.co.uk)…which is like this manor built in 1777. After the show, the opertaors of the manor threw us a little private party with loads of booze (incl. 12 year old scotch!). it was a great time but boy was i hingover the next day (ouch).

then it was on to travel to Northampton on our day off. This was a really boring place and we just stayed here to break up the road trip. we went to the pub and Rusty and i ordered Lasagne and proceeded to get out of our tree on pints. Like a dummy, i left my LOVE tour jacket that Gene gave me as a gift and everyone at the hotel said they hadn’t seen it when I went down to retrieve it. I made a big stink about it and almost got in a row with a maid but i eventually left Jacket-less but the next day, Mick got a call saying they’d found it. Someone had obviosly grown a conscience…

So, after the Cantebury Festival we drove to Leeds for our day off. I was feeling sad and just wanted to be off that bus. nothing personal but i was going stir crazy and decided, after everyone else had checked into the hotel, to hop the first train for YORK, which was only £6 and a 25 min ride. I called (our roadie, who had gone home after the festival) Ringo and told him I wanted to come see him and his fiancee, Toni. He found it a good idea and i was off at a quater after six and arrived in York just before 7pm. He and Toni picked me up and we drove to their house just minutes from the btrain station. Ringo made an amazing pasta dish with linguine and a sauce that was out of this world. We completed it with a fine bottle of Merlot, of Toni’s choosing and had a wonderful meal.

And there I was, among friends. People I’ve know for some time now ( 8 years?) and whom I loved dearly. Whatever pains that occupied my heart strings were thrust to the wayside, as the pasta and wine bouyed my soul like a righteous lifesaver. My love for York has been documented but I don’t really feel as though I could explain how close I feel to this city. I could never truly explain for it goes beyond words. And being with them in a non-working atmosphere (i’d just seen them at the festival!) and it being a bank holiday, everyone was relaxed with very little to worry about. My ride from Cabntebury was long and hard; i was twrice close to puking from car sickness. but I somehow made it (despite a chicken sandwich) and all the while I sceemed to make a run for it to york and be with my friends whom I love so dearly. My heart needed it. My soul needed it. Plus they had a computer…

And so, here I am, back to work after 3 successful shows, the first two which have sold out completely. Tomorrow is Leeds IRISH CENTER, possibly the bigest venue of the tour. I’ll catch a noon train for Leeds in the morning. But for now, I will sleep in a bed that isn’t in a hotel and won’t have nightmares of wake-up calls and such things of that nature. For now, I take in the Yorkshire city and all it’s wonder. And as I walk the streets (unless I take a taxi) to the bus station, I’ll take some piece of mind with me.

Mike Randle