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Mike Randle

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“Madrid, Ingrid and the art of stumbling back to the hotel at 3am”

It was about 9:45 when we walked on stage at the Arena, in Madrid, Spain last night. The show had sold out and the place was filled in every nook and cranny. i went out to check my gear out and noticed a very enthusiastic, yet reverent crowd. Our guitar tech for all the Spain shows, Techa (his real name, no joke!), had all the gear hooked up and ready to go. Gotta give him a serious shout out cause he is the man. we played a little over 90 min. and the crowd, no lie, sang every word to every song LOUDER than loud! even to songs like “Signed DC”. After the show, my very good friend of 6 years, Ingrid, came backstage and hung out with us all. To maybe the 4 or 5 people who bought my solo record that came out in 2000, she is the subject of the song, INGRID (duh). So later, around 11pm, we all hopped in taxis and went to the bar she usually works at called LOUIE LOUIE. The owner of the bar (and his wife) were at the show and are totally into LOVE and so you can imagine the drinks were in full effect, amigo. This really nice tall blond kept asking me for my backstage pass. I didn´t want to give it to her but she was really nice n stuff so i gave it to her cause i´m a nice guy, right? (ha!)

So, anyways, we left that bar and went to the TUPPERWARE bar, which was packed with people. i remember this bar becasue when we played here in ´94, we went to this place on our day off. We nurse a few rounds and then ingrid took us to another place but i can´t remember how to pronounce or spell it but trust me: we drank there as well, ok? Oh, i almost forgot…by us, i mean Ingrid, her boyfriend, a very inebriated Dave Chapple, a very giddy and happy drunk Gene Kraut, Rusty Squeezebox (who never met a drink he didn´t like) and myself, the unreliable nararator! (David “Daddyo” Green and Arthur were both really tired and passed on the bar hopping adventure) So we had our fill of this 3rd bar and it was late like around 2am so we split,, but not before stopping off at a Swarma place (bad choice) for a horrible kabab. We couldn´t get a taxi so we had to walk all the way back to the hotel, about a 20 min walk, maybe half an hour. finally hit the hay around 3am.

So when i got up this morning, about noon, i showered and then went down and had coffee with Gene and Daddyo in the little cafe next door. the coffee was far and away better than any coffee i´ve had on this trip. Spain is good like that. I was think about how much fun the show was and how young the crowd was and how amazing (and Agile!) Arthur has been , night after night. and there where quite a few “Chatis” in the house. ( a Chatis is a “babe” …sort of slang in España). So after the coffee, i rang Ingrid´s mobile phone to see if she was up for taking us to the shopping markets (she was) and to see if she was too hung over (she wasn´t) and to ask her what time she left the last bar (at 6am!). Well, Ingrid and the rest of us taxi´d it over to the markets around 1pm and then we all did our thing and found really cool cheap stuff. I bought a great pair of shoes and a couple of cool shirts. Rusty got a soccor ball that he´s gonna ask the guys from Belle and Sebastian (they´ll be at the Glasgow show) to sign it casue it´s a gift for our friend, Jose´ Guzman, back in Los Angeles. So everyone was happy. then we went to a place we´re they pickle fish and olives and garlic and we sampled stuff and had some beers and then we walked to a nice resteraunt atop a buiding and had a light lunch and more cervesas n stuff. THEN, we went to a cool record store run by Inigo, who also runs Munster Records (they out the very first baby lemonade single in 1993), and Arthur shopped in there and signed some autographs and bought some shirts. i picked up a fresh ass Teenage fanclub t-shirt for real cheap! Also saw a cool Ben Vaughn button, which was nice cause he´s a friend of mine.

After all that, we walked back to the hotel about 6pm. some of the guys (if not everyone) decided to have a siesta, but decided to type this instead and then i am gonna walk around a bit before we go out again with Ingrid. She was such a great help and really showed us around and made sure we had a good time. When we split up, she had to go to rehearse with her band, Sweet Nothings (www.sweetnothings.com) but she´s gonna meet up with us aroound 8 or 9 or so. i don´t wanna stay out too late becasue i have a 7am wake up call tomorrow and a 9am flight to Edinburgh. But we are all looking forward to Scotland. My buddy, Irish Barry, has a mate coming named Adrian, who appearently had to move heaven and earth just to make the show so we gotta make it even more special, right? Francis and raymond from Teenage Fanclub will there tomorrow as well so that´ll be great. When they played LA last, they put me on the guest list of a sold out show so we gotta show em some love. and anyone who doesn´t have their new record (dumb dumb dumb), go and get it. Boy, here i am at an internet cafe, typing away, and there are non stop babes parading up and down the street in Madrid. I am gonna leave here and walk across the street to my hotel, crack open an ice cold cervesa and turn on the tv set and probably check out Jerry Stringer. Sometimes i feel like i got it made.

Mike Randle

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