logo the freedom man

Mike Randle


Day 50 Totally Un-Stoked On Trent
April 1, 2004

Woke up at 9am and thought about how I completely forgot to mention that Bent quit after the show last night. He is now back in Copenhagen. We’re gonna miss him but it didn’t work out with him and the Singer.

Our drive from Manchester to Stoke-on-Trent took less than one hour and soon we were in our hotel. Chapple and I watched some T.V. and worried a bit about the Middle East conflict (since we travel so much) that was going on after the Hamas assassination. Now, anyone who knows me knows I like BUSH about as much as I like Milton Keynes hamburgers, so do know I AM biased. But when I saw Candy Rice say the USA had no prior knowledge of it, well, I knew she was lying. Anybody with a brain knows BUSH gave the green light. Actually, Rumsfield probably did, as Bush is simply an ignorant puppet who is under the illusion he’s doing ‘God’s Work.’ It’s enough to make you laugh. Anyway, mark my words but don’t be shocked when the truth comes out that once again ‘Bush Incorporated’ are lying their oil’loving asses off.

So we turned the TV off and went down to the lobby for sound check. Hot lost a zillion times trying to find the ‘Underground Club’ but then we finally did. Stoke-on-Trent is nothing to write home about. Got to club only to find there had been some sort of mix-up; apparently another band was on the bill and no-one bothered to tell The Yards, who were half-way to Stoke (from York). Phone calls were made and I guess it got sorted, after sound check we said ‘Hello’ to some fans from Birmingham. The Rusty and me went walking to sort out a dinner spot for later. Chapple caught up with us and then we got rained on, big time. Chapple walked back (it was freezing) while Rusty and I carried on our search which yielded a fine Cantonese restaurant. We planned to come back later.

Which we did with the rest of the guys and crew, saw Frazer, whom we bought back fried rice and veggie stir fry. The grub was spot on and I chased my meal with a Tsingtao. Got back to club just as opening act ‘Circle Circus’ finished. I didn’t hear them but the guys said they were quite good. The Yards did their set but I only heard it from out as our bus was parked just outside. The club was too packed to walk through so we stayed on the bus till just before the show.

The scene before the show (backstage) was tense and uncomfortable as this tour was nearing eight weeks and people were homesick and tired. Bent was in Copenhagen in his warm bed and we were in crappy Stoke City with the cold wind and unforgiving rain. And still we carried on, hitting the stage about 10.15pm. Played a pretty good show, other than a band member (who shall remain nameless, but take a guess anyway) having a small meltdown and yelling at another band member. After the show everyone was tired and just wanted to go. I hung out with some fans at the bar and drank some beers until the bus headed back to the hotel. Hit the hay at 1m and not a minute too soon.

Mike Randle


Click on a pick to go to other Diaries