Riding the train from Barnes Bridge to Brentford, wearing a dead man’s suit. Looking back up the track to where we’ve come from with no idea where we’re going. Sunlight flashing off silver wings and feather trails in a brilliant blue late summer sky. Brentford 9.30am. I’m early. I was born early. A blind man crosses the road. The tap, tap, tap of his cane… reminding me of Sadie’s beautiful ‘How Not To Lose Things’. Sitting in the splitter with Sadie, Dizzie, the Admiral and Twirl, en route through Ealing, a grasshopper on the window, hitching a ride to nowhere. Picking up Ronnie and Red-wine Nick in Bounds Green. Coming together. Making connections. The M1. The murmur of conversations. The road beneath our wheels. Other lives zip past as we travel north, reminiscing. Hollywood. New York. Nashville. Bermuda. Amsterdam. White lines and road signs: Luton. Northampton. Leicester. Nottingham. Sheffield. Bradford and Bingley. Played our set in the dying light of this wettest of English summers, then back on board for the long trek home. The van stuck in the mud, going nowhere until Ron’s heroic wheel-spinning dash for freedom. Stopped at an off-licence for supplies. Ten minutes later Nick announced: one bottle down and we’re not even out of Bradford yet. Laughing all the way home …

Heartfelt thanks to Ron and Peter for taking the strain. 

Steve

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