So, the second long stretch away from home on our Mike & the Mechanics support tour the begins. Ron has been up since 5 schlepping across the countryside to collect us all from the four corners of London and afar. He sleeps as Terl takes the wheel on the M6 skirting the edges of Brummyland. Nick does his best to keep Terl focused on the task at hand whilst regaling him with musical tales. Laughter and dreadful Irish accents (Terl more so than Nick as he is actually Irish!) waft through to us in the back.
Joni Mitchell's Hejira plays on the stereo and we swap tales of our favourite Joni songs (conclusion: Blue is the perfect marriage of lyric and music).
Both Elizabeth and I spent our teens devouring Joni Mitchell albums and nothing touches so deeply as the music that pervades ones formative years. We're almost steeped in it like a tea bag in water.
We arrive in Bolton and deposit the instruments and gear in the Albert Halls and await our turn to sound check.
Mike and his Mechanics sound check first and sound amazing as usual. Andrew Roachford's voice is effortless soul. Ear candy. I could listen to him all day. While Tim Howar packs a powerful rocky punch. Two very different voices that surprisingly work perfectly together especially in three part harmony along with Luke the keyboard/sax/bass player.
We're up next and we have our Elizabeth back with us again so we're in full voice and sounding tight.
The gig over and we're off to Warrington for a quick night cap before retiring for a relatively early night.
After breakfast the following morning while the boys wander into town for a nosy around, Elizabeth takes me through her yoga routine and I'm reminded of muscles I thought were long ago extinct. I now know why she stays so trim! (Note to self - do not attempt yoga after a full English breakfast!)
I need a lie down before we're off again to the next gig. Life on the road is kinda laid back, ain't nothing that a country girl like me can't hack, to misquote Mr Denver.
See you in the Wirral.