Saturday, 11 April 2015

Tour Update: Fleeting

I've seen my fair share of late night motorways over the course of the past week. Our darling red tour van joins the midnight movements of dozens of lorries, most belonging to fleets that keep the tendrils of consumerism alive.

We are a weary fleet at this stage. Laundry piles are growing, bags are littered with half eaten chocolate digestives and our sleeping patterns are possibly irrevocably broken. 'We' refers to myself, Brian/BriBry/Bri, Dodie, Gary, Adam and Gerry. We're almost finished the Great Britain part of a UK and Ireland tour and it's been so great. With a day off to celebrate Dodie's 20th birthday, I have a few minutes to fill you in on the past week.

Easter in Aberdeen was followed by a raucous evening in Glasgow where we saw an entire audience JUMP for the first time. It has happened every evening since and it makes my heart soar. We became Travelodge pros, carrying a ludicrous collection of meals that can be cooked with a mug and a kettle. That reminds me, confession time: in Birmingham I set a kettle on fire. That everyone wasn't evacuated due to a fire alarm was a blessing from the gods of tea. Whoops.

I'm getting ahead of myself. After Glasgow we made the dreaded drive to London and settled into a familiar homestead before hyperventilating about the evening's show in The Borderline. Gary summed up the evening wonderfully in his blog, so I'll spare the nervy details, but we were so happy with how it went. I completely teared up afterwards just thinking about how connected we all are. 'We' now referring to us, and to you who came to see us, and to the ripple of people that surround us when we throw such musical stones into such rivers. Our late night van talks have wandered on to the topic of beginnings with regards to YouTube and music, and when I'm playing piano I'll look up at my better half and at Gary, and I know how many audiences of three people they've played to in the past, and how the timeline begins before YouTube's creators had even been to that blimmin' zoo. I'm incredibly proud and incredibly grateful to be allowed to tag along and collect these memories on a dented disposable camera.

Birmingham was a bit of a gift after London. I knew that no nerves could compare to that of London, so I was a bit more relaxed and surrounded by lovely people (I finally got to meet Ariel Bissett and was reunited with Danny Gruff!) Two wonderful tweeters, Charlotte and Juliet, gifted me with a book of every piece of writing I've ever published online. I'm not sure what the intended reaction was, but I haven't blushed that hard since I found out Brian texted our sound engineer instead of me a few nights ago. My writing is usually focused on a fleeting moment, moments that I struggle to recall when I re-read words written by my seventeen year old self. And yet, sometimes those fleeting moments full of feeling can hold on to you and read as clearly as the day they were written. Reflections on cancer diagnoses, Alzheimer's evil, heartbreak and lust sit ageing on the pages of my 'book' and look so small and long ago but still hold a lot of emotional power over me. Maybe I need to write more terrible poetry.

Yesterday, as we talked Dodie through the pros and cons of getting a 19 years and 364 days old tattoo, we talked about how there will be a time in the future when she looks back on a time she was travelling the country with her friends, making a LIVING out of doing cool, fun stuff, and she will be mindblown. Her tiny tattoo forced her to pause and say 'woah, this is happening' and I hope it continues to make her remember how this feels for many years to come. For me, it is these scribbles of commemoration, and poorly framed disposable snapshots, and texts to my mother that read 'We are beaming' that allow me to prolong these fleeting moments for many's a year to come.
But I think I'd like a tattoo, too.

Thank you for reading, and thanks especially if you've been to see us on tour.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

This Is Where I'm At | April

A little late with this month's installment, but that says a lot about how April stormed in and obliterated free time for writing. I write from a fold-out hotel bed on Day 2 of the BriBry and Dodie Clark UK/Ireland Tour. My dear friend and valued bass player, Gary, has monopolised blogging this tour and inspired/provoked me to join in.

March. Notable things that happened last month include a four day road trip around Baltic Europe and 24 hours in Copenhagen. I feel like driving is such a great way to SEE parts of countries that aren't just capital cities, but it's so tiring. The countries I saw will forever be linked to 6am alarms in my mind. I also got to meet so many lovely people and be floored by their language skills and chocolate-based generosity.

What else, what else? Spring is upon us, evoking the same images in my mind as it did when I was 4. DAFFODILS AND LAMBS. AW. I love the gradual stretching of light into summer and one of these days I am going to go outside without my duffle coat. I am.

I quit a job I'd had for 18 months in March, and moved on to different things for me and my YouTube. I will make lots of new videos soon, I promise.

April is mostly taken up by this lovely tour, and I don't know what a normal music tour consists of but ours are always full of in-jokes, unhealthy food, (Easter eggs, anyone?) coffee made with hotel bathroom water and meeting SO MANY PEOPLE. It's also a challenge- I spent so long practising (as any person who takes up space on a stage should) but I still have to sit on my hands to stop them shaking at the start of every show. I also find being around people for so many consecutive days to be a huge introvert hurdle, and I have a huge pile of books to get lost in over the next week if it all gets too much.

Speaking of books, my dissertation word count haunts my dreams and I have a reluctance to write my final essays because they are my FINAL final essays and that makes my head spin. April will involve a lot of reading and writing, so that when May is over I can honestly say I could not have worked any harder than I did. 

Right now I'm in Edinburgh, and we spent our day off locating Harry Potter related sights in the city. Going to the cafe where JK Rowling penned much of the first HP book was emotional and inspiring and sad all at once. I can't help but think of all the hours spent in coffee shops writing novels that never have life beyond those laptop screens. But even finishing a novel is a huge, remarkable thing. Perhaps April can be all about completion. We'll finish the tour, I'll finish reading these books, and chapters will keep coming to a close. But as someone who fought through Ulysses for a second time in March, I know that some stories never seem to come to an end.

Thanks for reading, I hope to update this more frequently with tour anecdotes throughout this month!