October 4, 2009
Varsity Drag UK Tour Diary 1: Hyper-organized travel; an interlude of violence; Cambridge at last!
[Photo Credit: Joshua Pickering | As big fans of hometown heroes Varsity Drag, we weren't going to let the little fact that the band is touring the UK, which is, of course, on the other side of an ocean from here, keep us from providing some coverage. Fortunately for us, fronter Ben Deily agreed to keep a tour diary of the trio's jaunt around the UK. Here is the first installment. -- Ed.]
So, you know those people who are SO organized that it's a bit irritating? What with the lists, and the spreadsheets, and the minutely-arranged schedules?
Well, at least for one brief, shining moment, that was us: during the 48-hour countdown to departure, Lisa and I find ourselves methodically ticking things off of "to do" lists with a blind fury--and unnerving regularity. How can this be going so smoothly? Our suspicions are aroused. Our paranoia notwithstanding, it would seem the rock gods are smiling on our endeavor.
Virgin Atlantic provides a swell ocean crossing, and some nice little red socks. I wake up a few times midflight to see the grinning, jabbering face of Richard Branson leering back from the tiny video screen in the seat back in front of me...has his ego no bounds? (There's even a little cartoon of his visage on the little gift sack with a toothbrush etc in it.) Hmmm, I guess if I was a champion balloonist/corporate master of the universe, I'd be equally enamored of myself.
Heathrow: after nearly in hour in the customs line (it musta been a particularly busy day--the nice passport lady said as much), we find ourselves standing somewhat dazedly in the main concourse, looking in vain for the Underground. Suddenly, a middle-aged battleaxe of a woman with steely gray hair rolls her baggage cart up behind Lisa, precedes to actually HIT her in the shoulder with a jabbing finger motion, and barks "You're blocking the way!" We stand there stunned, as she wheels swiftly out of sight down a ramp. Once I realize what's happened, of course, it's ON like Donkey Kong: a swift pursuit follows, and we've caught up in a few minutes. (Fortuitously, she's headed toward the Underground, leading us to our destination.) I run up behind her and punch HER in an identical fashion to the blow she delivered to the hapless Lisa, and shout, "Oi! You! You're the woman who just assaulted my wife."
She spins around, clearly surprised, but not in the least intimidated. "Well, you be SURE and tell me if it BRUISES," she squawks in a ghastly midlands accent. "You're really a rather awful person, aren't you?" I reply, still a bit stunned by her unrepentant nastiness. "Yes I am," she replies, trying to navigate her cart away from us along a moving sidewalk. (Clearly, however monstrous this ol' bitch is, she doesn't want any more trouble from us.)
Involuntarily slipping into "Fight Club" dialogue -- it's my weakness -- I shout after her "How's that working out for you? Being an awful person?" "Fine," she shouts back. "Keep it up then," I holler as she vanishes down the tunnel.
After a multiple-stop ride to King's Cross and a train to Cambridge, we catch blessed sight of Georgie (of Beverly Kills), a blonde knight riding a shining BMW station wagon to our rescue. Soon we're ensconced in her and DS Willsher's lovely house, where we enjoyed a fantastic idyll (and showers, and laundry privileges) during our last whirlwind run through Albion. Home sweet Cambridge!
Dave (DS) has even contrived to supply us with some guitars: a Fender P-bass looking thing for Lisa, and a Vox guitar for me. Both play excellently. -- Ben Deily
COMING NEXT: The Portland Arms rocks our world...Joshua arriveth...show number one!
[originally posted here]
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