October 11, 2009

Varsity Drag UK Tour Diary 6: Cymru am byth! Abbys, tea, on to Cardiff & disco fever...

On our way to beautiful Cymru (Wales, for all you illiterates), we make a stopover to marvel at the excellently-maintained Tewkesbury Abby.
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Josh snaps some illicit pictures--you're supposed to buy a camera license of some sort for a vast sum, but as we all know, Josh is a rebel who lives by his OWN rules, etc, etc.
Then we repair to a nearby teashop for our long-anticipated full-on cream tea--with PLAIN scones, thank you very much, no fruit in them--which for some reason, despite being in a kingdom of tea, we had so far failed to procure. It was all we had waited for and more. If clotted cream were this easy to get ahold of in the States, I have no doubt we'd all be swiftly bound for morbid obesity.
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In Cardiff, our bill at Clwb Ivor Bach includes the vastly talented Bedford Falls--another BossTuneage artist, natch--with newlywed frontman Tom Willecome, our old pal from last tour, greeting us at the venue. They play a great set, as do the Mags. Both the sound and the crowd were more than respectable. I have some great--albeit shouted, and all-too-brief--conversations with a couple of fans I've been corresponding with in Wales for some time. Good times.

And of course, afterwards came the ultimate in zaniness: as soon as the 11 o'clock "curfew" struck, the PA was swiftly bundled away, a dance floor cleared, and a DJ in the corner began what was to be the evening's 3 or so hours of dance club. Swept up in the moment, we all proceed to get down with our modestly bad selves--(NB: copious photos were taken, and some may actually escape suppression)...

Our boogie shoes now reduced to mere smoldering soles, it's time to find sleeping quarters. Jim and Jamie kindly offer their house, which turns out to have been a brothel in a former life. (Apparently, such was its notoriety that at one point the new owners had to hang a sign outside reading: "This is NO LONGER a brothel." One can only imagine the awkward conversations at the door, punctuated by resolute head-shaking, late at night...)

Nice place. Too bad we don't have more time for Wales, but this 8-Day Express Crazy Train ain't stoppin' for no one...

COMING NEXT: Midsomer Norton, our radio debut, and cozy cavern the Wunderbar!

[originally posted here]

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