I have decided to revisit the events of mid summer for this blog:
It's Saturday, July 18th...I've woken up at 8 a.m ...very early for me, maybe its the jet lag , maybe I'm a bit apprehensive because tonight we are headlining the Lovebox festival in London...they are expecting 30,000 people to turn up. Correct me if I am wrong ...but that's probably the biggest audience we have ever played to in London since before time began and our most important headline spot at a festival ever..oh and to top it all I am dj'ing at the official after show tonight (complete with rooftop pool) so I will be up working right into the early hours... and it gets worse ...most of the band and Mark Ronson are coming to hear me spin...mmmmmm must get up up and start to prepare a set ...what shall I play? What will everyone want to hear? Classic 70s funk , vintage 90's hip hop , obscure cuts from the 80s mashed up into up to the minute indie records?..who the hell would be a DJ? What have I let myself into?...you know what... I will play a set similar to the ones Jake (my partner in crime) and I have been playing over thelast year or so...and as we have been dj'ing alot in house clubs recently...that's what it will be ..some good pumping funky contemporary house tunes, can't go wrong...then Mark comes over to me just before I go on to say..'I'm really really looking forward to hearing some good classic Simple Minds circa 1981' ..yikes!
Anyway the set set seems to go down a storm, people generally go berserk, jump in the pool with their clothes on and we are applauded when we end at 3.30 am in the morning...
But back to the main event. Being a musician is very similar to being an actor, now matter how good your last movie was there is always a chance that you will be fall on your face and fail at any moment ...and that is always the feeling before any major show, people think that we may go through the motions but we don't...because there are so many things that can go wrong and the bigger the audience the bigger the fall from grace will be so we have to be completely focused and committed and I know that we have just had a great run of shows in the U.S The Filmore in San Francisco, Vegas and a particularly great night in Orange County so I am quietly confident that we can pull it off tonight and failure is not an option tonight...then a new paranoia rears its ugly head. What if hardly anyone turns up? What if rains so badly (as it was yesterday) that people decide to stay at home and watch telly?...oh no... our first major festival in London and it's a wash out and an audience no show! Phew... I open the curtains, the sun is shining, hallelujah...thank you God.
I'm being driven to the venue on a lovely sunny London evening and then I when I arrive I am bizarrely put onto a golf cart...wow...how far can it be to the dressing room? It turns out to be a 30 second walk...very "Spinal Tap" indeed and completely enjoyable in its absurdity, but good news, I can hear the hum of the crowd already, must be at least 20 thousand people screaming along to NERD, great!
The next hour goes pretty quickly ...my very kind wife Gisella rounds up all my friends and family and brings them backstage. My kids seem more interested in getting a glimpse of Pharrell Williams than hearing what set we are going to be playing tonight though, bless them. Everyone in the band is calm and jovial...Charlie is warming up, donning his top hat, and before I know it I am being ushered on stage in front of what must be at least 30,000 people going completely bananas. It's moments like this that make it all worthwhile.
I look over to see my kids watching from side stage and I am momentarily transported back to
my bedroom where I started teaching myself to play at the age of 12, and then I think of the first time JT, Nick and I played in London ...to about 6 people and we then slept on top of our equipment in the back of the van all the way back to Birmingham. So many things can go through your mind during a show, but this is great, Nick's beloved lasers are breathtaking , JT's playing like there's no tomorrow, the band is rocking, Mark comes on for the encore, we bring the house down (so to speak)...amazing.
Who would have thought it at 8 o'clock this morning?