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Dublin. The iconic Olympia Theatre. 28th oct.

October 29, 2017

As I was finalising the posting of yesterday’s blog, we arrived at the hotel.
It is well reputed one, although reception were very Meh about who got which room.
We were handed non specific key cards, told to take one and then sent curtly on our way.
Highly unusual.
I won’t be happy to get a random’s minibar bill.
That happened in Australia.
A hotel added on a cheeky 200 dollars to my room which would have required me to empty the fridge twice over.
I’d taken doodle shit.
Chancers.
Vinny apparently was given the room intended for me because he had the VIP treatment of Jam Doughnuts and a bowl of chocolate sauce on his sideboard.
My trousers fist pumped that oversight, although child-me felt cheated out of my fair dues.
He says if it’s any consolation, he felt sick last night.
I said it was probably the jam.
It has stuff that was grown from the earth in it.
He leaves a room if food threatens any sniff of a vegetable.
Sugar makes me genuinely sick.
It is legal heroin.
More or less.

I abused a cold-avoiding nasal spray on a tour once, and since have lost most of my sense of smell and taste.
‘Sweet’ survived.
That’s rum shitting luck.
I used to have really keen senses.
I could smell my dog 2 rooms away, and it wasn’t pleasant.

Heroin can make you sick.
We all know that.
I am glad we were never introduced..
I might have tried baking with it.

Bags deposited and on the way to the venue we stopped at a store where I reserved, and have now bought, a second dress like the last.
Along with those I have ordered to be delivered to my house, I now have 5 of the same dress.
This is great.
I will wear the same thing for every show, albeit that I will be clean.
I hate having to think about clothes.
It is a singular waste of time and energy.

The Dublin Olympia is a favourite of mine.
I, who remembers so little, have come time and again to play this venue throughout my career.
It is a lush, red velvet and gilt ornate affair.
Stalls and two upper tiers and boxes at the sides.
All closely hugging the stage in a horse shoe.
It thrums its history, and stood on the mild rake of the stage, you can imagine the vaudeville and Music Hall spectaculars.
I say with no derision that it is the kind of place you could imagine the Muppets inhabit.
The two old men hanging out of the box, taking swipes at the stage.
It is both garbed in finery and yet of the people.
A landmark for Dublin. A meeting place. A centre of community.

I know where my room will be without being shown.
I know where to find catering.
And I know the crowd will be partisan.

We sound check and it is all easy peasy.
We have greens for dinner.
Other things too, but god, I love greens.
I miss greens more than doughnuts.

My room is at the top of a flight of narrow stairs.
We can’t get the wardrobe close, so having found it, I load my arms with a stack of show-time accoutrements, looking for all intents and purposes like a Dickensian top hatted fellow on a Christmas card with his pyramid of gifts,
only nothing like that at all.
I just like the image,
and I did have to do balancing.

In my room I clear space amidst the widely displayed rider, set up my story book, and put in me curlers.

A letter is brought to me that has been hand delivered.
It is from an old Basildon pub mate that was a part of our extended crowd in my teens.
He is over the road in the pub and it would be great if I could go and catch up as he has to leave early.

I have not seen him in nearly 40 years, but do remember him and would be glad to have his news.

It is 2 hours before I go on.
I have a head full of curlers and am straw-blowing, I’ve make up, dressing and vocal warm ups to do.
And a gig head to get into gear.

Beyond these details, going into the pub outside the venue you are about to play in, is not likely to reap the space for one on one conversation.
Even if over-talking wasn’t damaging for a singers voice and risked a tour entire.

All of us live such different lives to the ones we imagine.
To the ones we once inhabited
We imprint our freedoms as a universal assumption for another.

In this job, because it is recreation for the observer, the impression is that we enjoy 2 hours of singing and then have social larks for the rest of the day.
You can tell people til you are blue in the face, that you can’t speak. They nod their understanding and then ask why.
It is easier to be alone.
I feel less pretentious.

I do not go and he will likely imagine me lofty.
That is the way it has always been.

You’ve changed.

We are in the swing of things.
We have our routines.
We warm up to scales that are starting to grate but are very necessary and my voice feels clear.
I am confident of a good night.

I think of my acerbic french dad, who loved this place so well.
How he regaled me with stories of the pubs and good cheer, and he was not even a drinker.
He liked the people and their welcome and every time I am here, I remember it too. His face. This feeling.

My confidence in it is well placed.
I sang as I always intend to.
Like it is the last gig I will be gifted.

I go to my bedroom happy.
I make myself sleep.
It is never easy.

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