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Wellington. Thursday night becomes Friday 13th Oct. The Michael Fowler Centre.

October 14, 2017

I did stay in my room but somewhat regret it.
My washing, shaken, but finally freed from the machine, again took a bath where I trod it down like grapes.
Back in the machine, I managed to make the dryer function work, but bugger me if my load didn’t come out caked in white like my plastering overalls.
Fuck it.
I’ve got four days left and was never an oil painting but maybe I can be a work of Impressionism.

I ate a small pack of chicken salad I picked up on the way back from my walk and a weetbix. Drunk some wine.

I half watched telly. It was a wasted day.
It must have been one or more before I slept.

Mid morning I wandered out around the corner and bought a coffee and a pack of paleo chicken salad to go.
Coffee was poor, so I dumped it.
Came back to the hotel and bought another coffee and a small quiche.
Quiche was poor, so I dumped it.
Salad stowed in the fridge and I got it together for tonight’s show in Wellington.

I’m out of sorts. Feel a bit funky.
I determine to hold on to it and not spray my dark mood like an un-neutered tom cat.

In the car, G shows me some pictures she took from her adventuring today with Darren.
She has sting rays and beaches and fine hills captured.
The day has been beautiful and this is made clear by her camera.

Arrived at the venue, Dougie and all regale me with stories of the happy time they have had in this place and with these people and I am annoyed with myself for staying shut in this brown room, lowered blinds from the bright sunlight.

Still. I have 2 shows in a row and it was right I didn’t go to play or spend my day speaking.

I could have been more active nonetheless.
I was tired though, and I hadn’t been getting on with my toes.

I’m still an arsehole and now a more sorry one.

The venue is a modern 2 tiered theatre with rows of soft seats.
The sound check proves it to be boomy and the music washed around in great vague waves.
I can hear myself but it will require focus.
I wonder if it will deaden when filled with bodies, as is often the case, but I’m told not.
The soft furnishing would have already absorbed what ever wetness can be extracted.

Dinner was not ready ’til half 5.
That’s not good.
I need to not be full at showtime but I am hungry.
Today was fish and vegetables though, so a better eventuality.

In my small but functional dressing room I put on my audio book and make up my face and curl my hair with hot tongs.
I see how it has broken off around my temple from so much regular abuse.
It will grow again.

Flat. I feel cold and flat.

Sean comes in, then John joins us.
We warm up.
I am glad at least that my voice is clear. The reason why I keep myself to myself has fruitful purpose.

I don’t know what to expect.
Alf went 8 times platinum here and then I don’t know if I made any impression after that.
I stopped paying attention everywhere.

Will they be discomforted by the bass or the noise?
Will people be expecting That Old Devil Moyet?
Will they be conservative?
Will anyone know my musical trajectory of the last 3 decades.

The guys said that out last night they saw diversity and all manner of people, all ages, all creeds hanging out together.
That comforts me.

They say it’s like Jamaica.
No one is fussed. Everyone laid back. Things will happen when they happen.
I think of Eagle V Shark. Flight Of The Conchords.
Me and David at home love the comedy that NZ produces.
We ride that wave length.
I remember that we are akin.
Sambucca shots and
I go on with my head in gear.

Instantly, my funk that has not been caused by anything but locking myself up in my own head, is gone.

I look out to a packed auditorium and see all manner of people welcoming me like a homecoming queen.

I don’t know what a homecoming queen is.

I don’t think we have them in England, and I know I have never been one, or indeed if they get big cheers, but anyway.

I can’t think of another example.
Even if this example is not fit for purpose.

The welcome is deafening and glorious and my cold bones are warm.
Third song in, Wishing You Were Here and I had a brain freeze.
I don’t know if the wrong chord was played or I just sang a stupid note.
I suspect the latter, but it played in my mind and halfway through the next verse I called a halt. I can’t come here for what could be the last time and do it wrong.
This audience deserves my best effort, so we start again.
Every audience does.
I am not a stranger to a restart.
Fuck it. Mistakes happen and I take my mistakes to task.
This is engaging with a live experience and the people I am sharing it with are nothing but beautiful.
I am delighted that though I suspect few knew the new material they listened intently and gave me great feedback.
It’s interesting to see the different reactions and how which ever part of my catalogue is received. A song which causes the Americans to whoop, for example, is trumped by another favourite here and visa versa.
This audience accepts it all in high spirits and flows from their seats at the first hint of a pulsing beat, and good natured, return when I warn them grim is now on the set list, vowing to reappear at the earliest opportunity.
We had a good time and I left the stage very happy indeed.
It was a great night and I was moved by them.
I feel my pieces are fitting again.
I do a legger as we have an early start for Auckland.
Cheese and ham sandwich with the welcome addition of sandwich spread and I exhale the day.

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