Our lives are slowly being stolen from us an hour at a time.

I am of course rather predictably complaining about Daylight Saving Time. Well I would at this time of year. However, I think it is something worthy of study. Clocks go forward, clocks go back. Clocks go forward, clocks go back. Clocks go forward, clocks go back. But how come we only ever notice them going forward? I'm serious.

In the autumn when the clocks return to GMT where they should remain (it is, after all, based upon the Sun being overhead at the Prime Meridian at noon) you don't even notice. For all the talk of "a whole extra hour in bed" time seems normal and certainly come Monday morning, getting up for work is just as difficult (or easy, depending upon the temperament) as it ever was. There is no discernable difference.

However, in the Spring when they are advanced an hour in a bid to give golfers more time on the green it couldn't be more noticeable. Despite it not seeming so bad on the Sunday immediately following the advance, it's on Monday morning that we really notice what's been stolen from us. We may claim to always wake up before the alarm and not sleep very well anyway, but the morning suddenly being an hour older than we were expecting reveals these delusions for what they are and flings us into panic. We are going to be late. Perhaps not a whole hour late, but late enough to end up discombobulated for the rest of the day.

The only upside to this is that everyone else is equally discombobulated so you can all band together in the face of adversity as you attempt to recombobulate yourselves.

There is a more sinister side to this though. Given that we never notice the clocks going back but always notice them going forward, this means that our lives are gradually being stolen from us at the rate of an hour a year. It may not sound like much but by the time you're 24 it means that they've already had a whole day off you, and given that the population of the UK is over 60,000,000 this means that every spring the government gets a surplus of seventy centuries. What are they doing with all this stolen time? Is there a giant chronovore living under the Houses of Parliament which demands this as the price of not rising up and destroying us all?

If you think about it, the whole Daylight Saving Time thing is a nonsense. It might make for brighter evenings (and darker mornings) for a short while allowing extra golfing and insect collecting time for those who are into such things, but by the time we get properly into Summer, the sun rises so early and sets so late anyway that any imagined "advantage" of this practice has disappeared. The only period for which DST makes any difference is a month or so after it's done. Can't people just bite the bullet and wait a little bit for the experience of playing golf well into the evening? Patience is a virtue, so they say, and good things come to those who wait.

We just need to get out of the habit. I know habits can be difficult to break but I think it is generally considered to be a good thing to do so. Let's break the mould of the shape of our years and stick to GMT all year round.

Tuesday 7 June 1994

Once again I found myself standing at the exit of a service station with my thumb out. Compared with the previous day's journey, today's was going to be a piece of piss. I'd got the bus from Manchester City Centre to just beyond the suburbs and made my way down country lanes to Knutsford Services where I'd sneaked in the back way and from where I was hoping to get a lift straight down the M6 to Birmingham.

It didn't take that long and I did it in one hit. Once in Birmingham I had ample time to find somewhere to freshen up, get something to eat and make myself feel slightly human again. After that I went in search of the venue. It was called Edwards and I eventually discovered it tucked away in a side street slap bank in the city centre. The entrance was tall and narrow, squeezed in between two other businesses; once inside there were a couple of flights of stairs leading up to a dark nightclub decorated in black, blue and mirrors. I arrived early, picked up my ticket and went into the bar for a drink. I sat in a corner of the (still largely deserted) club and sipped at my pint. I wasn't drinking alone for long though.

Miki appeared and came over to me.

"Hi! You've been hitching round to all the gigs haven't you?"

"Yes," I said.

We sat at the deserted bar for a while and chatted; I was oddly forthcoming and garrulous, most unlike me. For some reason Miki was able to draw me out of myself. I asked her about Lollapalooza; about a year and a half previously by this point but still one of the most recent bits of Lush news I could recall; it had stuck in my mind after I'd read reports of Lush joining Ministry on stage; surely a marriage made in incongruity... I realized I was waffling.

"I've got to go now," Miki stood up, "But come back afterwards for a beer."

The show itself just as enjoyable as the last three had been; I found it difficult to believe that this was only the fourth night on the trot that I'd had this experience. It was becoming so familiar, a habit. By now the shape of the set list had bedded in to my memory and I knew when I was going to experience the peaks and troughs of the musical rollercoaster that was Lush live in 1994. My brain resonated with the shape of the music. I couldn't imagine that there could possibly be anything better - years later when playing in a band myself I discovered that the only thing better than watching a band play live was being in a band playing live.

Afterwards I stood in the bar drinking for a while before the guy who'd been selling the t-shirts reappeared.

"Miki says come and have a drink."

I followed him across the bar and through a door into a smaller space, decorated in a similar manner to the rest of the club but more brightly lit and a little more run down.

"Hiya!" Miki handed me a can of lager and we resumed our conversation. This time I talked more about myself about how my life had become a bit repetitive in recent months and how I decided to shake things up a bit by going to all these gigs. I also waxed lyrical about how much I liked the music. Perhaps embarrassing in retrospect but I don't recall Miki expressing anything other than interest in what I was saying.

Eventually we said goodbye and I headed back out onto the streets of Birmingham. I had nowhere to sleep planned, so was intending to look for a quiet corner somewhere in which to secrete myself. Eventually I located a likely spot just inside the walls of St Martin in the Bullring, a dark Victorian gothic church that stuck out from the grey concrete underpasses of the city centre like an ambassador from a more attractive architectural age standing awkwardly in the corner at a party for brushed concrete edifices.

I found a corner of of the church yard which wasn't immediately visible from anywhere else and unrolled my sleeping bag. It wasn't long before I was dozing fitfully.
There is something strange and sinister about sleeping rough in the middle of the city. The dreams have a different quality and there's always the weird sensation of starting to wake up and realising that it's colder than you're used to, that there are strange outdoor noises and that there's no ceiling above you, only the infinite universe going on for ever. You never sleep as deeply as normal, on some level there's a mental hair-trigger waiting to awaken you in case of any danger. You realize that this is probably how our ancestors felt all the time.

An urban fox shrieks. Cats howl. A lone lorry swings across a roundabout. Someone shouts.

Eventually the sky starts getting light and bird song starts. You might have only had two or three hours, but you realise the night is over. Best to get going before anyone else wakes up. Despite the tiredness it's always a relief to pack up your sleeping gear. You're mobile again. Ready to fight or flee. You step from your hiding place into the still sleeping city...
Wednesday 8 June 1994

I went and had breakfast at a cafe somewhere in Digbeth. The streets were still largely deserted and what people there were around were going about their own business with grim determination, clearly too wrapped up in themselves to pay much mind to a scruffy figure with a rucksack and bright red hair.

I got the local bus out to a suburb from where I'd be able to hitch onto the M5 south west. The next show was in Bath. After a couple of lifts I ended up in Bristol.

I did worry that it was going to be a bit more difficult to hitch between the two, but then realised that as far as Bristol was concerned, Bath was local. There would be a bus going there. I turned up at Bath in plenty of time; the problem would be to find the venue. I'd never heard of The Hub before but eventually discovered it uphill and not that far from Moles Club (a venue I was familiar with). I had a couple of pints at a pub around the corner and then as soon as doors opened for want of anything better to do I went into the venue.

It felt odd that the rest of the band suddenly knew who I was now. No surprise really, people talk to each other - but Chris, Emma and Phil all said hi when they walked individually through the bar area, as did Miki.

I spent the show squashed up against the front of the stage amongst a frighteningly young looking crowd although thinking back on it I was frighteningly young as well at this point so the rest of the audience must have been babies. Aware that I was running out of time - I'd only get to experience this show, this total immersion live album, once more after tonight - I let myself go and danced as best I could despite the lack of space. I got some funny looks; despite how keen they were to surge to the front the concept of letting the music move them seemed to leave the rest of this audience cold. I was flabberghasted. How could they not dance to this beautiful noise?

Afterwards I found myself talking to the support group Blessed Ethel. They seemed impressed by the fact that I'd hitched round on the tour.

"You must really like Lush," the singer said. I could see his eyes flicking up to my hair. The misconception was following me, my choice of hair colour had nothing to do with my choice of gig. It was a happy coincidence.

It was true though. I did really like Lush.

Miki appeared and handed me a CD. It was the new album, Split. It wasn't out yet. My jaw hit the floor and I spluttered something incoherent about how pleased this made me. Miki seemed almost embarrassed, "Hey it's nothing!"

Little things like that were always capable of elevating my mood far more than they should have been able to. That night I started walking out of Bath on the A4 towards the motorway, my sign saying LONDON (M4) held out so the passing traffic could see it. It took a while for me to get picked up but this only bothered me in that it meant it would take far longer for me to get home and listen to my new CD.

I got back to London in the early hours and crashed out. I could sleep as long as I wanted; I was going to the next show by tube.

Next time...
From Astoria 2 to Raw

many thanks to Mick Mercer for permission to use his Lush photos

Previously on Dreaming of the Starlight:
After the first gig at Sheffield's Leadmill I'd curled up in a corner of the coach station. Now read on...

Sunday 5 June 1994

By the time it started getting light and other people started hanging around, I hadn't really slept. Despite the fact that this was only the first leg, I really felt I couldn't face an all day hitch to Glasgow after no sleep. Suppose I missed the gig? To go all that way for nothing would be too much to bear. Luckily having spent the night in the coach station gave me a cunning idea.

I could go by coach.

And so it came to pass that I ended up rolling into Glasgow on a bright June afternoon. Being able to check the locations of such things quickly and easily on the web was still a twinkle in Tim Berners-Lee's eye at this point (and the Google founders were still two years away from their groundbreaking PhD research project) but luckily I had been at the self-same venue selling merchandise for Toyah a mere seven months before and any doubts were dispelled by a quick check of the music papers followed by a perusal of a Glasgow A to Z in WH Smiths. I found King Tut's easily enough.

Calling home from a call box across the road to let everyone know I was OK (as I tended to do back in those days to prevent myself inadvertently ending up as a missing person) I discovered that Toyah had called and wanted a chat. I called her back and we talked for a short while but got cut off unexpectedly and before I managed to reconnect she'd apparently called King Tut's as that's where I said I was. Luckily no-one had answered as I could have imagined the confusion that might have arisen had a mysterious call asking for "Chris" been received, seeing as that was the name of one of the members of Lush...

After that the gig was upon me. During the support act the guy selling the t-shirts asked me if I'd been at the Leadmill the night before and whether I was "thumbing" my way around. I confirmed that I was, deciding not to mention the coach I'd caught that morning to avoid clouding the issue.

In Glasgow I found Lush's performance more enjoyable than the previous night, perhaps due to the fact that the stage was lower - shin rather than chin level. It was also because I was getting to know the new songs better; perhaps not yet deciding upon favourites but certainly beginning to note the effect each one had on my brain.

The only negative point about this night out was that I had arranged to stay with a local friend, although to be honest I was stretching the definition of local more than a little. Local was Edinburgh. It was like attending a gig in London and then staying with someone in Brighton. Nevertheless I had to leave before the encores to make my way to Glasgow Queen Street station for the last of the express trains. After a night sleeping rough in Sheffield I could do with sleeping in a bed, however far I had to travel for it...

"Come on laddie you can't sleep here!"

I woke up with a train guard shaking my shoulder. I had no idea how long the journey had taken nor indeed how long I had been asleep, but the train was now sitting in a deserted Edinburgh Waverley station. I staggered out and up to Prince's Street and made my way on foot to Leith Walk where my friend lived. It seemed unnaturally quiet, not at all what my recent read of Trainspotting had led me to believe. I found Lynne's flat without any trouble. She and her boyfriend let me in and I was soon asleep on the sofa.

Monday 6 June 1994

The next day Lynne drove me to a convenient junction at the head of the A1and I stood beside the road with my thumb out hoping to head back down into England. I had a long way to go, but was confident that I'd make it to Manchester on time for the gig that evening. Having had a few hours sleep made a big difference and I was not remotely tempted to consider the coach like I had been in Sheffield. That had only been the previous morning. It seemed like days ago now.

I was in luck. The first of my lifts took me back across the border, dropping me off at a service station just outside Newcastle. The second was a sales rep in a fast white car who took me all the way to a services near Leeds where I needed to get off the A1 and onto the M62 to Manchester.

It was still late afternoon when I made it into Manchester. I'd been dropped off at another services just north of the city and made my way through it and into the adjoining district where I'd walked for about a mile through quiet suburban streets until I'd found a main road where there was a bus stop serving a route that would take me into the city centre itself. A single decker bus pulled up with Oasis playing loud over the sound system; the driver a shaggy-haired unshaven faux Gallagher in shades. Mad For It. Welcome to Manchester.

The venue itself was part of the university, located on Oxford Road opposite the Holy Name Church. How the hell, I wondered, had Morrissey managed to get all the way up there and had the vicar really worn a tutu?

The venue was another that I'd visited before, only the previous year. That had been a bad experience though; hitching to see Die Cheerleader I'd missed the gig altogether which was a terrible thing given the effort I had been making to get there. This time, with far more distance to travel, I had made it in plenty of time. It just went to show that I could cover the ground far more quickly when I was travelling on my own (on the Die Cheerleader occasion I'd thrown my lot in with a couple of other fans and had failed miserably as a result).

The venue was nothing more than a big pedagogical shed, the kind of place in which you could imagine people playing basketball or sitting engineering exams. I have no idea whether it ever was used for that purpose, but there was something soulless and academic about it. The bar was on a separate floor; on one of my trips there I passed Miki who said hi.

This was the odd thing. I'd made a conscious decision to do this tour with the purpose of going to see the shows with no thought of getting to know the band or anything like that.  And yet the fact that I had been to all three gigs so far seemed to have percolated through to them.  This may have partly been because no-one else seemed to be travelling around too, but I suspect it might also have been something to do with the fact that my signature look had a significant element in common with Miki's signature look. Even though this was coincidence as I mentioned before, I realise now that of course from the outside it almost certainly looked as if I loved the band so much that I'd dyed my hair to be the same colour as the singer's.

I did love the band, but imitation wasn't my thing. I really liked Star Trek and curry as well but had never dressed up as a Star Fleet officer or a vegetable dhansak.

But it was a good feeling to be noticed. I couldn't deny that.

Another good feeling was the cumulative effect of going to several gigs on the trot. I had embarked on this short band break because I enjoyed the music so much. The gigs.  So why not get as much pleasure as I could - they were playing six times, so I should go to all six gigs.

At times I'm sure we've all had a favourite album, an LP or CD that for a period of time we play constantly. Lush's set on the Split tour was becoming like that, a favourite total immersion album that I played to myself every night. Back then I was smoking and usually rolled myself a joint beforehand which I smoked during the gig in the safety of the crowd. I'd usually had enough before I reached the end of it - I was never much of a dope fiend - and would try to pass it on but the bright young indie kids that made up the rest of the audience refused, shocked looks on their faces.

I wasn't yet thirty and yet was already feeling old.

Next time...
From Bull Ring to Bath

many thanks to Mick Mercer for permission to use his Lush photos

"In the end, it was the Sunday afternoons he couldn't cope with and that terrible listlessness that starts to set in about 2:55, when you know you've taken all the baths that you can usefully take that day, that however hard you stare at any given paragraph in the newspaper you will never actually read it, or use the revolutionary new pruning technique it describes, and that as you stare at the clock the hands will move relentlessly on to four o'clock, and you will enter the long dark teatime of the soul." 
Sunday evenings are amongst the most unpleasant time spans it is possible to experience. Whilst both Tony Hancock and Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged may have had a problem with Sunday afternoons, it's only during the evening when things start to get really nasty and you become filled with a sense of disappointment and self loathing because once again you didn't get nearly enough done.

This isn't surprising. When you're at work during the week then of course you don't want to indulge in any extra-curricular activity - the working week's hard enough as it is without extending it into the evenings. And in recent years, you observe, it seems to have become so draining that it takes most of the weekend relaxing before you start feeling even remotely human again.

But you can never really enjoy the relaxation because of the guilt.

The guilt starts in childhood. Childhood is when Sunday evenings first start metamorphosing into the dreadful form in which they will be so familiar in adult life.

It all begins the first time you realise you haven't done your homework and that all that lies between now and the horror of school is That's Life, The Waltons and sleep. You can't even really enjoy The Waltons or That's Life because (a) they're not actually that good to be honest and (b) on some level you know that watching them is procrastination - if you gave them up (and let's face it, it wouldn't be much of a sacrifice) you might be able to go to your room and get that homework done and not be living in fear and dread the next day.  All you'd be giving up would be an hour or so of insipid television during which Esther would probably blink back crocodile tears whilst describing the fate of a terminally ill baby before handing over to Doc who would attempt to fill the gaping void in the audience's soul with a selection of vegetables shaped a little like genitalia and slightly amusing misprints. What you stood to gain would be peace of mind.

But of course you never did that. Watching Sunday evening TV as a child is the perfect illustration of Freud's Pleasure Principle, even though the pleasure is so attenuated as to be effectively absent. By seeking Pleasure (That's Life) and avoiding Pain (homework) one is merely putting off the inevitable for short term and largely illusory gain.

Freud called it the Pleasure Principle. Others might call it laziness.

In theory adherence to the principle is supposed to be something one outgrows in infancy but in practice it seems to last well into adulthood. The secret mantra of the twenty first century is "never do today what you can put off until tomorrow" and a lot of the time unpleasant tasks can be put off almost indefinitely by obeying the Id, Chief Advocate of the Pleasure Principle. There is an irony here; putting off these unpleasant tasks only results in a net increase in the amount of displeasure in your life. Not only is there a constant low grade background radiation of guilt gnawing at your consciousness, but often these minor chores, once complete and out of the way, would be a major contributory factor to an increase in the quality of life, with all the attendant pleasure that this might afford. Short term gain results in long term loss. So does such knowledge of the big picture help wean us off the Pleasure Principle?

Does it buggery.

Even though 99% of the time we know that we should be doing such and such and that doing it sooner rather than later will only lead to greater rewards in the long term, for some reason the demon of apathy reclining on the couch in the forebrain whispering that the path of least resistance is the best one is far more convincing. Easier not to... Even though any pleasure derived from taking the path will be soured by guilt.

Like the road to hell, the path of least resistance is paved with good intentions. I'll do it tomorrow. When I'm less tired. When I'll be able to concentrate more. Once I've got watching That's Life out of the way...

This attitude could have a major catastrophic effect during school days when what one was putting off often had to be handed in and judged the next day by sinister figures with what felt like the power of life and death over you. And didn't they just exercise it to the full extent that the law allowed with their criticism, censure and false "disappointment". And let's face it, it was false. When a teacher said they were "disappointed more than anything else" in you or your work you could always see the spark of glee in their eyes, the excitement that they'd been afforded the opportunity to indulge in a bout of spiteful condemnation.

In adult life it's usually less extreme; most of the time the only person judging you is yourself. You may have a day job but if you're lucky, most of the time it doesn't impinge upon your weekend.  The things you put off and procrastinate to avoid as an adult are the things you really want to do, or rather things you really want to have done

And with an irony typical of this bloody universe, the things you really want to have done, the things which are most worth doing, are always the most difficult and frightening.

The only comfort is that at least That's Life isn't on the air any more.

If you were to look at what was once my record collection, became my CD collection and now in the digital age is ascending to a higher state of MP3, you'd find that a large proportion of the music has female vocals. Perhaps not as large a proportion as there should be, but I suspect that is merely a reflection of the sexual inequality that is still as rife in the music industry today as anywhere else. However, if you were to look at a list of my favourite bands, the top ten as it were, you would find that they almost all have female vocals.

This is no coincidence. To me the sound of a female voice is so much more pleasant than a male one, a woman singing has a cold, clear, and above all coherent beauty that is such a long way from the fake american accented drawl of so many male artists. This is a personal preference of course and there are exceptions to every rule. But on the whole... Yes, I know what you're thinking, but it wasn't that either. When I first started getting into music as a hormonal adolescent, liking the girl was as important as liking the music, but this wasn't unconditional. I did have to like the music. However, it may be the case that my preference for female vocals was set back then.

I may be projecting, assigning qualities to my favourite artists that I'd like them to have, but what increases my enjoyment even more than simply female vocals is when the songs are written by women as well. The difference of mindset, the feeling that more thought has gone into the lyrics, to the sounds. Exceptions to every rule, yes. But.

It was a combination of these preferences that propelled Lush to the top of my internal band chart back in the early nineties. Not only did their songs boast female vocals but 99% of the time were written by one of two women songwriters whose songs were different enough to be able to distinguish them (Miki's spiky and Emma's swirly) but similar enough to belong to a coherent wall-of-melodic-sound oeuvre. These songs sounded like the inside of my head, chords and riffs resonating as if being played upon neurones bathed in a dark red wash of intracellular fluid. Above all it was the overall sound that mattered the most here; a lot of the time the vocals were given no more precedence than any other instrument. As a result it was a long time before I could be certain of putting song tiles to songs, although I had my favourites. This one or that one. The one with the thing.

There were men involved too; Chris and Steve (the latter of whom left in 1992 and was replaced by Phil) who were all very much part of the band's identity and strength. You did still get the impression that it was Miki and Emma that were driving though, which was a breath of fresh air. Lush had a modern feel of gender egalitarianism without the band ever having to adopting a self-consciously "feminist" stance (their final album "Lovelife" was indeed a commentary of the battle of the sexes but managed to do so without preaching).

The story begins, as all good stories do, with a sense of dissatisfaction. A mood. A grumpy mood. In retrospect I was having a good time but was beginning to get exasperated by the weekly dance at the Slimelight and felt like doing something different to take my mind off it. Something. Anything.

I used to buy the Melody Maker religiously in those days. As I worked in the West End I used to walk down to Argyll Street at Tuesday on lunch time where there was a news stand that used to get the latest issue in earlier than anywhere else. There was already something Lush-like about those lunchtime walks because on more than one occasion I'd spotted Miki (once carrying her guitar down Oxford Street, once coming out of Rymans). Seeing someone from one of my favourite bands pop up in my lunch break like that out of the blue put a bit of shine on the day. I never said hello or anything, I was afraid of breaking the spell.

On this particular Tuesday when I was feeling somewhat disgruntled with my lot, I saw in the Melody Maker that Lush were about to embark on a short tour of the UK to support their new album "Split" an album which amongst other things was being promoted by having a London Taxi painted to resemble the sleeve (a taxi which I also used to see during my West End lunch breaks and which once nearly ran me over).

The album wasn't out yet, but had been preceded by two singles which had, rather oddly, been released simultaneously. Miki's "Hypocrite" (a frantic bouncy self referential paradox "I know you think it's wrong - and maybe you're right but this is my song") and Emma's "Desire Lines" (an eight minute ambient spacefaring lament which precisely halfway through engages its star drive).

The tour was taking in only a handful of venues around the UK and was due to start only the next week.

Sod it, I thought, I've got leave coming to me, I've always enjoyed all the Lush gigs I've been to up until now, why not indulge myself?

I booked the time off and mentally prepared myself for a hitch around the country. I had seen them several times before; the first occasion had been a day festival in Crystal Palace alongside James, All About Eve and The Cure. After that I'd made a point of seeing them whenever they played in London if I could. But this tour was the first time I was going see them outside the capital. The first date was at The Leadmill in Sheffield. I knew this venue of old having not only watched Indians in Moscow play there a full decade before but just the previous year had seen Die Cheerleader there (only to come down with a migraine during the support act Voodoo Queens).

At the time I was sporting one of my "signature" looks - bright red hair. As it happened Miki also had bright red hair. This was a coincidence.

Hitch-hiking was still the order of the day and as such I found myself standing down at the root of the M1 in Brent Cross on the morning of 4 June 1994 with my thumb out.

The first car I got picked up by was one crewed by a couple of scary looking but nevertheless friendly rockers. The guy in the passenger seat did all the talking, he was (I seem to recall) bald but with a small beard and moustache. They were on their way to Castle Donnington for the Monsters of Rock festival, they told me, and were going to set up a stall there selling tarantulas. Their stock was in the back of the car apparently.

I peered over the back seat. They certainly weren't shitting me. There, stacked up in myriad plastic tupperware boxes punched with air holes, crouched more hand-sized spiders than I liked to think about. I don't know what the collective noun for large spiders is but a Nightmare of Tarantulas fits the bill nicely. What would happen if we crashed? I imagined the swarm of eight legged monstrosities emerging from the wreckage to the shock of the emergency services like something from a cheap horror film...

Luckily we didn't crash and I was dropped off at the junction in plenty of time to hitch the remaining 50 miles to Sheffield. I don't recall the details of my final lift but like so many were in those days it was very probably a sales rep. Most of them wanted to talk about my hair and none of them had heard of Lush. Sometimes they would try and engage me in conversation about music but on the whole this never worked as their tastes only seemed to stretch as far as Rod Stewart or Van Halen. One chap did confess to being quite keen on Oasis although they were, he opined, basically just ripping off The Beatles.

The Leadmill was a child of the industrial revolution and lurked in a side street as if hiding from the law. I remember it as being a vast barn although I am sure that if I went back I'd find it was smaller than I remembered. These places usually are except for when you remember them as being very small in which case they turn out to be actually larger (the memory not only cheats but is a barefaced liar). The stage was very high.

I have no idea why the UK leg of the tour was so short but as a result the gigs felt full of concentrated Lushness. I stood at the front and drank in the experience, savouring my favourites and sipping interestedly at new songs that I wasn't yet familiar with but was looking forward to getting to know better when the album was released.

Afterward I chatted in the bar with some of the local gig goers before eventually the venue closed and I was turned out into the warm summer streets. I didn't have anywhere to go and from past experience I understood that the best thing to do was remain in the city centre. I'd taken some speed earlier and as a result wasn't particularly in a hurry to sleep even if I could have found somewhere. Eventually I found a seat in a corner of the coach station and dozed fitfully for a couple of hours.

It was going to be a long six days.

It was going to be fun.

Next time...
Hitting the Hut that belonged to King Tut

many thanks to Mick Mercer for permission to use his Lush photos