Tonight has been bloody brilliant. I leisurely got up in Birmingham and had an awesome breakfast at the Old Crown and had a slow wimble down the M5 to get to Bristol to coincide with check-in time at the Travelodge rather than fart about. Having parked up and settled in I might’ve succumbed to a little snooze – but that left me time to get showered and out in time feeling thoroughly refreshed and ready for more of the same. With the huge bonus of some Mad Dog Mcrea thrown into the mix too!
The Hatchett was our first port of call – just over the road from the venue and chock full of familiar faces, including Justin – unscathed from his epic voyage from over the sea. Amongst other random pre-gig nonsense being talked the thing that has stuck in my head ever since was Waggy’s revelation that the story behind Mad Dog Mcrea’s Happy Bus in real life culminated in them driving a minibus into the sea. Fully populated. The mind boggles!
Given my sneaky nap it was soon time to get into the O2 Academy – with a strict 10pm curfew Gaz was on ludicrously early. But first, the venue is very swanky and new looking, the merch and loos were encountered first, the steps up to the auditorium with a raised bar/standing area and steps down to an extensive dancing area. It reminded me of the gig they played in Newbury earlier in the year but on a much grander scale! The sticking point was the price of £4.55 for a pint of cider – outrageous! I was planning on taking it steady given the need to get to Nuneaton tomorrow for noon – and well, there was some extra motivation!