Itchy Feet

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I have been travelling as usual this autumn. It is that time of year when I always get itchy feet. 10 years as a travelling musician doesn’t seem so many now I look back but I guess it did burn some things into my psyche. Routine can be very hard to shift.

September, when colleges start up with a new rash of students, when the nights and evenings are getting longer and the final disappearance of rubbish summer TV – all these seem to inspire the agents to get us musicians back on tour.

I have also realised that it’s not merely an annual routine that still lingers but a daily and weekly one also. Showtime for a support band is around 7.40pm with a sound check around 4pm. If you make it to headliner you come on around 9pm after a 5pm soundcheck. If you are playing ‘Death Row’ as musicians affectionately call the ribbon of hotels down London’s Park Lane, you will soundcheck at 6pm if you get one at all, and then play from 10pm till 2am. Sundays you’ll usually do jack all.

Your whole day is geared to be jumping around at ten thirty at night, which let’s face it, no one wants to do at bedtime.

Why do I mention this here and now? Because it seems to me that by now I should be better at getting up [or at least waking up] in the morning and more disciplined about not staying up until 3am as I did last night, reading Elmore Leonard.

So I began to wonder about our inability to get going at half past seven on a chilly morning, our inability to put the light out at midnight, our feeling that Sunday is NOT for the shopping mall but for doing nothing until at least 4 in the afternoon. Is that the natural Siderial clock of a muso or does the life make us that way?

Finally on this topic, I do have a handle on why I loathe Christmas, Birthdays and New Year’s Eve…..they are the three days even in a crap year that you know you’ll be working!

I made my annual pilgrimage to Marrakech during Ramadan last month and this year [like every year] I’m resolved to spend the festive season somewhere very unwestern … all ideas welcome. Now, it’s ten o’clock in the morning and I’m considering taking Elmore Leonard for a long bath.

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