One morning I awoke to find I’d transformed into a gigantic animated turtle.
Day one. I’ve been plucking the nylon strings of my child’s acoustic guitar for several hours. And glaring at a notepad. Its bloody freezing and I’m shivering. Shivering with the starling, shaking with the gorse bush.
Middletown. That’s where we’d ended up. Middletown. We were on our way to Dublin, Lisa and I, to rendezvous with the lads from PORTS. I’d been asked to support them on two gigs of their Irish tour. The first of which – Whelan’s in Dublin – was mere hours away. Yet here we were, on a Friday, in the midst of empty Middletown. Twinned with nowhere. Population 237 middletonians.
The plane bounced off the Krakow airport runway before landing again and grinded to a definite halt. I pulled my heart out of my mouth and glanced at Ben who grinned cheerfully. The pilot, it seems, had attempted to land two or three times before circling around again and giving it another slap. Ryanair’s beyond irritating trumpet fanfare tooted around my ears and announced that I’d been party to ‘yet another Ryanair flight arriving behind schedule yadda fucking yadda.’
The old woman grins inanely at me as the cafe door sallies open of its own accord. I get up, close it and sit back down. I am in a cafe by the beach at Ballycastle, having been summoned here by Tristan Crowe to shoot a music video for my latest single, called ‘Can’t Make You Come Back’. I have just ordered a bowl of stew when the door swings open again. Cue septuagenarian chuckles. I get up, close it and sit back down.
“Could ye move the armadillo a bit more to the left?” I am sitting on a chaise longue and this is a sentence I’ve never heard before. Aaron is pounding skins, chandeliers are quivering with the racket and behind me, a stray cat crawls gingerly through an open window.
Saturday 20th April 2013. 3 o’clock. I’ve been asked to perform in my local Independent record shop along with a wealth of Derry talent to celebrate ‘Record Store Day’. I’ve only just purchased a new guitar (a lovely Epiphone Wildkat) and i’m keen to give a public spanking to some new songs.