Confidence and spirits were high after a successful first gig in Evesham. At around 12.45 on a cold yet pleasant Sunday afternoon, Van Rockman hit the road. After a relatively uneventful journey north we made our way to Blackpool. First stop, our hotel.
What a shithole. It was one of those cheap and dreerful places for stag do's and lost causes. Too expensive for the heroin addict, too drab for corner hogging working girls. One room, four single beds, a closet with a bathroom in it and the smallest TV created by man. None of it would matter though. The purpose was to provide shelter. At least on that front it was successful.
Onward to the venue then. A great place. Good atmosphere. It was a quiet night. Not entirely surprising for a Sunday night let alone bonfire night. Van Rockman had a duty to make it a bit louder. To the locals that were there it was a brand new experience, and they loved it! This band will definitely be coming back to larger crowds.
After the gig we spent a fair bit of time at the venue for an after gig pint before moving on to a local casino. This was a classy place pulling the standard casino tricks to keep you in. Pleasant temperature, comfy seats, no clocks and every staff member with a smile on their face. Our mood was high. John added to that with his big win... of £2.
The morning after we vacated our 'room', grabbed breakfast and wandered Blackpool for a bit. After much debate with locals as to whether the tower was open (despite the locked doors) we moved on to a local bistro for a cup of tea. It stood out like it had just burst through the ground. It felt like modern art in the middle of 80's kitsch. From the tables to the paintings on the wall, everything placed with a zen like perfection. With our caffeine content topped up and our souls satisfied with the feng shui, we set off for Manchester.
The manchester gig was a good one. The venue seemed to scream musical heritage. If you were in a band you needed to bring your A game. Everyone felt it. Van Rockman needed to live up to what was required and they did. We played heavy, hard and with heart. This is the standard for all shows now. If you don't play like that on a local level how can you play like that on the pyramid stage at Glastonbury?
After a couple of after gig drinks we hit the road once again. At around 1am we stopped at a services close to Birmingham. Sitting there with two double cheeseburgers I was taken back ten years ago to that same feeling of being on tour. That frame of mind where nothing else mattered except the next gig. Onward to that next event we shall go. See you in Liverpool!
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