Thursday, 6 November 2014

On Tour With Ian Hunter #2

Wednesday 5th November
I'm revising my opinion of the blowhard. You can't rely on anything these days - just when I had him pegged as an all-time, award-winning arsehole he starts being nice to us.
I like the Motorco place in Durham, North Carolina where we played in last night. Amy and I played there a few years ago when it first opened, almost before they'd finished building it. Shame that now it's finished it doesn't have a backstage, just a small room with a bathroom off it, next to the front of the stage. One sofa, one armchair, a small fridge, a tea and coffee station, a big trash can and a table with the ubiquitous curling sandwiches and iceberg lettuce on it. And enough standing room for nearly four people.
Nowhere to put our stuff after the set. I found a corner behind a curtain next to the power amps where they keep the blown monitor wedges and spare mic stands. I told the blowhard I was going to stash the gear in there and he suggested loading straight out - 'peace and love all round, right?'
I pointed out the difficulty of taking the gear through the audience all the way to the loading door which was at the other end of the hall next to where the audience come in. He had a think about that and agreed that it didn't make sense and I felt as though I'd won a small victory.
The set was a lot of fun. I wasn't swamped by Amy's acoustic so I could actually hear what I was playing. Amy told the crowd that I'd become a grandfather twice over since we last played at Motorco. They seemed to like that, shouts of congratulation and someone at the back shouted something about being prolific.
'Prolific? I had nothing to do with it. I mean - I wasn't in on the creation of the grandchildren. I don't know how you people go about it down here, but I wasn't actually there or anything...'
We played for a bit longer this time, all the songs we played last night plus Please Be Nice To Her, Someone Must've Nailed Us Together and Rebel Girl Rebel Girl.
Afterwards I got our stuff off in a timely manner with no interference from the blowhard (I've decided I like him by the way), except that he took our guitars into the already overcrowded dressing room. I expect he did it deliberately in order to discredit us.


photo by Tamara Guo
The place was apparently full of North Carolina rock royalty - Peter Holsapple and Will Rigby from the DBs, Mitch Easter and a host of others but I don't really know what a lot of them look like so I couldn't really say, though I'm doing the best I can to be impressed.
Ian and the Rant Band were great. I love seeing them in real rock venues as opposed to City Winery dinner theatre places. A lot of people in the crowd were visibly moved, hugging each other and crying. Boy was an epic, I suppose it always is but in that place, with that audience, it seemed much more so.
Afterwards I sat on the dressing room sofa with Ian and he talked about David Bowie and Mick Ronson, and about being asked to join Uriah Heap when Mott The Hoople folded up. I'm glad he didn't. The conversation turned to hair care:
'...you don't have that problem, you're not known for hair, but I do, I'm known for hair...'