futurejack visit manchester …..

Me and Two Pints wake up around the same time … 11am, so we’ve managed to get about six and a half hours kip.  We sort ourselves out pretty sharpish as i want to get on the road for about 12.30pm – i’ve arranged to collect my mate Mr Corner and head to Cheadle Hulme for about 2pm to go check out a racetruck before arrival at the Victoria Warehouse Hotel in Manchester for around 3pm…

Me and Twooey need a proper start to the day so after walking Karma we then stop off at the Whistlestop for …..

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breakfast done we jump back into the Boogie Bus and head for Mr Corner Pickup and then the M62.

All seems good and timing just a little behind. I’m heading for an Industrial Estate on Cheadle Hulme without a Sat Nav or even A-Z, possibly a recipe for disaster?  Ok, so i get a bit stressed and smack my steering wheel a couple of times, my passengers becoming a bit quiet, what can i say, i haven’t practised any Yoga for a couple of days and my patience wanes. Together we get through it and finally find the location, only to have a near miss crash by another less than capable driver who doesn’t check their mirror and turns a left into the front of my vehicle.  I scream out loud and reckon it’s my scream that they hear and therefore apply their brakes, by this time i’ve applied my brakes and Two Pints, who’s sitting in the rear of the Boogie Bus ends up getting a Bass guitar, Electric Guitar in hard case and a couple of drums in the back of her head.  Luckily enough she still had a bit of scotch in her from the night before so felt no pain, only a tad of bewilderment for a nanosecond.

We all pile out and check the racetruck (it’s a very quick viewing as i’m running behind on time by now)!  immediately i know it’s not for me so i shake hands, tell the sellers i’ll be in touch (which i did to tell them it was a no) and we all pile back in the boogie bus and head for our gig.

A bit more stress in finding the way back, note to myself to practice Yoga again very soon. Lucky for me my friends are very understanding.

We arrive at our destination pretty upbeat considering my earlier stresses.  Now onto the good stuff, we unload, set up, soundcheck and all is very very good. We check in, undo the scotch and have a swift nip or two before going back down to the bar to meet up with the rest of the crew.

Futurejack are ready to gig!!!

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We all had an absolute ball

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Stayed up all night and the three of us even done an impromptu cover of our own song ‘in my way’ in the shower!

Breakfast was at 7am to which there

was Goddess Naomi and myself only present

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8am … the single bed was calling, and so too, the Sandman!

You can check out more photographs and video snippets on our facebook page

http://www.facebook.com/futurejack

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little miss yorkshire 2013 ……

waking up nice and early after having just four hours sleep in the wonderful king size bed, marks the end of the birthday hotel treat – time now to hit the road and head further north to Leeds, the ITV headquarters to be exact .. for today is Emmerdale filming. Within half hour of motorway driving things come to a standstill, with a ‘car park’ type view ahead i switch off the engine and concentrate on some meditative breathing.

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It was a three car accident, they get moved to the hard shoulder and we can finally pass (after a 45 minute standstill).  I’d left with plenty of time in hand, but now, it was going to be a close shave to catch my call time of 10.30am.

Remarkably i reach ITV headquarters in Leeds at 10:45am (the dogs took up the fifteen minute lateness else i’d have been bang on time).  As soon as I get to reception i’m wishing i hadn’t agreed to this. There are about 50 of us all herded in and i know this is going to be a bit of a dull filming experience (it always is when there are loads of people – and this is an ‘audience’ scene, so we’re just a herd of cattle really).

There’s me thinking we’ll be filming in HQ too but no, alas, we’re bumped into 2 mini buses and driven out 40 minutes to Ilkley Town Hall .. (this puts a bit more of a dampener on my day because my dogs are back in the van and i know we’re probably going to be on set until 6 or 7pm and i have futurejack rehearsals starting in Liverpool at 7.30pm and timing is not adding up) – but hey, that feeling of ‘trapped’ness’, it hurts more if you tussle with it, best to give in and stay calm.

So, we’re all bundled off the bus. This is where i am….

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This is how i’m feeling …..

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This is what i am involved in, filming for Emmerdale …

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It’s about midday by now and we’re ushered into a back room where i sit off for about an hour, before one of the runners comes in and says, ‘we’re going to break for lunch now’ … to be honest, it hasn’t been a hard graft at all, in fact, i’ve done nothing other than mooch about, and now i’m going to be fed …

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i forgot to take a picture before i ate it!  but it was Salmon and rice and broccoli and i got some Stilton and beetroot and rocket on the side!  very good food, the caterers were quite exceptional i thought …. didn’t catch their company name though else i’d definitely have given them a good plug!

Anyway, about an hour later, we’re shipped back on board to go 2 minutes down the road, back to the town hall

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The rest of the filming goes pretty well (albeit i am really bored, and i realise i’m not good as simulating the cheering of contestants in an american style pageant come talent show) …. i find it somewhat creepy that parents could ever allow their pre-pubescent daughters to dress in skimpy leotards and tutus and tiaras with ploughed on make-up and glitter and false eyelashes to parade around for the ego sake of smug satisfaction of the self.  Per se, I do believe this was the case that Emmerdale writers were acknowledging/highlighting, (but to be honest it would be better not to promote this in any way shape or form, ever).

And so it was, ‘that’s a wrap’ called at about 6pm after much clapping, cheering, oooooohing, ahhhhhhing and moving around seats of the auditorium to make us look like an audience of hundreds rather than the forty to fifty we were …. i mostly hid behind my hands – if i don’t believe in something, i cannot pretend to, so admittedly this shebang made me feel dead uncomfortable, the whole time worrying about my dogs and getting to futurejack rehearsals but you know, time can sprint ahead and before i knew it i was back with my dogs and i spared them some precious moments before the drive back to Liverpool – i gave them a pack of salami between them, but my little Lhasa gorged it all so quickly, he promptly honked it back up, to which my cross-breed dived in and munched …. my day couldn’t get any grosser.

The drive home, another motorway pile up, more car park traffic jams and i finally arrived at rehearsals at half past nine, without my guitar so had to use my drummer’s which had to be mic’d up and my head was falling apart and i wasn’t in the best frame of mind, but we got an hour together and another friend arrived to my rescue and took me home to his flat where i could bathe in a hot bath, get a pint of snakebite and curl up on the couch for the night.

Tuesday was done and dusted!

 

a rainy start ………….

Notwithstanding not really having slept properly i jumped up from the sofa at 8.05am and deftly folded, plumped, smartened and tidied where i’d rested, then just as sharpish i gathered together my bags and the dogs’ bowls. The three of us padded toward the front door – the two dogs sniffed at my mate’s bedroom door as we passed it by, both wanting to say their goodbyes i’m guessing – but i had one aim and that was to leave quickly so as not to get a parking ticket for having left the van in the ‘resident permit parking’ bay (from 8am to 6pm). Feeling pretty washed out from having no morning freshen up, it added little zing to the day that, when i opened the front door to the flats, i was greeted with fine falling rain that was showing no signs of stopping. Me and the dogs jumped into the ‘Boogie Bus’ (my affectionate name for the Vito) and departed.

I took the dogs to a nearby park. Still in my clothes from the previous day along with wellington boots and cagool, at least i was dressed for the weather.  Dogs sorted i then asked myself what the day was going to be? drive to Lancaster to view a motorhome? drive to Spalding to view a motorhome? find somewhere to get a shower and wash? i decided to stop at the place i detest the most, McD’s so as to use their wi-fi.  I went in the one nearest the M62. Bought a large cup of tea for 99p (feeling too sick of habitually saying the word ‘coffee’ – which, up until three or four years ago i had hardly ever consumed) and then took a pew. Opened up my laptop and joy of joy, it was dead, no battery life. I sat with my head in my hands for a couple of minutes. Then took a couple of rounds of deep breaths and wondered what exactly i was doing with my life. I drank my tea, it was brown water but fascinatingly enough it tasted perfect for my given situation.  I had some fitful thoughts passing through my head, unclear as to whether they were snippets of my dreams or actual conscious requirements for the day ahead. Lost as to what to do i decided that mostly, i really wanted to get clean and be sheltered for the day so i sent a bit of a plea to my good friend in Chester asking if i could make use of her home for the day. And i sat and waited for a reply. Luckily enough she quickly came to my rescue and said ‘yes, of course you can’ via text messaging.

Thus, my spirits lifted and i jumped the boogie bus and made haste for the M62.  The journey started off challenging as the freeway toward the M53 junction was closed (for landscaping) and i had to follow a diversion, so once again, i was driving around not knowing particularly where i was in my daily attempt at living. However, to my relief, some fifteen minutes later i found myself on a stretch of road i recognised and once again, i was en route.

Safely landed in Chester, i walked the dogs as the rain petered out. My good friend had left me a key and so i let myself in and immediately cleaned myself up and settled with my re-charging laptop and hopped on to surf the net in my quest for finding a ‘house on wheels’, (which is becoming a chore now) and is messing with my ‘balance’ in life.

I sat on the sofa for most of the day, my friend returning home a couple of hours after my arrival – we chatted a lot as it had been a couple of months since we’d last met – we made plans to go out for dinner.

So two days after the lunar eclipse I felt no closer to having any understanding of what my life means in the here and now, other than to learn how to bite the bullet and get on with it.

‘I’d read somewhere ‘Think about it this way: An eclipse is the most powerful tool the universe uses to affect change. It will illuminate a situation in a new way so that we view it differently. Events move on fast forward at eclipse time, but it is important not to jump to conclusions, as all eclipses have a second act. Additional information related to the topic that comes up now will be revealed later, within weeks. Be patient, and take time to reflect on all you hear.

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