"WITH NEL AND I" Part 3.


FLASHBACK.

That first place we stayed in. "Very very nice." Snailwell. A Mrs L. Sign in the hall said Thank You For Not Smoking Half expected to see a sign in the bedroom saying Thank You For Not Wanking. Just outside Newmarket, oh yeah. No food. I remember.


Red Lynch Thurs 19th October

8 miles outside Salisbury and afflicted by fairly severe melancholy. Partly caused by tiredness but mostly due to the fact we've left the west and are heading south again. Bath was brilliant and so was Lol's house. I felt truly at home and relaxed there.

Bath is a heady place, set in steep green hills. One gets the impression that it was always a nice place. The three days based there softened me up somewhat. Evenings were pleasant and punctuated by beer and smoke. We had lots to talk about and by the time this morning, when I found myself on the road to Salisbury, I was sad and resentful at having to leave. Just past Warminster I felt the magic had gone and I bitched the whole way. Red Lynch not much to speak of really.


FRIDAY late afternoon. Southampton



Did some busking and made some money. Deltic hadn't got much for us to do. One interview but the reporter was in court. Left info and CD for him. Absolutely pissing with rain. Feel a bit worried about money as I'm now down to my last nine quid or so in the bank. Very emotionally fragile at the moment. Maybe it was the rapid changes of terrain. We went across The Mendip Hills, across Salisbury Plain and through the New Forest all in 24 hours. From Bath to Southampton. What a bloody change! The wonderful Geoff Wall, who put us up, lives in Sholing, the heart of suburban normality. He doesn't go to the pub much, so we took him out to his local, which because of the fierce storm, wasn't very populated. However, the people in there were somewhat morose. The only levity displayed by them seemed to be at our expense. They pointed and laughed while they thought we couldn't see. Expensive beer too. I'm now over the shock of leaving Bath but still disorientated. Feel like I've been travelling for months. Feel mildly out of kilter


Sat Morning/ Southampton.

In the middle of a major storm -- bridges closed and roads washed out etc -- we get news from Caron in London, that Greenpeace want us for a major concert at Conway Hall in Red Lion Square, Holborn. Like tonight! Only way is to alter tour schedule (we're due in Brighton on Sunday night) and get on the earliest train we can to London.


SUNDAY 22nd. En route to Brighton.

Good gig at Red Lion Square last night. Photos in Hyde Park and more filming on the street in Bayswater Road. Quite a lot of pressure in a way, but taking it more or less in our stride. Gig was like an outdoor hippy festival…but indoors. Lots of hippies and alternative theatre, kids running round everywhere, dogs barking and pissing in the hall. Shared a crowded backstage room with theatrical types. A nice bloke called John Hegley, a poet, due on after us.


Met Robyn Hitchcock briefly at Hyde Park gates. He called out to Captain Sensible from his car and then pulled over for a chat He came over to the office later on but we missed him because we were already cycling to Holborn from Notting Hill for a soundcheck. .,Went to the pub after the gig, with Capt Sensible, Andy McQueen, Tom the film director, Caron, Shu etc. Had a few pints then a hairy midnight cycle back to Notting Hill Gate. Up Oxford Street in the pissing rain, overtaking buses and trying to avoid legions of drunks singing and shouting at the tops of their voices. Had some strong vodka as a nightcap and crashed out.


Notting Hill Gate - Sunday

Breakfast at noon today in Potato-U-Relate-To. Notting Hill Gate. Radio interview and gig in Brighton next.


Brighton Mon 23rd.

Sitting outside a healthfood restaurant in a shopping precint. Just busked and did a TV appearance for Southern.TV The Radio interview at BBC Sussex went well…apart from the CD letting us down(faulty) The gig at The Royal George was good. Stayed behind after the gig for a late drink with the landlord. Cycling home with Captain, through the sidestreets and lanes singing in an alien voice, some wazzock slung a big metal fire-extinguisher out of a car at me. Just missed. Might have really injured me. Too drunk to care.


Nel is a bit short of sleep. Feel like I've been away for ages. Nel's been asked to audition for New Model Army.. McQueen and I have told him to go for it.


Ditchling (Sussex) Tues 24th October

Beautiful but very car-choked village after a heady ride down from the Beacon. 812 ft high and fantastic views of The Downs and surrounding countryside. We're doing Derek Jameson's Sky TV chat show in London, so we'll have to change our strings. England is so vast from a bike. The ride down from the Beacon is a very steep and twisty little road and the views are not unlike those from an aeroplane coming in low over the land. The late October sun shines on the back gardens and on the washing lines in late morning.


Portobello Rd. Thurs 26th?

In a bar at lunchtime the day after doing The Jameson Show. Got to London late afternoon and cycled to the TV studio in Soho. Overpoweringly hot sitting in make-up room, when Paul Hill of The Guildford Four ( just released from jail two hours earlier) came in with a few friends and family. Shook hands with him, said hallo and wandered out again. Just started being made up when Derek Jameson came in. He shook my hand and said " Hello Paul." I said: " I'm not Paul, I'm Martin."He mumbled his apologies, jumped the make-up queue. I didn't know why Andy McQueen and Nel were laughing. On the way down to Hospitality Lounge, Andy explained to me that Jameson had mistaken me for Paul Hill because we both look pale with angular features. In other words, I looked like I had 'prison pallor' I said: " Well it's the first time I've been mistaken for an innocent man."

Other guests included Andrew Morton the royal biographer, a comedian/conjurer, who had a rather bad time and got his spot cut down.

Elvis Costello's drummer, Pete Thomas. was the musical director and had the house band. Nice guy. Told him how much I liked his drumming on King Horse (from Costello's Get Happy album) . Rehearsals were a bit fraught but okay. We played right next to Jameson's desk and apart from a few nerves were apparently quite good.

Clare Grogan and Alexandra Pigg (Letter to Brezhnev) sat on the set-couch and yattered all the way through our spot. Rosie the stage manager said we'd gone down very well with the studio audience. Afterwards, went over the road to the pub. Took it in turns to watch the bikes. Phoned my mum with McQueen's yuppie phone and spoke to her for the first time since the family row five years ago. Had to be done. Shu told advised me to make contact with her. Not fair that she's reading about me in the papers, hearing me on the radio and seeing me on telly etc and then we're not talking. Unfair advantage to me.

When London's good it's very good. Fast-paced and heady. When it's bad it's suffocating. Having been indoors all day I feel a pressing need for fresh air and exercise. Captain took Nel and I round the corner to meet Brian James( The Damned) in his local (Portabello Gold) but he'd already left. Not much on today and feeling very unused to lack of activity. Saturday 28th…City Of London University. Waiting to go on. A gig for Marxism Today. Not on for a while and far too hot in here. Day off on Wednesday. Thursday, over to Fortress Wapping for an interview with the News Of The World at 4p.m. Then a frantic cycle cycle dash from Wapping to Paddington for an interview at BFBS. Very nice people. Seemed to know all about The Cleaners From Venus.Back to the pub for a drink with Andy and Captain. Captain not very happy with general difficulty in England, of selling records.


Pages missing from journal after this, so ENDS.


PART 4 when I next get time.

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