The Gary Wilson promotor booked us to fill a last minute vacancy, in typical fashion. With misguided faith in public transportation we attempted to bring our gear on a coach but were not allowed to board because the cello was deemed hazardous. After a frantic rush to the train station and a peaceful ride through the English country, we arrived in Bristol: a small sunny city with gallivanting film students and day drinking on the plaza. Start The Bus is a diner/venue, and we were kindly offered salads, french fries, and bottomless beer.
The Perfumeman set went well: Morgan’s cello sounded great, and Charles abandoned his guitar and poncho early on in favor of running around the small stage. The crowd was mainly seated in diner booths 6 meters away eating their hamburgers, and they semi-attentively wiggled in their seats to the beat until Charles scolded them.
Gary’s band is made up of cute boys from Texas. Dressed casually throughout our performance, we were pleasantly surprised when they changed into their costumes: bubblewrap kneepads, yellow latex gloves, a bloody white suit, and lots of tape. Pat looked like Hugh Hefner the pirate, and Gary wore a red dress, white cat-eyed sunglasses, and a duct tape headdress covering his mass of thick, curly hair. Gary writhed on the floor, lamenting former loves; he pondered who was kissing Linda, represented by a wig mannequin, and when he found out it was Pat he wrestled him to the ground and beat him with the head. The songs were catchy and executed excellently, with energy to spare.
After the show our friends Jaime and Ben offered to drive us to their place so we wouldn’t be forced to face the trains until morning, and we gratefully accepted. They had mentioned living in Exeter, which we didn’t mind in the slightest, especially since our knowledge of English geography is poor to the extent that we didn’t know we were driving away from London. Two hours and one great playlist later we stepped into Bunnyland, home to at least several hundred rabbits (animate and otherwise).
In the morning we explored the city, finding a metaphysical vegan café, teenagers playfully mocking religion, underground tunnels, rain, sunshine, and a milkshake. Come evening we meandered to the station and hastily boarded. The train was deserted, and it was obvious something was wrong. Panicked attempts at disembarking proved futile: the doors were locked and we were slowly leaving the station. We ran to the front of the train where the conductors laughed at us, explained that we would be waiting in the train yard for an hour, and shamed us for requiring them to do paperwork. Having time to kill and a whole train to ourselves, we had a productive band practice.