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Blog: Tour Diary 6: Birmingham

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Last Thursday I came into town for an early lunch with Mr John Dredge, to discuss WRITING STUFF. We usually do this on a Friday, but we had brought it forward this week for LO! I was on TOUR!

This was the final leg of the "Two Men And A Little Lady" tour with Ms G Petrie and Mr G Osborn, and for me it kicked off with a relaxing hour sitting in the First Class Lounge at Euston Station. It was RAMMED, but the seats were quite comfy, and definitely nicer than the First Class on Virgin Pendolino trains, which is much like Standard Class on Virgin Pendolino trains i.e. HORRID, except they give you free BOOZE on weekdays. I often feel like i have SNUCK IN to First Class as I use High Level Pre-Organisation to book cheap tickets, but I felt even MORE so this time because everyone else in the carriage was doing BUSINESS. Oh the BUSINESS TALK that was flying around - meetings were arranged, events were discussed, discipline was applied and DEALS were being done.

I felt a bit left out, but luckily I had my own appointment with a HIGH POWERED BUSINESSMAN when I got to Birmingham. I trundled round to Digbeth to visit 100% Vegan, the SHOP of Mr R Kirkham. I'd been to pick up some Vegan Chocs for him a couple of weeks ago in London, so was a) delivering them b) having a right old NOSEY around the shop. It was AMAZING - PACKED with every size, shape and flavour of every Vegan product you could IMAGINE. There was a Vegan version of pretty much EVERYTHING, and if I wasn't spending the next couple of days away from my FRIDGE i would have bought the LOT.

With that done I trundled on to the Ibis, and texted Gav to arrange a meeting. He was ALSO staying in the Ibis, but as I went down to the lobby to find him I suddenly thought "Hang on, what if there's more than one Ibis in Birmingham?" JUST as I was thinking this I got a text from Gav saying "Are we in the same Ibis?" Spoilers: we were.

With plenty of time to spare we headed off for a Cheeky Pint, and ended up a pub called The Crown, where a Local came over to tell us ALL ABOUT his encounters with the NHS, offer tips on where NOT to go should we experience issues with our Gall Bladders during our stay, and explained WHY he was voting UKIP. UNFORTUNATELY we couldn't stay for another pint, and FLED into a taxi and thence to Moseley. We got THERE really early too and, not being able to find a pub we went for a coffee instead. Earlier on that day I'd been checked into the Ibis by someone on his first day (it took AGES) and at the cafe I was dealt with harshly/weirdly by other First Dayers. It was little odd, but only made MORE so when the owner came out and gave the impression that he would be having them all SHOT!

Eventually we were at the Ort Cafe at the right time for ROCK. Grace arrived, we had a long CHAT, and were offered food. It was a Veggie Cafe, and as soon as this was mentioned you could see the FEAR in Grace's eyes at the idea that she might have to eat a VEGETABLE. "Is there any cake?" she asked. I had a MASSIVE, also DELICIOUS, Full Veggie Breakfast, it was LOVELY.

People arrived, the room gently filled, and it was SHOWTIME. As usual Gav and I had agreed, before she'd arrived, that Grace would be on last, but weren't sure who'd be on first. The matter was settled at 8.10pm when Gav got up and started SINGING. It was GRATE, obvs, and involved a LOT of singing along. Then it was my turn and I did THIS:
  • The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
  • I Did A Gig In New York
  • A Little Bit
  • Get Over It
  • That Guy
  • 20 Things To Do Before You're 30
  • Do The Indie Kid
  • Clubbing In The Week
  • It Only Works Because You're here
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • I had a LOVELY time! I got on stage at 9pm so knew there was PLENTY of time to WAFFLE ON, and very much DID. I seemed to spend a lot of time talking about the benefits of having a My Waitrose card, which everyone seemed to take well. They were less appreciative of my peroration of praise for The Mentalist, probably because it the only people in the room who'd ever watched it were Mr Osborn and I. Anyway, apart from that I had a WHALE of time, it was GRATE!

    And then it was Grace who, as ever, ROCKED the entire room, and rocked it HARD. Post-gig there was some lurking, then some hugs, and a small group of us hopped into a taxi for MORE BOOZE over at the legendary Hare & Hounds pub. It turned into rather boozy, also LENGTHY, evening, which ended in the hotel bar with rather too much WHISKY not long before 3am. ROCK AND ROLL? We done it!

    posted 9/6/2014 by MJ Hibbett

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