I could see the bus…

…from my hotel room as I wrote the last journal entry. Shortly thereafter I stood on my balcony in Utrecht and waved goodbye to Gunnar, our wonderful driver, as he and the rest of the crew pulled out for, er, somewhere else to park up in order to offload the gear into a smaller van for the journey to Tivoli, which is absolutely inaccessible to big vehicles. Guy, Hugh and I had another couple of hours of hotel living – and a decent lunch to take together – before getting a cab to the gig and the onrush.

And so we were into the heart of the tour. Serious overnight distances and a series of moments of reacquaintance with cities of weighty resonance with us in terms of mutual history. The anticipated and the unexpected came at us in slide show form, as ever. But what a great – if by now somewhat blurry – experience this tour was!

We ended up with fairly stable sets, which was, I suppose, inevitable since we were intent on bedding in the new material: we’d finish with either “Man-erg” or “Childlike” and the rest of the choices swung around those. Of the new material, “Mathematics” only got a couple of airings; even though it’s got some of the most exquisite chords of the repertoire it had to give way to other candidates in order to keep onward momentum in the sets…. Anyway, the other “new guys” more than held their own, I think.

(Incidentally, many thanks are owed to the crew for goading/guiding us towards performing “Gog” at least once along the way!)

All good, life-enhancing stuff on an artistic and human scale. As I’ve often said before, it’s a privilege and a joy to do this work.

It’s now nearly three weeks since we got back. My gear was returned to me about a week later but I only got round to beginning the Great Unpack yesterday. It seems it takes longer and longer to get back into the swing of normal life after tours such as this.

I’d intended to start work immediately on the next solo recordings but depressurisation from the tour and all the stuff that needs to be dealt with at the end of a financial year mean that I haven’t yet done so. What I have been doing is looking at the collection of recorded solo live performances which have mounted up in the past period. I think it most likely that these will be destined for some kind of release in the near future. It’s quite a task, though, sorting through them!

And now (tomorrow in fact) I’m about to go back on the boards as a solo artist, in Gouveia. I’m packed and rehearsed and ready…it’ll be a very different experience from that of the last month of course.
Finally, on a strictly commercial Sofa Sound note, the remaining stock of the merchandise which we were selling on tour has now returned to us and we’re selling it at http://www.sofasound.com where you’ll find all the info. Lithographs of the “A Grounding” cover and a couple of different T shirt designs are on offer. Advance orders for the Metropolis DVD, due out at the end of May, are also now being taken. One word of caution: it seems this is being released as a Europe only product. We hope this can be changed, mind….

OK, let’s go: onward!