Blog: Don’t forget your playing cards�

As it turned out I never did make it to shoulder level at Wolves. I barely escaped the MPO desk although I did sneak down at one point and wormed my way to the front for one song. I soon fled in panic at the thought of bashing my pink cowboys. It was all a bit rough down there – the boys from Wolves definitely had their heavy boots on.

I do like getting that close though – it’s exceptional and for those who haven’t dared please do. It’s quite incredible to be in touching distance of the band, it’s powerful and evocative and in that brief moment Mike feels
like a ‘stranger’ to me, untouched and beyond.

There were no knickers thrown; a relief, both for me and for Mike:) I loved watching the boys play in such a fitting environment. The Wulfrun Hall was grand and steeped in occasion, well suited to Mike, the boys and their
consequent performance.

I flitted from venue to foyer and was constantly waylaid by people I had become friendly with over the MPO hotline or from previous gigs. It’s great to put a name to the face and as I had thought earlier, this tour had definitely taken on the feel of a travelling house party. I’d like to mention Graham Brazier at this point, the first ever person to
call the MPO back in the early nineties when we first set up the office and sat around awaiting our first call… Would anyone even bother? Well, Graham
did and he’s still in touch with us to this day, along with 10,000 others…like Steve Binman Broome, another regular who empties the rubbish of the rich and famous of the West Midlands (I think he needs a word with
Mike)…

After the gig, we were all sat on the bus ready to depart (Stevie G and I were desperately fighting the carbo craving as we hadn’t eaten since 6pm)
when the bad news was delivered: the van wouldn’t start. It was soon realised that whilst we did have diesel, the fact that we were parked on a
slope meant that we were on the road to nowhere.

A brief moment of feeling incredibly pissed off was followed rapidly by a massive urge for chips and curry. Whilst Ladies Man set off in pursuit of
more diesel, I set off into the world of Friday Night UK (short skirts and skimpy tops) in search of … the British Chippy. Mike was not to be moved from his strict diet of sensible eating and exercise and so in support of
him I abstained. Second wave of feeling really pissed off quickly followed.

These things however are set to try us and instead I concentrated on nice diesel-filled chip-free pleasant thoughts and as if by magic the AA man appeared and set us on our way.

By Saturday, I felt like I was in the middle of battle. Early starts at MPO HQ followed by a full day’s work at MPO Merch Towers at the gigs were starting to take their toll and stupidly I was wishing my tour away,
dreaming of sofas, log fires and sleep…….

Liverpool soon perked me up. Tried a bit of shopping in the afternoon with Mike in tow ( I swear to God, he was after a few more shirts!!!!!) but Mike was repeatedly recognised as we wandered between Karen Millen, Oasis and Warehouse. Hey, not that I mind in the slightest but it does put you off your shopping stride, when you’re admiring some slinky little number and
asking for ‘Glaze-eyed’ Peters’ opinion, when some geezer pokes his head round and asks if Mike will sing ‘Walk Forever’ at the gig tonight:)

Mike did, bye the way. Sing Walk Forever. Did I ever tell you that we had ‘Walk Forever’ played at our wedding? Superb, so I totally understand the significance for those of you out there who requested it as your special
dedication. Only sad thing is that it was written before my time. Can’t lay claim to that one 🙁 Mike does assure me though that it wasn’t written about
a girl as such, more his stab at a hymn. Hmmm… Presence of Love though� he assures me that was definitely written for me:) We had that played at our
wedding also along with Knockin’ on Heavens Door (!!) and Rescue Me (!!!) at the reception. 14 years and they said it wouldn’t last… 🙂

Anyway back to the Lomax, L2 and Liverpool. Historically, in early Alarm days, Liverpool was a difficult territory. Too close to home probably and an inherent belief by the Scousers that The Alarm were sheep shaggers, which
they weren’t incidently… as far as I know… in case you were wondering…

Spirit of 76 changed all of that… you know the video where Mike walks about Liverpool town and looks out at the Mersey lights from his beloved Rhyl beach. It was pretty special tonight. Mike had popped in to see Ian
McCulloch of the Bunnymen in the afternoon (Ian’s wife is a mega Alarm fan) and so by showtime Mike was a ball of energy once again and the audience was magical. I saw almost one verse of… I can’t even remember… I just kept
bumping into so many ‘fans’… it was amazing.

The night was topped by the appearance of Pete Wylie, one of Mike’s all-time heroes. Pete came to chat by the MPO desk – he really liked the set-up of having such a direct relationship between artist and audience and discussed working with Mike in some way or other. After the show and packing up I finally bumped into Mike who was wandering around the bar. He was whispering
as it was important for him to reserve all his vocal energy. Thankfully Pete took over and Mike was more than happy to just sit and listen to Pete who had seen all his dreams come true.

We were back home tonight what with us North Walians really being Scousers. We were all dead beat especially after the Diesel incident the night previously. The MPO office was bursting at the seams with emails, requests,
merch orders and whilst there is a backroom team of 5 people nowadays at MPO there are still many jobs, telephone calls, emails that only Mike or I can
deal with. It was for this reason that I made the decision to abandon ship and leave the boys on their own for Sheffield.

I really don’t like abandoning ship. It is so misery-inducing. You just can’t help feeling like Cinderella. 9pm comes and goes and it’s like having your guts wrenched out as you ‘will’ Mike along for his performance. It’s strange being married to a musician. Sometimes I think it is more
nervous-making than actually stepping out on stage oneself. I imagine it is how one feels for one’s child. You just feel so protective and uneasy until it’s all over. Don’t get me wrong. We are not a bundle of nerves in the
Peters Household but I can definitely detect Mike withdrawing into his buildup of anticipation for a show and down that path I follow. It’s impossible not to, in pursuit of making sure that Mike is ok.

It turned out that Sheffield was a blast from all accounts and I will be forever sad that I missed the boat that night even though much was accomplished and many decks were cleared back in the office.

Monday and Tuesday were ‘days off’, figuratively speaking. Mike caught up on sleep, running up mountains and recording dedications as well as monitoring
the live recordings of the tour so far with the other hard working man of rock, Mike Jones. The recordings, in the words of ‘Mike the Sound’ are stunning.

I meanwhile was ensconsed at MPO, making Gathering preparations, organising the Gathering merch (Superstore here we come!!!! :)), advancing the next few
shows, and also attending my Council meeting which made an interesting contrast to the last few days.

I think that’s where I’ll leave it for now. I’m in bed and it’s 1.20am. I’m embarrassed to admit I jumped ship again and missed Nottingham tonight and yes you’ve guessed it, I’m feeling miserable… cheered though by the
anticipation of three in a row of probably the best concerts yet to come of the Second Generation tour.

The pink cowboy boots are winking at me from the corner of my room and so soon I’ll be transported back to the magic Neverland of Rock’n roll. Don’t forget your playing cards.

See u at Shepherds Bush Bush Bush… no income tax no vat….

Nos da,

Boob Tube xxx

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