Paul Goodwin

Garlic Nan

Published on Tue 29 Jan 2013

Our gym was nice enough to let us go to all their branches around the country for the duration of the trip so we went to sit in the hot tub the morning after the Symphony Hall gig. My back was sore from traipsing back and forth across sheet ice with bags/instruments/goodnessknowswhat so it was pretty welcome. This one had a plunge pool. Sod that. It's interesting how every Nuffield gym has the same slightly tasteless scrambled eggs. Of all the meals in the world you would think that would be something you'd cook specially rather than microwave.

The short drive to Leicester was pretty uneventful. Annie bought me a grumpy smurf at the services, I think to make me fail to open then container as I had with the web slinger. God knows how kids get into these things. We got off the motorway and onto the brilliantly named Groby Road (sounds like a dirty cat), where the hotel was and came to the turning marked Premier Inn, then carried some stuff into the reception where we tried to check in. Turns out there are two Premier Inns on Groby road in Leicester, each with piles of maps to the other that they give to the 30% of people who thought Groby Road would be sufficient to put in the satnav. My old uni friend Niall who was coming to the gig was, coincidentally, in the same hotel. Which seems very unlikely seeing as even if he was booking into a Premier Inn on Groby Road there was still only a 50% chance it'd have been the same one.

The venue was really nice. I had an excellent chicken melt thingy while the main band of the night had one of the longer, louder soundchecks I've seen in a while. My solo gig was ok, I'd not played in ages so getting through the set with not too many cock ups was as good as could be hoped for really. The crowd were friends of the local bands on the bill so were never going to care but were polite at least. Setlist (vaguely):The Ghost of Paddy's Night Past, Watertight, This Place is Dead Anyway, So Finally a Love Song, Edinburgh, maybe something else.

Annie and I played a more assured set (to my mind) than the night before, maybe because there was a stage and monitors and it was dark. And I had this guy watching me.


It's quite nice being a backing musician - there's a lot less pressure. A lot less reward too, but it's still fun.

About 20 seconds after everything was all over the room turned into a rockabilly disco. I've not seen so many quiffs or so much gingham in one place before. Annie and Niall went to get the car and, I'm led to believe, they saw some local wang. Classy place Leicester.

Against my expectations, Leicester closes really early. Probably for the best bearing in mind the state of it at 10.30 (and actually, any other time I've been there), but trying to find some food was a nightmare. We had to go to a 24 hour drive thru McDonalds in an industrial estate on the outskirts in the end. If you've Pledged for Annie's ep you may have seen some footage of the ordering process. Niall enjoyed his I think.


The next morning went to the Leicester edition of the gym which was bigger but more suspicious of us. It had some amazingly hot hot tubs, which operated a weird alternating system where only one would be on at a time so everyone had to shuffle between them every 10 minutes. Seems to me you may as well just have one that's on all the time. When we were done we went for lunch in central leicester - all the restaurants were super busy apart from Urban Pie (who'd have thought it with a name like that!) and a very tasty Indian restaurant.


We intended to go to the National Space Centre but there wasn't really time, after we'd pissed about in a toy shop for a bit and driven round a properly horrible so we headed for Birmingham a little bit early.


The venue was very trendy, which these days means falling to pieces and smelling of lentils. Though I do admire somewhere that's actually falling to pieces rather than having had an expensive refit to look like it is. Good taste in games though:


Louise Petit's band were nice again. She had an extra guitarist for a couple of songs called Amit. Amit can do this. Not sure if it helps his playing in some way but he sounded nice.


We played well I thought and met some nice people. I was still struggling with the melodica breathing but only a couple of people came up to me and took the piss about it.