Maia Weekender : 4th-6th May
Beak saturation can hit at any time – the cusp is always in sight!
We started this weekend’s adventure at 9:30 am; the van’s battery is flat as a pancake! After rushing some clothes on, we get round to Will’s house to try to jump/bump/hump start the van, but to no avail. So we call out the specialists who get us started in 20 mins, and we’re on our way to the University of Huddersfield to pick up all our gear. We check there’s nothing left behind (a Ukulele is too easily forgotten!) and hit the M1 like a sack of beans.
We’re always worried when we head down to London that Will, our drummer, will have ‘laid on something special’ on the motorway, such as a 15 hour traffic jam, or Rare Mongolian Fruit Lizards Nesting in the middle lane! Fortunately, this time there is nothing hindering our progress toward the big smoke, and we make it to The Troubadour in good time (for once!).
Having sound checked flawlessly, we head off out to grab something to eat before the show and get back in time to watch some acts. We then played our set (marvellously, it must be said) and chatted to all the interesting London folk, who would never usually say anything if met on the street! I think we sold a few albums, maybe and E.P. or two, and then it’s time to P.U.F.O. (Pack Up, F*** Off!).
This time, however, we have an extra addition to our van – one of our fans has travelled down to see us from the Bedford area, and by the time we are leaving (c. 1am) she is also; on her own! So, of course, we give her a lift back to Bedford, as we’re staying in Milton Keynes that night!! It’s a fun, but fairly long way back, arriving at the great Haig residence at roughly 3am.
Waking up in Milton Keynes, feeling refreshed, it’s back down to the big smoke again. Morale is fairly low, but we soldier on, looking forward to playing together more than anything, but also we’re playing for Sam Lee of the Nest Collective, this miserable Saturday, at the renowned Camden Crawl. These guys know how to treat a band! First we blag the van into the car park (you wouldn’t believe how difficult this can be, sometimes – usually we just go for it and find out consequences later!) and then we can unload onto the big outside stage, when *cue rain sound effects* it chucks it down!
We’ve been shafted again, are thoughts all round, but NAY! Sam Lee gets us inside the Roundhouse, and we quickly realise that there is no shafting occurring, save for us shafting the car parking warden!! The place is PACKED OUT, and the audience are so ready and willing to listen to our music that we play an absolute blinder, even though the PA/stage inside was a 20 minute makeshift! This just goes to show how variable life on stage can be!
After this excellent show, we are treated to burgers at the artist cafe and pack our van to head off, back up to Huddersfield. We stick around though, to watch a couple more bands – the Magic Lanterns, This is the Kit, and Sam Lee are always a delight to watch – and then we end up making friends with them, doing and album swap and exchanging contacts to sort out shows later in the year… They definitely didn’t teach us this at Uni!
So, we mooch on back up our favourite super-motorway in better spirits than the day previous. We get to uni, drop the gear back off in the store, and head to our various homes for a good night’s sleep.
When doing a radio session/show, one never quite knows what is going to be the drill! We turned up in (it has to be said) one of the more dilapidated areas of Leeds, for our ELFM radio sessions, but was greeted by Zoë, one of the nicest people we’ve ever met (it has to be said!) She got us watered, and we rehearsed a couple of songs, as Will had had some dodgy chicken the night before, so couldn’t bear to sit on the wooden box of the Cajon! But this worked a charm, and without all the percussion, we had played and packed down quicker than we could learn the names of all the busy worker bees there!
We packed the car, and got on the M62 back to Huddersfield, safe in the knowledge that we’d be back down to London quicker than we could write this blog!!
Joe, Tom, Simon & Will (MAIA)