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Friday 29th January 2010

So it begins in earnest. After lunch I shaved off my beard and trimmed back my tache in preparation for my trip to Folkestone. Or is that Volkestone? For a second it almost felt like I was welcoming back an old friend. Each time I go back to the toothbrush it seems less odd and upsetting. I am still not looking forward to having it until April though. And then again in May for one last gig in Liverpool. Where all tours must end.
It also felt good to be back on the road. At the start of each tour there is a little burst of euphoria and hope as I drive down the open road on the first leg of the journey. It’s a road trip and there's a freedom and exhilaration to it all. It soon disappears, of course, as the mundane reality and difficulty of traversing the clogged roads of the United Kingdom starts to hit home. Indeed it took me over three and a half hours to get to Folkestone, so even though I felt I had left in plenty of time I actually only made it by about 7pm.
The venue was only a year old and everything looked brand new and modern. I sold about 150 of the 250 seats, which isn’t too bad for a first visit to a town. Five years ago I would probably have been lucky to get 30 people in a similar venue.
With half an hour to go I decided, for the first time, that I should begin the show with my hair tied back so I more closely resembled the poster and Herr Hitler himself. But all I had to hand to do the job was one of the shoe laces out of the shoes I had warn on my way here (I have dedicated show shoes) and spent a good 20 minutes trying to manipulate this piece of string into a workable scrunchie. I am no Macgyver and it was a struggle, but I eventually tied most of my locks behind my head. As it happened it didn't get too much of a reaction, even when I revealed what ridiculous lengths I had gone to achieve the look. I pulled the shoe lace out as soon as the crowd did not go for my opening anti-Semitism. I will get proper equipment for the rest of the tour.
It was an enjoyable show though and a nice way to ease myself back into things. I am still keen to keep working on the script and add and improve as the tour goes on. The first half tonight felt a little short. It was good to be underway though and I was buoyed by the news that I have sold over 500 tickets for Nottingham tomorrow. That is almost unbelievable. It certainly feels like things have stepped up a level this year. I am also rather amazed and impressed that Collings and me have sold out our gig on Monday at the Leicester Square Theatre with no publicity beyond the blogs and the podcasts. Maybe, finally all this hard work is paying off.
I was already exhausted on the drive home and aware that I was going to have to get up early in the morning to sit in for Adam and Joe on 6 Music. It's exciting to be this busy and I am not complaining, but I hope that I do not get overwhelmed by the work load. I don’t have a day off until Sunday week and a lot of driving to do this weekend. But I do love my job, even if it means I have to spend the Springtime for Hitler.

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