Last week we bought you the first part of The Lion and The Wolf’s UK tour diary. The Isle of Wight based singer-songwriter otherwise known as Thomas George is currently touring the country for 3 weeks in support of his recent ‘Symptoms’ LP.
After kicking off the tour in a relaxing fashion by playing well-received shows and catching up with old friends, Thomas’ second tour tales entry sees him suffer from public transport woes and having an interesting conversation with a drunken fellow. Read on to find out what exactly Thomas has been up to…
Read the first part of here.
February 4th: London Waiting Room
So today I got excited knowing that I was playing the home leg of this tour and what made me even more pumped was knowing it was a sold out show with New Desert Blues. I got up at a reasonable hour, showered and made my way into Manchester so I could get the coach back. The buses up North differ from those in London as they only have one door at the front and of course I picked the most full bus to get on – cue awkward bumping into people with all my shit. I WILL pass my driving test this year, it has to happen.
I manage to get my own two seats on the National Express and start reading ‘Fever Pitch’ but the woman behind me is on her phone for pretty much the entire four hour journey home so I found it difficult to concentrate – the joys of the National Express. After carting my gear from Victoria to Dalston Kingland I decide to walk to the venue which takes about 20 minutes and my shoulders are going to get a medal at the end of this tour I swear. I want to take this opportunity to apologise to my body for all the abuse I have given it over the past year.
I was greeted at the door by NDB and went downstairs for my soundcheck then got some dinner upstairs, on my own, by candlelight. I felt like I was Hugh Grant in a mid 2000s movie. The show was fucking cool. There were a lot of people down early and I played to a full room which is always a good sign. Even though I was only 5 days into tour, sleeping in my own bed was magical and I made an entire cafetiere to myself.
February 6th: Leicester Looking Glass
I’ve played here four times in the last year. It’s one of those places I always look forward to because the crowd grows each time I come back and it’s a really intimate setting. I had an absolute epic on the way up here though…
I board the really busy train from St Pancreas to Leicester and go to my seat and a guy who boards the train a few minutes later is convinced I’m sat in his place and we proceed to work out that he in fact was showing me his return ticket instead of his outgoing. The dude’s pretty drunk and is laughing to himself as he walks down the carriage shouting “keep it warm for me mate I’ll be right back!”
No harm done.
He then returns two minutes later, realising that his seat is in fact next to me which is fine and we make the kind of small jokes about that thing kind of thing. Just like always I am prepping my ear-phones ready to listen to some music on the way up, but I decided to not isolate myself and for once attempt to engage in actual conversation on public transport.
He offers me a beer, I decline but we start talking about a few things including my guitar that he has spotted and then move onto football (turns out he is a Spurs fan and we have a little bit of a joke about that, again – no harm done.) After about two or three cans of Stella the conversation is pretty much one way traffic and he tells me… “I just get the taste of booze mate and it’s game over” and "I love the banter of football, I really do.”
People are making eye contact with me and shaking their heads but in fairness he hasn’t really done anything wrong at this point… but then he starts talking about immigration and the area he lives in which goes something like this..
“I mean you get on the bus where I live, and it’s like 1% English I would say, you can’t tell what people are saying – I wanna be able to understand what people talk about you know?” he then follows this with “I used to have a local but now it’s been taken over by some mob from Turkey, Lithuania or one of those countries”
and like clockwork comes out with this…
“I’m not racist.. but…"
I’m just staring out the window and shaking my own head conjuring up a retort in a vague attempt to educate this prat about the importance and benefits of a multi-cultural society.
But before I get the chance, he answers his phone…
“Ello me old china, ow the fuck are ya? Ye…ye….FAACKIN ELL. Anyway listen – how much room you got in the back of your van? I’m chatting to a geeza on the train he’s got some gig stuff, a banjo and that, think we can fit him in the back? How much room you got? Could you fit an asian in there? Ehehehehehehheh"
Me – “I’m fine, honestly – I appreciate the gesture but I’ve not far to walk”
“Bollocks, you’ve kept me entertained for the last hour – I’m gonna fucking help you carry your stuff.”
As per, I leave my seat five minutes before anyone else to get my shit together and get my bags on. I get off the train and turn around and can’t see him so quicker then usual, I make my way to the gates and duck into Walkabout. Which is where I am now.
Guaranteed in the next five minutes he’s going to turn up.
This is my life.
After spending a good two hours in Walkabout using their excellent wifi and drinking their not so excellent coffee I make the trek to the venue which is of course on the other side of the city. I decide to play the John Williams collection for my walk and it’s amazing how much more enjoyable a strenuous walk can be when you have the E.T. theme tune in your ears. The show was really fucking excellent and I can’t wait to come back.
February 8th: Plymouth The Junction
After having a splendid day off in Bristol and heading out to a show at The Gryphon to watch Boxkite I met up with my old friend Sam who, co-incidentally, was driving back down to Plymouth that day. We took the drive and went back to her house which looks like something from Grand Designs and after a brief but excellent Sunday roast we headed back out to Plymouth.
The last time I played down this way I had a chest infection and had to get a friend to drive me to Sainsbury’s and then Tescos to pick up an emergency inhahler but no such drama this time and soundcheck was good. I sat down with a couple of members of Worried Shoes (who were excellent) and by the time it came for me to play the room was filling up nicely. Tonight was a tough show though, the layout of the Junction works well for louder bands but no so much solo acts. A pool table in the middle of the room can cause unplanned, percussive outbursts but I feel I played well and really enjoyed Worried Shoes and WoahNows.
One of the benefits of touring is the amount of new music you expose yourself to and the people you meet and it’s mind blowing how small the UK music scene can be too. Everyone knows everyone and it’s this communal side of music that I find most rewarding.
The Lion and The Wolf is still on tour and you can see him on the following dates:
Tue 10 Cheese And Grain, Frome
Wed 11 Owl Sanctuary, Norwich
Thu 12 Rock and Blues, Barnsley
Fri 13 The Compass, Chester
Sat 14 Santiago Bar, Leeds
Sun 15 Birkby Manor, Huddersfield
Tue 17 Joiners, Southampton
Wed 18The Wine Bar, Ipswich
Fri 20 Phoenix, High Wycombe
Sat 21 Sticky Mikes Frog Bar, Brighton
Mon 23 Buskers Bar, Eastbourne
‘Symptoms’ by The Lion And The Wolf is out now on Courage and Stone Records.