After experiencing some travel woes in last part of his “Tour Tale” entry, Thomas George aka The Lion and The Wolf is back with another entry. As always he’s keeping it DIY with a house show in Bristol before playing a series of intimate shows.
Thomas discusses how important house shows are to the DIY culture and how small acts of kindness can go along way whilst out on the road.
February 9th: Brooke’s House, Bristol
I’ve always been a fan of house shows. In fact, there was a time, where all I would play is house shows. I had no idea how to sing into a microphone, what to ask for in monitors or, in truth, how to sing at all. House shows for me are a really important part of DIY culture as well as being a great area for live music, some of the best shows I have played have been in somebody’s house or flat as there are normally unwritten rules. For example “don’t be a dick” or something in that vein is often the main rule. People can bring their own alcohol, if they wish and donate to the acts – again, if they wish. I only met Brook in December last year and I knew that I liked him from the word go, so it was a pleasure to play in his shared house.
After arriving in Bristol I met up with Tom who pays under the alias of The Wrestless Wrestler and his friend Lauren and we headed upto Brooks together. I forget how much I like Bristol. We arrived to find many nandos-chomping-protein-shaking lads in the kitchen who were pleasant but didn’t attend the evening proceedings. The show itself was wonderful, candle lit, everybody zoned in and we followed this up by watching Blade Runner and having a beer. Tidy.
February 10th: Cheese And Grain, Frome
I played Frome last year and loved it, the Cheese and Grain itself is a huge room but the room off to the side where I played is nice and intimate. As per, I arrive super early because I have to do travel in the cheapest way possible which ofter results in having a lot of time spare. I am 100% ok with this. Although my spare time is normally not spare at all and the majority of which is taken up with booking up the next tour or doing some kind of promotion. I’m greeted by my old friend Rob Dahl who has been putting me on for years and he gives me the green room out the back which has a shower and tea making facilities. In the main room there is a kids roller-disco and the DJ is playing songs with lyrical content that kids hopefully don’t understand because, damn.
After showering and unpacking my merch I walk into town to see my friend Ellen who I have known since I was about 4. She runs an amazing coffee shop on the river and when requesting a “flat white” she responds with a witty “of course you want a flat white, are you going to take out your George Orwell book in a minute and read wearing your rimmed glasses?” – she’s worryingly not that far off the truth. Ellen’s Mum and Brother enter as if it’s scripted and they invite me to dinner at their house. My family and I used to visit and stay on holidays was is a very pleasant trip down memory lane.
After eating dinner next to an open fire it’s back to the venue for soundcheck. The show was really cool, very intimate. I had the pleasure of watching Jacob Yeo who is only 17 but absolutely breathtakingly good at performing, I was in awe. I cannot believe I am nearly 30.
My friend Danny kindly gives me a place to stay at his flat which he promises is only “five minutes away” which was more like 25. NO BIGGY, ha. We start watching a Paul Simon documentary which I am enthralled in but my eyes are getting heavy and I have to be out of his house by 8:30 so I fall asleep whilst depressingly not getting any matches on Tinder. Romance is dead.
February 12th: Rock and Blues, Barnsley
I am getting pretty resourceful when it comes to making up a bed at somebody’s house. Sofa cushions and binding them together with a throw is a firm favourite and because I am 6’5 I normally have to add pillows to the end so my feet have something to rest on. Last night I slept pretty well but was COLD and woke up with my beanie over my eyes as Dan’s girlfriend left for work, I mumbled a thank you and woke up half hour later. Me and Dan had some coffee and went into town where I picked up my first ever pair of Dr. Martens – cue blisters and instant regret of attempting to break them in whilst carrying all my shit up to Barnsley. I think I changed train ¾ times and the promoters boyfriend, Ed, was kind enough to pick me up and take me to the venue which is the back room of a Polish working mans club. The room itself was like a scaled down Wedgewood Rooms and I was greeted by some incredible veggie pasta, hummus, pitta bread and crisps which was hugely welcomed as I was starving.
The show was great, lots of people in the room and all being really quiet whilst I played and it was good to check out Gaz Brooks, Joe McMorriston and David Kay. After playing I had a brief radio interview and headed to a bar for a drink but I only lasted the one beer and headed back to my accommodation which was a converted attic and the comfiest bed I have had in the past two weeks with an en suite shower and fresh towels. It was really generous of the couple at the show to put me up. Small acts of kindness like this go far when you are away for an extended period of time. You’ve got to pay that shit forward.
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.