Monday 3rd April – The Eagle Inn, Manchester
So, Manchester. You were the next stop on the Alessi and CC headline tour and in complete honesty, I have the biggest mixed feelings about it. Don’t get upset; the venue, promoter, crowd and evening was stunning but our day time discoveries lead me to an ugly truth about homelessness.
We had the lovely company of Mike Walsh (great photo guy) and Nikki Pinder (amazing illustrator) for the day, taking photo’s for a piece on Line Of Best Fit and we collectively decided to go for falafel just off Piccadilly Gardens. I haven’t spent a great deal of time in Manchester in the day; I’ve mostly been there on tour or to go to 5th Ave during my student years and I guess in some ways I have quite a nostalgic, shiny, beer smeared presentation of it in my mind but none of us were prepared for what we saw. There were corners after street corners of homelessness and everybody was walking by like this was ‘okay’.
In my 7 years of touring around and travelling I’d never seen this in such high quantity or without control or recognition of humanity. I won’t list just what I saw but it was inhumane and what shocked me the most was that there was no help or support. Homelessness is real and it’s happening, and this was a big cold slap for all of us of just how critical some of our cities are. I ate my falafel – in horror and helplessness, held back my tears and made my way back to the venue. Please take the time to offer some change, a hot drink or at the very least some human interaction. I don’t want to completely make this post as negative as it sounds, but I would like to encourage you to think twice.
Moving on…The Eagle Inn was a new venue to me and a beautiful one at that. Converted from an old house, with a huge glorious disco ball (I love a disco ball) a stunning balcony over looking the stage and a fireplace half way up the wall, it held so much charm along with those which came to spend their evening with us. Manchester crowds – you are always so kind, you love a friendly heckle (which I support by the way) and you made us feel so at ease after the mind-ache day we had.
Shout out to Chris Thomas who has been booking my shows for years in Manchester, that sage tea you bought for us was life changing and the moroccan falafel went down a treat at 2am in our ever so sketchy and questionable zero star hotel, that actually had one of the most glorious mattresses I’d ever slept on. Silver linings.