Roadie #42 - Blog #86
Rather hilariously, we recently hit a million Twitter followers - shortly after I posted a photo of a toilet door. I shall leave it as an exercise for the reader to decide what that says about the Twitter-verse... In all seriousness though folks, thanks for joining us - and obviously, I'm aware that it's Mr. Berryman's presence that has catapaulted us over the seven figure mark. It's fun to be part of things that are changing so fast. Not knowing how it'll all develop is all part of the fun....
It's been a little while since I've posted and as always happens when I leave it a week or so, the intervening days have all blurred into the rear view mirror somewhat. What I do remember, is that we seem to have been averaging a birthday every other day on this tour leg. Geoffrey who handles band security, kicked things off just before we arrived in Austin. We then moved on to celebrating the birth of Ms. Vicki Taylor, one of the band's lovely personal assistants. Now, it's no surprise that everyone on the tour would wish Vicki a happy birthday, but this took us completely aback:
I mean, the fact that these people know her name is pretty amazing - but the fact that they know it's her birthday and have come out celebrating tonight? Just bonkers! (In the most lovely way, of course...)
Soundman Dan Green celebrated two days after Vicki. His birthday also coincided almost perfectly with his ten year anniversary working for the band. He's been with the band since almost their very first show and has seen more Coldplay gigs than any other person on the planet. For his thirtieth the other night, he got his very own spotlight and a rather lovely cheer.
In order to mark the birthday season, Franksy organised a party on one of the days off recently. It was a top day out by a lake, with swimming, jet-skis and a constant supply of barbeque goodness. We were joined not only by Jim from Sleepercar, who opened up for the band a few months back, but also by current opening act Snow Patrol. Great chance to get to know folks - they drive a mean jet-ski those fellas - at least while it's still got fuel in it they do...
Someone's iPod was hooked in to the stereo and it shuffled into one of the tracks that the band play through the PA just before going onstage. For a moment everyone froze, before falling about laughing. Guy did the decent thing and ejected it, assuming his rightful place as groove controller. He slipped his iPod into the deck and delivered top tunes for the remainder of the day.
Talking of Snow Patrol, I have to say that not only are they absolutely top fellas to a man (band and crew), but they're going down an absolute storm. They're getting the crowd on their feet each and every night and getting sing-a-longs worthy of headliners. Rightly so an' all! They comfortably fill places this size in their own right and have tunes to match.
In a rather heart-warming tale, the video department have started shooting Snow Patrol for the big screens that relay the show to the folks up the very back. Now in normal cases, this is subject to a fee payable to each of the cameramen and so on, as they'd normally be relaxing on the bus at this point in the day.
Video Director Andy Bramley, though, has decided that being as the whole video department are watching Snow Patrol's show each night anyway, they might as well get in there and get on with it. The fee has reportedly been shrunk to a hundred bucks and a bottle of vodka. The hundred bucks is to go to the charity of the band's choosing. The vodka, you will be unsurprised to learn, does not...
Quite what it is about being an early summer baby that makes folks pre-disposed to life of tour-buses and hotels I have no idea, but the June birthdays continue apace. Omaha marks the turn of Marguerite, our lovely Production Assistant who sits at a desk akin to a small florists today.
She points out that her birthday last year fell on the same day as the Wembley Arena "Friends and Family" show. This was, in many ways, the starting line for the tour. They weren't paying punters and it wasn't a "real gig", but it was the first time the intro rolled and everyone was hoping to whatever god they did or didn't believe in that it would all go ok.
So that makes the Viva Tour officially one year old. We're all walking upright now and can pretty much feed and dress ourselves. I still wake up screaming in the night from time to time, but overall, it's turning into a fine young tour...