Wheatus Tour Diary: Days 1-2, Manchester & Derby

Today I saw a man with a goat: a goat with a coat.  In front of a moat!  I kid you not!  Such are the wonders that await people who visit the lovely Welsh town of Cardiff, as we are doing right now.  I have little doubt that Dr. Seuss frequented this little hamlet where they spell Wheatus “Cwkzydd.”    Britain is such a strange place!  And we are here.  By “we” I mean Wheatus, MC Frontalot, Math The Band and City Stereo.  We travel in two enormous double-decker buses from quirky little city to quriky little city in the name of rock.  You are probably asking: how did this come to pass?  I will tell you, in as succinct a manner as possible.

Faithful readers may remember that I moved to Brooklyn at the end of January.  Once there, I was invited by Herr Front to a little bar called the Pencil Factory, whereupon I met none other than the inimitable Brendan B. Brown, frontman for Wheatus and a true Northport celebrity.  It took him less than 3 minutes to ask me if I wanted to play keys for him on his UK tour, and after many months of rehearsals and far more Nina’s Pizza than anyone (other than Brendan) could ever want – no offense to Artie – I found myself on a plane from Newark to Manchester, en route to my first ever European tour.

Also on the plane, in addition to Wheatus mainstays Matthew Milligan (bass) and Kevin Garcia (drums), were new backing vocalists Gabrielle Aimee and Delaney Gibson.  We landed in the wee hours at Manchester International and made our way to the Airport Hilton, where we attempted to not get jet-lagged.  It didn’t work.  Frontalot showed up around 2pm and dragged me off to the downtown area where we fixed our phone situations and bought really important things like nose hair trimmers.  Immediately upon returning to the hotel we went right back into Manchester to eat some amazing Indian food at a restaurant where the Roti Prata hung from hooks like so many slabs of unleavened meat.  Afterwards we returned to the hotel and slept fitfully until the next morning, when we boarded our amazingly huge tour bus.

Our first stop on the tour was Derby, which is most likely famous for something.  We played the Victoria Inn Derby, a friendly if somewhat small venue.  Intensely small, for us.  Suffice it to say that I was not able to dance around in normal Vic-20 fashion during the Frontalot set.  The kids were alright, though, as they say in the Dutch.  The room – which was one body short of being sold out – hooted and hollered and called out for tunes old and new, and went absolutely bonkers for Wheatus’s big hit Teenage Dirtbag.  I am told that this will be a regular occurrence.

Our first loadout was long but not entirely arduous and was followed by our first trip to “services” which is British for “truck stop.”  I bought myself an “All-Day Breakfast Sandwich” which is apparently such a hot commodity here that they are disappearing like train tracks.  It was certainly delicious.  From that point on we drove the long, dark drive to Cardiff, where we wait now in the enormous green room.  If you want to know what happened here, you’ll have to read the next tour diary entry!  Fair is fair.

5 Responses to “Wheatus Tour Diary: Days 1-2, Manchester & Derby”

  1. Brandon Patton

    Sounds like a blast! I wish we had a dbl decker bus when we tour together when you get back. Meanwhile, touring with jonathan coulton and they might be giants is going well. Great crowds. Flansberg and Marty like to play poker. I lost an all-in bet to our drummer when he was too drunk to understand the rules of the game, a bit of a shock. Still wondering if he was acting. Detroit is so full of “was” is our current injoke. Also: sybaritic blood force. Look it up. Break a leg!

    • ken

      It is a blast! I will look up that cryptic phrase. Honestly I will be happy to be in a smaller van in the US because I feel very disconnected from the traveling process in this giant orange beast. Are there any videos of your shows online yet?

  2. Naomi

    Awesome, Ken! My favorite: “unleavened meat.” Keep ‘em coming and have a great tour!

  3. 2 buses? Pretty sweet. Hope you all have fun over in Wallflower land… any chance of some gig photos? (p.s. that goat looks pretty sweet, wonder why he’s selling it? guessing the coat is to hide the bog, which is undoubtably there… always is in the 2nd hand varieties…)

  4. Mom

    So happy to read your tour diary again :) Keep those entries coming!
    Hugs Mom and Wa