Tour Blog #16: Walsall – The Homecoming

IMG_0617So, I’m sitting on my sofa in my lounge writing this final blog on the Brains For Breakfast ‘Work. Rest. Play’ Tour. Before I go into last night, the ride back and today, I’d just like to thank a few people. I’d like to thank Andy (Brains For Breakfast) and MoJoe (Chameleon Recordings) for working with me to make this tour a success on every front. We had a lot of fun together, did a lot of work and helped get the very best out of the tour. We will now begin editing the huge amount of footage we captured into the tour video, which will be released episodically on YouTube. I’d also like to thank everyone who has given this blog a read over the last couple of weeks. I hope you have enjoyed the posts and found them mildly interest. It really means a lot to get the kind of views I’ve been getting. I will also be releasing a photo blog of the tour over the next couple of days, so check back for that and follow the blog if you’re on WordPress.

Now for this final post business. The show at The Pull And Pump in Brighton last night was absolutely great! The perfect way to end the tour. Everything about the show was positive. The venue was a quaint pub made up almost entirely of wood, with lovely staff and an absolutely brilliant couple of promoters. The room was packed out with an audience of people who actually paid attention, made a lot of noise and showed a lot of respect and love to every artist on the night. The place had that sweaty, bar blues feel to it.

The show had a genuine character about it. I would put it in the top three shows of the tour. As I mentioned, the crowd were enthusiastic and encouraging. We even did a whip round for petrol and they gave extremely generously. The artists were all tremendous, easily one of the best bills of the two weeks. The promoters (along with Leeds and Nottingham) were a league above all those others we encountered. They were supportive, generous and beyond helpful. I can’t give them enough credit for the way they handled the whole show, and the way they treated the talent. Most importantly, Andy played a very good set and was greeted warmly by the local crowd.

After shaking a lot hands and saying a lot of goodbyes to all the great people we encountered, it was time to hit the road. We made the long walk back to the car with the merch and instruments through the city centre. The bright, vibrant city of Brighton does seem to suffer from one epidemic which plagues most great cities: homelessness and poverty. We were confronted with a slightly depressing sight as we made our way through the centre. There were many beggars, buskers and folks sleeping rough on the streets. It was a sad thing to see, but I can’t really hold that against Brighton. I’ve been to Barcelona, Venice, New York, Dublin, you name it and I have always seen this.

We got to the car and headed for Uxbridge, London to drop Dan off. It was great for us all to hang out with such an old and good friend, but now we were on our way alone down to Walsall, home. We finally got back about 3.30am and I didn’t get to sleep until about 5.30am. There was some kind of tornado going on in our area last night. The wind was so loud that you heard it over the TV. I woke up today at about 4pm. I was supposed to be at my Birmingham 2022 workshop tonight at 5pm, but there was no way I would have made it. I had to cancel, and now I’m worried that I may not be allowed back, but I hope I will be.

IMG_0625The tour was pretty incredible, but it’s cost me a lot and I’ve had to sacrifice a lot. I’m very broke right now, as you can imagine. This means (for the first time in five years) I will have to miss the annual Leeds Zombie Film Festival, a tradition I carry out every April. I missed Wrestlemania!, I missed two of my magazine workshops, and may possibly have lost the project. All of that stuff is pretty annoying but it was worth it to see all the things I saw, meet all the people I meet and go to all the places I’ve been. I wouldn’t take it back, but I do think I’d do it differently in the future. But, you live and learn. I’m thinking of doing my own free zombie film festival at our place, so I’ll be sure to post about that if it happens.

I’ve loved the last two weeks but I’m happy to be home for many reasons. I feel clean and fresh, comfortable and relaxed, happy and content. It’s been a crazy roller-coaster ride, but now¬† it’s time to get back to focusing on all the things I need and want to achieve for the rest of this year. I’d like to once again thank everyone for their support. If you like what you read, create an account and follow this blog. Be sure to check back for more posts upcoming (including the tour photo blog) and share this site to your friends if you think they might like it.

Thanks a lot for reading.



Dublin 2013: Bars and padlocks



This year was the first time I’ve ever really cared about Valentine’s Day. The reason for this – spending it in my favourite place in the world Dublin. I visited there once before on a lads weekend away, about three or four years ago. I always knew I wanted to return. I’ve been to a few pretty cool places now (Venice, Budapest, New York, Amsterdam, Barcelona) – which is why people are always shocked to hear that the Irish capital is my true home away from home. It holds a special place in my heart. The first time I ever went on a trip without my family, it was to Dublin. The only interesting thing I know about my family is the Irish blood I’ve inherited from my mother’s side. It may be a couple of generations back, but it still makes me feel a little less boring. While in Dublin, I bought a badge with the crest of my family name: Hanson. I almost felt like I had a little bit of an identity.

Going back to the home of the shamrock was another brilliant experience. This time it wasn’t with the lads, it was with my girl. This was pretty different, but equally amazing. Everything was just as beautiful as I remembered, and it was awesome spending it with someone who was there for the first time. I discovered a lot of new stuff I didn’t encounter last time. We crossed the Ha’penny Bridge. One thing set this apart from every other bridge along the river. We saw that the bridge was covered with padlocks…

On closer inspection, they all had names and dates on them. I kind of figured what the message behind it was, so we went along and got ourselves a padlock, a permanent marker and decided to leave a little piece of ourselves behind in my favourite city. We kept a key each, and unless we or the Dublin City Council go and remove the padlock, the spirit of our trip will always remain there. Having since done some research on my return, I now know that we are fully fledged members of the Love Padlocks community. That’s pretty cool.

We also met some great people. Most notably Nadine and Lara. Having dinner at Nando’s on Valentine’s Day, we made friends with a four year old girl and her friend Piggy. Her mum was kind enough to take a photo for us on my Polaroid camera, which I haven’t used since I was about ten. The little girl had become a part of our trip by now. We let her in one of the shots, and left the picture with them to develop and keep. She crawled under the table and cried when she thought she couldn’t be in the photo, so we gave her one of our precious eight takes, which cost my girlfriend around fifteen pounds. We just couldn’t say no to her after all the fun we’d had for the previous few hours. That was a great memory.

Countless interesting bars, awesome sights and the brightest, most welcoming people I’ve encountered so far in the world. Dublin still is my favourite place, and it’s impression on me has grown even more. My latest trip had everything I could have wanted. We met some cool people, we had a great time and shared some pretty amazing memories which hopefully brought us even closer together. I expected to come home wanting to go back as soon as I had the chance, and that’s exactly what has happened. I’m counting the days to go back, make some more memories and make sure that our padlock is still there.

If you love Dublin as much as I do, give me a shout and leave a comment!