Peter was a little worse for wear by the end of the show that night. His favourite drink is a cocktail called 'The Brucie Special'. Throughout the set he seemed bent on downing as many as he could. There's a certain slapstick quality to watching poor old Brucie double tasking between drum teching and being Pete's bartender.
A day or two later we read in the paper that £25,000 worth of mobile phones are stolen during the performance. That explains the crowd chant of "where's my f*cking phone gone" that goes up towards the end of the set - not surprisingly it utterly mystifies us at the time.
Leicester. This town instantly makes me think of two things. The first is a patented dance manoeuvre, known only within limited circles as The Leicester Lurch©. Invented onstage during a Babyshambles gig in Leicester circa 2006.
During soundcheck Adam is keen to run any tunes I think Peter could surprise us with -this has happened a few times already on the tour- so we fire through A'Rebours and French Dog Blues. The Birmingham Academy is a cavernous old room, and soundchecks here are notoriously unhelpful.
Today is Jai's birthday. Who is Jai, you ask? Well, if you've been to one of the shows this tour, you may remember the handsome devil behind the merch stall. What you didn't realise as you perused the fine selection of quality products on offer, is that Jai is one of Peter's oldest and best pals.
This was the one everybody was curious about. Reading down the list of dates on the tour, every show was in a well-trodden town except this one. No one I spoke to had played here either, indeed few had even heard of it. Turns out it's a newish venue, built on the University of Hertfordshire campus.
We played pretty well, a touch rusty perhaps after a short gap since Paris. It didn't matter though; the crowd were determined to make it an incredible evening. Every so often an audience shocks you with their reaction- Sheffield were just such an audience this first night back on the road, they went berserk from start to finish. The Steel City embracing some London Troublemakers, what?
The first bit of promo was pretty surreal. We actually have a really great team in Parlophone France, and we trust them to book us for promotional performances appropriately. On this occasion however we arrived at the TV studio to discover we had been booked to play a cookery show. Ok, why not?
The show tonight was ace. A game of two halves; the main set was solid, but we really came to life during the encore. After a good run of consecutive shows, we can now follow Peter's wilder 'band direction' with ease.
Evening all. Well we just played Oxford Academy. A very odd show... I came offstage not quite knowing how it went. Yep, one of those. Peter (Doherty) typed out an order of songs that looked great on paper, but soon as we got a few tunes in he continued to completely disregard it.
It's such fun to watch Peter Doherty riffing when he's on form like this. Something I don't think people know is just how funny he is. He really does make me laugh. He has the capacity to see the funny side to most things, which is a quality you want in a touring buddy.
The Leeds crowd last night were well up for it. They took Peter's "Hello Manchester!" gag in good jest, and I think it was probably the first time I've seen a full 'widen it out, then smash it back in' circle pit at an indie show. It made me wonder, do Babyshambles have a bit of punk/hardcore fanbase crossover?
Our guitar tech Brucie, usually conservative in his praise, has just climbed on board the bus announcing tonight's show to be his "favourite Shambles gig ever". Not to fill this blog the HP have kindly offered me with self approbation, but if we continue in this vein its going to be a smasher of a tour. Splendid.
We played great, despite the usual disorder of stagediving kids spilling over the monitors onto our pedals (disconnecting them and breaking leads in the process). Peter in all honesty hasn't been as present as the rest of the band at rehearsals, but he remembered the lyrics for all the new songs pretty well.