Mission of Burma From the Road: Birthdays, London 2012

The further adventures of Mission of Burma.
Thur. Dec. 6th: London

Pete didn’t sleep much last night, so he climbed onto the ledge in the back and was gone for some hours on this long drive to London. Serious snow-storm south of Glasgow- couldn’t even see the hillsides. Calmer now – just the usual dreary rainy English day (mild irony….. i think…..).

This is totally insane: the London club (BIRTHDAYS) is a dead ringer for The Underground, where we were sort of a house band in 1979/early 1980 in BOS. Small room (we could’ve sold it out twice was the word around the club), and the “dressing room” is a corridor where two people can’t pass (just like The Underground). Nowhere to escape to. Fire Records (our pretty great new London label) people want to talk to us (do we want to talk w/anyone after 8 hours in the van with too little sleep?) and we’re all trying to find somewhere to escape to. Rick Harte is here, good talks, and after a pint I’m up for actual speech and everyone from Fire is totally cool.

While I was sitting in a far corner of the club sipping a beer (nowhere else to escape to), I noticed an unusually well-dressed couple leaning against the wall who finally sat down next to me. He says to me: “Are you into Mission of Burma?” Hmmm, how to answer? Finally, after some obvious time-consuming pondering, I say “Yes, I’m into Mission of Burma.” He says “How did you get into them?” I says “I know them pretty well.” He gets excited and asks more. I says “When I talk to the guitarist, it’s like I’m talking to myself.” HIs enthusiasm is not dimmed. Finally, as I haven’t managed to drive him off with my abstractions, I admit I’m me (whatever that is…..). He remains excited, and I have to talk rather than sit in quiet and sip my beer. We hear later that the singer from Franz Ferdinand was at the show, and Clint thought that person was so out of place in the club that it was probably he with whom i spoke. Beats me. He was a nice guy, whoever he was.

Set was a total ripper, in your face kinda thing (now that I’ve talked w/Pete and Clint, the sonic confusion of low-end roar onstage made them wonder how it really sounded). Ended with Youth of America (Wipers) which did the job (Rick H. singled it out as a highlight). Must’ve at least been OK, ‘cuz when the head of your label (in this case James of Fire Records) says “I could’ve watched you guys until 3 am!” (the show ended by 11pm) at least you know it’s unlikely you’ll get fired in a couple days… We are working, after all. This ain’t no picnic.

We’re all very very very very glad that we have a day off tomorrow: 5 gigs in a row with never enough sleep. Well fukit, we’re in a goddam rock band – what should we expect?

Just recalled that a gal at the end of the night in Leeds was totally enthusiastic after the show, looking slightly of out of place. She said she only likes Beyonce and the like, but now was a Burma fan as well. Ummmm, that makes sense?