Thursday, May 15, 2014

Weirdness in Birmingham

Well we haven't finished the tour yet; is this tempting fate?
But Birmingham has to take the biscuit for a weird experience.
We were booked into the city's worst hotel, the Paragon, which featured a hole in the bath in Chris's room, an electric socket falling off the wall and serious damp issues in John and Kate's room, a full-on argument going on next to Willie's room, an an air-conditioning unit (or perhaps just a noise nuisance unit) that switched itself on at mega-volume  outside our windows every time you tentatively dropped off to sleep. The car-park was lethal, a symphony in insecurity; the pavements were larded with dog-sh*t, and the hotel housed a huge number of refugees and a man with a clipboard barking out names at the desperately-miserable-looking crew the next morning. Oh yes- and a dealer on the corner when we got back late at night. Read the hilariously awful reviews here
Just before the gig- which was fab (the audience were definitely stars as well as the band!) we went for a Chinese meal at Ming Moon. The food was great but I'm not so sure about the electric fiddle player, who got ten out of ten for being sinister and who leapt from his podium and serenaded people at their tables (but not us... perhaps he realised that it wasn't a good idea). He peered about the room from under his lashes and strode past the tables with a frightening sense of purpose, swapping to an electric mandolin for some inappropriate soft soul covers. Extraordinary.


Cazz Blase said...

I stayed at that hotel last year when I did a talk on UK Riot Grrrl in Birmingham! I think I got luckier with my room though, but it had a well ropy lock on the door and I got lost trying to find the way out... that was probably just me though. As hotels go, I've probably stayed in some equally ropy ones in London so it didn't register as being as bad as it maybe would do for, erm, less budget travellers?

Helen McCookerybook said...

The bass player had to wedge the door shut with his flight case!
The only worse one that I've stayed in was an Cambridge, with a knackered smelly mattress whose springs were so spiny that they twanged in the night, and so much grit on the floor that it was like walking on a beach!

Cazz Blase said...

Ooh, grim... I haven't been that unlucky (yet) and hope I never will be. I do know which hotels in London at the lower end of prices do decent breakfasts and which don't though, and managed to lock myself in my room in one in Kings Cross once. I had to summon reception to rescue me: Very embarrassing...