Tuesday, 29 June 2010


Clazz and I decided a while ago that we should go and see Green Day play at the SECC in Glasgow last week. Well, I say “I”, what I mean is she booked the tickets and then informed me that we were going to Glasgow. Not that I complained to much, seeing as Green Day were a band that I was rather in to back in school and I never really let go of that feeling of teenage fun and games when I listen to “Basket Case”.

Last Sunday we embarked on the epic journey from Uckfield to Glasgow, with a pit stop in London for a few hours whilst we waited for the night coach....More on that later. London is always fun, every time I have been there I continually utter the phrase “I love London”, and it now must rank at least in the top three of my most used sentences. We headed up early, well, after Clazz had closed the shop and we had finished rushing about like goons, trying to pack those last minute little bits like clothes and toiletries. As such, we nearly missed the train.... Which is so unlike us it’s untrue....Dots convey sarcasm on blog posts, right?

As I say, London is amazing, one of my favourite places to be (outside of everywhere on the Isle of Man, obviously) and seeing as we had a few hours to kill before the magnificent night coach, we decided to do a few touristy things. Despite the fact I have been to London on more occasions than I even dare to count, I had never been to Buckingham Palace. I had also only been to Trafalgar Square on one previous trip. We walked for a fair distance, to lots of places and I was pretty damn proud of the amount of things we managed to cram in to such a short amount of time. Highlight of London leg of our journey has got to be winning a Fox’s Glacier mint and a Fruit Salad from a Namco game arcade...Despite the machine screwing me out of 120 something tickets. We spent the remainder of our time wandering around admiring the sunset that descended London into it’s beautiful Neapolitan darkness, before heading to Victoria Coach Station for Leg II of our marathon three day trip.

I hate coaches, with a passion that can only adequately be described through the medium of fire. I have grown accustomed to them though, having lived in Manchester for a few months I used to travel down to see my parents and go to gigs fairly often. Nothing could have prepared me for the arduous trek that lay ahead. 8 hours on a coach is bad enough, but 8 hours that you have to try and sleep through as well is border line on torture. Clazz is used to it, though, coming from Orkney she made the same journey many times, and as such pretty much slept right through. I, however, remained awake for all but 3 hours of the journey, and this is 3 sporadic hours, not continuous. Bored doesn’t begin to describe whatever it was I was feeling. Anyway, we got there at around 8 Monday morning, and headed for the Euro Hostel where we were staying.

Upon arrival we were told that we couldn’t check in until 3......in the afternoon.....ARRGGGHHHH! It was 9 in the morning. 6 hours we would have to spend finding things to do on a shoestring budget in Glasgow. So off we went to McDonalds for breakfast....Well, I did anyway....A double sausage and egg mcmuffin is far too tempting to turn down when you don’t realise what you are doing. Glasgow isn’t an overwhelming City like London, nor is it as pretty. But it does have a charm that makes you fall in love with it. Like most people from the South, we have this stereotype about the Scottish that they are all drunken, unhelpful tossers who couldn’t care less about anyone, but we encountered nothing but nice people who are by no means inebriated or tossers. Anyway, I found my new favourite store, Forbidden Planet; it’s a geek heaven/haven. I wanted it all, but I settled for a £9.99 Yoshi Plushie, which is the best money I have ever spent.

We ended up checking in and sitting in the bar of the Hostel, where we met with Alistair. Alistair is one of Clazz’s friends from Orkney, we have chatted on the interwebz and we have had many a debate with one of Clazz’s other friends so we get along quite well. I was feeling a bit worried though, this was the first of Clazz’s friends I had met, and I didn’t want to give off a terrible impression, thankfully I didn’t and we ended up playing pool before walking down to the SECC to see Green Day.

We bid our farewells to Alistair, at least until tomorrow, and sat in the Queue to see one of the greatest bands on the planet. We got lucky, although we arrived a bit later on we managed to get a decent spot in the line and once we got in we even had time to pick up a T-Shirt and still be pretty close to the front.

Joan Jett and The Blackhearts were on first, I’m not a massive fan of the music but that fact that she is getting on a bit and can still produce the goods live is a credit to the industry really. There were a fair few fans of hers in as well so she did managed to rouse a good reaction from the rather young crowd. It was a good set, despite only knowing a couple of their songs I found myself bouncing around and have a good time. We were expecting Frank Turner to be here, but as the Blackhearts carried on for over 45 minutes we began to wonder if he was or not. When they started setting up for Green Day we had our answer, I was a tad disappointed because I have a few friends who rate him very highly and I wouldn’t have minded making my own opinion.

Not that it matters, we weren’t made to wait for long before the legendary pink bunny came sprawling drunkenly on the stage and provoking a mass dance-a-long to the YMCA which was being blasted out of the PA. He swore at the crowd before stumbling off the stage, the crowd were expectant now, and as The Ramones blasted out of the PA and the lights dimmed the sea of people screamed in excitement, myself included. Tre appeared, then Mike and last but not least Billy Joe bounced onto the stage and burst into a 3 hour set of pure magic, finishing with rousing and heartfelt rendition of Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life) before leaving the stage to be stared at by thousands of dumbfounded fans, astonished by the party they had just witnessed. It wasn't just a show, it was an event, and one I was very proud to be a part of. Despite the fact there were no trains, and we had a half an hour walk on almost useless limbs, nothing could damped our spirits as we traipsed back and rested our weary heads for our only real night of sleep.

Tuesday was the day we met up with Kevin. Kevin is one of Clazz’s best friends, who had decided to come and stay with us for a while in Uckfield. We wandered around Glasgow a bit more first, his coach from Aberdeen was due at 12 and we checked out at 11, so as most people do, we decided to go to Hamleys, I love this shop almost as much as I love Forbidden Planet, as photos will prove :D . I got to be Bumblebee from Transformers; my life was complete at that very moment. I was more nervous about meeting Kevin; he is one of Clazz’s best friends and will be living with us for a while so I certainly didn't want to be myself and ruin any chance of civility. We met; we got on fine, problem over. We spent the rest of the day wandering and shopping (I got shoes and two Stephen Fry books, yay. Kevin made a Build-A-Bear Tiger called Rory with sunglasses and a guitar.) We eventually met up with Alistair and went to a few pubs before “Night Coach 2: The Return of the Haunted Bus Driver” We said our second set of Goodbyes and left. I fuse to mention Pizza Hut because I nearly died.

The coach ride home was worse than the one there, ‘nuff said. We got to London and got on a train home and by half nine, I was asleep after a freaking amazing few days!

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