Newport was a more of what I was expecting from Nottingham in terms of grime and drabness. The swampy rain didn't help things much, and I broke my promise to myself regarding going to sleep earlier as it was King's birthday and we ended staying up and listening to the brand new unfinished Gorgoroth album. So after a night of uneven sleep and anxious tour-related nightmares I woke up feeling pretty rotten. Fortunately there was a very good cafe next to the venue with a wide array of food. The Carcass, King, and I all had chocolate shakes. The backstage was truly weird- it was up two flights of stairs that looked like a set up for a Chevy Chase pratfall; the staircase was utterly dark until the second landing was reached at which time a motion sensitive light came on. I was expecting someone to fall in the course of the night but it didn't happen. The stairs led to a rooftop patio that was covered in a mess of tarps that recalled “28 Days Later” (much like the town itself), and then led into a second floor kitchen and sitting room. the whole place struck me like a squat. It was musty and cold. There was also an unattended dark bedroom on the third floor that had no working light and seemed to resonate with some sort of unnameable menace. I stepped into the center of the room, closed my eyes, and was overtaken by a dark vibration that made the floor seem to shift and gave me vertigo. I stumbled out with a terrible nausea that did not abate until I made it back down to the kitchen. No vacancy.
The turnout was actually just fine despite the low presales. I wish I could say the same about our set. I don't like to be one of those musicians who forever bemoans performances but in this case we had a hard time in large part due to the overloud drum monitor. The Carcass couldn't hear anything because his ear was being blasted apart by the volume so we had a few moments where we felt completely lost in the weeds. The audience wasn't bothered by it so in the end it mattered little. We signed a few posters and met even more adherents of “Homecoming's March”. It seems we need to think about reincorporating some of those songs back into our set. Gorgoroth was good tonight, but they remain pretty consistent from one night to the next. Back on the bus now. Everyone has their laptops out because we're still getting a signal from the club. Sleeping soon- the jet lag doesn't want to let go.