68. Newcastle, Arena, 23 November 2003

A train to Newcastle, where it is even colder than Manchester. Really bitterly cold, windy and wet. Travelling light, I don’t have all the usual winter paraphernalia I would have in Scotland. Yasuko has a room for us in the nearest budget hotel to the arena, if I had any sense I’d go to back to bed but I attempt to explore a bit of Newcastle until the rain puts me off. I just need to go off on my own for a while. Already the group mentality is making me tense. I have what Clara calls “tour Tourettes.” I’m swearing even fucking more than usual.

The Japanese contingent are already down at the venue, braving the cold, but I know that my ticket will be a seat again, so there is no need to queue.

Hilda has put my tickets in a small envelope with a note on fluorescent pink paper: “Just to say that there’s no aftershow tonight, so we’ll see you tomorrow!” I end up with a spare ticket – everyone has bought theirs in advance, anyone who might know someone who wants it is already inside the venue. I hate to waste a ticket when they’re so hard to get but these people don’t leave it to chance.

I have another seat that I don’t want to sit in. I’m on my own, I can feel a cold coming on. I want to be happy and these shows don’t make me happy. Spoilt brat.
I wrote the set list in my notebook with notes on Thom’s inter-song chat: Gloaming, 2+2, Morning Bell, Where I End…, Stand Up Sit Down, Kid A, I Will, Myxomatosis (“Bush and Blair, shut up- just don’t say anything.”), I Might Be Wrong, Paranoid Android (“What the fuck is wrong with you lot – do you not get out much or something?”), Sail To The Moon, Talk Show Host, Punch Up, Just (I scream loud here), Idioteque, No Surprises, There There. Encore: You And Whose Army (nose cam), National Anthem, Wolf At The Door, Karma Police (with the a capella bit), We Suck Young Blood (hand claps led by Ed and sustained by Coz), The Bends, Everything In Its Right Place… FOREVER the tickertape read out across the top of the stage in LED lights. At the end it changes colour and speeds up.

Sartorial notes: Ed – Red T-shirt with obscured writing; Jon – Yellow T-shirt; Thom – No Star Wars and another jerkin; Phil – White suit; Coz – black. Ed was definitely playing with ADF on The Enemy Of The Enemy and possibly on Naxalite, which is their best song.
Back in the Jury’s Inn, I get woken up. Yasuko has crunchy plastic bags in her luggage and I realise I’m a terribly light sleeper. I don’t think she went to bed at all. They leave at 5am to fly to Bristol. I couldn’t have survived another one without sleep. Newcastle is so cold. Clara has gone to Norwich as her friend has a baby due.

I retreat back to Glasgow for a couple of days rather than schlep to Cardiff. Back to Limbo before flying down to London.