93. Nîmes, Arènes de Nîmes, 15 June 2008

What I wrote at the time: It’s Monday now and Nimes seems closed until this afternoon.. and now it’s started raining heavily. I’ve a while until my train so I’ve dashed into the first place with wi-fi and a very grumpy waiter. Might see if I can get something that isn’t Steak Tartare in a moment… but first, last night’s show. After Saturday I didn’t think they’d top it… but you know this band are full of surprises.

A completely different set list with some highlights including Dollars & Cents, Fake Plastic Trees (with the swooping vocal), Bangers & Mash and Paranoid Android. Then an encore of Thom on his own playing Cymbal Rush (followed by a hug from Colin, who must be putting something in his tea judging by some of his interpretive dance moves earlier on). Bloody great, I even forgave him those red trousers after a couple of songs.

We sat in the same place as last night, fantastic view as long as you don’t topple over into the tier below (which was a bit touch and go when I was shaking it to Bangers & Mash). The band were definitely really into it, Thom giving us his lesser spotted “warming his hands on the audience” gesture. And for You And Whose Army some great eyebrow action on the “nose cam” then straight into a manic version of Idioteque. I’ve got a little note pad I keep in my pocket and I’ve just written ‘Wow”.

I apologised to the security guy from the night before for freaking out on him and this time he let me keep my pass. And various crew members were modelling their fab rainbow coloured t shirts (they’re in colour coded teams). I also briefly met Hannah from Friends of the Earth who is blogging the tour too…

About 3am, I’m sitting with the London gang of boardies, eating merguez by the food vans at the far side of the square.(Merguez – Spicy local sausage and chips in a baguette and after nothing all day, the best food I’ve had in I don’t know how long). It hits me hard then that this band don’t need me anymore. I know how weird that sounds, but it used to be that there weren’t many friends around after shows, that there weren’t many people to talk to. These shows have hundreds of folk hanging around and I’m just another ligger. It’s late and I’m tired and emotional, bowled over by some of the best gig experiences of a long career…