And so to Exeter for the final date of the tour. There are some bleary faces on both the tour bus and the train! One company member had to be roused out of very deep slumber seconds prior to the bus leaving. Flying towards Exeter within the same 30 seconds we spot a stream train, several deer and an ancient house covered in some climbing plant.
At the venue we are greeted by a curious exhibition – faceless clerical figures in full regalia, its colourful, quirky and ever so slightly alarming. Audience figures are good here and technical set up is already well advanced when we arrive. Mixy spends some valuable time with Murray working on his solo set which will open the show tonight (instead of our usual Dead Poets acts).
The evening doesn’t get off to the greatest starts when I contrive to release the cable from the mic during the intro but from there on in the show begins to fly. Its a warm, welcoming audience which always helps. Mixy kicks off the show well and despite the onset of severe flu Aoife and Jainey woo the audience with the sheer beauty of Different Words for Snow. From now on in, writing your own horoscopes should be encouraged as a national past time and everyone should drive round London on December 25th at least once!
Murray’s set includes another new element tonight – his Ronald McDonald ‘what is it like to be famous’ – is introduced as a film like piece which requires a soundtrack, step forward Mark Hamilton and various pedals and effects. Special mention too to Barrett on the lx desk who busks a lighting plan for the number brilliantly. But despite this unique addition to the set my Murray highlight remains his dark brooding collaboration with Jainey – Newlyn.
In no time at all its ten o clock and the last time I’ll introduce Woodpigeon (with their sad savvy songs and beautiful melodies). This time I watch from the very back of the room – and although I know the set inside out now – I’m still transfixed. Well actually I know the set as well as I can – given there are a few surprises and insertions every night! Familiarity has taken the surprise factor away but each night I’m hearing new harmonies and nuances to their work – but damn it I still can’t work out the words to the honey bear song beyond the first couple of lines.
The show comes down at 11 – its been another long night but judging by the comments and feedback in the bar – a good one. I catch up briefly with Kate Offord – the literature officer for ACE SW who I had last seen at Tip of Tongue – and its great to hear her talk positively about the show.
Collapsed in a corner of the bar the (almost) full company enjoy a well earned drink and celebrate the success of the tour. Tomorrow its on to other projects, other lives – but its been a unique, creative experience and I’ve had a ball sharing time with twelve very talented and extraordinarily different individuals over the last 8 days and 2000 miles.