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We stayed up in Altrincham last night en route to Carlisle. We arrived about 9.30pm, checked into the hotel and met in the bar to discuss the itinerary for the evening's entertainment. Unsurprisingly curry and beer was the outcome. Found a very good Indian restaurant close to the hotel and curry accompanied by large bottles of Cobra was consumed with ease. Fed and watered, we decided more beer would be a prudent way to finish off the evening. We found a bar close by with an acoustic band. We rolled out of there about 2am a lot more unsteady on our feet than when we arrived, but a good time was had by all.
I awoke from my alcohol-induced coma around 9.30am and felt a lot more human than I thought I would. First things first... coffee. I found a Costa nearby and had a read of the paper. I met the rest of the fellas in reception at midday and it was off for a spot of breakfast/lunch… Everyone seems to have survived last night's session relatively unscathed. All is good with the world...
After lunch it's time to continue our journey to Carlisle and we head up the M6 in a northerly direction. Traffic is ok. We're due to arrive at the venue at 4.04pm according to the sat nav. The weather up in Cumbria is a tad average but not to worry. We arrive on schedule. Great venue, a sports hall. Very good, this'll do nicely. Ticket sales are good... let's do it!
The Lizzy boys soundcheck and are sounding great. They finish and it's us up next, there seems plenty of time for us to do the same. All sounding good from where I'm sat. 8pm is showtime. We retire to the catering room and have a bite to eat, very nice it is too.
Time to get ready for the show... I'm wearing my Team GB shirt tonight as a big up
to our athletes who did the biz the past couple of weeks. Now it's my turn.
Thin Lizzy's stage manager comes to get us... it's showtime! The lights go down, the Pink Panther strikes up, here we go and into Wildside. The room is pretty full and fills more as each minute passes. We're going down well and it still sounds good onstage. Bloody hell it's hot up here!
45 minutes fly past and we leave the stage to thunderous applause. Well done fellas, good show. Have yourselves a nice cold beer to cool down, you've earned it. Everyone is buzzin' and saying they really enjoyed it. Belfast tomorrow can't come soon enough. We watch a bit of Thin Lizzy then head back on the M6 in the rain. We're staying back in Altrincham tonight and flying from Manchester to Belfast in the morning. Carlisle Sands Centre was great, loved tonight.
Now here's a question - will we revisit the same bar in Altrincham as last night
for a nightcap before heading off to bed? Watch this space…
Carlisle photos used with kind permission of Ian Routledge