25 June 2011
'And Did Those Feet?'Bath – Detroit. Travel day.
In order to minimise the psychological disruption, I got up as soon as I woke up, showered and headed back to the Hotel Fabulous where a late breakfast had been laid on for all of us.
Bath is a very beautiful, Georgian city that is wonderfully preserved. All you’d have to do is cover up the parking meters and you could shoot a Jane Austen movie the same afternoon. I haven’t been here terribly often but I happen to know that I was conceived in this city, though that’s a story best saved for another day.
Smasher arrived some time later looking stunned and a little startled. He too had been bumped to Mrs Miggins’ B&B but, having arrived there at 6am, had an adventure even more challenging than mine. He got there with some of the BBC people and they were all taken through the same 'I’m sorry all your rooms have been cancelled' routine that I’d faced a couple of hours prior. By the time the later party got there though, the well was running dry, leaving only one room which Smasher ended up having to share with a woman from the BBC whom he’d never met. Splendidly awkward.
A bit of breakfast calmed us all down and eventually it was time to leave. The hotel sits in a beautiful Georgian crescent where, a few doors down, a wedding party was having pictures taken. It was a pleasantly normalising experience to see a bit of real life as we boarded yet another van, sitting inside with something of the air of survivors of a plane crash. Dennis asked if I’d like to sit up front, so I got out and promptly tried to get in the driver’s door. Where are we again?
The charter left from Cardiff airport which was an hour or so drive away just over the border into Wales. Band, crew & equipment all travelled on the same aeroplane, so we were able to catch up and swap our Glastonbury stories. Everyone was very positive about the show and felt that it had been worth the considerable effort, though there was also a general acknowledgement that it had been very hard work. The rain was tough. It’s not that U2 aren’t used to rain or are unable to make the best of it but this wasn’t spectacular event-rain like we had in Zurich and Moscow, this had been a continuous, low-level, insinuating drizzle that got into the bones, making it a long day for the audience.
Many people bore battle scars, mostly in the guise of mud-formations. Bono hadn’t been to bed and still had mud up to his knees - I took a picture once he’d taken his boots off. And did those feet? Yes, they most certainly did.