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That time we went to London….
For 12 hours.
For these guys.
Demented Are Go
When Olivier and I first got together, I’d never heard of Demented Are Go – yes, I know, I led a sheltered life. And after seeing their album covers, I decided I didn’t want to hear of them. Or hear them. In fact, I used to tell Olivier not to play that crap at home. It’s not the kind of music I want to hear in our living room.
He’s a good husband, he obeyed.
But then, in September 2014, DAG decided to come to Russia to play in Moscow and St Petersburg. And, the good supportive wife that I am, I offered to go with Olivier to their Moscow concert. So, we bought tickets. The day of the concert arrived and off we went.
Surprisingly, I really enjoyed the concert! On stage they’re very dynamic visually, the singer’s voice is gravelly and deep, and very suited to his subject matter and, well, from that moment on, I also became a ‘fan’ of them.
We spent some time talking with the band after the concert. In fact, the drummer, Gaybeul, is French and it turned out that he and Olivier have a lot of friends in common, even though they’d never met before. So, we were entertained, made some new friends, and then waved them goodbye as they set off in their mini bus to the train station to take the train to St Petersburg for the next day’s concert.
One year later
Fast forward one year.
One evening, Olivier and I were
drunk having a quiet drink
together at home, and he decided to look at the DAG web page to see when and
where they were playing again. They were playing in London on Saturday, 6th February
He checked flights online. He found a not-too-expensive direct flight to London from Moscow return. We couldn’t take a Friday or a Monday to extend the weekend because of teaching commitments in Moscow. If we went, we had to go on Saturday and come back on Sunday. Without fail.
He took his credit card. He said that he’s going to click on the ‘BOOK FLIGHTS’ button if I don’t stop him. I laughed. I didn’t stop him. Finally, he clicked the button. Moscow to London – we were going to London for 12 hours.
We’re going to London!
The 6th of February finally arrived, and we packed our things and headed off to the airport.
Yes, that’s right. I just took a handbag! The smallest one I had. And my camera. Olivier also just took his bag. No change of clothes, no bathroom bag (no hotel reservation!!), no clean underwear.
We arrived in London at about 5pm on Saturday and took a train to Victoria station, where we then transferred to the underground. A couple of stations later we came out near the 100 Club. Perfect.
We really wanted some dinner before the concert, and we had enough time, it was still early. We had our hearts set on fish and chips. Who wouldn’t? It’s London. There’s fish and chips everywhere in London. And they’re the best in the world. Right?
We walked up and down Oxford Street and found only a couple of English pubs, but didn’t find any fish and chips. Plus, there was some kind of rugby match happening and there were sports fans in all the pubs, and rugby matches on the TVs in the pubs, which meant that the pubs weren’t the best place to go that evening.
Finally we decided on Indian food instead. Well, they say that some of the best Indian food is in London. I don’t know if I agree, but it was pretty good!
So, we ate our dinner, along with the obligatory bottle of wine, and then headed off to the concert.
Don’t drink too much!
Because we had a very early flight the next morning (7am), and no hotel booked, we decided that it would be sensible if we didn’t drink too much. We couldn’t risk missing the plane back to Moscow. And, anyway, we can spend a nice evening in a concert without drinking like pigs, can’t we?
Yes, we can.
Before the concert started we met Gaybeul (the French drummer) and had a chat. The concert was great. There were 2 or 3 other groups playing that night too, so it was a good evening all round.
And we only had 2 beers each. Champions! There’s no way we’ll miss the plane – we controlled ourselves. Pat on the back. I knew we could do it.
Some photos from the concert that night.
After DAG had finished playing (they were the last band), they packed up their stuff and we chatted with them for a while, and helped them with their gear, went with them out to their van. They had a hotel not far from the club, and they invited us to join them for a drink.
We drove to the hotel all together in their van. The guys checked in and put their gear in their rooms. Gaybeul said he was tired, so he said goodnight and went up to his room. So Olivier, me, and the remaining 3 guys went to look for a bar or somewhere to drink and to get something to eat. We found a café and with the singer, Sparky, we went inside and got a table. Meanwhile, the other guys went to Burger King, but when they came back they said that they, too, were tired and went back to the hotel.
We were alone with Sparky.
So, we ordered some wine. Yes. Wine. House wine, actually, nothing fancy. We ordered some hotdogs. We ate. Drank. Talked. Laughed. Took photos. We exchanged small presents. We ordered more wine. And we probably ordered a bit more wine after that, too.
Finally, we had to go. It was after 3am, and we had a plane to catch. Ok. Let’s get the bill. No, no, Sparky, don’t worry, it’s our shout, we’ve got it.
One hundred and twenty nine pounds!!! Three hotdogs and 5.5 litres of house wine. Don’t worry, Sparky, it’s on us. The voice in my head said “I hope the credit card works.” Yep, transaction approved. Whew.
We walked Sparky back to his hotel, put him in the lift and waved goodbye. Now, time to go to the airport.
We asked the hotel receptionist how much a taxi would cost to Gatwick. Ninety pounds. Ninety pounds!! Ok, forget that, goodbye. We’ll find another way.
We walked out to the street. And that’s where it all started to go blurry for me.
Going to the airport
According to Olivier, we took a taxi from the hotel to Victoria station. My wonderful, useful, and capable husband bought our train tickets from a machine there, found the right platform, and got us on the train to Gatwick. Once there, he got us through security at the airport. So far so good. Fortunately there’s no passport control when you leave London, I’m not sure they would have let me leave in the state I was in.
At one stage, in the airport, (apparently) I refused to walk (I mean, we were on the travellator, you’re not meant to walk!). It was getting late, we might miss the plane, and Olivier was trying to encourage me to hurry up. He was in a slight panic. But, apparently, I just stood on the travellator, glaring at him. I was moving, what more did he want?
And then, we made it. I only knew this because 2 hours into the 4 hour flight I woke up in the plane, in my reclined seat, next to my husband, and we were flying somewhere over Europe on the way back home to Moscow.
Thank you Demented Are Go, it was a fantastic Saturday night in London!