The last time I was in Hull, there were posters for GoodFellas all over town, I saw Roland Gift cycle past me, and I watched Evil Dead II on VHS with a friend who was doing his PhD at the university.
I don't think there were direct trains from London to Hull at the time and there might as well not have been today. Our first train was cancelled and we had to squeeze on the Doncaster train. There we picked up our original First Hull Trains service, which was handy, but only a few miles from our destination the track lost all power, including backup.
We sat on the tracks, gazing at the mighty Humber Bridge through the rain and wondering if we'd have enough time to set up at the venue.
Luckily, somebody got their hands on a little power and we were only 40 minutes late. It was a blessing to be accommodated in the Mercure Hotel, which is right in the station and a short walk from our venue. This was Hull Central Library, so we hastily set up a stage area, utilising an imported PA system and a back-projector. Nestled among the impressively bountiful bookshelves, we created an atmospheric arena for the Sun to strut and fret its hour upon the stage.
Sunspots opened the Humber Mouth Festival, so we had a pretty good audience, and one that had been helping itself to cold drinks during the opening reception. While they were having fun, I hid out in the bookshelves, trying to get 'in the zone' (I've been hiding out in all sorts of interesting places on this tour. I might round them up later.) I happened to be sitting next to copies of Byron and Milton, who are both big influences on Sunspots.
The 'stage area' was smaller than usual but I was happy with the show and felt there was a good rapport between myself and the audience. If you want an objective view, there's a review here.
I know you're just dying to know how Tom and I dined that night: well, we found a cavernous, subterranean all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant, which seemed to have been designed by Ken Adams (think the volcano climax of You Only Live Twice but full of trays of food from every cuisine imaginable, henchmen falling and dying between the steam trays).
Sunspots will return at York St. John University on November 25th.
Click for Sunspots tour dates.