The tour that is, Bobby Madden showed on Saturday that the mentality is still alive and well.
Philadelphia kicked off the north American leg of the tour and huge props to the Philly No1 CSC who put on a gig despite circumstances that would test the patience of Pope Francis. Firstly, they had two venues cancel on them, one the day before the gig, so to still get it to go ahead, and be such a great night, is kudos to them. They also dealt with a strange apathy from the new club in the city which I personally have dealt with before in a few places. For whatever reason, you sometimes get people who just won't have anything to do with an event because it is being organised by someone else. An utterly bizarre attitude towards a Celtic event but there you go. It happens all over the world but that doesn't make it any more mind-boggling when people put personal politics before Celtic. With this in mind, I can't thank Mike, Tom and Jim for rising above all this and showing what Celtic is all about and making me feel so welcome.
Special shout out to my main man Scott Richards who came out and renewed my belief that we are brothers from different mothers.
The next morning, it was off to The Big Apple. The Megabus sheltered us from extreme brass monkey type cold and the free wifi helped the journey pass like Tom Rogic. I was staying on 1st Avenue and 12th St in an apartment that was owned by a guy called Bruce "You can call me Angel" with a twirly mustache. (Sorry Bruce, I don't call any guy "Angel") and was all good. It was a quick freshen up and off to Demseys. Now, there had been a quandary bout this gig, it was the same day as "Santacon" in the city and this meant a million morons in Santa outfits would be marauding round the city. We decided to go ahead anyway and the fact it was a success is all down to Big Tommy from the NY Fenian Bhoys, the sort of guy wouldn't stand beside you in the trenches, he would stand in front of you.
Special shout out to Steven Wright, an old friend, who came and out and strolled down memory lane with me, it was bliss.
Sunday morning, up with the lark and it was Megabus time again, this time to Boston. Arriving there it was cold, I mean rip the face off you type cold. We were met pre gig by James Gillen and it took about 45 seconds to realise he was sound as a pound and before long we were being Ubered to the gig. It was good to see Billy Ramsey again and good to meet his son Conor who is already an encyclopedia of Celtic. The gig was absolutely fantastic and it really was one of those nights that make all the bullshit worthwhile.
Special shout out to the owner of the pub who told me 'I'd love to see the movie but I've been on the rip three days solid"
Then back to NYC for a few days before heading out to California. Getting up at 6am for a 925am flight to San Francisco, I took the L Train, E Train and Air Train to JFK. No issues and on the plane, ready to go, when the pilot announces we are now leaving at 1210pm and need to get off the plane. Worse things happen at sea though and we did leave at 1210pm for a seven hour bumpy flight into the face of a 110 mph wind. This obviously meant a major delay getting in and made a hour journey from the airport take three hours due to rush hour traffic we now had to encounter.
Next day it was off top Sonoma County and a gig there the day after on the Saturday. I love the guys in that CSC. Peter, Jimmy and Isaac aren't just friends, they are like a crew. I had a great time and laughed my ass off for most of it.
Special shout out to Rachel who is like my life coach and had me on the the right track in no time at all. Thank you.
So the tour goes into hibernation until January 13th. It's been great for the most part but equally draining. I have to remind you that everything we do is independent. We don't hate the media but take their publicity, we just hate the media. I pay my own way everything except for my hotel in Philadelphia(Philly CSC) and my flight to California (Sonoma County CSC). It is not a money making operation nor is it the means to a career, writing books and making films is my career. That is why I am immensely grateful for every share, every like, every retweet, every heart, for everyone who books me, who comes out to a gig and who buys a book. Also, for those who take time to send a message of support, it is massively appreciated and acts as my jet fuel.
As for the knockers and begrdugers? Pogue Mahone.
See you in January.