As the Brighton liveblog seemed to go down so well with you folks, we thought we’d post the liveblog from the following day at London’s Alexandra Palace. It begins with a post made from the tourbus shortly after we left Brighton…
00.44AM – ON THE TOURBUS
Yes, we’ve now left the Brighton Centre behind and are on the tourbus with Tom, Richard, Tim, Tim’s wife and Colin the tour manager. We’re heading to a hotel in London where we’ll all get some much needed rest. The lads have just been looking at Wednesday’s AAA for the pictures of the broken light – Richard was saying it gave quite a crack when it fell. Richard is now watching ‘The West Wing’ on his laptop, Tom is listening to music and Tim is sitting across from us reading Mojo. We’ve taken some pictures, but they’re tricky to post on the road so we’ll put them up in the morning. There’s a calm after the storm vibe going down. "I think we all tend to feel quite wired after a show," says Tim. "It takes a while for the adrenaline to stop pumping." There’s talk of watching Smiley’s People on DVD now…
01.26AM – THE MISSING SONGS
A few people have emailed ontour@keane music..com asking what two songs the band couldn’t play because of the collapsed light. The penultimate song would’ve been Crystal Ball and the last song, as ever, Bedshaped. Everyone on the tourbus is now relaxing watching DVDs.
02.30AM – BEDTIME
Right, we’ve checked in to our hotel and all the lads have gone straight to bed. Sounds like a grand idea to us. See you in the morning for more on-the-road insights. G’night folks.
10.51AM – GOOD MORNING!
Morning folks. So where were we? There’s a few queations you’ve emailed to email@example.com that we can answer from the comfort of our posh hotel bed. Isabel asked if the band snore. We only saw Tom asleep last night (he nodded off during the DVD we were watching) and, no, he doesn’t. Nicola asked if Keane played Nothing In My Way last night. Yes they did and it sounded top. Yessi wanted to know what Mojo is. It’s an English music magazine which, Tim tells us, has a great Paul Simon piece this month And lastly, a few people asked if the band signed autographs outside last night’s show. Yes they did, for a fair ol’ while. Right, we’d better get up out of this posh hotel bed and get ready for another day’s reporting…
12.08PM – WHAT KEANE DID THIS MORNING
We don’t have too much to tell you but we’ve just found out from Beth that this morning, Tom went shopping, Tim chilled with his wife and Richard spent the morning at home (as he lives in London, he didn’t stay at the hotel last night). We meet to board the tourbus to the venue in about half an hour.
12.45PM – ANOTHER BAND SPOTTED
We’re waiting outside the hotel for the tourbus to arrive and were wondering who the pale chaps waiting next to us were. Luckily Colin tour manager turned up and told us it was Jack White and his Raconteurs. Fancy.
1.10PM – COLIN BRIEFS THE BAND
We’re on the bus with Tim and Tom on the way to Ally Pally. Colin is briefing everyone on what’s happening today, which includes some filming for Yahoo. Apparently some extra lighting is being brought in to replace the broken light. Tom is listening while attacking his new jacket with scissors, to take off the bits he doesn’t like. Graham the bus driver tells us we should be at the venue in about an hour.
2.25PM – AT ALLY PALLY
We’ve arrived at Ally Pally and Tim and Tom have come straight into the music room to practice the cover version which they’re playing for the Yahoo thing later. We’re sitting on a nasty blue sofa watching them. Oh, Richard has just arrived. He seems to be as chirpy as ever. He’s wearing what he tells us is a Detroit Tigers cap. Now we just need to work out how to get our laptop connected so that we can post some pictures…
3.07PM – PICS FROM THE TOURBUS LAST NIGHT
Right, we’ve got our desk for the day sorted. We’re in the production office with Colin the tour manager who is, he tells us, ‘not bad, but having printer problems’. We’re not sure the wireless will stretch all the way out to the gig tonight (Ally Pally is a maze of corridors) but we’ll do our best. Anyway, here are some pics from the tourbus last night. Tim, Tom and Tim’s wife were watching ‘Smiley’s People’ on DVD – a classic BBC show from the 80s, starring Alex Guiness (only Tim was awake by the end of the hour-long episode). Richard was in another area of the bus watching ‘The West Wing’ on his laptop. Check out the fetching orange and blue decor. Oh, and keep your questions and comments coming to firstname.lastname@example.org…
3.14PM – COLIN TOUR MANAGER HAS FIXED HIS PRINTER
He seems very relieved.
3.23PM – BOARDING THE TOURBUS EARLIER
Don’t they look cheery. Richard, you’ll remember, came direct from his house in London, so didn’t need to board the bus.
3.30PM – TOM FIXING HIS JACKET
Tom, fixing his new jacket on the bus earlier, while a multipack of crisps (or ‘chips’ to US folks) attempts to put him off. Talking of snacks, we’ve just realised that all we’ve eaten all day is a croissant, so we’re going to forage for some food…
3.45PM – BAND CHILLING IN THEIR DRESSING ROOM
So the band are currently chilling in their dressing room, with Adam, their manager, who’s just turned up (he wasn’t with them last night in Brighton). They’ll be filming the Yahoo thing in a bit (to be broadcast at a later date, not sure exactly when, but we’ll let you know). Several people have emailed asking how dedicated to the Detroit Tigers Richard is (as we told you he was wearing a Tigers cap earlier). He says that he’s aware they’re in the World Series and that he’d be very happy if they win it, but he just checks their website every once in a while and can’t claim to know too much about them.
We still can’t find the catering area. And our tummy is rumbling big styleeee. A-foraging we go..
4.15PM – BACK AT CATERING…
Yes, we finally found our way to the catering area (this place is an absolute maze) and we’ve just had a plate of incredibly tasty chunky beef chili, which very much filled a hole. Dickie and Helena (the other chef) were very pleased to hear that their Banoffee Pie has gone down a storm with you folks on the website. In fact, Helena has texted her mum in New Zealand to tell her that her picture is going to appear on the site. So, hello Helena’s mum! And here’s a picture of today’s lunch menu…
4.21PM – STAGE TIMES
Here are tonight’s stage times (doors open at 6pm)
John Roderick – 6.45-7.15pm
Captain – 7.30-8.15pm
Keane – 8.45-10.30pm
Cindy from NYC emailed email@example.com to ask how the support acts are chosen, so we asked Tim on the bus over here. "We picked both of them," he said. "We loved the Captain album, so we asked them and, happily, they said yes. They’ve been brilliant. And John is a good friend of ours. He’s a great guitarist and a superb songwriter. They both seem to have gone down really well, which is great." We saw a bit of both of them last night, and we’d concur.
4.44PM – FILMING THE YAHOO SESSION
We just took this through a window of the door of the room in which Keane are currently filming their session for Yahoo. Adam Worley has emailed firstname.lastname@example.org to ask what song they’re covering, but unfortunately we’re not allowed to tell you. We will tell you that it was a Top 10 hit in 1990 (and we’ll probably get told off for even telling you that much). Oh, and stop emailing asking who ‘we’ are – it’s not about us, it’s about Keane! (But it’s very kind of so many of you – from so many countries – to ask).
2009 ADDITION – THE COVER FILMED BACKSTAGE AT ALLY PALLY:
4.55PM – THE FANS QUEUEING OUTSIDE
Yes, this was the queue outside the venue a few minutes ago. As you can see, Alexandra Palace is a very grand venue. It was built in 1873 as a "public entertainment centre" and transmitted the world’s first regular television signal, in 1936. You can read more about it at Wikipedia and at the venue’s own site. The capacity of the gig tonight is 8,000. Ally Pally (as everyone calls it) is a little bit dog-eared, but it’s a beautiful building with amazing views over London. Well worth a visit if you’re ever in town (and they have a great farmer’s market in the carpark on a Sunday). Here endeth the tourist information bulletin…
5.04PM – DO THE BAND EVER WEAR KEANE T-SHIRTS?
Bridget emailed to ask the above question. "No," Tim told us earlier, "I actually don’t think I’ve ever worn one. But I do have a collection of quite a few of them from over the years."
Ooh, soundcheck is about to start (with only 55 minutes till the doors open). We’ll head down there…
5.39PM – SOUNDCHECK
The band have just finished soundchecking, so we’ve whizzed back upstairs to post some pictures. This is obviously the biggest show on the tour yet, so there’s a lot more rushing about backstage today, with people frantically sorting out the guestlist etc. But, from the sound of the soundcheck, it’s shaping up to be a great gig (although the wireless doesn’t stretch down there, so it’s not going to be quite as easy as it was last night to keep you up to date during it…)
5.52PM – A GRAND ENTRANCE
This is the entrance hall that the fans will start streaming through in about 8 minutes when the doors open. Will they stop to admire the foilage as they rush through, hoping to get a spot right at the front? Probably not.
6.00PM – TOM’S WHITE BELT
Rosemarie emailed to ask whether Tom has stopped wearing his famous white belt. "I have indeed," Tom told us. "I got a new one that’s a different colour – black with silver studs – so I’ve been wearing that instead." Tom actually had a few of the white ones. They have, he tells us, been given to a charity shop near where he lives. Cue a stampede of eBay sellers to Sussex.
Right, we’re told catering has now opened for dinner (it was the lunch menu we showed you earlier), so we’re off to grab some more grub…
6.20PM – TONIGHT’S MENU
So we wandered down to catering – and tonight’s menu is above. Unfortunately we realised we weren’t hungry, probably because we only had lunch a couple of hours ago. So we came back up here to post the picture instead, in the hope of working up an appetite. We’re thinking maybe the chicken balti? What would you choose? Email your suggestions to email@example.com
7.00PM – WHAT KEANE HAD FOR DINNER – AND WHAT THEY THOUGHT OF IT!
We’ve just been up to the dressing room to see what the band had for their dinner. Tom had the chicken balti which he said was "excellent", Rich had the veggie curry which was "good" and Tim had the salmon which was "delicious". From the emails we’ve received to firstname.lastname@example.org, most of you folks would go for the rib eyed beef. We’re still not feeling very peckish, but we might wander down there again in a bit.
In the picture, Beth – Keane’s assistant – is going through tonight’s guestlist with the band, to check everyone they need is on there. With it being a London show, there’s an awful lot of people on the list (including that Premiership footballer mentioned yesterday, who doesn’t play for England, and various other famous folks. If we spot any, we’ll take a picture of them).
The band – none of whom have ever been to a gig at Ally Pally before – seem calm, excited and nervous about the biggest show on the tour so far. 105 minutes ’til they’re on…
7.42PM – THE CROWD ARE IN…
And they look a little bit like this. Captain are currently playing. We’ve just been to catering and had some chicken tikka. It was very nice. We chatted with Graham, the rep from the promoter. He used to be Inspiral Carpets – who played here in 1991. Wow, we wrote this whole entry in short sentences. Wonder why.
7.48PM – WE MET JOHN RODERICK
John is the opening act on the tour and we just bumped into him in catering. He’s already played his slot tonight – which he said went down well – and he was singing the praises of Keane for looking after him on this tour. "They’ve been great," he told us. "They’ve gone out of their way to make it as comfortable for me as possible." He seemed like a lovely chap. You can read about John and his band The Long Winters by clicking here.
7.55PM – WILL COLIN GIVE JULIE A JOB?
Julie has just emailed email@example.com to ask if Keane will give her a job if she gets sacked for looking at this website too often at work. So we asked Colin the tour manager. "Unfortunately we have no vacancies at present" says Colin. "Besides, my dad used to tell me it ‘s always easier to get a job when you’re in a job." Sorry Julie. Looks like you’d better not get caught.
8.03PM – CAPTAIN, LIVE ON STAGE A FEW SECONDS AGO…
We went in the pit with our little digital camera, on our own, in front of thousands of people. and got a bit shy. Which is why the shots may look slightly rushed…
8.05PM – THERE IS NO GINGER BEER
An astonishing number of people have emailed firstname.lastname@example.org to ask if we’re drinking ginger beer again tonight. Sadly no, as they don’t have any today. This may be because we drank it all yesterday. So we’re on water instead.
8.16PM – KEANE’S SPORTING EQUIPMENT
Here’s a picture we took earlier of Keane’s sports gear – which was taken off the bus today (there’s no more travelling on this tour, with the only remaining date being at Ally Pally again tomorrow, so the bus has gone wherever buses go when bands are finished with them). Beth – the band’s assistant – tells us that the band always take tennis racquets on tour, and that they played in Brighton a couple of days ago. The golf clubs are Tom’s, although Richard has his own set as well. Apparently they also played golf on their day off in Brighton. Sounds like a sporty day.
8.36PM – WARMING UP FOR THE SHOW…
Nine minutes ’til showtime and the band are currently warming up, as you can see. Sorry for the slightly dodgy quality of this pic this is because a) we took it on our phone, cos our proper camera battery is recharging and b) we took it through the window of a door because we didn’t want to disturb them. A few minutes earlier Richard told us he was feeling "averagely nervous", while Tom revealed he had a little nap again earlier and has since drunk a smoothie (same recipe as yesterday) to perk himself up.
8.50PM – THEY’RE ON THE STAGE!
And the crowd went barmy. We can’t even hear it from here, though. So we’ll post some pictures and then go and watch a bit.
9.05PM – FROM THE DRESSING ROOM TO THE STAGE…
So here they are, making their way from their dressing room to the stage. For the last five minutes before they go on, they have peope counting down every thirty seconds ’til stage time, which builds up the tension nicely. We were standing with Tim behind the stage on the left (where he comes on from, Tom and Rich come on from the right) and he was jigging about, hyping himself up. He said he was feeling quite nervous but really excited. As soon as he came on, 8.000 people erupted. There’s a brilliant atmosphere down there, so we’re heading down to have a look.
In fact, our time as AAA reporter is almost up – once the show is over, we’ll be saying our goodbyes to you and the band (although we’re coming back as punters tomorrow night to actually watch the show properly rather than typing to you lot!). But we’ll keep popping up during the show to let you know how it’s going. Any last minute questions or comments to email@example.com…
9.35PM – WHAT A SHOW
We’ve just watched our first full song on this two day trip – ‘Hamburg Song’ – from the sound desk. Before they played it, Tom was telling the crowd how while he was in therapy he could see Ally Pally from the place he was in. He said he’d look at it thinking, "In a couple of months, I’ll be there and life will be great again. And it is." To then play a song as moving as ‘Hamburg Song’ must’ve put lumps in about 8,000 throats. Keane really are an amazing live band. Anyway, before we start blubbing onto the laptop, we’ll get busy posting some more pictures up…
9.45PM – SOME MORE PICS OF THE SHOW…
Some of which were taken at the sound desk (as you’d probably guess)
9.51PM – WHAT DO THE BAND SAY BEFORE GOING ON STAGE?
Simona from Italy has emailed asking the above question. The answer is not much really. The nervous energy just fizzes out of them and they keep pretty quiet. It’s almost like they’re springs coiling up, ready to explode onto the stage. We just kind of stood there, trying not to get in the way (which is a little tricky when you’re pointing a camera at them…)
10.04PM – A POUND COIN ON THE FLOOR
We’ve just been into Keane’s dressing room (to use the lavatory) and in there, we noticed a one pound coin on the bathroom floor. We were going to pick it up and give it to the band later, but then we thought, "What if it’s a tradition? What if before every show they play they gather round in a circle and drop a pound coin on the floor?" Picking it up could lead to all kinds of problems. So we left it be. For the record, heads was facing up.
10.45PM – THIS IS THE LAST TIME
So here we are at the very last post of Access All Areas.
The end of the gig was amazing, proper hairs on the back of your neck stuff and we’ve just been up to the dressing room to see what the lads made of it (which is when we took the above picture). They all seem really, really tired but really, really pleased. Tom said it was a "dreamlike" show, while Richard said he got through 7 drumsticks, which means he was hitting the drums extra hard (he usually gets through 3 or 4).
We also asked them if the pound on the bathroom floor was a tradition. Tim said it was a test to see if we pinched it, while Richard said, "It isn’t a tradition, but maybe it should become one, we’ll put it to a vote later." Which is nice.
Right, after almost 32 hours of constant coverage (except for when we were asleep), we’re going to pack up our laptop and catch the train home. Thanks to the hundreds and hundreds of you who’ve emailed firstname.lastname@example.org and kept us company during all this (sorry we couldn’t namecheck all of you). Hope you’ve enjoyed reading all this as much as we’ve enjoyed doing it. We’ll leave you with some more pictures of exhausted but happy members of Keane. Cheerio.