We are coming to an end of UK tour. Last concert took place at Queen Margaret Union in Glasgow, Scotland. There were many reasons I was very excited for this part of the tour. I visited Scotland for the very first time more than 10 years ago. It was the first time I had flown and for the first time I was totally independent in a foreign country and could only count on myself. It was there and then I realised that I was much stronger and capable than others have given me credit for.
I have very fond memories of my time in Scotland, the Highlands in particular. If you ever get a chance do visit Glencoe and the Isle of Skye, the views are to die for. But back to present time. I knew Glasgow as I’d lived there for almost a month and so many sights were familiar. However I didn’t have the time to wander. We (Bekki, Debbie & Svetlana) had taken the train from Leeds to Glasgow. Although it took us more than 5 hours to get to our destination the views were incredible.
At one point I even saw a rainbow! Then I spilled tea all over my LP t-shirt and jeans, which I knew would stain. Thank the lord I bought an extra t-shirt after the Manchester gig. So I was saved. We arrived that afternoon in Glasgow and I went with Debbie & Bekki to a tattoo parlour because the girls wanted to make this tour memorable. As they had been to each and every concert they wanted to mark it on their skin. The tattoos look really awesome! Check here.
For the rest of the day we stayed in our hostels; we were really tired and needed a good rest before the final gig of the tour. I woke up quite early the next morning, prepared what I needed, checked Twitter and to my surprise I saw that two girls from Spain were waiting at the venue already. I thought “ah ‘fu.. it’, I’m going too, I can’t sleep, breakfast has finished and it’s not like I will be sightseeing in Glasgow.” My mind was already focussed on the concert.
So off I went, this time by foot. Thanks to some lovely workmen, it took me only 10-15 minutes to walk to QMU. Their directions were spot on! I received number 8, best I’ve ever gotten! I was delighted. However one thing kept me occupied. I didn’t have the actual ticket, as Ilaria had left it at home in Italy. Ilaria forgot all her tickets and instead of LP’s concert in Glasgow she went to LA to catch LRW’s tour. She left me all the details and info, however I realized quite late in the day that I might be in big trouble as it was an actual ticket and not e-ticket.
When I was in Manchester, I’d seen two girls from Italy talking to the Ticketmaster line for hours trying to sort out their tickets and I was really worried. The venue couldn’t help me and the concert organisers were coming very late, after the doors were due to open and on top of everything Ticketmaster line was not working that day! BUT miracles do happen. At one point I saw Mike and asked if he could advise me what to do. I explained the problem and, just like that, he said: ‘but no worries, I will put you on a guest list’. I was like, ‘wait, what’?!
But he again said, ‘really, no problem. Type in your name and I will put it on the guest list’. And just like that my problem was solved! Thank you Mike once again!! The second highlight was when Mike added that LP ‘really loves your blog’. Is there any greater reward than knowing that the person you are writing about actually reads your words and appreciates them?? The answer is – no…. I’m still surprised hearing those words, but it makes me really proud of what I’ve achieved. Thank you LP!
|photo Anna from Russia|
Then I could finally relax. I saw that girls from Spain had uke with them so I borrowed it and for an hour or so, we played and sang and had a really great time! Thanks Bekki & Gemma for your vocal and instrumental help! At one point we could see the stage, and we were very excited as we knew it would be really low this time so we would almost be on the same level as LP. The time flew by really quickly! I was actually surprised how quickly.
|photo guy from food factory, courtesy of Ana & Anna|
A little before 6 pm they told us it was time to leave the uni premises and to queue outside, so we were standing and freezing our asses off but we could hear LP during the soundcheck. When the doors opened it all went really smoothly. Right after I went in, they closed the door, so I had time to check my name on the guest list and got to the room really quickly, without running and worrying that someone would take my place. The girls from Russia also took care of me and they held a place for me. Thank you Ana & Anna!
This time I was also in the front row, almost in a middle, a little on the left side. The spot was perfect, stage was low, and barriers were maybe like 70 cm from the stage. We got really excited then as we knew we would ‘have’ LP within arms’ reach. Albin took the stage and again I enjoyed his set, though the room was really loud and drinks were being served. Albin was playing an acoustic set and I felt really sorry for him as he must have heard the noise.
But he finished in style and we were all waiting for the familiar sounds of ‘Strange’. When those filled the room, people first went quiet and then noisy again, but this time for the right reasons. LP got the most warm welcome! It was truly outstanding. At first, I thought LP hadn’t seen me yet. She was catching the eye of many of her fans, from Spain, Russia, Italy and UK. She acknowledged those who have been with her since the tour has started.
And then, to my enormous surprise, as she was finishing singing ‘Strange’ right after her incredible solo on harmonica, she turned to me, caught my eye, pointed at me and threw the harmonica to me. I stood frozen and the harmonica bounced off my chest and dropped to the floor. But LP asked the security guy to pick it up, pointed again at me and made sure that the harmonica reached my hands safely… Can you believe the state of my mind?! It was like I’d entered another dimension…
It was something so beyond cool and kind, that even today I cannot believe my luck. I’ve said this before; hearing LP’s music changes you as a person, especially those with extra-sensitivity. She helps to heal your soul. But experiencing LP live, meeting her in person – this changes you for life. I have no words to describe it. But I’ve never met such a compassionate, sensitive, warm and open person as LP. She’s the kindest, the warmest and the coolest. Period.
It’s really not surprising that many of her fans seek personal contact with her, because she has that special aura around her. You really can’t help but be under her spell. But let’s get back to the gig. I think it was the most relaxed gig of this tour. LP was dancing, jumping, interacting with the crowd with such high intensity it was astonishing. She jumped on the barriers twice, first during ‘No Witness’ and she almost fell, but my friend and I managed to hold her before security realised what had happened.
She went to the very far left corner of the barriers to see some of her fans that otherwise wouldn’t have seen her. She sang with such a passion. And then, when she was doing her mic-twist, I think for the first time ever, the mic landed on the floor to laughs from LP and the room. But she got it quickly back and finished singing as if nothing had happened. LEGEND! There is a video of that moment, click here. Then she came to us during ‘Someday’ and that’s when I passed my letter to LP. Video here.
Someone even snapped a pic of LP with my letter, but now I can’t find who it was. I know it was a girl, that she was standing behind me with her mum, but I can’t find her on the Instagram. Thankfully I’ve saved that epic pic! During the gig, LP took selfies with her fans, signed flags, t-shirts, even the uke I played earlier on. It was a magical night, something for the books for sure. I almost wept during ‘You Want It All’ and ‘Switchblade’ tore my heart to pieces. But I absolutely loved how much fun she had during ‘When We’re High’!
Those moves! Those notes! Simply divine! I think the video I posted above says much more than one hundred words I could have typed here… If you’ve ever been to an LP concert, you know how much magic she creates with her incredible personality, voice and charisma. It’s like you’re an addict (hee hee Gaelle), and you can’t help yourself but you must see her live, again and again. Because no record, no video, no words will ever be able to describe the phenomenon of LP as witnessing her with your own eyes. So, if you haven’t checked her out yet, do so! But be careful, as you may become addicted!
I’m trying to think of more memorable moments, but the evening again is a blur. It’s like experiencing too many emotions at the same time. I remember that LP thanked people for coming to her gigs, for travelling as it takes effort, money and absence from work. She really loved the atmosphere of the place and its people. She said she had an amazing time. After the gig was over, Gemma came to me crying so hard, that I couldn’t help but to hold her and cry with her. Thank you for your words Gemma, and you too – stay as you are!
We had to leave the uni very fast, I managed to talk very quickly to Kyloe (@kyloekid) from Scotland. We’ve ‘met’ via Twitter – she is another lovely reader of my blog and she contributed today as well. She wrote: “Who could have predicted a Night Like This? Somehow I found myself in the second row, front of stage and the buzz of anticipation grew to fever pitch when the band took their places. The crowd erupted when LP walked onto the stage, slicing through the air with her trademark high notes from Strange”.
“As she stood a metre or so away, I was completely mesmerised by her charisma and ethereal beauty. At the end of Strange, LP tossed her harmonica towards someone in the crowd. It could have passed off as a random gesture but for the harmonica dropping short in front of the barrier. LP pointed at the harmonica and the person she meant it for and when we looked to see who… it was none other than Ania!”.
“For me, the QMU was quite a different experience from the previous week’s show at O2 Forum in Kentish Town. LP has a huge amount of physical and emotional energy and being so close to the crowd at QMU added an extra dynamic. Glasgow took LP to its heart and she responded in kind. She had a real warmth and connection with the audience and drew from everyone, not just those directly in front of her but on the balcony above and at the back of the venue too”.
“It goes without saying that LP delivered song after song brilliantly, flawlessly and passionately with John’s rock style bringing a new edginess to the live performances. My personal favourites were the heart-wrenching Switchblade and the anthemic No Witness. Ninety minutes is no time at an LP gig, believe me, and all too soon the show had ended and LP was gone, but far from forgotten. I managed to catch up with Ania briefly after the show and we both agreed that it had been an extraordinary finale to an incredible tour”.
Thank you Kyloe for your words. And now, again, I am coming to even more emotional part of this post. How can that be possible? Believe me, it can. When we left the venue, we decided to wait near the bus. This time I was calm, I felt that LP would come to us. I just felt it. I even prepared an old booklet of LP’s CD I received as a gift from Mark from USA. I had decided not to ask for pictures, only to sign this booklet as I’d received so much already. The wind was really sharp, I was freezing, but time went by in a second when we saw LP coming out of the building.
|pic by Debbie – harmonica from Glasgow |
I was one of the first people in the line. LP signed the booklet, laughed and sang ‘it was a long, long time ago’. I hugged her, thanked her for everything and she went to many other people waiting in line. And here comes the most incredible part of this post. When we were waiting for LP I received a message that most likely, LP had given me her last harmonica. It wouldn’t have been a problem if not for the next concerts in Eastern Europe. Believe me, I didn’t mind. I said no worries and waited for Monica.
Monica came to me soon after LP moved further along the line of people waiting to talk to her. I wanted to give her the harmonica straight away but she said to wait, until LP checked she had another one on the bus. Do you remember My Manchester post? Now comes the part about the vinyl. I mentioned to you that I asked Monica to hold one for me (in Manchester), as I was worried it would break when travelling. I did check the merch in Glasgow but they said they didn’t have any. However Monica checked for vinyls on the bus and she came to me holding one!
I was so happy. I wanted to pay, I really insisted, but Monica said to accept it as a gift as I maybe had to give the harmonica back. Here, I must explain without going into details too deeply. I had a rough past 6 years. I had some really low points in my life and I still deal with it on an almost daily basis. BUT the kindness I’ve received since LP’s music entered my life and since I’ve been sharing my love for her through this blog, is beyond anything I could have ever imagined.
On top of everything else, Monica noticed that I was shaking from the cold. She said that I should go to the bus with her as there were still many people and it would take next 10 minutes or so. Again, I said I was fine, really no problem, I would wait outside, but she didn’t accept ‘no’ for an answer and took me to the bus. This time the bus was full, everyone was there apart from LP. So I really tried to pull myself together and not to make a complete ass of myself.
The guys were friendly and joking, we spoke about the tour and its highlights. I got to thank each and every one and we waited for LP. I also got to talk to Monica. She kindly said that she really enjoyed my interview with LP and that I did a really good job with it. I was so happy! She looked at the vinyl and asked if I wanted LP can sign it for me. I replied that that I really didn’t want to ‘over-push’ it, this whole situation was already like some weird dream. But again Monica said not to worry and opened the vinyl for me.
When LP came to the bus, she was a bit surprised to see me there. But Monica explained what had happened and LP went upstairs to check if she had an extra harmonica. I heard her singing and it was so incredible. I told the boys from the band that I had never met anyone like her, that she was one of a kind. When she came down she had another harmonica with her. She said that one might be jammed so she checked if it was working ok. To my ears it sounded ok, (like an angels’ choir, after all it’s LP on harmonica!) but this time I insisted to take the one that worked for sure.
LP did try her harmonica again, but I was really worried and insisted that she take the one she’d played in Glasgow. LP said that’s ok, it will be better, but the one she was giving me instead was with her at many gigs. She took the marker, somehow she magically always have one, signed both the case and the harmonica. Then she noticed the vinyl. I said Monica had given it to me as a gift. And she simply signed it, I didn’t say anything, she just took it and signed it. When I noticed her words, I was so surprised that I asked if she’d had the chance to see our interview. I know how crazy busy she is. And then LP added an extra touch of magic to this day…
|photo me – taken in Glasgow when I was waiting for the plane|
She said, ‘are you kidding?! Of course. I loved it, it’s one of my favourites. You did a really cool job with it, you can see I was really in a good place and I didn’t swear too much!’ Here I really had to control myself and not cry. Then LP asked when she would be seeing me again. I said that sadly my tour ended here. I had to be back at work, but if she could say what it would take to have her back in Poland, then I will do it, just say what. LP couldn’t say much. I know it’s not her who makes those moves. But she did promise to come back to us. She said that for sure there will be some festivals in the Summer. So I am holding on to it very much!
These next months will be brutal, but I have so many incredible memories. I am so thankful I went on board that plane to Manchester. You have no idea, I was so stressed out, I nearly left an airport but that one thought kept me going. I would be seeing LP; I would be seeing and hearing her live. And that’s worth suffering the worst case of panic attack, as the reward at the end of the day is incomparable to anything else. You simply cannot measure the level of your emotions. It’s ‘too much’, to quote one of LP songs…
I left the bus and went to the girls who were waiting for me. This time I didn’t cry. But I was near to fainting. We went to some pub and sat for a bit, but I wasn’t feeling well. It was like all the emotions had left and I had to fight with my body. I thanked everyone for the incredible experience, we said our goodbyes and I left. It was really late when I got to the hostel, almost 1 or 2 am. And I had an early morning. I had to be ready and packed at 7.30. This time, thankfully, cab was waiting for me and I reached an airport really quickly.
It all went smoothly, and I didn’t panic as much when I walked towards the plane. You may laugh at me, but I held LP’s harmonica throughout the flight. It kept me sane. For the first time I even looked through the window at times and thought much less of plummeting down. I still couldn’t concentrate enough to read any of the books I had with me, but LP’s music in my ears and her harmonica did the trick. I even enjoyed landing and looked through the window the whole time. Yeah, I know, I’m a trooper. But if you’ve ever experienced a panic attack or you have a fear of flying, I know you can relate to me.
How to finish this post? Really, no idea. I’ve had the most amazing time. I experienced things that one can only dream of. I received so much kindness from everyone I met. I got to spend those precious moments with LP. To be able to look into her eyes and to personally say thank you was incredible. The tokens of the tour are with me as I am writing this post, setlist from Glasgow, dice from Brian, LP’s harmonica and the vinyl. And my memories will keep me going through the long, cold winter months.
The next few weeks will be quiet, LP is taking a well deserved rest. So there will be much fewer posts from me. However do check Twitter where I try to post all the latest info of all things LP. And then from February I’ll be crazy busy as first there’s this epic North American tour and then Russia. So plenty to look forward. Also, when LP was in Scotland she had given an interview to BBC Radio Scotland. You can listen to it by clicking here. LP’s part starts at approx 24 minutes. There was also interview for Gaydio, but this one is not online yet.
Finally a shout-out to Rebecca Cochrane – artist from Glasgow who painted an incredible (& huge) painting of LP and she got to meet LP after her gig in Glasgow. To read about her experience, click here. Rebecca, again, an outstanding work, it was lovely to meet you after the gig and I am very happy you’ve got to talk to LP personally! And to everyone whom I encountered during this tour and through my blog. Thank you for your kindness and I hope to see you again, someday, on LP road! Until then!