I spent a few family holidays in England when I was a kid, visiting my grandmother in a nursing home in Northampton and then my poetry writing, bird watching uncle in Leicester. Wasn’t until I was 21 that I went to London. I’d flown over from Sydney to try and reunite with my first high school love who now lived in Brighton. It didn’t work out. So I got a train to London and got out at Oxford Circus, thinking that would be a good place to start.
I walked into a hostel and they told me it was 30 pounds a night, I walked out all self-righteous thinking, “that’s insane!” But then after walking around in the rain not finding anywhere cheaper or available I had to wander back in like a loser and ask for a bed. Ended up in a large dorm room with about twelve other people all playing beer pong on the floor, a ‘Come and party, woo! Gap year baby!’ environment. I was on a completely different page, just thinking “I’m not here for a gap year! I was here to find true love!” But I went out with them anyway, went to some club, drank too much, cried about it to strangers, that whole mess. Tried to enjoy myself but the whole time I was thinking “ah fuck this, I’ve done this whole thing, I’ve found myself already! I don’t need to do shots and make out with someone in a public bathroom.”
Anyway I left the next day and stayed in the more affordable Brixton while I figured out what to do next, which turned out to be moving to Bath and working in a hostel until I had enough money to get back home. Next time I came to London was to come and play the Great Escape festival and I’m sitting here right now again, having just played my first headline show at the Lexington which was one of the best shows I’ve ever played. Every visit vastly improves on the last, I’m hoping it continues like this.