Now, I am not the most forward or outgoing of people, and it was with a little trepidation that I set off, on my own, 500 miles from home, to meet up with a load of people with whom I had never met, or even spoken to. Yet within minutes of meeting at the Turf, I felt like I was with old friends in my local pub. I can't speak highly enough of how friendly everyone was, and of the weekend as a whole. Whilst John may not be attracting the numbers of fans he surely deserves, the ones he has got are surely of the highest quality, both as people and fans.
Julie mentioned how nice it was to meet others with the same affliction as herself and I totally agree. I think I am being truely honest when I say that until I met everyone in the Turf, I had never actually met anyone who had ever heard of John! Now I know I am not alone in having the bizarre disease of being a Bloodliner....
Bob mentioned the Turf being a spiritual home for John, and having been there, it does seems special. We speculated on how and why John always goes there and we heard tell of a tale of a mythical wild Scotsman who went as a fan to see John in California many years ago and ended up staying in John's house for five weeks! From there it is a simple extrapolation to work out that the only way John could get him to leave his house was to promise to come over to Scotland every couple of years!
John was very accomodating, playing as many requests as he could, and staying afterward for chats, autographs, photos and the like. Like Julie, I found I couldn't really say all that I would have liked to, and the words that did come out were probably mumbled. But I was so pleased to find that people I had heard so much about, John, Andy, even Peter O'Brien (who came two nights) were just totally normal guys. OK, not John, he's special, he just behaves like he's normal. I guess thats why he's special.
In short, just fantastic. As I sat there on Saturday night, singing along to 'July' and 'Daydream Believer,' I felt not just happy, or funky, but some kind of inner peace, like this was how everything was supposed to be.
John.....come again soon.
Mark Austin : London, England
Photos : Bob Elliot