On a sunny Monday morning, all across England, 14 boys began to stir, a mixed bag of anticipation and eagerness for what awaited them. Poetic introduction over, we all made our way from our various starting points to Heathrow where we divided into our three different flight teams. One quick hop across the Atlantic, filled with many movie viewings, and we all found ourselves in JFK International Airport and managed to get through the terrifying experience of U.S. customs without a hitch. At this late point in the evening, realising our body clocks were still on an even later English time, we made our way to our hotel, where we all enjoyed some colossal pizzas and some well earned sleep.
Up bright and early the next morning with bellies full of bagels and French Toast, we made the somewhat convoluted route back to JFK and then on to Newark Airport. We surprised our second bus driver with a short rehearsal, blasting through some of our upbeat numbers, which he sat through impassively, even making phones calls during some which we politely stopped for. Then we sang The Star Spangled Banner, the American National Anthem. Suddenly he became very vocal and made us sing it again so he could record it and told us how in all his time driving no one has ever sung to him before.
Spirits uplifted, we then had to split up again for our flight, but not before a short rehearsal, this time with some choreography, which I’m sure you can imagine attracted some odd looks from the occasional airport employee who found us in the secluded corner of the airport we hid ourselves in. After a short flight to Atlanta, we regrouped for our last bit of flying for awhile, as we boarded the plane together for our final stop, Tallahassee. All the travel went as smoothly as possible and we were picked up the other side by a lovely bus driver. After telling us off for singing The Wheels on the Bus (as she had been a school bus driver for most of her life) we serenaded her with a couple of our more well rehearsed numbers, each being followed by her trying to clap while driving, accompanied by, “That was AWESOME!” She then asked if we knew any ABBA. To her surprise, we did.
A couple of songs later and we were at our hotel. After last year’s tour, which we funded by ourselves and tried to save as much money as possible, we became accustomed to a certain level of hostel accommodation. So when we entered our rooms this year to find beautiful en suites, plush double beds for each of us and access to a bar, pool and gym, we were more than a little happy. After settling in, we met by the pool to discuss some final business and take an obligatory group photo.
Today we are rehearsing for most of the day, as THIS EVENING we have our first performance of the tour, here in Tallahassee to a crowd of around 1,200. Fair to say we are rather excited. Stay tuned to find out how we get on!