Dear Friends

The fourth leg of our UK tour sees us move from N’hampton to Sheffield, a city situated sufficiently north in the UK to worry us in regards to the weather we might find…

We approach Sheffield laden with prejudice assimilated during long discussions with our new english friends, according to whom it would be

1. Grey

2. Industrial

3. Dangerous (Poor Henry had his car broken into in Sheffield … )

Oh well – we approach this paradise, and after having carefully parked and checked into the third hotel in 4 days we go wandering into the centre of town.We discover that Sheffield (as one could expect, when prejudice is involved…) is quite different from what we imagined … it is very lively, entertaining, quite relaxed and inhabited by myriads on people our age, studying in one of Sheffield’s three Universities! Maybe the sun wasn’t shining and maybe it isn’t graced by our neapolitan sea…but it is waaaaay more beautiful than most northern Italian small cities!

Our enthusiasm rekindled (helped by the fact that you can buy 2 CDs here at a price which would make buying one in Italy impossible), we approach our Venue. the SOYO. Beautiful!

Big cocktails, small prices, big room, DJ Set, you name it! We are welcomed by numerous friendly faces and offered water, coke and beer in large quantities. WE WILL PUNISH whomever will ever say something negative about Sheffield to us again!

Two surreal moments we have to tell you about before we tell you about the gig:

a. English Pizza (uhhh there we go again with prejudice..) – Having avoided the ‘Neapolitan’ and ‘Mediterranean’ – named ones, we focus on a New Yorker’s pizza, which turns out to be a Margherita. Looking like a frisbee it confirms the only prejudice we still have – Pizza is best in Naples. FullStop

b. The oversized shop robber theatre : we witness a madman of abundant physical size just having stolen from a Supermarket, wrestle with several members of the local police force on the pavement for a surreally looong time, in front of half of Sheffield’s population and a lone japanese girl filming everything … The man is eventually arrested and brought to prison. Everybody else moves on towards the SOYO.

We get on stage after two acoustic sets and shake the SOYO with our loud electric set … Heads Or Tails, followed by Trieste, The Ship, a very intense Blue Army, The Wolf, Septembers, and finally Mangrove … another very satisfying performance (for us, we dearly hope also for our public :-))

The impression is a good one, comforted by the sight of several people dancing, many kind compliments, much beer and another questionable (but very generous!) bit of food on the tail end of the night …. 

Sheffield has moved our Hearts, and we The Mantra ATSMM have planted a small flag (with The Wolf) on our UK maps because WE WANT TO COME BACK!

We wake up the next morning and it’s …. well, snowing.

Ok time to move to Bristol (The Louisiana) where will be playing tonight. We neeeeed the sea!

The Mantra ATSMM