Rick Wakeman's Caped crusades

Rick contemplates the culinary woes of a band on the road.

One of the most difficult tasks when you’re a band on the road is finding an eating routine.

Breakfast is tricky, as that’s normally eaten with a hangover and the aftermath of last night’s curry reeking havoc on the bowel region. This means that breakfast can’t truly be enjoyed, or indeed tasted, and more often than not the fried egg, bacon, sausage, mushroom and baked beans are seen within 10 minutes of having been consumed, heading their way into the lavatorial porcelain bowl or, in the worst case scenario, directly down your front.

Lunch is mainly a stop-off at a pub, and more often than not (due to time restraints) becomes a total liquid lunch. Also by this time, the breakfast that did not reappear earlier has now managed to work its way through the intestines and is wishing to come out the back door. This coupled with the copious amounts of alcohol consumed at lunch means that all orifices of the liquid and solid emittance become functional at the same time. To achieve the “triple release” is indeed a fine art form honed over the years by rock musicians all over the UK and involves sitting on the Armitage Shanks at an angle of 62 degrees, while dangling one’s head over the sink.

Finally, upon arrival at the venue a hair of the dog is immediately called for. But no food is likely to be consumed as the majority of the musicians will have destroyed taste buds and breath like a tram driver’s armpit.

After the show, there will then appear a neon sign at the front of everybody’s brain which simply flashes: ‘Curry’. The nearest Indian is duly found and a table for a minimum of six order food for a minimum of 12. This normally involves at least 60 poppadoms to start, followed by curries of widely varying degrees of strength. It is always fun to take a guest or friend along who has never had a curry and will ask you to order for them. There is something very satisfying about ordering them a phal or a vindaloo and telling them that they are having the mildest curry there is.

There is also much sadistic pleasure to be gained in knowing that not only will they sweat profusely whilst eating their meal, but they will also sweat profusely during the early hours whilst perched precariously a few inches above the Armitage Shanks.

If you find yourself feeling a little guilty about the pain you have inflicted upon your guest, putting two rolls of Andrex in the freezer can serve as a very thoughtful gesture.

And then after a very windy and smelly night involving numerous trips to the porcelain receptacle, it’s breakfast time already, and the cycle starts all over again.

Delia Smith… eat your heart out.