- Words: Steve Kerr
xxxy (a.k.a. Rupert Taylor) is known for his flexible, forward-facing brand of rich, techy garage. His ability to shift between styles has endeared him to a number of labels, including Ten Thousand Yen, which recently issued his "Progression" b/w "Thinkin Bout" single. Like many of his contemporaries, Taylor honed his chops at the Red Bull Music Academy, which is where his tale of woe begins. The zest and energy he puts into his productions remains his strong point, but if this story comes with any kind of moral, it's that going too hard in the real world can have its repercussions.
Shortly after I was at the Red Bull Music Academy in Madrid—the day after it finished—I had a show in a place called Neuchâtel in Switzerland. The whole Red Bull Music Academy was like two weeks of barely sleeping at all, and on top of that, I had a show in the middle of it. So I flew back from Madrid to Manchester and did a show, and then back to the Academy, and then did another full-on week, so I had no time off in the middle—I think other people had one day off. So I had this show in Neuchâtel and I think it was on a Saturday, and it was a festival called Case à chocs. I had to fly back to Heathrow, and I had this massive suitcase with all my shit in it from the last two weeks, and I was like, "Oh, maybe I should leave my massive suitcase in left luggage and take a small bag to Switzerland." I decided not to and checked my bag, and got my flight to Switzerland. I remember, when I got there—it was like a two-hour drive from Geneva airport to the place where I had the show. And then we got stuck in traffic and it ended up being like three-and-a-half or four hours—maybe more than that—and I was nodding off the whole time. I finally got to the hotel, and then went to the venue and soundchecked and it was fine. I had some dinner, and they were like, "We'll pick you up in an hour and a half," and I was like alright. I went to sleep for an hour and a half, and went and played the show. The show was great—I was sober, but everyone there was really drunk, falling over, banging into the decks and stuff. Being tired is just freaking me out, and they knocked the decks—the decks were on wheels and just got knocked at an angle, and the lights were pointing in my eyes in a different way and for some reason that really freaked me out. But that was fine, it was all fine. And I managed to leave the show fairly quickly and went to bed again.
I normally set like five or ten alarms, at least, to wake me up in the morning if I've got a flight. They gave me a train ticket to get back to Geneva airport. I woke up at like midday, maybe like an hour and a half after my train had left, and I was like, "Oh fuck." So I ran to the train station, bought a new train ticket, and got on the next train to Geneva airport. I think there's some kind of shopping center attached to Geneva airport, and there was a model-train exhibition going on in this shopping center, in the middle, so there was less room for people to walk through. I was running through with my massive bag, and there were all these train nerds in the way. I got to the British Airways desk to check in, and I asked, "Can I check in for the London flight?" And she was like, "Mmm... do you have a bag to check in?" I said, "Yeah." And she was like, "No, you can't." So, trying to work out what to do, I got my phone out and started looking at Kayak.com to get a new flight to get home, and I found one on Easyjet. I booked it, and I breathed a sigh of relief, like, "Okay, that didn't cost too much. I'm going to get home."
And then I had some food, and I came back to try and look for my flight, and it wasn't on the board. I was like, "Right, [what the] fuck is going on?" I went to the Easyjet desk, and they said, "Oh, you've booked a flight for tomorrow." I was like, "Oh, for fuck's sake." Switzerland's just a seriously expensive country, so I was like, "Do I stay in a hotel for another night and fly tomorrow and spend the money, or just book the next flight?" I just [wanted] to go home, stat. I'm nearly in tears at this Easyjet desk, having not slept for two-and-a-half weeks, and I was like, "What can I do!?" I just had to empty my bank account to pay for a flight back. I ended up spending like 500 pounds on Easyjet flights just to get home. It was just the most depressing journey of my life. And I think there was some group of teenagers coming back from a skiing holiday and they were all sat around me, and I was like... (sighs wearily) "Yeah." If I had left my bag in Heathrow airport, I would have got home with my bank account in a reasonable condition. But I had to ring my flatmate and get him to transfer some money to my account, just so I could get back from the airport. Probably not the best fun I've ever had getting home from a gig, but it certainly taught me not to miss my flights or my connections. It was just a domino effect.
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