Badly Drawn Boy: My Life In Travel

'Seattle's like a home from home - it always rains, just like Manchester'
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The Independent Travel

First holiday memory?

It has to be a toss-up between Blackpool and North Wales. And St Ives: I remember long car journeys with my brother and sister under blankets in the back seat on the drive down. I never let myself fall asleep because I didn't want my Dad to be driving alone.

Best holiday?

I haven't really had many holidays apart from touring with work. In recent years Iceland stands out. I went with my girlfriend Clare and baby daughter in early 2001. It was a gamble travelling with a young baby but it was a beautiful place.

Favourite place in Britain?

That's difficult. There are so many nice places that I haven't even seen yet. I want to travel round southern Ireland. I also really like Conwy in North Wales. We often spend weekends in our caravan there as it's not too far from home.

Ideal travelling companion?

The obvious thing to say would be my girlfriend and children but the one thing I would miss most is my guitar. I'd miss the thrill of being able to pick it up and write a song when I get an idea.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

Culture vulture definitely. I hate beaches and I get enough adrenalin from playing live. Bungee jumping doesn't appeal to me either.

Greatest travel luxury?

Arriving where you are meant to be going without too many problems. I also flew in Virgin Upper Class once and I was sitting with the songwriter Guy Chambers. We sat at the bar drinking throughout the flight, it was like being in a pub only without being allowed to smoke.

Where has seduced you?

Paris is an obvious answer. I have been there more times than any other city. New York is amazing too. Portland in Oregon is a beautiful place. It seems very bohemian. Minehead too; I went there after Joe Strummer's death. It was a beautiful day and we were surrounded by the beach and hills.

Better to travel or arrive?

Generally it's better to arrive. If travelling is part of the holiday, for example the Orient Express, then I can understand the pleasure of it, but on planes and tour buses it's better to arrive.

Worst travel experience?

There have been a few, such as Boston Logan Airport. I was there three weeks after 9/11 and nearly missed my flight. The security had gone berserk with repeated checks and clothing searches.

Worst hotel?

At the end of our tour in LA the hotel was horrendous. The TV was broken and there were ants crawling everywhere.

Best hotel?

I would say the Standard on Sunset Strip in LA. I stayed there for 40 nights. It was party central.

Best meal abroad?

I ordered one dish in Washington DC after getting off the tour bus which was linguine with a creamy carbonara sauce, it was brilliant. We returned to the same place the next day and after trying my food the day before, everyone ordered the same thing.

Favourite walk/swim/ride/drive?

We drove through the Alps on a tour bus from Italy to Austria. You could see all the village lights driving along the winding roads and when we got off there were huge mountains right next to us.

First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

I get my bearings. I always check that the toilet works too. After freshening up in the hotel, I change my jacket and meet in the bar for a pint and a fag.

Where next?

The next destination is Seattle, where I'm playing at a festival. I have been to Seattle six times before and it's like a home from home because it always rains, just like in Manchester.

Badly Drawn Boy, also known as Damon Gough, plays at Cardiff Calling today and Get Loaded in the Park, London tomorrow ( www.getloadedinthepark.com)

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