Saturday, 29 October 2011
Friday, 28 October 2011
Saturday, 22 October 2011
Thursday, 13 October 2011
8/10 Berlin. Festaal. With Moon Duo. Another odd pairing. Lovely people and music. We dig a bit deeper in Berlin on this visit. End up playing pool with a old drunk real Berliner blues fanatic at 6.30am. Last call. With old friends. Elizabeth Skadden. Dino. Fleamarket heaven. They even have Pide here. Not as good though. Berlin is quiet with heaving clubs hidden up car park stairs or down narrow alleys. Digging for treasure.
Leipzig. Love this place. Quiet show with Mood Duo. Tobi, the promoter, has booked all our previous bands and is a legend. We love him. Like it East.
10/10 Munich. "I don't mean to piss on your cornflakes" "Beady Eye is breaking our neck" - random quotes from the frontline. Last night with Moon Duo. Bizarrely Beady Eye have booked their after show party in to the same venue, after us. DJ Paul Gallagher, We try. We try so hard to hold out for the main main. We get the hell out. Every town we walk. Pre/post soundcheck. History walking. We walk at the roots of architecture. We always look up. Eyes widened. Bread and cheese dodgers. Munich is money.
11/10 Strasbourg. Last minute show. And brilliant. what a beautiful town. Splendid brie. Smashing. Eat Lebanese and lose a coat. To Switzerland.
12/10 Yverdon des Bains. Mid-october sunshine. It really is summer in Switzerland this autumn. Tunnel through mountains. Climb up hills. Levitate over valleys. Immense. Gig pales in to the scenery.
13/10 Bern. What a place. Green river. We walk that. Bern bridges. 800 year old town. Walk that. Best cheese and bread spread yet. Triffic.
Saturday, 8 October 2011
Get some unexpected 'quality' time at a place where we beg you to find anywhere else more depressing: Dover ferry port. A tiny triangle of Costa Coffee, Burger King and WH Smith vie for your attention. Actually they don't vie at all. With a passing trade of approx 6.5 customers per day, between them, they're just....there. Costa ("I could take the ham out?") informs us they are shut for a few minutes (1pm): "Oh are you having a break?" "Nah, just having a bit of a clean up". Research continues with the Burger King. "What's in the 'Veggie wrap'" "Uh. Well, it's a bit like that thing [points to a chicken wrap] but with mayonaise and lettuce and some veggie stuff" "What kind of veggie stuff" "Dunno really". WH Smith wins, by default, with it's four-times-the-normal-price 'cheese' based sandwich. That's the triangle, with it's "coin operated internet" upstairs we can't get on that ferry quick enough.
The Rotunde Botanique is a curious venue. A mini-ampitheatre within botanical gardens. Tropical fish down by your feet scowl and pout at you as you load in. the P.A. is quiet. It's weird for us, the quiet. Sound limiters feel like you're playing in a padded cell. But it seems to go across well enough. A stand up comedian checks us in to the Hotel and we're in Amsterdam before we know it.
Incredible. Subbacultcha have things good in Amsterdam. OT301. Best show in a long time. Whole rammed room is alive and wild. Nathan takes several mic-punches in the chops, literally cutting his teeth. We kicking people off the stage while we play. Close contact. Perfect. Thank you Steve for the special gifts.
Tilburg. Tamer than Amsterdam. Cute City. As is the Euro way, we're treated greatly.
We play with True Widow, a mismatch musically for sure but who cares? Those guys are really good live, and totally cool and weirdly return Robin's Snoopy watch that he lost in Dallas two years ago. On from the stoner plains of The Netherlands to the narrow jazz jumble of Paris.
Paris. Fleche D'or. Paris you were hot on Amsterdam's heels last night. An amazing show despite another 100 db sound limiter (which really is a buzz killer which ever way you look at it). We will keep coming for you Paris you get better each time. Would have been so easy to drown happy in to the Parisian night life that was on a plate for us but we have to blink it all away for Berlin. Nothing romantic about a twelve hour drive. Next yardstick is a crummy Formula 1 hotel, which is a pin in the map of Germany. The urgent Autobahn where the cars don't drive they fly low. Maniac Mercedes. Bezerk BMWs. Faster. Faster.
Wednesday, 5 October 2011
Leeds. In the summer in the autumn. Brudenell Social Club beer gardening. Last show of UK tour with The History of Apple Pie. They've been amazing. And again tonight they put life in to the front row and dance us up out of the venue and back down to London Town. Nathan Brudenell does us proud. Family portraits up against the van with THOAP and we're off. Brief London respite before Euro Disney tour in two days. A deep breath before we float back upstream.
Saturday, 1 October 2011
A great Glasgow crowd that includes The Vaselines. Absolute heroes in attendance. Somehow we play okay. And we did it for them. THOAP continue to keep the mosh pit alive. Later one of them ends up on the roof of our van. Glasgow as always is drunken and lively. Glasgow is always fruitful, at Mono John picks up vinyl: Half Man Half Biscuit, The Big 'O', Pigbag, Eminem. Kevin picks up some shoes. Ryan Sub Pop is on board we sail on to Newcastle. It's still summer.
First of October pushing thirty degrees. Loving tardy summer. Newcastle ruled. Always does. Big thanks to Anthony who takes care of us, ridiculously, yet again. Drove along Hadrians Wall. Tiny fortress. This country is beautfiul. Farm shop stop. Stare at loose Llamas and grab carrot cake and warm ginger beer. Instore at RPM Records, Newcastle.
Warm. Very warm. They're on to the Classic Rock thief.
Interesting Newcastle Hotel. Time warp. Lady of the night feature in the lobby.
Try to figure out the Mr T show on TV. Seems to be a show based around people walking in to glass doors. Bed then. Breakfast at the Baltic. Matt Stokes exhibit really good. Check it. White stretched limo pulls up, out spills a large lady who passes a drained bottle of champagne to the driver and wobbles toward Newcastle. Our cue. We leave. Angel of the North in afternoon musty sunshine waves us on toward Leeds.
Thursday, 29 September 2011
Summer September Liverpool Morning. Lunch at Egg (not to be confused with Birmingham's Mr. Egg - more later). Lost in a big Bull Ring. Birmingham. Not geographically lost. Physically. The Out of Step guys worked hard on this show, you should play for them. On stage cocktails = 2 x Whiskey Sours, 1 x Mojito, 1 x Margarita. Sold-out-show-high.
There's a Roy Chubby Brown issue after the show. Seems the racist, unfunny, curious old man has some hold over the City of Birmingham tonight. Give Chubby your parking space or be towed. Party splts - some for the aforementioned Mr. Egg
in which Willis orders chips and cheese and is asked if he wants and egg on it, NO, some to have nightcaps with the band Metronomy, who played a ever-so-slightly larger venue down the road. Birmingham was wonderful, not so fussed about its Bull Ring.
The scenic route. Peak District. Ploughman's lunch by the water pump. Beautiful England. To Manchester. Ruby Lounge is as weird for us as it was before. Don't know why. Dancing kids tell us there were guys kicking at the backs of their legs during the show. Funny what some people feel they deserve from a show. We stay above the Deaf Institute which is actually above Dominoes Pizza. The air thick with Dominoes. We walk out of an episode of Breaking Bad, through the pizza chemistry and bags of contraband dough and cheery capped workers at the gate. Drive over the broken glass and on in to beauty. The Dales. Climbing to Scotland. Breath taking. Stop at indie-service station at Tebay. No chains. Farm produce. Feed the ducks with The History of Apple Pie. Somewhere else, some other parallel, a band is taking drugs and destroying a Hotel room. We breathe it in, so fresh, and drive on.