Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Tales From The Road (Part 1)

Right now I am on a UK tour with a band called "The Bottom Line". It has been a while since I did any form of intensive touring, so I wasn't too sure what it would be like, more so as I had only been acquainted with the band for the last 6 months or so and had been told so many stories from the last tour, covering the good, the bad and the ugly. The ugly in this case being an overweight promoter, with an over-active sex drive who ended up passing out on her bed naked with a Budweiser bottle up her arse. As comical as all this sounded I was hoping for some relative normality on this tour!

After having the first 2 days of the tour cancelled, due to some really piss poor promoters, who were unable to tell the difference between their arse and their elbows, we set off for the new "day 1" in Pickering, Yorkshire. That was one hell of a drive, from the band setting out to the point where we arrived at the venue it took 8 and a half hours, which is a long time when stuck in the back of a converted ford transit van! More so when we couldn't get the radio to work!

I have to be honest, I rather liked the Pickering show. Sure it is no 02 Academy at "The Rose Inn", but it was a nice intimate little pub venue, with lots of people who as a generalisation would watch all of the bands play and support their scene. The people were all friendly and chatty which was rather nice, even if a large number of them were wasted at the end of the night. TBL's performance as far as it goes was not their best, but people seemed to like them. The drama however wasn't to kick off until long after we had loaded out.

Whilst casually chatting to some of the locals, a huge argument errupts at the door. It transpires this guy who is still casually stood around floored "Big Kev" in one punch, leaving him out cold. I have no idea who Big Kev is, but all I know is his dad is one scary mother fucker. As everyone was saying "that guy best leave before Kev's dad got here". Fortunately for the attacker, he left in the back of a police van before anything more kicked off further. Still a dramatic end to day 1.

We set off for Newcastle the following morning having fixed the radio, but now with a broken TV as after napping on the floor I kinda fell into it and fucked the screen. Remember that promoter I mentioned off of their last tour who ended up with a Budweiser bottle in her bum? This was the same woman who was promoting the next show. When she first arrived, she seemed a nice enough person. Though as the evening progressed it transpired that not only was she as piss poor promoter, she was also a bit of a bitch, trying to wrangle out of the fees she owed the band, and failing to provide the rider of food, water and beer. At the end of the day if you have a contract, it doesn't matter what bullshit you try to pull, you should stick to the deal. Unfortunately because of the low attendance, rather than looking at her faults as the event organiser it was taken out on the band.

We were quite fortunate however as the woman working the door for her had seen our plight and the unjust actions of her boss, and offered to make us some food at her flat after the show, which was such a nice thing to do. I have to be honest, the north generally does seem much more hospitable than the south, as only the day before the landlord at the rose had given up his whole spare house to us in trust, which is quite a bold move as he didn't know us from Larry.

After clubbing until 4am, we head back to the van for the night - 5 guys trying to sleep in a Ford Transit van, it wasn't going to be a comfortable one and truly it wasn't, in fact I think it was the worse nights sleep I have ever had in my entire life. If that wasn't bad enough we woke up in the morning to a parking ticket....Great.

Day 3 saw us reach Birmingham, which for me was less about the show and a chance to catch up with 3 of the guys who I met at Reading Festival. I must admit despite 2 of the bands pulling out and as such the crowd numbers being low, it was a very good night, though for me catching up with Zack, Jord and Juliet was the highlight, it is so good when you get the chance to see old friends on a tour. In all a very undramatic evening compared to the last 2 shows, which was nice. Next up however is Glasgow. This could be interesting.

So that is the update so far from my airbed in some random person's living room in Birmingham. There has been a fight, a broken radio, a broken TV, a really bad promoter, a parking ticket, old friends, new friends and a whole lotta rock n roll! Update 2 coming whenever I next find WiFi!

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