Monday, February 1, 2010


Although having to get out of bed this morning at 6.30am wasn't exactly ideal, we were all grateful for the few hours we had been able to spend in a bed at least. It was such a great feeling lying there last night that I hardly wanted to fall asleep. For one thing it was a comfortable, clean bed and for another thing, falling asleep would just accelerate time forward to me getting back into the cold van and driving onwards.

We drive the rest of the journey between Eindhoven and Calais without incident, arriving with fourty minutes to spare. The guy at passport control jokes with us over our passport photos, asking if we've all had plastic surgery since we obtained our passports. I turn out to be the only guy in the band that still resembles his passport photo. Jon looks really different in his. He'd sorted his passport out right before Victims played their first US tour and he was super paranoid about getting in, so in his passport he's all clean shaven and has a school teacher haircut. He could not look more different these days!

We get a real British welcome whilst queing to drive the van on to the boat. We pull up behind a car obviously inhabited by Brits. There are two of them packing crates of Fosters into the boot of the car. Jon is up front with Ronnie and he laughs about their choice of beer. ”Typical Brits” he chuckles. Next thing this other complete meat head gets out of the car and stares at Jon. I glance away for a second. When I return my gaze back at Meat Head I happen to catch him grunting the word ”Wot?!” as he glares at Jon. Jon cracks up. He thinks British thugs are fascinating. He loves it.

On the boat later he tells me about the full encounter with Meat Head. Apparently when the guy climbed out the back of their car and caught Jon gleefully staring at him, he nodded his head, chin out, eye brows screwed up. Jon tells me he returned the nod, to which he then recieved the enquiry”Wot?!”. I explain to Jon that the nod the twat had given him was not meant as a friendly greeting but as a threat. Chin out always means threat. Jon laughs with joy, chuffed he's just experienced his first run in with a complete and utter British twat!

We get on the ferry and head straight for the canteen. We're all starving and we prepare ourselves for England with a fry up breakfast. Fucking expensive though it is, it tastes great. Johan asks me if I think one will get a free refill on the tea we got with breakfast. Even though it was a ridiculously small cup of tea, I doubt very much they're handing out free refills. I explain to him that you get fuck all for free in England! We decide to go help ourselves anyway since there doesn't seem to be any canteen staff in sight. We take some free hot water and as we're walking back to our table, some silly old bag comes running over to us and starts shouting the price of the tea at us. I ask her with genuine interest, if she is really going to charge us for some boiled water when we just paid £9.20 for a fucking fry up. She then tells me if we're using the same tea bag then she supposes it's ok. Welcome to England!

As soon as we drink the last of the refills we've been so kindly allowed, the old bag runs over and whips the empty cups away from us. What a life some people have...

We arrive at the venue about an hour late, but since we never soundcheck it's not a big deal. I'm more than satisfied with our efforts in getting here from Oslo. The promoter meets us out back and tells us that Municipal aren't even there yet. We crack up. The fuckers flew from Norway and we still beat them to the show!

The promoter, or should I say, the promoters rep, is a guy called Dave who immediately asks me if I was in Speedhorn before. Turns out the second show he ever booked was a Speedhorn show in Oxford. It never ceases to amaze me how the whole promoter bullshit works in the UK. The promoter is never at the show, never available on the end of a phone on the night. All you get is a rep who has absolutely no authority to sort anything out, should any discrepancies appear on the night. Like, getting paid the right ammount of money for example. As it happens, Dave is a good guy and we have no such troubles.

It's a really high stage again tonight, with a weird feel to it. We are never comfortable playing to a crowd that is kept so far apart by a big barrier and a few burly security guards. The gig feels ok, nothing special though. It's pretty obvious to me that we're all a bit jaded from the last couple of days driving. Strangely enough, both Ronnie and Scott say afterwards that the show was really great and the crowd were kicking off. It didn't seem like that to us but then again, due to the lighting set up, all we could really see was the first row of people and they were there, obviously just claiming their space for the Municipal show. Again, funny how the bands perception can be totally different to the crowds'.

Another highlight of the tour so far was the fact that Violent Arrest opened the show tonight. There was talk of them playing the whole UK leg but that isn't happening unfortunately. It's great to see them play anyway. We share a room with them and they turn out to be a friendly bunch of gentlemen. Andy is particularly pleased to see them, he's a big fan. I see Andy near the front as they play, nodding his head and looking absolutely delighted.

Gordon and John from Speedhorn came to the show tonight, although not together. They barely say a word to each other during the night. John is here with a couple of guys from his new band and Gordon is here with his girlfriend Katy. Typical John, he hadn't even got in touch and asked about a guestlist for the show, he just turns up and buys a ticket. I had sorted Gordon and Katy out with some passes. Gordon had spotted John in the cue on the way in and taken great delight in walking striaght past him with his pass, grinning as he goes. Oh how I miss that band...

It was strange for me to be playing a big show knowing two of my guys from Speedhorn were in the crowd. They both loved the show, or at least that's what they tell me afterwads. I'm glad to see them. I catch up with John for a while by our merch table later on and he seems happy. I'm glad he's playing in a new band. He buys a Victims shirt and completely refuses to accept one for free, demanding we take his money. Typical him.

We talk with the Municipal guys about going for a pint after the show but nothing really materialises. We're all pretty tired and it's freezing outside and after hanging around with Dave for a while trying to work out a plan, we decided to get the van packed and go get some food instead. We end up having a pleasant sit down meal at the nearest Indian with Gordon and Katy. Perfect end to an English night out. The meal is superb and we have a great time catching up with our friends. At one point two guys fall into the restaurant, fighting with each other. The people at the restaurant pull them apart and kick them out. As we look on, cracking up at the scene before us, I notice the other patrons haven't even glanced up, they just get on with their meals as if it's all completely normal. I must have been away for too long. I quickly realise that it is unfortunately, perfectly normal.

After the meal we say our goodbyes to Gordon and Katy and get in the van. We're making the short drive back to my parents house to sleep. We don't have to leave tomorrow until late afternoon. Heaven.

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