Thursday, August 18, 2011

Boston

Sat in the van driving towards Boston, listening to Somewhere In Time. Everyone is in good spirits. It has stopped raining although there are clouds looming in the sky. It's still hot though. We should make the most of it really, by the time we get down to Richmond this weekend it's going to be in the thirties.

Jon is like a kid on Christmas Day today. He's been carrying his new balling ball around with him on this tour, the hole-less one he bought online. Today we went to something the bowling geeks I believe call a Pro-Shop to get his ball costumed drilled to fit his fingers. The old guy who ran this specialist store, in a town just outside of Albany called Latham, was a Hall of Famer, and quite a character as well. He was seventy seven years old and in fine form, despite having had a stroke a few years back. Jon had been looking forward to this since he'd looked him up last night on-line. As we were getting ready to go this morning when Matt, who always sleeps in his van, had come into the house to move us along, Jon had been fretting over what shirt to wear. He wanted to be at his smartest for this old bowling pro. He was asking Matt for advice on what shirt to wear, which Matt thought was great. Matt really loves Jon.

Anyway, we walked into this store with Jon to see what it was all about. The old guy, Bob, was an absolute classic. Watching him and Jon interact was like watching two old men converse. Old Bob was quite the master with the drill, he really knew his shit. Apparently he's had articles published nationally on this stuff. Jon was in absolute heaven. At one point, Matt and I were stood hovering nearby as Bob went about his job, Jon bouncing all over the shop like an overexcited kid. Bob looks up at me and Matt whilst talking to Jon, confused to find that Jon is longer standing where he had been just seconds before and barks at me and Matt, “Where did he go?! I want to talk to him”. Jon was behind him, carrying on talking to Bob obliviously. Bob refuses to turn around though and jut continues to bark at Matt and me, “I want to talk to him but I can't see him!” If you've ever seen Twin Peaks and you know the character that David Lynch plays, the deaf cop, then you'd know what I mean when I say Bob spoke just like that character, accent and all. Anyway, me and Matt apologisingly beg his pardon, before walking away to another part of the shop in order to conceal the fact the fact we're wheezing with laughter. Great old guy.

The whole process took a little over an hour, Jon quickly becoming best friends with old Bob as the rest of us went and picked up some Starbucks coffee/tea. Before we left we took some pictures with Jon and a now broadly smiling Bob. Jon looked close to tears. As we got back in the van Jon was so grateful for us taking the time to do this. The smile on his face was more than worth the time out of our day.

I slept really soundly last night, a real proper nights sleep. Jay had provided us with the materials to make ourselves a breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast and his room mate, another really sweet guy, made us all coffee. Johan told me that he got up during the night for a piss and found Jon sleeping on the bog. When Johan woke him up, Jon just stares up and proclaims he's taking a piss. Haha brilliant! This morning Jon claims that he must have been sleep walking...Andy tells me later that when he'd been up himself in the middle of the night to relive himself, he found Jon sat upright, asleep on the couch, a Corrosion of Conformity video blasting out of the tv...

Today we're dropping in to the Deathwish offices to say hello to Jake and the guys and pick up some records and other Victims stuff. After that we're going by Armageddon, the record shop that Ben Drop Dead owns. My mission this tour is that fucking Heresy/Concrete Sox split! Still can't believe I passed that up at Ieper Fest...

The show tonight should be a lot of fun. We played here on the Trap Them/Black Breath tour a couple of years back and it was great. Our good friends Another Breath played the show that night too and they were awesome. We're going to be playing with them on this tour in their home town of Syracuse for what will be their final show ever. It will be an honour to play with them on that night. Tonight Morne are playing with us. I'm looking forward to seeing them. Their main man, Miloz, one of Matt's old friends, is one of the most comically grumpy men you could ever meet. Should be a fun night.

Later:

The show tonight was an absolute blast! The venue is a pretty big bar venue with a long wing heading down to where the stage is located, at the back wall by the bogs. It's a decent sized stage with a good PA. The place was pretty filled out when we played, despite it being eleven thirty on a Tuesday night. I've had a cold coming on all day so I didn't have quite the same energy as last night. My throat has been hurting pretty bad all day and my ribs are aching a little for some reason. Must be getting old... I think we pulled off a good show though and we played tight. It was a receptive crowd too that made us feel very welcome, in this one of the hardcore capitals of the world. I really like Boston.

We had some good bands playing with us tonight. I thought the second band, Furnace, were especially good. They played a discordant style screamo/blast/d-beat style of music, really interesting mix. Two big bearded guys singing and playing bass and guitar respectively. They were unbelievably humble in their ethics too, maybe even over the top. They didn't sell any merch in the venue, they just promoted us and our merch, telling the crowd that we were on tour and that people should buy our merch to help us out. I hung out with the guys after the show and they were very genuine people. I told them that they didn't have to say what they'd said and that I actually wanted some of their merch, that I hadn't been able to find it earlier on in the night, Will, their bass player was just like, “Argh we have some stuff in the van, I can get some stuff for you.” At that, their guitar player went to the van and got me a t-shirt and a split 7” and refused to take any of my money, that I should save my money for food. Amazing people.

It was funny as hell when we turned up to the venue today. We'd been and loaded in and then went to a local bar for some dinner, by the way, I tried one of the Anchor brewery's other beers at this place called Anchor Humming Ale, which was beautiful, anyway, when we got back Milosz and the Morne guys were outside the venue. Matt, who hasn't seen him in a while, goes up to say hello when Miloz takes the trucker cap he's wearing off to unveil a newly clipped hairstyle. Milosz has had really long dreadlocks for as long as anyone has know him and now he's all smart and shit. I thought he looked good, Matt looked horrified! He just stood there staring at him is shock. Great sight to behold.

I didn't really get to hear much of Morne since our merch board was by the entrance and back there the sound didn't carry to well so I couldn't really hear much and it was my turn on the merch. Apparently right before they were about to start, Matt had gone up to Milosz and heckled him about his hair, Milosz just grunted, “Fuck you Matt! Fuck you!” and grumpily got on with the set. From what I could hear, they sounded good. Milosz is definitely a presence on stage.

Milosz was so pissed off with Matt that at the end of the night, when outside saying goodbye to Mark, Matt's old room mate and long time friend, whilst giving Mark a hug and bidding him a friendly farewell, just turns to Matt and says, “Matt, I'm leaving.” in his broad Polish accent and at that just turns away and leaves. You have to love those two, they get pissed at each other the way only two close friends can.

Earlier in the day we'd been made the trip over to the Deathwish offices, about a half hour past Boston from where we'd come. They were all really nice people, and we stuck around for a good while talking with Jake and Trey and the guys. Trey had a really beautiful looking pit-bull called Alabama, who I spent most of my time with whilst I was there, she was so friendly and docile. Made me homesick for Bonzo. We picked up a some Victims merch as well as some other records, nothing like wandering around shelves full of vinyl.

Jake and a couple of the other guys came down to the show tonight too. Always appreciate that kind of support from the people putting your records out. It was funny but directly after the show, Jake came up on stage and gave me a hug and said that he thought we were great and just to say goodbye really, that if there was anything we needed for the rest of the tour just to call him. What was funny was that the young sound engineer who had did our sound for the show was stood picking up leads with his jaw hanging. After Jake had left the kid comes up to me and asks if I was aware of who that was and what an amazing compliment he'd just given us. I guess Jake really is an icon of the scene and rightly so, he's also a genuinely nice guy.

We're now back at Mark's place. It took about a forty minute drive to get here, just about the length of Badmotorfinger. I was the only one who stayed awake for the short trip. I sat in the back, in my usual position in the seat behind the passenger seat where Johan sits, playing air drums to the record watching Johan's head bobbing up, down and all around as he slept. Mark lives in a huge house out in a town called Dracut which is absolutely stunning, that he shares with a few other people, one of them being Christina who sang in Matt and Mark's old band Man The Conveyors. Great people. I'm pretty fucking tired though so I'm getting my head down. They have a huge L-shaped sofa in the living room which is big enough to accommodate myself, Johan and Andy. Jon is taking the floor when he's done drinking beer with Matt and Christina in the kitchen.

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