Friday, August 19, 2011

Wallingford

In the van driving towards Wallingford via New Haven to pick up our friend Meghan, who is going to hang out for another couple of days. Jon is currently proclaiming that he's never heard Ride The Lightning that is blasting out of the stereo. He's full of shit!

I woke up this morning with my head adjacent to Johan's and Andy's feet in my face and the sun shining through the window. It was only seven thirty am. Four hours sleep. That sofa was so comfortable though that I didn't even mind. I just lay there for the next hour and a half needing a piss but not having the want or will to get up to relieve myself. Funny how sleep is way less significant in the scheme of what my body needs when it's on tour. A mere four hours of sleep at home would leave me fucked but today I feel fine. Feel bad for Matt sleeping out in his van, when I finally do give in and get up for a piss I happen to notice the van out in the driveway, the sun blasting in on Matt's face. Looks hot in there. He's been sleeping in that van of his for so many years now though that it's second nature to him.

We all slowly grumbled into life and sat around watching classic American tv comedy shows like Cheers and Frasier. Andy and Johan were in that mood this morning where they thought it was really fun to annoy me. Poking and prodding me just to get a reaction. And I react every time as well they know it.  Twats! I was therefore totally chuffed that I was the only one out of the lot of us this morning to figure out how to get hot water from the shower. Andy had taken an ice cold shower before me, Johan had washed himself down by the sink, again with cold water and I spent a relaxing fifteen minutes enjoying my steaming hot shower. As I said, chuffed!

We sat around in the kitchen for a while drinking coffee with Christina before getting in the Mattmobile for another day of touring the US of A. The sun is shining brightly in a bright blue sky. My throat is still sore but I'll try and get some pills for that today.

Matt is currently on a cheeky mission, taking calls from Erik Larsson on how to continue to annoy Milosz over his haircut... It really is like listening to two mischievous kids in the school yard. I love it.

Later:

At the club now. Last time we were here we played with Kylesa. It was a good show although there weren't that many people. Always fun watching Kylesa though. The venue is an old train station that is now a punk venue. It's pretty small and it's carpeted throughout making the place incredibly hot. Andy is also starting to feel pretty bad with the cold now, so that's two of us and counting. I'm sure it's coming to us all. Tried to beat if off with both hot Mexican food and a couple of games of bowling but it hasn't really worked...Jon was happy with his new ball though. He was pretty happy with his blur margarita too! I am absolutely terrible at bowling! Pool was always my thing when I was a kid. Jon looks like he should terrible, he has a fascinating style of throwing that fucking ball of his, he's actually pretty good though. Andy is a fascinating one though, he claims he doesn't like sport yet he's really fucking good at it! Annoys me.

Earlier on we took a trip to New Haven to pick up Meghan from the train station. We were there a little early so we took a look at Yale University and went to a record shop, as well as all the old haunts that Matt and his friends used to go to punk shows when they were kids growing up here. It's a very picturesque place, although there is a definite whiff of snobbery in the air. Not so strange I suppose since the city is based around a university that costs two hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year to attend!

I felt like a right are earlier. We were walking around the record shop and I found a copy of the Steve Miller and lo I've been looking for. Upon reaching the counter where the old lady who ran the store was stood it occurred to me that I was wearing the Furnace t-shirt I acquired yesterday. It's a quite a snazzy blue t-shirt, just my colour, but it has a line drawing of a dude with his cock out, taking a piss, the piss spelling Furnace. I became very conscious of this in front of this old woman, mainly since she was looking at me like a was a piece of filth, and not too subtly folded my arms across my chest, trying to cover up what I could of the image.

This show tonight is going to be a tough one. Do not feel good at all. Even load in, which isn't very much, was a struggle. The first band has a synth guitar keyboard thing that is pretty wacky. Should be interesting...

Interesting fact: Wallingford is the official home of the Ku Klux Klan in the state of Connecticut.

Later still:

What a difference twenty four hours makes. Last night we played to around one hundred and fifty people, tonight we had twenty paying customers and some members of the other bands that played before us. It was always one of the more doubtful dates on this tour though, even when we played here supporting Kylesa there were only around forty through the door. Most of the people here tonight were actually friends, Meghan, the guys from Oil Tanker, Jim who runs Vex Records with Matt and our old friend Grizzly. The room was small enough though, and it was a fun show all the same.

Grizzly turned up just as we were about to play, which brought a big smile to my face. We met the last time we were here. Grizzly used to live next door to Matt in Waterbury, and at the start of the last tour we stayed there for a few days. After the Kylesa show, we had a Victims/Kylesa party at Matt's place and me and Grizzly had “the night”. You know, the one where if you're a guy and a girl you stay up talking all night and fall in love. Well, my wife was sleeping in the spare room, and me and the Griz didn't get it on, but we sat up until six am, long after everyone else had gone to bed, drinking whisky and talking about life, love and loss, putting the world to rights. We've stayed in touch ever since. I gave him a big wet kiss on the forehead and then we blasted into the start of the set.

We played pretty well, and despite the germs dripping out of every orifice, I managed to gain some energy from somewhere. It wasn't the tightest show we've ever played but it was ok. I broke a string right at the end, just as we were playing the encore of Scars that we would not have bothered with in all honesty, had it not been for Grizzly shouting about the fact that he'd rushed here from work thirty minutes in his car to see us. It would have been preposterous to stand there changing a string for a minute though, so I just ploughed through without. It sounded shite to be fair, but neither Grizzly or any of the other twenty audience members seemed to care as they were bashing into one another.

We sat around after the show, drinking a couple of good beers and chilling out, the sweat and grime pissing out of me for a while. Jon's foot seems to be in a bad way, it's swollen up like a fucking tennis ball. Bowling ball maybe? He said it's not causing him pain which is weird. It doesn't look good. The only possible explanation for it can be the fall that he and China took the other night in Philly during the From Ashes show. Still crack up thinking about that! Well have to get Jon some medicine for that tomorrow though.

The band that played right before us tonight, Northless from Wisconsin, were really great. Really heavy, slow discordant stuff. I stood there watching them without about fifteen other people and they fucking tore the place up. I love seeing bands play that well to small crowds. I love being part of that crowd too. They were a terrific bunch of lads too, I hope the rest of their tour goes well for them.

When we turned up tonight, a young kid in the first band came up to us as we were loading in and told us he was really “pumped” to be playing with us tonight. Poor bastard was my first thought. He was a really friendly looking young kid. I just wanted to give him a hug. We must have looked like a right bunch of rock star cunts to them, because when they played their show at seven thirty, the first of five bands, most of us where sat out in the beer garden drinking cold, draught Anchor Steam, (amazing how just one beer can take the fight to the cold bug raging through the system), and didn't even they were playing their set. Andy told me later than when they started playing their set, Johan was spread out with his feet up on the sofa at the back of the small room where our merch was, and that Andy himself was the only person watching their set. The problem is Andy thought they were just sound checking and walked out after a couple of songs, leaving the room empty. Sorry guys.

We were actually sat around in the beer garden making our own entertainment at the time. As we were sat at one of the wooden tables out in the yard, Matt noticed some weird stick insect thing, creeping across the table. I asked Matt what it was. He thought it was a cricket but decided to take a closer inspection. He's bent over the table looking at this fucking thing and it starts creeping across the table towards him. Literally a split second after Matt says, “Whatever it is, it likes me”, the insect jumps into flight and straight into the hole in the crotch of his tight jeans, right in Biffins Bridge! He jumps up, shitting himself as we all piss ourselves laughing. I almost spit my beer out as Matt struggles to get this thing out of his kecks, “Whoa, there's my balls...”

Even though there were only twenty paying through the door tonight, we still sold an ok amount of merchandise. Johan had been concerned before the show that we were going to beat our friends Nine's record. Apparently they'd played a show once with Disfear and Entombed, somewhere in northern Spain, where they lugged all of their merchandise into the venue, only to sell a solitary pin badge the entire night and lug it all back out again. In Johan's words, “Fucking humiliating! I'd rather sell nothing at all than just one single pin!”

We decided to check ourselves into a roadside motel tonight. We had offers from our friends in Oil Tanker and also Big Jim, but with most of starting to come down with the cold, we decided we could afford it and the rest would be worth it. Matt of course, slept in his van, but not before he'd snuck the six of us into the one twin room. We took it in turns to head up to the room with our bags, all very hush hush in the middle of the night. Thanks Road Warrior!

Now in bed with Johan's snoring ass beside me.  Heaven... 


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