Thursday, 28 May 2009

This is not a blog but...

...Could you all please leave some comments? These don't write themselves you know!


Laterz x

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Legacy Festival. Part 3. Carnage!

I am actually going to die. I have been rudely awoken by my co host for the last part of Friday night, who informs me that as I warned, yes I do snore. Oh fuck off love, my head is currently, although invisible to the naked eye, exploding and dribbling brain all over the bed. Which I’m sure I dribbled on too. Definitely having a Mae West moment. I drag myself up, chuck last nights clothes back on, add the aviators and zombie walk to the car which speeds back to the scene of last nights crime. The crime being I drunk fucking Sangria. Bloody Arch Enemy.

I don’t even knock on the motor home door, just fling it open, lob my stuff in and throw myself on a spare bit of cushion and try to get some more sleep, it’s 7 sodding am . Pink Floyd seeping out from the stereo however is not letting this happen so its back to the step and a repeat of yesterdays mantra. Smoke constantly, back loads of water and wait for the guys to wake up.

Ben and I are once again the troopers. We are in agony but traipse to the stall and carry on with the process of opening up. Do you know how hot those stalls get under the tarpaulin when the sun is beating down? Really fucking hot. The Dutch next door to us from another label are finding us hysterical although do bring us coffee and make me smokes. We have a budding friendship and they for sure see us as their little siblings. The morning before one of them had heard the guys outside, got up, showered, walked back to where we are all parked / sleeping and only then looked at his watch and realised to his horror that it was 6.30 am and the guys hadn’t actually been to bed yet. Ha.

Lyoll and Morgan dained us with their presence at gone lunch again and Morgan proceeded to catch up on even more sleep under the merch table which started up a new game for the rest of us combining his leg and the industrial monkey grips used to hold the tarpaulin down. Alas, all fun and games it was not. Try as I might I just could not vom'. And the lord knows I really needed to vom’. In fact I think by Saturday I was the only one who hadn’t. I felt like my body was cheating me.

Ben the poor thing had a mountain of wholesale orders to plough through and it hurt just to look at the pain in his eyes. He looked like one of those dog rescue adverts asking for just 2 pounds a month. Poor little blighter.

Info was working it’s way back to us throughout the day of carnage happening all over the site last night and we seemed to be linked in some way to all of it. Fantastic! Many proud smiles broke on our faces repeatedly as more and more people crept out in to the day all pained and headed to our stall to laugh about it all.

6 pm finally came so I braved it and started tentatively back on the spirits. I know, pat on the back me. For the Queen and Country and all that.

By 8 pm I was drunk again...winner! Saturday night was a blur of further schmoozing, random acts of passing out by lots of people and loads more booze. The music, incidentally..Cough cough also picked up. In fact the whole of Saturday night was not too shabby at all. At some point during the day another British Thrash band had turned up, Eyes of a Traitor and hung with us on the stall for the best part of the day, so we caught a few of their songs, but the real corkers were Bio Hazard followed by Kreator. Both of which fucking smacked it.

The stall seemed to be doing well to as it turns out there is a pattern to people’s buying at these things. First day a bit of shopping. Second day all money on booze. Last day, all money on merch. Sweet. We packed up and dismantled the stall and took ourselves off with all our fellow merch comrades to the backstage beer tent. Which shut. What the fuck? So off we all trot to the motor home and get the last dregs of alcohol, white wine of course and soldiered on until...the bar re opened! Yay! I at this point bowed out with my snoring buddy and left the guys in the rain clutching on their beers jabbering on about god knows what.

Sunday morning, my pockets are full with business cards and Euros and beer tokens. My head isn’t too full of sick but my heart is full of sadness. The festival is over. Everything is being dismantled in the harsh sun. There is litter everywhere and memories of a blinding time scattered all over the place. All the people are leaving looking like they have just left a war zone and we are all quiet as we load up and hit the road back to Blighty.

A 14 hour drive through beautiful Germany, Burger King stop in Holland and looking forward to France in Belgium is ahead of us. End goal Calais and a ferry to take us to Dover. The soundtrack is anything but Thrash and Metal, well maybe just a bit..We fucking love it!

Legacy Festival. Part 2. After the party there's the After party!

Friday morning...eww. Talita has just left our guest house to catch her plane back to the U.K and I’m in a taxi back to the Legacy Festival VIP entrance to dump my stuff at my new digs for the next couple of nights, a motor home with three smelly and hung over sleeping men. Bugger. On the bright side, the day is looking to be a fine one, the sun is beating down which allows me the opportunity of sitting on the step to our motor home chain smoking and downing water with the door open till the guys wake up and get up. Watching the world go by has always been a favourite past time of mine but it has to said it is so much sweeter when it’s backstage at a Metal festival and there’s loads of burly crew stomping back and forth, back and forth.

Ben is the first and only up, and after banging about inside for what feels like forever he is as ready as he’s ever going to be and we venture out on to the site with trepidation to check out the state of the stall. Let me explain... German weather. We wish we had weather like that. I get the feeling they actually have designated seasons rather than grey interspersed with hot grey and some more grey. See, it was hot and sunny when we were there, but properly, not U.K half arsed style. And because of this there were thunderstorms. Proper fucking thunderstorms. Talita and I were woken up by lightening that was so close it seemed to come in to our room that morning. The thunder, though you knew it was coming would still make you jump and freeze up every time it crackled. This was not just a thunder storm; this was a German thunder storm!

The stall had fortunately been swathed in tarpaulin the night before and apart from the two swimming pools on the roof it seemed unharmed. We pushed that off, re-stocked and started selling. A slow morning, by the end of which we had both had a couple of beers ‘hare of the dog’ innit, just to see us through and pick us up. It’s not alcoholism if it’s at a festival don’t you know. In fact it would be rude not to frankly.

Now listen, don’t get the wrong impression. Sitting on our stall like a couple of Nam vets we were not. We were catching joke after joke, watching the world go by, conversing with the other stall holders who I got the impression were completely mystified by us. Everything was just slowed down a touch was all, all a bit steady, no sudden movements.

Lyoll and Morgan joined us looking very bashful at gone lunch, us having allowed this lie in to happen thinking that we were totally adding up guilt points that we could use to our advantage at a later date. Which of course was now. Booze run. See, the day before had been a bank holiday so we were out of fags and out of booze.

60 Euros later and the foragers returned looking dead chuffed with themselves. No bread was bought, no milk. Just copious amounts of cheap liqueur, huge bottles of spirits, mixers, six pack upon six pack of beers and cider and a couple of bags of sweets and tobacco. Ooh Friday night is shaping up to be a good one. I seem to have a pattern already, steadily drink beer till about 6pm to keep the hangover at bay, 6pm comes along and so do the spirits.

Friday night turns out to be quite eventful. At the risk of banging on about the weather too much, it hit us again with full clout at around 10pm that night. The stall literally left the ground and suddenly rain was pelting down and random people were clambering under the shelter of our stall while we desperately hung on to it. Soon enough we pulled the front covers down and a small party transpired right there under our noses. There were guys hanging on to the stall frame, the front covers and a blow up doll?! Everyone was chattering away and laughing in disbelief at the whole shebang and word got to us quickly that the main stage had partly collapsed and the power was gone. At this, half of us crawled out and turned round the corner and just stood there staring. The whole back of the stage had indeed collapsed. Instead there was a stormy night sky being slashed by rain. Fucking awesome to look at when you’re drunk I tell you.

I can’t tell you what happened to the stall after that, I guess it was closed up for the night. See I ended up wandering backstage to see all the madness happening and catch the buzz that was everywhere and ended up bumping in to old time friend Sharlee, bassist from Arch Enemy and Daniel the drummer, who’s birthday it was. Before I knew we were downing sangria and causing mayhem all over the backstage area. They played their set on the main stage much to the surprise of everyone who thought that was gone for good, and I got to watch from the side and feel all better than everyone else which is always nice when you’re shallow like me.

Further drinking and clambering around the site ensued and I managed to get myself an invite to a crew hotel room and so avoid the motor home for one more night. Sweet. What happened to the guys? I can barely recall what happened to me.I will tell you this, vomitting did happen, passing out did happen and making out did happen. We fucking rock!

Legacy magazine 10 yr Anniversary party.

I really did not want to go to Germany. I mean I really didn’t want to go. A party with Germans when I can’t speak German, being a typical Brit. Four days of living from a camper van, while being on my period. A line up consisting of mostly bands I have never heard of. Minimal pay. I so did not want to go. See, on top of that, the week leading up to the trip bought me more and more invitations to some sweet gigs and a few birthday parties that would definitely be rocking. Damn did I not want to go.

Turns out, Germany fucking killed it! Yes that is right, I was sad to leave London but I was even sadder to Leave East Germany and come back, which is weird ‘cause East Germany is pretty much a dump. But you see, find a massive car park with some fields around it in the middle of nowhere and fill it with 5000 crazy European Metal fans, a couple of food stalls and many beer tents, all pulled together by Legacy magazine celebrating 10 years of reporting on metal madness and guess what you get? A fucking no holds barred, drunk 24/7, constant metal of all sorts from all round the world manic fucked up party spanning 3 days and 3 nights hanging with people who out of their heads and crazy for the Metal! Sweet!

I got to travel there in style, me and Talita flew from Luton to Berlin, then walked to the train station where Talita spotted some Metal boys who showed us damsels in distress which tickets to get and took us to the platform we needed and became our travel buddies along with their friends. They practiced their English and we drank Jack Daniels and Coke from cans!

After dumping our stuff and getting our glad rags on at the guest house we would be staying in for the next two nights it was taxi ride and Bam...Legacy party time!

Within three minutes of stepping out from the taxi we were surrounded by men(Women in Metal are scarce..winner! ), a couple of photographers who looked like they were trying to figure out if we were in a band or famous ( we were by the end of the weekend! ) and being grilled by the promoter who was the most fantastic sight you ever could see. She looked the spit of Carrie in Stephen King’s Carrie and was wearing white fishnets, the tightest shortest, high waist jeans shorts and a skid row t-shirt knotted in to a midriff the pissing rain! After getting bored of us she scuttled off like a little weasel leaving us in complete awe at her total wrongness. Wow.

We are met by Bjorn, a journalist from Legacy magazine and good friend of Talita, who spent the rest of the night introducing us to everyone and plying us with booze. We love Bjorn. He is the best ever. Later on that night the Earache Merch crew consisting of Ben, Lyoll and Morgan rolled on in riding their camper van and we all continued getting trashed and mingling our little hearts out. I’m not gonna lie. There was all manner of drunken shenanigans. Vomit, passing out and making out with randoms, you name it, we covered it. The Brits have arrived.

Next day of course...very painful. Still we are soldiers to the cause and battled through the morning and got the stall set up. Oh who am I kidding, me and Talita didn’t hit the site till after lunch on the reasoning that we would have to be up late again this evening doing more schmooze work. Not entirely sure the boys bought it but hey ho. Turns out they had a bloody nightmare time. The spot they were designated was flooded. The power they had paid for not there. Hangovers all over the shop and general exhaustion following the previous day of driving from the U.K to Eastern Germany.

Needless to say the stall got erected eventually and set up adequately and the selling began. As did some god awful Metal bands that continued all day and all sounded exactly the same as the last one. Thursday evening approached, drinks were downed once more and suddenly everything looked a bit more colourful and warm and fuzzy...cannot for the life of think why.

Round two. We only went and did it again. Everyone was back on the sauce, taking turns on the stall which stayed open till midnight when the ticket holders get turfed out and the bands finish. We had definitely made leaps and bound since our arrival with regards to our social networking skills and so always had one person or another dropping by the stall and hanging out with their beverages and stories. By the time Talita and I fell in to the taxi to take us back to the guest house, Bjorn in tow, equally wasted who was staying with the rest of the Legacy Massive in the same place, I was so out of my tree that the whole driving on the other side of the road was proper freaking me the fuck out. Of course I was completely aware that it was just me being wrecked but shit it messed with my head like bad acid. Some knock down ginger later and we locate Bjorn’s room and pass over the responsibility of him to his mates and stagger off upstairs passing out soon as we hit the pillow.

Tomorrow Talita has to get back to the U.K and Take Care of Business, leaving me with three boys, a camper van and Legacy Festival for two more days. Hmmmm...Worrying.

Friday, 15 May 2009

The end of the road...after a load of booze!

Maricn, our Polish driver is a lunatic on the motorway. The fact that we haven’t yet died is a miracle. He drives so close to the tail of Lukas in the van in front carrying BBB that there is now an on going joke that they are gay lovers and Lukas is the taker. This joke is needed simply to alleviate the fear when he is a foot away from the front van whilst going 90 miles an hour. Pleasant driving it does not make!

The van is quiet, we have a short journey to Nottingham and we are all aware that it is the last show. The only sound is all of us munching on apples and even the music choice has changed. We have gone from listening to Megadeath to just leaving the radio on and at this point are listening to The Bee Gees. There is definitely a resigned feel in the air. We even find the venue early. Everything is as it should be which by this point makes me for one feel a bit on edge.

Ali from the Earache HQ meets us at the venue and off we trot to the lions den all excited at what stuff we might be able to nick. The drivers stay behind to wait for the venue to open and begin unloading.

The Earache offices are like a boys bedroom. Metal posters everywhere, loads of computers and paperwork all over the shop. In some rooms the walls are hidden behind boxes and boxes of C.D’s , L.P’s and DVDs. We are all salivating at the mouth. We meet the rest of the Earache massive and after delving in the stockroom and coming out with a classic Municipal Waste T, we head off to Pizza Express across the road for breakfast/lunch/dinner on the boss.

We all eat and drink like we are orphans in an Oliver Twist Metal remake and I do my best to drag the bands back to the venue for set up and sound check which is hard since there are better things to do like drink and go record shopping but eventually everyone is present, except maybe Carlos who after last night is dying slowly and even chucking up twice does not seem to be helping much!

Cauldron have interviews to do so manage to avoid sound check, which I have learnt is the least favourite thing for bands to have to do.  The sound check gets done, the merch stall gets done, this time it is a coffee table and a corner wall and during all of this a lot more drinking is done. Yay Nottingham!

The first two bands play and then Cauldron. I’m at the back on top of a chair to watch since merch sales are not doing so well I can afford to concentrate more on the gig than I’ve otherwise done and watch a blinder of a set all be it with the same poor sound we have come to live with from several of the venues. I think this must be why bands hate doing sound check, what’s the point when the sound man still gets it wrong.

BBB play their usual dynamite set and even Carlos pulls it together on time. I spot Cauldron up at the front just standing there so push my way through and start up a little friendly moshing with them and Talita. One for the road stylee.

Suddenly everyone who came to watch is gone and the merch stall is in boxes and I’m done. My job has come to an end. A combination of copious amounts of booze and genuinely liking these miscreants has made me quite teary when it comes to saying goodbye. The BBB and Polish massives have to set off to Belgium immediately and it’s sad to know that Cauldron and me won’t be leaving with them. On the up side, The Gallows are throwing an after party up the road and the Boss is well up for partying! How fickle of me.

Having dumped our bags and Cauldron’s equipment at the hotel we find ourselves drinking shots from a teapot and drinking round after round of beautiful alcohol before discovering the upstairs dance floor where Lags form The Gallows is chucking out some top tunes. Since Earache are pretty much the only people throwing some shapes he takes all the requests from the Cauldron crew and in no time the vibe is rock eighties wedding reception, complete with mum and dad dancing and even more booze!

Eventually I stagger back to the hotel, Talita is right behind me and too soon i am passed out in a drunken slumber and the party is officially over. Somewhere near Dover there are two highly suspect vans being driven badly by two tired Polish punks and carrying a group of Mexicans and all their instruments. Fuck I wish I was with them! Mind you….



Groupies and ghosts

I wake up in my bed, in my room, no smelly boys and clean sheets feeling surprisingly excited to get back on the road.  As I said, London has not lived up to the hype. The phone starts ringing and I am quickly regaled with the many shenanigans form last nights continuing wrongness after I bailed.

Groupies.  Now don’t get me wrong, there is always room for groupies. They are as necessary to a tour as ryders and service station stops.  There is however etiquette to being a groupie, unwritten rules and ways one should behave in a proper manner.

Screaming like a banshee that you wish the whole band AIDS and to be run over by a bus simply because they have bought their long time friend, who also happens to have served you many a drink at London’s finest drinking hole but is, god forbid a girl and therefore in your eyes, competition, even though had you taken the time to do some research you would know she is in a long time relationship with the bands friend is really quite bad form. And embarrassing for everyone involved. And won’t get you any band cock.

Asking the band members for money so you can buy drugs is also frowned upon. You are not in the band, hell you are barely even with the band. Jeez, my London sisters really should know better!

Other than that and including that, there were the usual drunken rowdy happenings that left the night ending prematurely for most involved. BBB ended up not staying in Ealing with Tom from mutant however and this now, the next day proved to be a bit of a fuck up.

See at this point, Lukas the driver is waiting on new brakes and Marcin, his right hand man has driven to Ealing to pick up BBB, who of course aren’t there. No one has told the Polish contingent this though. Ooops. Tom’s mum informs him that the BBB are at Talita's and he goes AWOL for several hours. Eventually, at just gone 3 pm we leave for Leeds. I can’t get hold of anyone at tonight’s venue but needless to say we will be turning up just in time to set up and play. On a wing and a prayer we should get there by 7 pm. No stops just straight to Leeds.

On arrival at the venue, Josephs Well, I realise why no one has chased us up on where we are. The promoter is quite possibly ten years old. He is also the most adorable host we have had to date, so much so we all want to adopt him and take him with us within 10 minutes of meeting him. He has sorted out the usual ryder consisting of bad food and crap beer, but also there is fruit juice and real actual fruit! Everything is set up and sound check gets done quickly and without fanfare. 

The merch stall is spread over four pub tables and there are people waiting to get in. This in itself is shocking since the gig was only set up a week ago and then in to the dressing room comes the ten year old with a massive steaming bowl of pasta for us. Result.  Both bands play well and we sell some merch so all in all it was a good gig. The ten year old, who is in fact 20, checks in on us all regularly and after settling out the money pushes off home.

We, on the other hand are not going anywhere. Tonight we will sleep in the pub, on the sofas. Which is kind of creepy. Most of the guys head out to some dodgy all night bar run by Chinese local mafia with some locals who watched the show and so me, Jose and Ruben curl up in our sleeping bags in the corner of the pub and Ruben tells us a blinder of a ghost story fitting to such a moment. 

Several hours later I wake up in a spine twisted position on the sofa, which is like a window ledge to perch on and hop over to some floor space in my sleeping bag. Next time I wake up Jose has done the same. The floor was way better. I hear the guys come in at some point and at 7 am, Carlos, last man standing staggers in completely wasted but very happy with himself. He mumbles something about a pink games console and passes out.

3 hours later he’s not so happy  ‘cause it’s time to load up and push off to the last stop on the U.K leg of BBB’s European tour and the last stop for both Cauldron and myself, Nottingham, home to the Earache HQ. Should be an interesting one.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

London is Lame. I'm embaressed frankly..

After such a stomper of a gig in Edinburgh there was only one thing to do…get fucking trashed at the local rock club. Everyone is pumped up and ready to wreck themselves. We have to leave Scotland at 3.30 am to get back to London and get the brakes fixed so we don’t all die in a five car pile up somewhere. With this in mind we make an executive decision, bed shmed we are staying out till it’s time to load up and leave. We leave the equipment in the venue, piss about and finish the ryder upstairs in the flat and head out with the soundman, our guide for the night.

The following two hours are..well odd to be honest with you. When we reach the club there are quite a few big, burly and intimidating men hanging out wearing bike colours, allow me to introduce the Blue Angels, Scotland’s Hells Angels. Seriously, they are well scary and I was a bouncer in North London for five years. We get in free and once in stand there looking very confused. Lady Gaga ‘Dance’ is being played. WTF? This would never happen at the Crobar. There is a seedy Americana style rock bar to our right and a disco type set up to our left. To the right it is. 25 minutes later we get served. Not that it was that busy. The bar staff were just serving everyone but us. I’m using all my anger management session techniques to get through this one.

Drinks in hand, me, Alex and Carlos from BBB check out the dance floor and are immediately rewarded by the biggest loser fuck up man and his topless, moob wobbling, glove wearing self all on his own dancing badly on the stage. He should be filmed and used as a television advert to steer kids away from using Ecstasy. He is so fantastically fucking wrong that we are hysterics and have to get the others. Chris, Cauldron’s Drummer is so mesmerised by the wrongness he films this guy for a whole song, I think they are going to put it up on their myspace. We wanted to kidnap him, tie him to a radiator and poke him with a stick whenever he stops dancing forever and ever. Which is probably wrong too. And illegal. And a pretty sick thing to think. Ah well.

Too soon we are leaving, we have had an interesting couple of hours and the BBB lothario has struck again but alas it’s time to leave Scotland. A drunk trek back, some drunken shenanigans in the flat, some one passing out and in the van we are, all snuggled up in sleeping bags ready for some sleep. Scotland won’t let us sleep yet though. This time everyone see’s the views. We pass through the misty slate mountains with their water falls just as dawn starts and this the last thing we see, all snuggled up in our sleeping bags before our eyes close and we pass out.

First stop in London is Earache press officer, Talita’s flat, who has cooked up some spag bol and cookies for us. With a full belly I trot of home to South. On arrival I discover to my horror that I have the van keys in my pocket so no hot shower and chill for me, straight back to North London then on to The Purple Turtle, what a royal fuck up. It’s all systems go once inside the venue, sound checks, interviews etc. My merch stall for tonight is a fooze ball table.

The place gets a strong turnout, but everyone in London is broke and sales are slow. I was so excited to get back to the Big Smoke but so far it has been one big pile of shit of a day, which is making me mega cranky. Talita and Carlos bring me sweets and drink which goes a long way to cheering me right up! Louise brown from Terrorizer magazine comes over and adds a cheeky sign directing people to the boobies on Cauldron’s album cover, Louise and Talita are drunk, YAY being drunk.

Mutant are on stage playing a fucking diamond set, we all heart the Mutant massive. Quite a few of our mates are out tonight and we have all being proper looking forward to getting super trashed with them all after the gig and catching up with everyone.

Cauldron are up next and by the end of their set the stiff upper lip London audience is actually moving, there’s even some head banging -shock horror. London really is hard goddamn work, which is even more apparent after the mental crowds in Scotland.

I’m spoilt tonight with company on the stall, loads of my mates and the bands are hanging out with me so I get the camera out and start snapping away. Note to self, don’t have photos taken of yourself with your hot friends when you have ‘tour skin’ and look like utter shit.

BBB hit the stage and within no time everyone is head banging, moshing and dry humping. Yes that’s  right. I had a couple opposite my stall dry humping right trough the BBB set. They could be responsible for the birth of a child in nine months if that kept going the way it was. Jose gives a dedication to “being Mexican and not having the Swine Flu” and the set draws to a close.

The promoter has said that we can stay on partying till 2 am which has to be a good sign but everyone is skint and so arrangements start being made to move the party on to some ones house. I’m having the time of my life on the stall keeping an eye on the stock since I have acquired two thieving scum bastards who have possibly already lifted a CD and are now aiming for the cash box. I scream blue murder at them to fuck off before I glass the fuckers and Big Tom, friend of the band comes and helps me look after the merch till its loaded up and out of their light fingered reach. By this point I’m so over today and quickly sort out money, invoices, meet up time for the morning and make sure the bands are sorted for the night before scurrying off home with my tail between my legs. London and the people in it have been a big ol’ disappointment and I can’t wait to hit the road out of it.



























Scotland Rocks! But their clubs are wank!

‘Tis a miserable grey, windy, cold and rainy morning in Glasgow. As Marcin, the driver starts to drive us off to Edinburgh, his ipod comes on mid song with Megadeath at the lyrics ‘the angel of death is pissed off at me again’, which has us all immediately in a huge bout of laughter. We have spent the last hour loitering in a Mc Donalds updating blogs while we waited for the club to open so we could load up and  get moving. In the van, I work out merch sales for last night and prepare my paperwork for tonight.

We get to the venue, The Bannerman in no time and the place is proper sweet. Old English pub with 15 year old Whiskeys and Scottish Ale aplenty with a cavern at the back covered in rock and metal posters, stage at the end. We get shown upstairs to our accommodation for the night and it’s a flat with bedrooms, beds, a shower, sitting room, and kitchen, the works. This must be what Heaven is. Seriously, I’m tempted to ask for a job and just stay. Defect to Scotland. The staff are awesome and in no time we are all slightly pissed sitting in those wicked racing green leather sofas playing computer games, chatting and updating yet more blogs!

Cauldron get a tip off about a cool little record shop but come back empty handed and none of us make it to the amazing Castle we passed in the vans. The guys discover Edinburgh Gold Ale instead.  Both bands have an interview upstairs and fit sound check in at the same time. For tonight’s proceedings, the merch stall finds itself on a pool table.  

The gig starts, about sixty in the audience all pushed in ready to rock, the first band are fronted by mental vocals that go mega high in one breath and deep growl in the next, he was like if Prince had done metal. Top. Some cheeky beggar puts his Corona bottle down on my t-Shirts but I quickly told him about himself and on went the second band.

I have at this point been royally neglected which I suspect is because our digs upstairs are so nice, that by the time Alex, guitarist from BBB appears I have to ask him to look after the stall in mid jog ‘cause I’m painfully needing to piss. This neglect led to what shall forever more be known as The Longest Piss Ever.

Cauldron’s first song is barely heard for poor sound quality, tut tut bad sound man, but by the second this is rectified and they go on to play a blinding set. Chris is a bad boy drummer, proper gnarly, Jason just takes everything in his stride swaggering about and Ian is pure filth with those guitar solos. Jose is hanging with me on the stall watching the Cauldron guys with a look on his face that would leave you to believe some one has just killed his hamster. I ask what’s up and he explains that he always gets like this before a gig and is just focusing. I’m like Phew, thought you were hating on your support act there for a mo’ which gets a laugh before he goes all ninja again. Rapturous head banging, glass raising is being thrown back at them throughout the gig and at one point Cauldron are playing so hard a glass falls off a shelf and smashes! Ian’s guitar might actually explode.

Bonded By Blood up next and once again the guitar skills of Alex are off the fucking hook, neon yellow glowing under the dim lights.. A wall of head banging in unison as the boys line up, ‘Another Disease’ sending the crowd completely insane. Third song in and the moshing begins in earnest. The Drums and Bass have glasses falling off shelves all over the shop and even in such a small sweat pit hell hole of a venue there is crowd surfing, the Scots are fucking mental. BBB are totally possessed on stage and they are absolutely fucking destroying it. And with a  shout out to their Mexican buddies with piss taking reference to the swine flu, and the closing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme song they finish up to a crowd pushed over the edge. I think my ears are bleeding. Fuckin’ A.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Hello Scotland!

The drive to Scotland from London is epic. Which of course we all know, but on a hangover it is so much more bloody epic. Everyone sleeps as much as they can  just to avoid the pain of it. Eventually, long in to the day, I come round from a sleep to find us surrounded by amazing, take your breath away scenery of mountains made out of slate and little waterfalls. The Cauldron boys  are in the van with me, driven by Marcin, who's english is sparse and we are the only ones awake to take in the landscape for which Chris will bollock me later and i will learn that if there's stuff to see, wake them up! No language barrier is a problem when the only thing coming out your mouths is WOW. We have arrived in Scotland, great scenery, nutter residents and cheap arse alcohol..winner!

We arrive at The Classic Grand, the venue hosting us tonight after driving around in circles for far two long, sodding sat nav. Turns out we are an hour late when we thought we were bang on time following a communication breakdown so its all go setting up the merch stand for me and sound checking for the bands. The ryder is skimpy with tiny little dwarf like cans of beer, crisps, cakes and a couple of sandwiches. It's like a council estate kids birthday party. 

The first two bands on are locals and do a fine job of winding up the sparse audience in to a moshing frenzy. the merch stand is doing well and I even come across the boy who won a one off Wolf leather jacket at Hammerfest the week before. Jason,frontman from Cauldron turns up with his bullet belt after going AWOL and Ruben, Bassist from BBB makes some sales with Juan the guitarist on the merch stall. The rest of the BBB boys are asleep. They are always asleep. The mark of a veteran touring band it seems. Lukas and Marcin are teaching what guys are awake Polish swear words backstage. The bonding has begun. All is calm and normal.

Cauldron hit the stage and by "Chained up in chains" the crowd is not only head banging away but seem to have made their own dance up. They are chanting between songs "CAULDRON" and Jason is swearing and swaggering about which only eggs them on more. BBB are watching their new touring brothers from the back and there's a lot to see. Ian's guitar solo's are off the fucking hook and Cauldron play a tight, strong set that received brilliantly.

Next up are the headline act for the night, Bonded By Blood. The sleepy heads get up on stage, set themselves up and down goes the lights. Suddenly, lights up and they have turned in to Metal Monsters. Full on madness ensues, the crowd are wildly moshing out of control, there are kids literally swinging from the rafters no fucking lie and everyone is chanting " FAST AS FUCK" over and over again. BBB rip the shit out of Glasgow's Metal heads and by the end of their set the crowd has turned to chanting "THAT WAS AWESOME" and clapping football chant sty-lee.

We make some more merch sales and all the guys hang out with the crowd. The venue turns in to a nightclub after the gig so the bands and drivers have to pack up quick while I sort out the money and desperately attempt to to find somewhere for us all to sleep. at the final hour I manage to find a hotel two minutes walk away that has two quad rooms left and barter them down to an affordable price. Thank fucking god, I seriously thought we would be sleeping in the vans tonight. The venue let us leave all the equipment there to pick up late morning Saturday and we haul our exhausted arses off to what turns out to be a proper tidy little hotel so not suited to our skanky metal selves. Result. The Cauldron boys head off out to drink at Glasgow's premier rock bar 'Solid Rock' only to be back half an hour later 'cause it was shut and showers, sleep and a slap up Scottish breakfast later we leave refreshed and rejuvenated. 

After spending just that short time together, already you can see everyone is relaxed and chilled about each other. Jokes, stories of losing hours of your life to nights out, farts, snoring, cussing each other and tales from the road have been shared between all eleven and the touring bond is definately off to a good start.

For the following hour we loiter in McDonalds next to the Venue until someone arrives to let us in, load the vans and push off on a short drive to the next destination on our scottish jaunt, the city of Edinburgh.  

Sleeping, driving and Metal mayhem

woOP WOOOO...I totally got cover for my shift at the pub I work in for my Saturday night behind the bar so I am off on tour! Genius!

I finish at five, by which time Olivia of the Crobar has turned up following band practice and we proceed to get drunk and changed for the SSS / Cancer Bats gig at The Underworld. Talita of Earache Records comes by with Bonded By Blood ( referred to as BBB from this point on ) and Cauldron, and off we all go to cause trouble and mayhem on masse! The gig fucking rocks and after the SSS boys hang out upstairs in the Worlds End with BBB and Cauldron and an amateur wrestling match ensues. Then off to the Crobar for Jager Bombs and more metal. Everyone is passed out dotted around Talita's place by 3 am ready for the 6 am wake up call to load up and hit the road.

Too soon, the drivers arrive. Lukas and Marcin from Poland. They look proper dodge and so do the vehicles we will be traveling in. To add to this discomfort, the battery to one of the vans is dead 'cause the boys didn't turn the lights off so we spend forever trying to jump start the engine. On top of this, Lukas tells us that the brakes on one one the vans are shot to shit. An air of unrest is sitting heavily amongst everyone.

Turns out there was nothing to worry about at all! We were soon on the road and after five minutes it's obvious the brakes will see us through for a couple of days till they can be fixed. We stop to fill up the tanks and off we go. Music for the road is provided through our driver, Marcin's ipod via a static radio station and fortunately he has the same taste in Metal as us so everyone's a winner. Sleep is interspersed with service station stops, where band members throw up after a night of heavy drinking followed by short, bad sleep and a full day driving, mucking about with the music and trying to find reception for the music. Oh, and more sleep!

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

The night before...all was still and quiet..

So. Here's how the land lies. Tomorrow morning (BTW,  the word morning makes me vomit in my mouth) when I leave my flat I will have sleeping bag, travel bag and laptop with me in the hope that my boss at the pub I work in lets me off my Saturday night shift behind the bar, so that I can leap and bound like an Andrex puppy in to one of two splitter vans that will be carrying California's Bonded By Blood and Canada's Cauldron to five lucky venues situated around this fair Island that is the U.K. It will be a no frills tour. Everyone will have caught my cold by the end of it. I probably will have been sacked.

Whatev's. Right now, as I type, both bands are flying over the pond on route to what is totally gonna be the week of wrongness that went full circle to right! Not just right in fact, but righteousness! Sure there will be illness, injuries, aches and the like. But, holy fuck this is going to be the best five metal drenched, crazed tom foolery days for certain and I am going to do everything in my power to make sure I'm there along for the ride.

I am but a short hop skip and a leap to the adventure of a lifetime. The short hop, skip and a leap consisting of the following 20 hours in which I need to sort my laptop out, do clothes washing, pack, finish up mundane bits and bobs, move appointments, get weekend work cover, work and stop being ill. You know what them lot across the pond are like, freak out at the sniffles bless 'em. Oh and sleep. And then...Metal heaven . I can't wait for Wednesday and the best part of Thursday to fuck right off! MetaaAAAAALLLLLL!