Saturday, 9 May 2009
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.