Tuesday, 19 January 2010
Fuck about last night was vicious! Hang over city on the bus this morning I can tell you. And, the bus is in total darkness ‘cause we can’t get hooked up to the clubs power ‘till some one comes and opens it. And, I have just come on my period. Today can die.
Chucking my clothes on as fast as I can in such a hung dog state, I bump in to Lyall in our little bus hallway and ask where the public toilets are. He starts telling me, I yell at him quietly in true maniac pre-menstrual womanly finesse that he can fucking come with me ‘cause I’m not about to wonder round his home town in this state looking for a necessary convenience that one should not have to leave one’s abode to fucking use.
We are in York, hometown of our formidable Tour Manager Lyall and Britain’s most haunted pub. Apparently. Blah. York is fucking beautiful and the other two bands enjoyed wandering round it.
Lyall quickly becomes my hero for the day by telling me that we are going round his mum’s house to grab a hot shower while everyone is still asleep and I try and hold it together and not cry! I haul my shit together at the bus and curtail it out of there and on to the more normal run of the mill bus up to Lyall’s mums house.
I could not get out of the shower, it was like the best thing in the whole fucking world and the first time I had been warm in what seemed like forever. If it wasn’t for Lyall needing it next I would have stayed in it till the water ran cold for fucking sure! By the time he’s done, I’ve pimped myself up and look decent enough to d=face humanity again.
Tesco’s gets a visit for a fry up but fails to deliver and we are left eating shit macaroni cheese and potato’s instead. Adam, the guitarist from Warbringer rang to tell Lyall him and The Fading boys were off on a wander and I took great delight in telling him about my hot shower incurring plenty of name calling off him. Adam is my fave I reckon, he looks like Jay from Jay and silent Bob and is funny as fuck. Proper dry, British sense of humour, sly like. He’s great to hang out with and chat, him and Lyall have been up till the morning chatting about random shit every night so far. Very intelligent guy.
Slowly but surely the stories of last nights shenanigans start to creep out of our mouths. We are still coming clean about our crimes and sins on the bus back to…the bus. Turns out there was way more misbehaving than I was aware of, and yet again I feel proud and honoured to be amongst such bastions of society! I think Lyall didn’t notice the old grannies sitting around him as he regaled me with filthy antics although knowing Lyall he probably wasn’t that arsed anyway. Needless to say I laughed till I cried and suddenly the world was O.K again! Filthy beggar.
Back at the bus I power napped away the next three hours in a bid to stop feeling like such shit and Lyall woke me after the load in had been done, bless those boys I really needed to not be loading in. Win.
So still I’m finding it difficult to write but finally I manage to get some words down on the laptop and before I know it I’ve actually posted! Thank fuck for that. Jeez. I set up the stand, get my shit together and go outside for one last ciggie before doors open. There are already people queuing, which is rad, and York turns out to be a successful merch night and a great gig for all three bands. In fact it was the best so far.
The Fading get a great response, Warbringer get a circle pit going and we find out later that Lyall’s mate Richard broke two fingers in it! Awesome. The Fading are getting so much better with each gig, it’s amazing to watch the progression. Warbringer are a fucking shit hot band, Laux is an outstanding , mesmerising guitarist, Kevill is totally with the audience the whole way through to the point where I always think he’s about to launch himself in and join them, Adam is banging his head throughout and Nic is holding it all together at the back.
A tired but very happy bunch of metal misfits traipse on to the bus after loading out and after a couple of hours of chilling, of video games, a few drinks, and some net surfing, everyone’s wanders off to bunks and all is quiet at a reasonably early time of about 3am.
Wrexham. Wales. I wake up all cosy in my bunk, at some point I must have stopped being freezing and started being boiling in my hoody, tracksuit bottoms and socks ‘cause now I’m sleeping in a reasonable amount of clothing. I climb out and stagger to the toilet, head fuzzy with a bit of hangover and find a delightful notice stuck to the seat informing me that the toilet hasn’t been emptied and is full of wee. Lovely. Seems Steve our driver didn’t count on us drinking quite so much and therefore having to get rid of quite so much eh! Tut tut. I chuck my bon Jovi boots on, that Lyall put in the freezer last night when we were all drunk, throw on some layers and trek off to find a café that will let me use their pisser.
Me mum gives me a call, to see not just how I am, but how the guys are holding up. She met them and Mike when they came to pick me up on the last tour and being a typical mum is full of worry and concerns. Bless her. I’m not sure that when she was raising me she would have been happy to know that one day she would be talking to me over the phone while I’m wandering around Wales looking for somewhere to piss, you know the tone of voice I’m talking about! Still, I tell her last night went well and promise her that I will behave ( Don’t worry, I crossed fingers) and head back to the bus.
Matt, the front man of Evile and Joel are watching Back to the Future in the kitchen, so I sit with them and watch the man flick while at the same time being horrified by how many microwave burgers are being zapped by The Fading. The smell is rank and me and Joel have to step off the bus several times to get some fresh ciggie air.
Once the venue is opened, we unload the gear in yet more freezing weather. Warbringer sleep through, jet lag and hung over no doubt! I find the ladies toilets and set about baby wipe washing since there are no showers for us today. I feel worrying clean and refreshed after that but still look forward to Manchester where I can drop in on my big bro’ and have a bath!
The venue we are in tonight is weird, one of the staff is shit and I’m feeling a bit off about the whole thing. We chow down our food, which has been cooked by the café attached to the venue while watching The Simpsons and then all get about our tasks, sound checking, instrument maintenance and merch stall set up.
Setting up the stand tonight is way easier ‘cause I know all the stock and I packed the boxes the night before, it looks pretty rad and I start getting excited about the night ahead. Until that is, I find out some rather worrying news. Low ticket sales. Fuck. By the time Evile come on stage, there are fifty-one people. 51 fucking people. As you can imagine, I sold out of stock completely and we all went home. Sold out of all three bands stock. Did I fuck, jeez, the few people who had come were obviously so broke they couldn’t even shell out a quid for a fucking sticker.
So I’m just kicking back really, getting a bit tipsy, watching the show. The Fading Bassist has been playing bass for Warbringer too. Warbringer’s bassist is unable to make the first two weeks of the tour due to health reasons and so Elad has amazingly learnt all the songs and is playing both gigs every night! What a fucking legend. There have been drum kit issues too. Ben from Evile is letting the other two drummers use his gear and Nic from Warbringer is having trouble working on it. Other than this the gig is going well considering there is barely anyone there!
During Evile’s set I start missing Mike massively. Then I well up. Then I have to go to the toilet and I lock myself in a cubicle and fucking cry like a bitch. This would be the low after the high of last night. I was so intent on last night being amazing, first gig back and all. So intent on being all stiff upper lip for the guys, who rightfully do not need people around them who are finding it hard when you can only imagine what this is like for them.
Tonight was the bitch slap, wake up call, loudspeaker in your face…Mike’s not here. Evile are on tour. Everything reminds you of Mike, of Sweden and that day in Sweden, at least half a dozen times a day you catch yourself thinking where’s Mike? Forgetting that he isn’t on tour. I still expect him to be there, it’s fucking weird and upsetting. I get it out my system, and get back out there. Lyall is right, there’s only one thing for it, drink a lot.
We pack up and hit the bar in earnest. I am a serious drinker at the best of times but tonight I’m trying to forget that this tour is actually quite fucking sad and hard and that subsequently I have severe writers block and still cannot write anything.
Drinks and dancing later and it’s off to bed. Only joking, not gonna leave out the good stuff eh?! I was necking back the vodka from the rider with Dr.Pepper, there was Jager all over the shop, Lyall and Kevill were doing drinking competitions, Joel and Ben were chugging away, even Ol was out. The Fading and Warbringer boys were all out and the club quickly filled up around us.
Look see, as we all know, what happens on tour, stays on tour. And I realise I’m writing about what happens on tour but you better believe there are juicy bits left out.
Many, many people got lucky that night, some with more than one person, there may have been vomit, there was a stupid fucking amount of booze and eventually there was a ridiculously loud party in the back of the bus between bands before finally everyone resigned themselves to the fact that it was the morning and way past bunk time.
“A woman walks in to the bar and asks for a double entendre, so the Barman gives her one”. Oh Ol Drake you winner you. Least he’s awake and he’s telling jokes, but jeez, bad joke man, bad joke. The dude is not asleep so I’m letting him off. Just this once mind.
Ladies and Gentleman, The Evile infected Nations tour 2010. We have just left Luton Airport and the 18 man Night liner that we are travelling in is packed to the rafters. We have Steve the driver, Lyall the tour manager, Warbringer from L.A who are the main support and The Fading from Israel, the openers. All along for an Evile adventure. Oh and me, Merch girl.
I’m back kid’s, for two weeks only alas, but two weeks none the less, for the U.K leg of a six week tour. First stop, Cardiff, Wales. Nice.
O.K so let me come clean. Cardiff turned out to be such a fucking outstanding night of debauchery that this blog did not get written. And Wrexham? Wrongness till the morn’. So here I sit, still fucking shivering and freezing in Fibbers in York attempting to get everything down before my fingers go numb. Let me tell you what when down…
First sleep was Wednesday night and it was fucking freezing. That’s for starters. And we were only in London. I literally woke up shivering on way too many occassions throughout the night, parked up there in the underground car park. Kinda dreading getting up North to be honest because this is only gonna get worse, especially when you add lack of sleep and food in to the equation.
The bus dynamics are predictable for day 1, the Evile lot are up at the front chatting, The Fading are in the back lounge chatting and Warbringer are scattered between. There’s not a huge amount of mixing, everyone’s being polite and shit, pleasantries are made but other than that it’s all a bit new and weird. Exceptions there are, of course and the exception to this rule is one Mr John Kevill, front man of the mighty Warbringer. The guy is fucking hilarious. He is bounding around the bus between bands, I can tell out right that he is going to be the loud one that wakes everyone up all the time and trashes the bus but for now he is on fire. Totally laid back and chatty and definitely helping to ease the rest of the bus in to the same laid back manner.
The Cardiff Barfly is sold out and we are late. The pressure is on to get everything sorted before doors open. As soon as we have unloaded all of the three bands worth of equipment in to the venue, me and Lyall get straight in to the joyful task of stock check. Fuck My Life in the back of that trailer. In the dark and freezing cold we spent over an hour counting every bit of stock for Evile and Warbringer. Stock checks are depressing at the best of times but that was one of the most miserable times of my life right there. Thank fuck I don’t have to do it again until Wolverhampton. Fucking winter.
I set the stall up in record speed at the back of the room while the bands finish up sound check and start clearing the rider in to the bus. First set up is always long, getting shirts sorted in to workable piles so you know where everything is for quick sales. Just as I’m finishing sticking prices up and scribbling down a sales sheet, the doors are opened and people start spilling in.
I’m selling for all three bands, and all three bands sold well. Sweet start to the tour!
The Fading get up on stage and by the end of their set they have the crowd worked up in to a thrash frenzy. Turns out, this is their first ever tour! WTF? They did such an amazing job, English is their second language but they chatnervously between songs and are brilliantly received.
Warbringer are fucking A all over the shop! They definitely remind of Bonded By Blood but way more evil and I think that’s just the L.A connection too. The laid back style. It’s cool to see them performing it’s very removed from just hanging out with them on the bus.
By this time I have cracked open the Vodka and am in full merch swing. There’s something not right though eh? Mike’s not here. Evile have a new bassist, introducing Joel.
Joel is one cool motherfucker. From the minute I met him, he was laid back smiles, open with a spark in his eyes. Check how gay I am for him! I guess because you can still see the nerves in him, this is a big fucking deal after all. Obviously I was intrigued to see what he would be like on stage, what the chemistry would be like between them all. First couple of songs in there are nerves for sure. An amazing reaction from the audience helps no doubt to disperse this. Matt says a few words and bam, they are in full thrash swing, new songs and old for the next hour to a killer audience and the whole place is sweaty and buzzing and chanting by the end of it.
We pack up, I sort out the merch money and hand it out and then we take as much of the rider as we can carry, including Evile’s Baywatch posters and hit the bus. Pammy goes up in the toilet and drinks are poured, cans cracked open and…this is where it all goes wrong!
Wrong in the best possible sense of the word of course. We were down at that bar making the most of the cheap Welsh drink prices till bus call at 2am. I don’t know how many Jager Bombs we knocked back? I don’t know how many cheesy 80’s Metal tracks we danced to? I do know that the last men standing so to speak were Lyall, Adam and John Laux the guitarists from Warbringer and me. All stretched out in the lounge on the bus drinking even more and chatting about god only knows what.
Good times in the venue before that found Ben the drummer from Evile, Joel the new boy, Nic the drummer from Warbringer and a couple of The Fading out on the dance floor or propping the bar up till the end! A fucking awesome first night and definitely a great way to start a difficult tour. Difficult because Mike is all around us in his absence.
For example, he was one of the party crew for sure. One of the reliefs that I have about Joel, is that he drinks and likes a party. See, Mike was always Bens drinking buddy, and one of the worries that me and Lyall had about this tour, was that Ben wouldn’t have that. It’s not gonna be the same, Joel is not Mike after all, but Evile are in a new chapter in their lives and it helps that although Joel is a new member, he bares striking similarities to Mike. I don’t know if that sounds stupid or not, but it’s all the things that matter, not just the big things, but the little things too.
I guess in a sub conscious way this is another reason why I have writers block. I am finding it so fucking hard to write about this tour. It seems wrong to have fun, to laugh. It seems wrong to talk about Joel in a positive way. It seems wrong to mention that Evile are O.K, wounded and scarred but getting on with it none the less. And it is incredibly hard to write about Joel without drawing comparisons to Mike. Anyway, enough for now, time to finish the story….
I wake up around 6 or 7 in the morning passed out cold in the lounge, my throat is dry so I’m pretty sure I’ve been snoring, I look over and Laux from Warbringer is passed out too, Adam is shuffling in to his bunk and we come to, stagger up and follow suit. Man this is gonna hurt when we wake up.
When we do wake up, we are in Wrexham. A shit night that ends well will be what today brings us.