Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Evile Infecting Nations 2010 tour.

“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.

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