Thursday, 24 June 2010
Not again. seriously, I cannot be here again. I’m freezing, I’m dying with a hangover and I’m pretty sure that Aunt Flo’s just come to town. Oh, and get this. It’s so cold that the water in the venue has frozen and so we have two port-a-loos outside instead. Festival ones. The really shitty ones with just a bucket and a seat. The ones with no flush? Yep. Fuck my life.
And I was so super stoked to be coming back here, this venue is awesome, it’s got a live music area, connected to that a bar and a massive indoors skate park. And the manager, Schnarly, is awesome. I have quite possibly totally spelt his name wrong there, I’m spelling it out in my head and that’s what came out. On the down side, or weird side, is that this is the only venue on this tour that we last played on the tour that Mike died. So last time we were all here, was with him.
First off, Ben and Matt look to see if Mike or indeed any of them, ever graffitied the dressing room walls. After a disappointing find of nothing, I feel a decision has been made to always vandalise in future. Imagine if we had found a ‘Mikeism’ on the wall there. It would have been awesome and surely bought a tear to all our eyes.
Back to the cold. This building is basically a massive warehouse, sectioned off with plywood walls. It is freezing, absolutely fucking freezing. Hands are numb and stiff, breath is easily seen and toes and noses are hurting. I mean, the water has frozen type freezing, not some poxy U.K type ‘Ooh isn’t it cold’ type freezing. This is like survivalist stuff. Which makes setting up the merch stand really hard work, it makes everything really hard work. Little tasks become proper heavy duty.
Evile’s sound check is pure magic because of the cold. They are shivering under their scarves and hoods up coats. They can’t play fast enough because their fingers are too cold. Basically the sound check becomes even more redundant than it normally is. The guys are taking it well, laughing about it and all, but you can tell that this is going to be quite a massive fucking problem. Thrash being thrash, kind of need to be quite dextrous on the old’ strings eh. And the guitars are cold. They are playing badly for it.
I lost my gloves and my hands have gone purple. Dinner doesn’t even warm us up. I’m all over excited about the venue still though and up in the dressing room I say so. The response is, am I mad, it’s freezing and I’m like whatev’s still love the venue. I get quickly cut down by Andy who is like’ not whatev’s, how the fuck are we supposed to play in this?’ Which is a valid point and leaves me feeling like a total wanker. I slope off back to my stand in time for doors and wish the cold away. As I leave, the boys are all trying to warm their hands up on the little plug in heater.
A few of my first visitors turn out to be total winners, I end up chatting with them loads throughout the evening and even swap emails with the girl to stay in touch. They were a cool as fuck couple that loved metal and I thoroughly enjoyed hanging with them, talking gigs and travelling while drinking beer. Chop comes up to me and gives me my first valentine day’s gift. Yes, I get to spend that day with 15 men and you better believe I let them all know about it! I don’t even care for it really, but may as well make the most of the situation.
So Chop has given me the best gift. A toilet roll squished in to the shape of a heart! You have to understand that bog roll is at a minimum. And I am on. God bless that man, he really knows how to treat a woman. Note to self, remember to give him a gift back.
Elad comes and hangs out with me after an unfortunate stalker moment concludes in me giving the desperate help me eyes to far too many of the guys before Elad gets the hint. Him and Steve the driver. My heroes. See, earlier on in the night, some dude came over and saw me shivering so gave me a sip of his Whiskey, very nice of him. Then, about half an hour later, he bought me over a coffee. Again, very nice of him. With the second coffee however, he sat himself down, too closely and began an awkward ‘conversation’ with me. Awkward because he can’t talk English and I can’t talk German, although I probably would have pretended I couldn’t even if I could. He was basically a creep, trying to pick me up, paying no attention to the bands, why the fuck pay to get in if your just going to sleaze over girls? I cannot get over how Laux came over, asked me for his baccy, and walked off with it, the whole while I’m pleading with my eyes for him to cock black away! God dammit.
So there I sit on the steps that are behind the stand leading up to the t-shirt display, Steve on one side and Elad on the other, all trying to stay warm. Elad lends me his gloves bless him and we watch as Kevill dedicates a song to Chop the driver, who it turns out is down at the front with a beer, since he doesn’t have to drive tomorrow. He staggers out shortly after this and according to some of the others, stacks it. That is even funnier because his dedication from Kevill was to ‘the Lord and master’.
It’s too damn cold to write, I’m having a tough time even drawing tally lines down on the sale sheet so I can only imagine what it’s like playing guitar. It even gives me a headache.
Once off stage, Kevill heads over to the merch stand. With a bloody nose. This is how a good Thrash show should end eh! Apparently some kid down the front punched him in the nose by accident. Kevill is pretty fucked off until he realises that his Thrash points have just gone up and we take a photo. He then spits on one of my boxes and I slap him on the arm and tell him to stop bleeding and seating and snotting on the stand. In true comedy timing, at that exact minute, a fan comes up with his denim-patched jacket and asks Kevill to sign it and spit on where he signed it.
The crowd are fantastic for Evile, there a lot of people here who were here last time when Mike was with them and the support is phenomenal. By midway through there is a guy hanging off the rigging and mosh pits and stage diving and crowd surfing ahoy. The drunken guy hanging off the rigging becomes a problem and Lyall and Steve go get him off Joel’s mic, before his friend comes and takes him away. And guess who his friend is? My stalker rape ferry man! Ha.
Soon as the gig is done, it’s all about sales and packing up quickly so that I can get back to the heater. The Evile guys are in good spirits and end up getting told off for fucking about on the ramps in the skate park, chucking themselves at them at the top, and sliding back down like a rag doll.
Tonight, I am staying in. A lot of the other guys hit the town, different bars with the fans to get trashed and party ‘cause tomorrow is a day off and for once, not a travel day. I am filled with dread that we have to spend another day using the port-a-loos but have a big party to look forward to tomorrow night. There’s a punk night at this venue, and 10 minutes walk away, my old friends, Nashville Pussy are playing. And I shall be there to surprise them with a bottle of Bourbon and my drunken self! If they are anywhere near as cold as us, they will need it!
Being freezing wakes me up this morning. Well, this afternoon. The bus stopping outside the venue probably had something to do with it too. How lazy. Load in would have been way more painful today if it wasn’t for the fact that not many people were up, the ones who were, were all slow motion and quiet and every time I went in to the venue to drop stuff, The Jimi Hendrix experience played through me from the speakers. Heaven. Everything is slow mo’ and hazy.
Food is being laid out for us as we load in too, and the best thing happens, the kind of thing that only happens now and again. I have been craving scrambled eggs for a few days now, and lo and behold if that’s not what is sitting in a bowl on the bar. Joel, Ben and me are beside ourselves. Doors aren’t till 8pm tonight, so I have loads of time and don’t have to rush for once. The extra half an hour or hour you get with a 7.30pm or 8pm start makes the world of difference to your working day. And 9pm openings are the dream! You can set your shit up, do work you don’t usually have time for, shower and jazz yourself up, eat slowly, and still have time to surf the net and bum around with your mates and sometimes even go on a wander. 9pm starts are a real rarity though. They are not to be expected but rather enjoyed when you are lucky enough to get one.
I grab the shower next, I usually manage to get in them before everyone else using the reasoning that once doors are open I’m stuck on the stand till close, where as everyone else can go whenever. They are all happy with this, since none of them want to do the stand while I shower. Of course the shower is freezing, I have come to expect not much better than this, lukewarm is hitting me for a short while, but freezing dominates it’s arse and pushes through, speeding me along while I thank God I didn’t need to wash my hair.
Freshly preened, I warn the others of the impending shower doom and trot off out to the trailer to grab stock and hunt for the still missing Evile backdrop. Still missing since Irun, 4 nights ago. We have turned the bus inside out looking for it, well Lyall has. He’s asked me to double check the trailer in case he missed it. This is major stress for him, the management back home are mega pissed about it because Evile need it for the two months they will be spending touring round the States straight after this tour as they are pretty much unknown out there. I get some of The Fading out with me, to keep watch while I’m raking around in the boxes. Safety first eh. It is a very silly and lazy idea to be pulling stock out of the trailer on your own when you have thousands of pounds worth of stock and many, many bored men sitting around inside the venue who own said stock. It may be snowing and shit, but you have to drag their arses out. They don’t mind once they are there, all they’re doing is sitting there, smoking and watching the world go by while you talk to yourself out loud.
Once in side, I start setting up the merch stand, which for once, is out of this world amazing and has been designed specifically to be a merch area. We are talking a massive counter, which is hollow for boxes to be stacked underneath, and a raised lip for coat hangers to hang off the front of. Then behind are poles running horizontally across the balcony overlooking the stairs, three rows to fit all your t-shirts. And finally, a massive stage light to illuminate your wares. Oh, and not only can you use gaffa tape, they also sold me 5 rolls! I am in merch stand heaven, plus this is the foyer to the live music stage are, where everyone comes out to chill and smoke between sets, great location, plus, I can smoke!
I sit down to dinner at the long table in the middle of the venue and watch The Fading sound check while eating dinner with Lyall, Joel and Warbringer. The food gets washed down with Plop beer, I can’t recall what the food was, it was some form of slop, tasted nice enough but couldn’t tell you what was in it. Home made is always like that, always nicer too though, certainly better for you than buy out, mainly because that usually goes on pizza and booze.
I’m still really sniffly and coughing loads, so are quite a lot of us, but I’m trying to eat well, drink plenty of water and green tea and get some decent sleep every night so fingers crossed I won’t get as bad as Laux for example. He is suffering, has stopped drinking and everything in a bid to not get full blown cold or flu, whatever it is that is threatening our bus with its Germania. So again, I’m well chuffed my stand is not down some drafty cold hallway. It’s great to be back in a venue that is built for live music and travelling bands, it really is. Makes a huge difference to your day.
Doors open and I got Shaked, Adam and Joel all chilling out next to my stand at a seating area, that and messing about on the fuse ball table, all the while smoking away and chewing the cud. It’d funny, no one recognises them really. Joel is new boy, Shaked is in the opening band, and Adam has his hood up and hat on. I stick a price tag on Shaked to see if we can get him a hot Jewish girl, but to no avail. Gave us all a laugh though. See these times during the days are just peppered with boredom and hanging around and then silly little things like that. It’s almost like being on detention and having to get on with whatever your homework is, sound check, setting up m=the merch stand, practicing riffs, until the teacher leaves the room and you all start pissing around with each other for 5 minutes. It’s mostly monotonous work broken up with random acts of childishness. And a lot of the time, you really have to be there to get the joke.
Some kid asks me if he can interview Warbringer for his fanzine, so I cross over to the ‘backstage dressing room’ door and find one to come talk to him. This kid is proper rude to me, can’t get his head out of Warbringer’s arse, but is fucking rude as, to me. I wish his fanzine nothing but failure until he learns some fucking manners. Daddy must be rich if he thinks he can talk to the ‘hired help’ like that. Spotty little cocksucker. Of course I can’t say shit because I’m representing all three bands and blah blah blah, so I turn my attention to the low attendance and worry about exactly how good sales can possibly be when there are so few people here. Oh jeez not again.
Adam is my new BFF for many reasons, one of which being that he hangs with me on the stand and chats shit with me a whole heap, tons more than any of the others. Today we talk about shit we miss and shit we are looking forward to doing when we get back home off tour. He can’t think that way because he has 3 more weeks out in Eastern Europe to contend with, but me? I’m all about cranking the radiator in my room up to the max, having a bath and blaring Jimi Hendrix out through my sub woofer for an afternoon. I miss my music so much it hurts. Some light-fingered radio bitch at Download stole my ipod last summer, and I don’t have the income to get a new one. My dad has apparently got me one for Christmas but forgot to bring it when I had lunch with him before I went away. And I haven’t managed to move my music library from my old computer to my laptop yet, so I have like, a minimal collection to choose from. Most of it is Thrash, I already have a high intake of that daily so I’m kind of shit out of luck.
I am mainly getting drunk German guys hanging about around the stand rather than any serious buyers. Sods law, the night my merch is presented to the max, looking amazing, there is no one here to see it. I sell like, a patch. One of the guys tells me he thinks I am wearing a very sexy outfit, which would be lovely and all except that he is a middle aged creep and looks like he has a bit of the Fritzel about him. Adam puts his used wristband on the stand to sell so that he can buy a pack of cigarettes and sure enough, they sell. This causes much more amusement for us, along with the Fritzel dude, and the pace for tonight is set. It’s chill out, right off night. Lyall tries to explain tax law in European countries to me, he is on a hugely steep learning curve on this tour, and honestly, I can’t keep up. I tell Laux how much I enjoyed listening to The Jackson 5 while showering today, he’s the only one that pisses about with music really. I also voice my disappointment that no one is here to see my amazing stand. A drunk guys wanders in to the dressing room twice by accident while looking for the bathroom which causes much comedy for me because no one notices, all the guys in there are on their laptops online and don’t even look up to notice! The second time, it’s me that goes in and points him out, staggering near the entrance to the stage!
So we have a week left, and talk is turning to that throughout the days. I know I’ll be stoked to be home for a week, then bored the next week, then desperate to get back out the week after that. I’m so jealous of Evile who will have 10 days off and then jet off to the States for 2 months. I’m not jealous of Warbringer who downsize in to a splitter van for a further 3 weeks out after this one finishes.
As I mentioned, by the time Warbringer are halfway through their set, I have sold a patch. One little patch. I am freaking out inside, there’s nothing worse than not being able to do anything to make a bad situation better, I just grab a stool and sit there stewing it over in my head for the rest of the night. Yep, I broke one of my cardinal merch stand rules tonight. One week left and I give up, I need to sit down. I believe that working the stand is like working the bar, you never sit down, and you never do something that does not relate to the job at hand. You should be enjoying, or pretending to be enjoying the music, chatting to people, or doing work sheets, stock ups, tidying boxes. You should not be reading, feet up, looking bored shitless.
There I am though, sitting down. In my defence, it ‘s a stool that I place at the side of the stand, so I’m still approachable and not in the way of the products. This guy comes and chats with me, a local and gives me some light as to why it’s so quiet. Apparently the heavy snowfall has meant that many of the people that he knew were coming, have not managed to get there. He says that usually everyone car pools, or comes in mini vans, and that most of them couldn’t get through. Sounds suspicious to me, very London, ooh it’s snowing, let’s cancel everything. It’s all I’ve got though and as I pass it around, everyone seems to ease up and chill. It’s acceptable to admit defeat to Mother Nature.
The end of the night draws in, and Adam has run off to the bus while I pack up to stick a note on the tele, saying him and me are picking the movie tonight. We are always last on the bus, him packing the trailer and me finishing up the merch money and sales stuff, so we never get to pick.
We find ourselves instead, squashed on to a three seater sofa with Joel and Laux around my laptop, Lyall and Ben on the other side of it, drinking large measured spirit and mixer drinks and knocking back shots of Jager, all the while watching kids programs on Youtube. See, turns out Adam and Laux have never heard of the Moomins! So that gets played, and immediately loved. Then we move through Jamie and his magic torch and so on, until finally ending up at ‘Look around you’. That couple of hours was awesome fun, not getting hurried out of the club so getting to mess about online while getting trashed. By the time we got on the bus we were wrecked and soon enough we pull in to a service station and all drunken hell breaks loose. I really shouldn’t be allowed in service stations in Europe when I’m drunk.
We left with more booze, a massive stuffed R2D2, a sperm with some alcoholic beverage in it, a small man in a hat in a box and some sweets and crisps. Back to the bus and the kitchen party continues, upstairs the movies are rolling but we are too fucked to care now. At some point I push off to bunk and get some sleep. The strangest thing happened though, I woke up pretty soon after, the bus was stationary and I needed to puke. So I hurled myself down the stairs and threw open the door ready to vom’ only to be confronted by Chop and Steve the drivers, Adam, Laux and Lyall, all still up. I got massive stage fright and wandered back upstairs completely mortified and embarrassed. Jeez, can’t a girl get any fucking space to herself anymore? I did sign up for this though huh.
YEAAAA Paris! I got out of my bunk so fast that I gained many, many new bruises and carpet burns. As soon as I saw Talita from Earache records, Evile’s label, and Louise Brown, Editor of Terrorizer magazine standing there in the car park, I couldn’t feel a god damn thing accept over fucking joyed! My girls! God I’ve missed them, 15 men for company gets kind of tiring after a while. I have watched all the Back to the future films, X-Men, Indiana Jones and so on. I need some drunken girl time!
After many screams and hugs we settle down in a smoking pagoda just out side of the venue, surrounded by snow and regale each other with recent triumphs. The launch night of Terrorizer’s club night, Grindhouse, at the Hobgoblin pub in Camden was an outstanding success, of course! I missed a good one there, and I fill them in on what every one has been up to on the road. They get to hear stories that will go no further forever more! Talita gives me the package my mum sent the pub where I work to me, contact lenses and my punk sleeveless jacket that’s patches were falling off and I didn’t have time to sew up. She fixed it bless her!
Talita whisks the Evile camp off to do press in the nice part of Paris and Louise joins Laux, Elad and Paul from The Fading and myself for a jaunt to the local laundrette. Why the fuck is this the second time of two times that I have been to a laundrette to do not just my own but many other band members washing? Oh yes, I’m a girl. Pff.
One of the guys from the club very nicely shows us the way there, because apparently it’s really rough round here, and then says he need not to have worried when he see’s us all standing there. I wouldn’t fuck with us.
No sooner do we step out side of the venue then a massive snow blizzard kicks off. No word of a lie, I felt like I was in 'The day after tomorrow'! Instead of Jake Gynalhalelflahrehf whatever his name is we had Paul wearing a t-shirt with no coat though, silly billy. Not a happy Russian. Once at the laundrette, which smelt amazing, this dude got the little Asian guy to show us what to do and within 5 minutes, 4 of his machines were pulling us in to a hypnotised state of being 5 again and we all just watched the washing machine windows, transfixed.
Laux stripped in true Levi jeans advert and so found himself freezing in basketball shorts, wandering around the next few streets with Louise and me to find food. We were starving and clearly missing the usual spread of ham and cheese sandwiches at the venue. Every diner was shut for food orders since we had missed lunch, which was bizarre, but we eventually found a little Chinese buffet place that we managed to take some plastic containers of food away with us. I had some sort of potato salad and coleslaw, it was heaven. I’m lying, it was all right, but I totally got food envy for Louise and Laux who had opted for hot food. Hate food envy, always get it, and never learn.
We fucked about in that Laundrette for a couple of hours, trying to stay warm by sitting in the tumble machines after taking our dried clothes out, shoving our heads in the still hot and just dried clothes, anything, we were freezing. It’s not a straight off the bat idea of a good time in Paris, doing loads of laundry, but I think we managed to have a relatively nice Parisian afternoon.
Back at the venue we raided the food that was left, attempted to get connected to the net and I set up the merch stand. I have a pop at the venue for their no gaffa tape on the walls policy and do my best to set up band merch in the seating alcove opposite the bar. By the time I was finished I had missed dinner, and no one had saved me any, the bastards. Chop had put some to the side for Steve and said he didn’t want it so I took that and straightened my face. I even argued with Shaked after he came up to the stand when I was clearly stressed and rushing, and started going on about who the owner of a pair of gloves was? I snapped at him, he told me to fuck off and stormed off.
I rush back stage to the Evile dressing room and come across the best dressing room snapshot ever when I open the door….Evile are having a full on Birthday party with hats, streamers, tooty whistle things and children’s presents like plastic bows and arrows. There’s booze and a massive cake to top it all off. It’s Joel’s birthday! Joel is certainly cramming in a lot this tour, first tour with Evile, first child born, and a birthday! They all looked like such a bunch of kids, all thanks to the lovely Talita! Awwww! I wish I had time to enjoy but doors are upon us and I’m not ready.
The doors opened and Lyall had to cover me while I went back stage and got changed. I found Shaked and apologised and we hugged and it was all forgotten, as I ran off to use Warbringers dressing room they all shout that they love me, family right there. I had to get changed in Warbringer’s room ‘cause Evile were doing an interview in theirs and rushed back to the stand quick smart. With magnificently big bed hair! My hair looked rad that night. I love it when that happens.
This French journo, Jessica came and hung out on the stand with me and the biggest win of all was having Louise hang with me. She even wrote notes in my book when I went for a ciggie break and she looked after the stand!
I get this often. When the guys look after the merch stand for me I come back to find rude entries or scribbling about how great they are or how much I love them. Louise on the other hand drew a heart and kept me up to date with what I missed, bless her. Girls are better. Here’s what I missed. Warbringer made everyone sing Happy Birthday to Joel, who came out and laughed his arse off! I didn’t really miss this though because I could hear it all the way out in the smoking area! Louise did make a fantastic merch girl for sure.
Talita is in such a cheeky mood, what with being in Paris, which she loves, and seeing all her mates, who I’m sure she missed as much as we missed her. She’s off doing filming and taking photos but still manages to get Louise, herself and me a black Russian from the bar that is so strong and potent and delicious that I thin it is now my new favourite drink. Yum.
It’s unfortunately quite quiet tonight. The problem being that although we are finally out of Hicksville and back in a big City, there are two other metal gigs going on within 20 minutes of us. One of them being Dillinger escape plan. Bum. Still, The Fading get the crowd that is there warmed up, Warbringer get a stage invasion.
Rumour has it there is a 3am bus call tonight, and at least two parties that we can go to after the show, one being Dillinger escape plans after party, so everyone is full of energy and ready to misbehave.
Kevill’s arm is chopping through the air, and I pay particular attention to his moves tonight after having a conversation with him the other night about what moves he likes to do on stage, where he got them from and what he doesn’t like to do or see on other singers. Apparently although once totally put off by singers doing the air guitar along with their band’s solo’s, he has now fully embraced it after seeing some one do it who looked rad. I guess if you’re up on stage listening to music you love, you want to rock out too right? Kevill fucking kills it on the stage always, very infectious.
Evile come on to rapturous applause and Adam comes to hang out at the stand with me, only to be left all on his lonesome while I skive off for a smoke. It’s so icy out, that I very nearly go arse over tit, much to the delight of Nic, who catches my clumsy slip save. I’m pretty sure everyone saw unfortunately and I go hide in the pagoda to smoke away my shame.
I come back to the stand to find Louise with her laptop still trying to get Internet connection, and I go to get us another couple of black Russians from the bar. Evile are killing it on stage and find themselves surrounded by stage divers while watching crowd surfers in front of them. And the lighting is amazing for once!
So instead of getting another round of black Russians, Louise tells me to get this typical French drink called a ‘Pastis’. Lyall comes over to ask if I have seen the Israelis, seems they went to use the shower at the hotel room which the venue provided us with about 20 minutes away and have not returned. I am standing there looking at what can only be described as the juice of some young man. Louise Brown is the Devil for making me drink this. She has written down here that it is indeed a French tradition, when in Rome, she says as she mock voms’. I have then written back to her that it is the colour of sperm. (Loud music, writing is easier) She has retorted with ‘Thanks Luce! Not gonna help it go down that observation eh?! The only thing ranker than that drink is my hand holding it that is currently and has for the most part been sporting what I like to call the festival manicure. Dirty, filthy finger nails. Eww. I learnt a few days after that how to clean them with a biro pen, don’t worry.
The Israelis are back! Turns out there was football on the tele so they ended up staying and watching it for a bit, Lyall goes nuts at them and they skulk off like teenagers who have just got a bollocking of their mum. Louise and me laughed while trying to knock back the vicious Pastis drinks without looking at them. or tasting them.
After the show, Evile have another interview. It lasts forever and is quite possibly one of the most mind numbingly dull situations I have ever felt myself in. It is up there with waiting at A&E to get my foot X-rayed last year when I broke it. Someone fell asleep. 10 years later, it ends and we crack up open the Champagne that the lovely Jessica has bought the band and we talk about hitting the town. We ended up on back on the sodding bus didn’t we. The interview took so long that by the time we were ready to go anywhere it was 1.30am and there was no time to be getting taxis and gallivanting around gay Paris. Talita and Louise eventually had to call it a night and I saw them off at the road as the snow kept falling. The rest of us hung out long enough to get completely wasted and chain smoke profusely under a tiki hut by the bus. Joel even managed to write his name and Evile in the snow with his piss. I think he did a pentagram too, which Ol said Mike would have loved. Back on the bus it’s all rowdy and loud. People are wrestling each other and all sorts. I get attacked by Ilia who takes great delight in covering me in colouring pens, drawing smiley faces and writing The Fading on me, and although there were photos put up on facebook of this, we have since taken them down because they look a lot more frisky than what was really going on, innocent childish fun.
I can’t remember anything past that I’m afraid. Nobody chucked, I think everyone kept drinking till the booze ran out and then went to their bunks? Tomorrows gonna be hangover City though, that’s for sure. Good job Paris.
Yoz. That’s Laux’s views on Luynes apparently. I got a bit more to say. First off, yesterday was another fucking travel day. We watched a whole run of movies in the back lounge of the bus, where the wide screen tele’, hard drive and wrap round sofa live. Sounds rad but when you try and cram in as many people we do, it tends to get quite cramped and uncomfortable. Plus you have the squabbling over what to watch. The Israeli’s are always in there en-masse, so you kind of have to sit it out and wait till they all start skulking off to bed to get more space and more say over what goes on. The only thing I can recall watching that was worth noting was ‘Role Models’. Had us in stitches pretty much the whole way through, I’ve seen it before and still laughed my arse off. Highlights include the battle talk, the Kiss speech and the little black kid.
After the movie, I write some till I get bored and push off to sleep in the lounge. I can’t though, ‘cause Lyall and Adam are twatted and being loud enough to keep me from falling in to a deep sleep. At 7.30am I finally crack and tell them to fuck off and shut up. Lyall offered me his bunk but I’m all mad at him so cut my nose off to spite my face. 5 minutes later, Adam lets me take his bunk and I eventually get some sleep.
We get to the venue, in the back of beyond and follow through the usual routine of load in and make ham and cheese sarnies with the rider provided. I find myself wet wipe washing and fake tan spraying in a storage cupboard with a broom wedged against the door as a make shift lock today. No showers here. No toilet seats either. There’s a lot of this no seat malarkey in European venues. The pub I work in has to replace seats a lot ‘cause idiot customers abuse them so much and so it seems Europe has stuck two fingers up at the drunks who misuse their property and don’t bother replacing them at all!? Ha! Makes no difference to me. I live on a bus with 15 men. My standards are low as far as user-friendly amenities go.
As a desperate last ditch attempt to make a half decent merch stand, I use masking tape to attach the t-shirts to the hand railings running along the back of the table and crack on with the Warbringer stock check that their people back home have requested. Kevill does the stuff in the trailer and I do the stuff on the stall. They definitely need more stock. They don’t even have any C.D’s at this point in the tour, and after the Evile tour ends, they stay out a further month to do as much of Europe as possible before heading back over the pond.
I’m so fucking horribly exhausted today from my total lack of sleep. This lounge sleeping is a nightmare only ‘cause there’s always someone up till the next day watching movies or being drunk. I’m so knackered I even sent myself flying backwards when I hit my head on the staircase on the bus. I sat on the stairs dazed for a bit, shook it off and tried not to cry like a bitch through fatigue and frustration. Tonight, I am taking whoever is up lasts bunk for the night. I need a bunk night. And I fucking hate this bus’s bunks!
Back in the venue, everyone is piss bored. Halfway through the tour and even the food is getting hard to eat because it is just so fucking boring. Ham and cheese sandwiches run through my dreams alongside t-shirt designs that morph in to band members and scream and shred like wild eyed lunatics, all clinging on to the back bumper of a rickety rickshaw come night liner, bumping along dirt tracks in the middle of no where. One more sleep till Paris. One more sleep till we are out of Hicksville and back in a City.
Kids have begun turning up outside, which always bodes well, as I stomp up and down outside of the venue trying to locate a missing parcel that my friend was trying to bring to me in Paris. This is yet another strike against today, no parcel, which has a pair of much needed clean and new leggings in it. I packed for two weeks you know! And my mate has gone all the way up to the pub for no reason now, bollocks. Giving up on getting any joy out of it I hit the stand just as doors open and resign myself to having to do laundry in Paris.
As The Fading goes on stage, a huge plume of dry smoke is released around them and they disappear for the first part of their set. Fucking cowboy whoever did that, although it was quite funny. Laux is shuffling around muttering something about having not practiced for two days and how he is letting it slip. We all are, it’s tour lull time. Bound to happen, at about the half way point you just cannot be arsed. Every day is the same. The lifestyle that is amazing when you compare it to office work and the like, suddenly becomes as monotonous and mundane. You do the same thing every day, eat the same, with the same people, hear the same songs, and do the same job. Then you mentally shake yourself and berate yourself for being so damn ungrateful! I learnt a lot from Laux being all pissed at himself for not practicing for 2 whole days, the guy is seriously focused and I think that is a route I will take when I get back home. Practice does make perfect.
Kevill as always brings me out of my mood when he comes and hangs at my stand as the rest of Warbringer set up their gear. We talk of ‘Rape tractors’ fuelled on hash, of the logistics of them possibly staying with me in March when they come through London and we play 1 2 3 shit your pants with a German accent attached. No idea, but god that man makes me laugh.
So this is a small venue, and lets not make any bones about it, it’s not exactly full. The people that are here are mostly at the back, and even with Warbringer on stage, they are stiff. Until of course they get hypnotised in to a mosh pit frenzy they are! Ha, yes Warbringer, show ‘em! The fuckers, we aren’t in England people, no place for stiff upper lips here. Kevill dedicates ‘Pray for death’ to the kid that sage dived when there were like 3 people willing to catch him with the introduction of “This songs about starvation…sorry about that”! Kevill’s usual infectious, over excited demeanour has once again won over a difficult audience.
Between sets, the vibe is terrible. These fools here don’t put any music on between sets, I’ve never heard anything like it at a Thrash gig, quiet. WTF? No one is buying and I suspect this could be the worst sales night yet. It is certainly going to be in the top 5.
Warbringer come and hang at the stand, a wise tactic that helps encourage sales and we all piss about, discuss the night etc while they sign stuff. Kevill calls me a ‘silly goose’? Cannot for the life of me remember why but it cracked me up, and Laux informs me that when he was staring at me like a madman, that was the queue to let me know the next solo was dedicated to me, ‘cause I asked for one out of boredom before they went on. It was an epic solo, I was dead chuffed.
Evile are up next and the crowd is still being difficult, yawn. Matt asks who has the new album and 4 people put their hands up, he retorts with “Selling well then!” You can’t help but laugh, laugh or cry right, laugh or cry. It’s almost a first time reaction that Evile are getting. What I mean is when a crowd doesn’t know you, they just stand and stare and listen. That’s good, they are taking you in, and they are taking it seriously and paying attention. The Fading gets this. The headline act should not be getting this. I mean, there’s a bit of reaction, some head banging, but that’s pretty much it. I think we were all glad when the night ended. It’s tough when nights go like this because you still have to perform to the best of your abilities, and it’s hard to since so much of a good gig is based on crowd participation.
I pack up and sit on a step while the guys finish putting their gear away and find myself getting chatted up by a cute French man that I have no interest in. He has beautiful eyes and a lovely accent but I just want to get on the bus and hang with my mates. It’s amusing to be on the other side, and see the perspective of the band and their crew who leave you wanting more.
I love that I’m not the one being left behind, it’s one of the reasons I got in to touring in the first place, I fucking hate it when the party ends. This way, I just get on the bus and am part of the party, on to the next stop. Which in this case is Paris! Thank fucking god. I get to see one of my favourite people ever, Talita from Earache records, and hopefully do some washing, and hopefully the gig will be banging. If it’s not? We got 10 dates left, some of them have got to be great right.
For now, it’s on to the bus to sit myself in the kitchen and write while Laux plays music through the speakers from his ipod and we knock back vodka and just chill. Steve, our second driver comes and joins us and puts on some blinding tunes we would never have thought to and when my eyes get too tired to focus on the screen any more I kick back in the lounge upstairs. Adam is watching Leon and we all agree that Natalie Portman was one sexy damn 11 year old before I hit the land of nod. It must be a bummer to be at your sexiest when you were 11. I wonder if I should be on the sex offender register for that comment? Whatevs’, tomorrow Paris, and rumour has it a certain Editor from a certain metal magazine will be accompanying miss Talita, fuckin A.
This venue is bizarre. By the end of sound check, there are like 30 random middle-aged men at the bar watching. They all look like they are Basque Mafia. I am totally getting ‘Rape ferry’ vibes while setting up my merch stand. A few of them have big fucking dogs too. They keep crossing over through the dressing room to this door at the back and leaving this huge Doberman in there, and then taking it out, putting it back and so on and so forth. I reckon they got drugs and Arms in there man. I reckon when it gets dark it’s also all gonna get mighty Dusk till Dawn up in here. I predict we will all be dead by dawn. Fucking Basque vampires.
Of course that doesn’t happen. I get to feel incredibly uncomfortable setting up my merch stand as they walk past me slowly starring every fucking minute, but that’s about the furthest I can take my complaints. I’m late getting on the stand because I was told the wrong door times, which is always fun. I love being made to look like a hack by other people’s incapability’s at being professional.
The word for the night Ladies and Gentleman, is uneasy. The shittest night for me by far. Way worse than sodding Manchester. Tonight I am just by the front door, which is open all night so I get to see my breath it’s that fucking cold. I am also down a corridor outside of the room the bands are in so get to see nothing but a corridor for the whole night. When the door opens I peak at banging heads, but I’m afraid that’s all I can give you. Such is the life of a merch girl. I’m lucky this doesn’t happen more often. My space is so inconvenient and tiny, that I have boxes stacked on top of one another. Hope no one wants a hood, will take me forever to rake out.
We get €10 to spend on Chinese take out. When it finally comes at half fucking ten, Lyall comes to so generously ask me, like he’s doing me a favour, if I would like him to bring it down to the stand so I can eat it there. This is the same stand that I am shivering on. The one that I am standing at looking at the breath come out of me.
I am in such a bad fucking mood tonight. Mainly because I’m in a shit spot, but also because yet again, The Fading are bitching about the way they’re fucking merch is being displayed. Again. Again, I explain how it works. Headline act gets both front and back of every piece displayed. In the best, well lit part of the stand. Then the next band. That band cannot rely on getting both back and front displayed. They also cannot put out more than the headline act. The last band, the opening act is frankly lucky to get a t-shirt space and a C.D space up let alone the two that The Fading have, plus their hood. Oh, and a free merch girl. I don’t charge them ‘cause they aren’t making enough yet. They are being so fucking ungrateful that I suddenly realise, this is their first tour, and they know nothing! So I give them the low down, in all its ugliness. I tell them how little room Evile were given on past tours. About price matching the headline act. All that shit. Then I make them cover me for near on an hour. Little taster time needed I feel. Needless to say , they are way more appreciative after, and we have definitely hit an understanding.
To top my night off, I also have the pleasure of some stupid dumb drunk fucks loitering by the stand all night. I’m not even sure they caught any of the bands. I know this. When Kevill came by after Warbringer had finished, they demanded a photo with him and took five photos of themselves because they were too drunk to realise that the camera was pointing at themselves, not Kevill. Even after he pointed it out! Ha! Fucking idiots. Then they hassled him for a guitar pick, clearly didn’t watch Warbringer then, he’s trying in vain to tell them he’s the singer and therefore doesn’t have one. They won’t have it. He runs away. They cornered Matt too, before Evile played. Just shouted Infected Nation in his face for 5 minutes. He looked horrified.
I just realised something. This time last year I was sleeping on a sofa too. My mates sofa ‘cause my life was for shit. Exactly a year later, I’m on a fucking night liner travelling around Europe through Countries I’ve never been to and never thought I would see. Life sure is a funny one.
I pass out drunk from too much shit red wine some time during some film on the bus. I wake up, peel my contact lenses off my eyeballs and go back to sleep, Adam, Lyall and Laux sitting next to where I lie watching Brass Eye.
Tonight was pretty gash. The less said about it, the better. The only funny bit there could have been, I never got to follow up on. When the dog was barking in the room next to our dressing room, I looked for Ben so I could tell him to shut his mum up! We laughed about it later, but it’s not the same.
I hate waking up feeling sweaty and clammy and filthy. On this occasion though I feel a sense of hope. Can it be? Are we somewhere warm? I can’t believe that this could be true, so get changed and sort myself out quick smart and fly out of that bus in to…..The glaring sun! Yes Lisbon! Ben has already got his clothes hanging out on some building site tape tied to the lampposts on the pavement right out side to where the bus is parked up. On the other side of the pavement to us is a massive, dirt football pitch. And the glorious sun is shining down on all of it. On Ben, febreezing his stage clothes, on Arie and Joel and me wearing our sun glasses, heads tilted up towards the blue sky while we chuff on our tabs. I take a photo of some genuine Portuguese dog shit and of the sun.
The bus doors are wide open, airing it through, and I go up the front to see Chop and Lyall. Ben is there too, and they are all laughing at Chop’s laptop. As soon as he pulls it round for me to see, I understand why all the laughter. I cannot share with you what I saw but it was a tattoo that I for one have seen in Tattoo mags' before. I in turn, show my pics' of Kevill from the night before and they in turn laugh their arses off. I ring my mum and have a quick catch up with her, and then go and see if I can rally the troops for a jog round the football pitch. 5 laps later, Matt and me are feeling a little healthier and happy with ourselves. This is a good thing because, as expected, half way through the tour, everyone is coming down with cold.
The venue is a walk up some rickety, metal stairs, down some uneven concrete stairs, past a barking dog, past a huge, lush green football pitch and down the side of a row of little houses with lemon trees in their back yards. A lovely 5-minute walk.
I immediately move all the merch boxes over to where some guys are setting up a row of white plastic garden tables for me. As I’m sorting through, one of guys comes up to me and says he knows me. Small world moment. This dude, Rick is the stage manager of the venue we are in tonight. We met through Arch Enemy’s old tour manager who was also managing Rick’s band at the time. He brought them all down my pub last year some time. Love small world moments. They are another of the fantastic sides of touring.
Ilia and Nic are playing football outside on the green pitch with a couple of local kids, the doors at the side of the venue are wide open bringing in the fresh sunny afternoon breeze and I can hear the guys on the pitch. It’s all very tranquil and peaceful. Laux is practicing his guitar skills out on one of the football benches. I set up the merch stand in record time. It’s a massive blank wall with a washing line. No need to play Tetris with boxes today.
I shower in the football changing rooms and enjoy the sunbeams coming through instead of shivering. When I get back, the guys are playing football indoors while Warbringer practice a song.
The girl in charge of catering, Valu, and Bruno, the promoter for tonight, takes us all to dinner. It’s a cool little walk up the hill at dusk and the restaurant is empty except for us. We get a long table and fed gorgeous soup, Steak with rice and chips, chocolate mouse washed down by red wine and beer. We talk about the Over kill tour. Chop our driver tells us funny arse stories of other people he has driven, all the stories based around the no poo on the bus rule. I ask him is I am snoring when he walks past me in the lounge in the morning and he says that they are lady snores and not to worry. Bless. Good man right there. have to rush it all unfortunately so that I can be back in time for doors, which I am and it’s gig time.
Valu bless her comes by and leaves her perfume on the stand for me. I had said to her earlier in the day how lovely she smelt. Having been solely surrounded by men for the past three weeks, so she bought the perfume over for me to put on. After doing so, I try to hand it back to her, but god bless her, she tells me to keep it and wear it for the rest of the tour. And that whenever I wear it, I’ll think of her! Awww. Unlike the guys, I did not take this as some lesbian thing but rather a kind act of generosity within the international sisterhood. Thanks to her, I can smell girlie everyday.
There are worryingly few people coming in when the doors open. Fair play, the venue is a massive hall but still, aghh. I’m looking forward to seeing all the bands play the huge stage though. It’s the biggest yet, has different levels and massive speakers at the front that the band members can get up on to and be right up there.
It was so good to have a sit down, proper meal too. Bruno the promoter knows how bands roll. Never eat properly, spend your entire buy out money on booze. Rick, the stage manager comes and gives me a C.D from his band, we are the damned. We laugh about stories from the road, specifically concerning band members getting arrested and crossing borders. We laughed are arses of about people we know and the funny scrapes they get themselves in to.
So I estimate we have about 50 people in this 800 capacity venue. Still, there is a definite vibe going on. All the guys in here are excited, there’s that buzz you want. That contagious buzz. I spot Nic from Warbringer at the side of the stage, practicing while The Fading are on. After watching him for a while I realise that he’s actually drumming like for like exactly what Shaked is drumming up there on the stage! How fucking cool. I smile to myself and have a little moment.
So like I say, it’s pretty fucking darn empty up in here. But the people who are here? They fucking love it! They love The Fading, who go on to have their best merch night so far. Of course they should love it, The Fading fuckin’ rule! Arie pulls out an amazing guitar solo that the crowd go nuts over. Ilia stands back like a proud dad and obviously is still really in to watching his band mates play night after night. A true metal head right there.
Some stupid drunk fuck tries to steal Joel’s bass strings from off my stand. Na a ahh…no you didn’t! Pulled him right up by the forearm and reigned down my hateful angry eyes in to his soul and he mewed like a fuckin' kitten and put it back.
Warbringer have them a crowd surfer in to the second song ‘Whirlwind’. I would! Actually I wouldn’t ‘cause I’m a pussy. Still never have surfed. In my dreams of course, when I’m the front woman of the best punk thrash band in the world that does TLC covers, I’m always crowd surfing. Because I’m gnarly. That is all.
Bruno drops by from time to time, asking if I need anything, which I don’t but it’s still nice to be asked. I am thoroughly enjoying Portugal. I don’t know if I’ve been her before, I think my parents bought me her at some point during my upbringing? I love it though for sure.
As predicted, all the bands are making the most of the massive stage and all the levels that they have at their disposal. Andy, the bassist of Warbringer really comes in to his own for me tonight. Like, he’s so quiet and keeps himself to himself. But tonight on stage he is owning it, up at the front on the speakers rocking out, shaking his mane of hair about as he head bangs through the set. Totally in his element. Him and Adam are all over the right hand side of the stage, completely owning it. Laux is owning the left hand side.
Time for another top merch tip. The true worth of any good merch girl, is to be able to watch both the stock and the gig, from start to end. Multi task the fuck out of the both and you’re in for a good night.
By the time Evile come on, I feel a definite stage invasion coming on. Between the acts, Gama Bomb’s new album is blaring through the speakers. God their new album fucking rocks. Leaps and bounds man, leaps and bounds. So we got approximately 200 people in now! Phew. I pop backstage to use the facilities, and come across a very ill John Laux. The first of the bus to come crashing down with the cold that is beckoning to all of us, teasing us with runny noses and chesty coughs sporadically throughout the days and nights for the last couple of dates. He is knocking back the green tea and has hit the smoking on the head for the time being, in a bid to win the war against the plague. A true touring pro right there.
Evile experience crowd surfing and stage diving from the get go, they are clearly loving the massive stage space, prancing about like ponies on a summer afternoon in a dandelion field. Ol even jumps over a photographer mid song.
Anyway, back to me. I get asked for photos with me and when Matt attempts to embarrass me with his “tall blonde merch girl” shit, I get fucking wolf whistles dude! Wolf whistles! For me! Sick. Ol is flying about the stage all over the shop and everyone is chanting Evile between songs. I feel like at some point during the Madrid show, Evile got over a hump. A massive hump of burning pain. I feel like I literally watched them over the last two dates, become the new Evile. Don’t get me wrong. We talk about Mike all the time, we wish he was here to see the bad and the good. ‘Cause we know he would find the funny side of both. I won’t fill in the place names on my sales sheets until the day, not wanting to jinx the tour. God I wish Mike was here. Ol still dreams about him nearly every night like he is on the tour. Wakes up and realises he isn’t.
Everyone is chanting Evile though. The show must go on. Ol plays along with the chants, to which of course he gets a great response. They play Metallica’s ‘For who the bell tolls’ and fuck around the whole time. Throwing two fingers up at each other, laughing at each other. It’s so good to see. They deserve it, they really fucking do. It’s been a shitty past 6 months. The shittest. Up there, on that big stage tonight, they look like fucking rock stars. Proper legit.
The drive out of Lisbon takes us over a massive bridge that looks like the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. I’m sitting up the front typing out my notes and listening to Crack the sky, dreaming of my bedroom and the radiator in it. At some stage I give up writing, listen to some more music and then make my way down to the back lounge to see if anyone is up. Ol and Adam are sitting together, thick as thieves, drunk out of their trees, calling themselves the ‘Strong Bro’s’ I sit back and enjoy the drunkard entertainment of them until my responsible side takes over and I send Ol to bed.
The coffin I wake up in has made me freak out throughout the night, the ceiling is so close that if it were made of glass it would be dense with my breathe. I have carpet burns on my knees from trying to get undressed for bunk and dressed again in the morning. And I feel horrible, after sweating too much due to the total lack of air or ventilation. Fuck this, the suns out and I’m getting out of this hell on earth bus. Oh no wait, South Park is on in the back lounge, I’ll just watch one.
Paul got no sleep last night, sleeping against my advice in the front lounge. He was freezing, it was loud and there is no curtain across the front window. The fool. We will for sure be swapping back tonight. Now I’ve experienced the nightmare bunks, I’m happy to go to the back lounge instead.
Madrid is warm and sunny and we are on time which means one thing is finally able to happen. Stock check of the trailer. I been needing to do this since Wolverhampton but weather has not permitted. The label and management probably hate me by this point. It takes under an hour to get done, and I make sure I have a guy with me the whole time to keep an eye out for thieving scum while I rummage through disintegrating boxes and count.
I set up the merch stand and stress about the lack of lighting, this is another ‘do what you can’ night. No Gaffa tape rule. Nico, the Spanish promoter bought me some today bless him, at least I don’t need to worry about it tomorrow. Today though, is a bit messy with regards to displaying the t-shirts and I give direct instructions to Elad from The Fading and Kevill from Warbringer not to come and interfere with stupid questions about how I’ve displayed their merch.
I’m selling all three bands merch, which is cool until you get them coming up thinking they know better, which they don’t. You don’t see me going up on stage and giving them stupid arse pointers while they play. It will invariably be about how one of their t-shirts doesn’t have both front and back displayed. Because there is no room.
The rules are as followed. Headline act gets first display, opening band last. That means that often, the opening band will not have much room. Headline act always gets both back and front shown. The other two will if room permits, otherwise not. Stuff like that, all pretty obvious. I keep butting heads with these two though and it’s starting to get on my nerves. I am here to sell Evile merch and while I am more than happy to do the other bands too, especially since it brings me more money sorely needed, they also need reminding now and again that they can do it themselves if they are not happy with my work. Which of course shuts them up since no one wants to be stuck on the stand all night having played a show too.
The venue is filling up fast and there are cheers and chants as The Fading walk on. Spain just fucking loves it eh?! God love them! The Fading are clearly stoked and play a blinding set, while down at my stand I get a photo of two cute Spanish girls in their newly purchased Evile tops. Thought the guys might enjoy this during one of our slideshow moments. My laptop has a slideshow option with the funniest lounge, Jazz music behind it, and we like to upload my photo’s and play them through every couple of days, laughing at each other and the lame arse shit we have been getting up to when bored.
The Fading singer, Ilia brings up the whole football thing again, this time evoking boos and hissing. Best leave that one in Barcelona eh! Other than that they played their usual strong set and left the stage to rapturous applause. I start chatting to a guy at my stand with an American accent and turns out he is a scout for Road Runner records. So of course I give him one of my flyers and tell him to check out my writing. Never know, he might want me out with one of their bands?! Fucking hope so, I’m loving this road life. Do miss being warm though. And comfortable when I sleep.
So I spend the most part of the night feeling completely inadequate because the bloody Spanish chicks are so damn hot. And Thrash Spanish chicks? I just feel like a fat and pasty, beached whale, beast of a sub human next to them. Above the audience, the bands laundry is hanging over the balcony, attempting to dry. I say the bands, I think it was just Joel’s. I’m pretty sure Warbringer wash but don’t change their clothes for weeks at a time, and The Fading bought enough clothes for six weeks, being their first tour and all. Not that anyone smells. No so far anyway.
Earlier today, before we were let in the venue, a bunch of us watched some Pantera documentary that was on the bus hard drive. We were talking about how gnarly the shows looked, and Kevill made a very valid fucking point. Now days you can’t get close to the crowd and go all out with them ‘cause there’s a 10-foot pit between you and them. And most venues have banned crowd surfing or stage diving. It’s fucking bullshit. The spirit dies with that sort of rule making.
Big turn out tonight, the biggest we have had to date. By the time The Fading are off stage, it is full house. 200-300 crazy Thrash fans! Tonight is rocking, everyone is happy and in good spirits, this is what it’s supposed to be about. Not fucking Kerkrade with its empty room. Not fucking Wrexham with its cold and empty room. Not Sarrbrucken with it’s stiff as corpses audience. This. Madrid. Packed with good people.
I’ve had an idea that I want to patch up a pair of my denim hot pants and stud them and that. I love denim waistcoats covered in so many patches, you can barely see the denim. Ones that have taken years to get like that. I want a pair of hot pants like that. I also want to make a massive Vivienne Westwood-esq', ball gown made out of denim and patches. That would be fucking rad. Not for me to wear, just to do.
Back at the workstation I have embraced my Spanish brothers and sisters by learning how to say fifteen in their language! I am terrible and learning languages, I still can’t remember any of the Hebrew that the Israeli bunch have taught me and they talk it around us all the time, so this is a big fucking deal form me. The whole front 5 rows cheers when Ben from Evile comes on stage to help Shaked change the drums with Nic. They are all sharing Ben’s drums and have different requirements to play so help each other with change over’s. I don’t know if Ben notices the cheers but it was fucking epic!
What is also epic is Warbringer’s stage entrance. They all go off after tuning their instruments and walk back on together. The audience loved it, I laughed my arse off. Kevill’s voice sounds totally distorted from the get go, massive delay going on, makes it sound like they are playing a stadium This does not stop the mosh pit of course. I wonder if he asked for that or if it’s the soundman on Acid? A kid up the front gives Laux some of his beer and Matt, Ol and Joel all watch the first bit from the balcony. The crowd are surfing by ‘Total War’ and I drift off in to my own world of girl. I want some red spandex. I miss my perfume. I miss getting drunk at the Crobar.
I get pulled out of my little dream state of getting drunk at the Crobar with all my friends while rocking red spandex and smelling all lovely and fresh by some dudes who want a photo with me. With me! Safe bruv, lets go. Earlier today some dude who had been watching a parking space for us all morning, had been insistent in us all signing a flyer he had. Including me? I explained I wasn’t in the band but Ben was laughing his arse and got me to do it. Weird guy.
Some hot girls come by and get a couple of Warbringer t-shirts in XL so that they can cut them up. Like their style, it really is the only way to rock the band tees in a stylish way. Warbringer do an encore and Kevill wraps up the set by diving in to the audience and crowd surfing for a while.
Everyone rushes to the merch stand and the air con unit above me is pushed up a notch in to full blast. Oh joy of fucking joys, I’m freezing again. Another couple of people ask for photos with me and I’m starting to feel more comfortable with it. I think it’s mostly ‘cause I’m tall and blonde and they are not. This didn’t happen as much in the Scandinavian countries when we been. Also I am a banging hot Thrash chick! Ha!
Evile prompts crowd surfing immediately and everyone is singing along to Infected Nations. They give their most amazing and mental performance to date and the room is electric.
Two girls ask to get their photo taken with me, I am on fire. That or I am a freak show hag in Spanish land and they are all laughing at me behind my language barrier.
Ol pisses around between songs, playing the riff from Fear of the dark, which prompts the crowd in to singing along and raises the vibe in there even more. An inevitable stage invasion starts and I am desperate to go and join the mosh pit for a bit. Can’t we all just stay here and the three bands can have a residency? I could work the bar, we all learn Spanish and live happily thrasher after.
I am still fucking freezing under this fucking air con unit, why is it always me? Of course I have started drinking, the vibe is too good here not too, and I’m hoping it will numb the coldness. Honest. I get a shot off the barman who has helped me with change all night when I give him discount on a t-shirt too, which doesn’t help the drunkenness.
It was such a shame that we had to leave straight after. We got to piss about and drink for a while but an early bus call was needed so that the two drivers, Chop and Steve, could get to Lisbon for the next day without fucking up their Tacos. Don’t know what that is, some sort of card that they have to swipe every time they drive to make sure that they stay within E.U regulations and don’t drive dangerously long.
We clamber on board and continue drinking while watching Predator. Kevill is wasted ‘cause I gave him vodka, which is apparently not a wise thing to do because he can’t handle it. This makes for hysterical commentary throughout the film, banging on about how “that’s our fucking Governor man!” Very happy with the Arnold as Governor situation. “Our Governor won vs. the Predator dude!” Hw wants to do the merch money for the night with me but I have a rule. I like to do it on the night, give the bands their money. But not three hours after the show when I am knackered and he is twatted. He is insistent that he is not and I say fine, after the film.
After the film, Kevill is out cold. The next day we all thoroughly enjoy showing him photos of his Chaplin sharpie 'tash and the poses we did around his passed out self.
I kick everyone out of the back lounge once ready for bed except for Adam, who is my favourite and fall asleep in my bench nook while he drinks the rest of the vodka and watches the Time Bandits. At some point, I come round to him and Joel laughing at it and tell them to wind it up, I need to sleep and it’s too noisy. And bloody 7 in the morning. Turns out the drunken fools had the surround sound on.
Last night I slept in the back lounge of our new bus, wasn’t too bad really. Noisy, lights flashing past, sliding around on the wipe down seats. Actually it was pretty depressing. At some point during the early hours, I found a comfy nook and slept great after that. Arie and Joel are always the ones up early and as soon as Arie was up I asked if it was all right to go sleep a bit in his bunk, which he was cool with so all good in the end. Bit of improvisation needed is all.
Yeah so yesterday isn’t even worth commenting on. Long story short? Sat in a truck stop service station for 5 hours waiting for the new bus to arrive. Took all our shit out of one and in to another, every one got their bunks sorted but me. I sat feeling like one of those adverts for ‘just two pounds a month’.
I sit myself up in the front lounge of the new bus with my laptop out on its work desk area and write until we reach the venue. Ol is with me, working on some rock guitar hero thing. Ilia is playing Fantasy Football. The dude loves it. Seriously, spends hours on it every night.
Soon as reach the venue we hit a snag. No parking near the venue, can’t even get the bus near it till some cars have moved. Ben, Joel, Adam and me walk it with any personal stuff we will need for the evening since the bus will have to go park miles away. I get in the shower soon as we reach the place and get that out the way while the guys load in. I have to wash my hair today. That means brushing it out, then drying it after. Fucking long and boring task that I try and get away with only doing once a week. I don’t care how skanky that sounds, my hair looks rad with a weeks worth of products in it.
By the time I’m done, it’s getting cramped in the ridiculously small dressing room, so I push off to the upstairs bar where we can use the Internet connection if we buy a drink. I get a Jim Beam and coke completely forgetting that they free pour here in this wonderful Country. Several emails, photo uploads and spread sheet work later, I’m pissed. Ha! Off to set up the merch stand then!?
Problem. Massive donkey arse of a problem. Huge un-interupting wave after wave of a problem. I’m shit out of Gaffa tape. The tool of my trade. Shit. I check the local supermarket, nothing. The club usually has some, but this one is out. Shit, shit. Serious improv’ time. I have one stupid little table and three bands to cater for. Shit, shit, shit. At the last minute I recall seeing some stage extension type structures in the back room, and Lyall helps me drag one out and put it up. It’ fucking huge. Sweet, do nicely. Everything is hung up haphazardly on random light fixtures or old hooks. Everything else is laid out on the table, with nothing keeping them down. Shits going walkies tonight trust me. I can’t stock up either ‘cause the sodding bus is miles away. Wing it night it is then. On the upside, Spain hasn’t become a no smoking Country yet, so smoking indoors is perfectly acceptable! It’s the little things in life I think.
There are cool little Spanish Thrash kids here, and I feel completely relaxed and at home here. Got just the best easy laid-back vibe going on. My boxes have given up and I have no stinking Gaffa tape.
Paul, the guitarist from The Fading comes up to me and says that he wants to trade with me tonight. I can’t believe my ears. He reckons he can’t sleep in the new bus bunks ‘cause they are way smaller than the last ones, very coffin like and claustrophobic and without a little window. Says he wants to try the front lounge. I’m like insisting that if he is doing this for some gentlemanly reason and not a selfish one then I will not accept. He insists that he is not being a gentleman and I am over the moon if not slightly uncomfortable about pushing some one out of their bunk. I make him promise that if he can’t sleep, he will tell me and we can swap back. I also advice him against the front lounge, who’s cushioned couch, bench thing is way too thin to sleep on, and to take to the back lounge instead, where the seats are wider. He won’t have it of course, and yes, the next morning he shook his head when I asked him if he got any sleep. And he nodded his head when I asked him if he wanted his bunk back.
The Barcelona crowd are immediately receptive to The Fading. No fucking about here being shy. Yes Germany, that was aimed at you. All the guys are in love with the hot Spanish barmaid, as am I ‘cause she free pours me another whiskey and coke. I well want to live here. Paul’s solo rocks and Ilia talks with the crowd about what a big fan he is of their football team. This gets a massive cheer, as does when he dedicates the next song to some Spanish football player. Totally lost on me. Mr Fantasy Football man. Ilia is also in to drawing attention to me and making me say Hi to the audience, joy. I hate loads of people starring at me, freaks me out and gets me paranoid. That’s hwy I’m not in a band! Elad is rocking a Bonded by blood t-shirt which I fucking love, why didn’t I nab one off them when I did their merch stand? Idiot.
There is a mosh pit as soon as Warbringer hit the stage. It’s like these people needed to let off some steam and Warbringer are a great band to do that to. Kevill and Andy both have really long hair and are quite tall which combined with the tiny stage and small ceiling means quite a lot of hair getting caught in it!
Lyall brings me down the most delicious burger and chips to chow on the stand while the soundman scoots in and out through it, under the massive table so he can get to the stage quickly. Laux is in the crowd on the first fucking song and the crowd is going demented. Barcelona loves it. Kevill is in the mosh pit with them during War to end all wars and by the time they are done, the venue and all the Thrash kids in it, looks like a bomb has hit it.
Evile smack it, Infected Nation, their first song just fucking kills it. It is sickenly strong and amazing and I never get bored of it The crowd goes absolutely nuts over it and I try to focus on my easy to nick stock rather than their amazing show. Nothing has been nicked yet which is shocking, although when Lyall covers me for ten minutes so that I can take a load off because my feet are sore in my new converse, I do nick a t-shirt without him watching just to wind him up. Mystery shopper style! Lyall is in and out, under the merch table doing monitor checks other than that.
Matt takes his opportunity to point me out to the crowd, the fucker and they all find it hysterical how nervous and uncomfortable I get. Picture a rabbit in headlights. Devil nation is epic, and at the side of the stage I spot a Thrash kid on crutches head banging away. Thrash kids got soul. My friend Olivia in London lived in Barcelona for a year, and has told her mates to come say Hi to me if they are at the gig. Sure enough along comes one of them and I’m mega pissed that the parking is so fucked up and we have to get out quick rather than kick back and drink with him.
Armoured assault finishes up Evile’s set, one of the songs having been dedicated to the hot barmaid, who is over joyed once the sound man has translated it for her. In fact, I think for the first time since this tour started, Evile are relaxed and have enjoyed themselves. So much so, Matt forgets to introduce Joel. That has to be a good sign in my books, that they are starting to become a unit.
I learnt an invaluable merch tip tonight too. If you don’t have the size the customer wants, don’t say that. Give them the one up or down and explain that you don’t have the one they want and they always buy the other size anyway!
Quick pack up to get the bus away from the police eyes and ticket people and all on the bus is happy and tired. The best night for every band hands down. A few of us watch Severance; I fall asleep, wake up and climb in to my bunk for the night. Thank you Paul!
Shit needs to get done! I am wanting today to be up and out of the way, Munich it is and Munich is not somewhere I want to be hanging around. Got some ghosts here right. Need to get this shit done, and get the fuck out of here. Also, it’s fucking freezing. Like so fucking freezing. I blog the shit out of that morning, feel a fine sense of achievement right there. It’s too fucking cold to type after a while and so I go for a wander round the venue. Kevill and Arie are in there trying to get net connection and failing so I don’t even bother in fear of getting too angry too early in the day and breaking shit, like my laptop. Back in the bus front lounge, I continue writing until the dressing rooms are opened and haul all my shit in. Breakfast / lunch, brunch is served and we got scrambled eggs and teeny tiny sausages. They went quick, followed by croissants, jam, chips with dips, oh man it was amazing. Absolutely amazing. I set up my merch stand with the help of some random employee who is either security or crew? Yet again, I had run out of gaffa tape, the single most important tool to my trade other than the stock!
Wait, I missed this joyful moment! Our bus is parked right round the fucking corner, so in the pissing snow and ice, we have to trudge through it getting all the equipment in to the venue. Bad mother fucking times right there. Thanks Bastard club.
Merch stand set up out of the way, I finally get a stock check done on the merch I have with me, in lieu of doing the stuff in the trailer next. No such luck ‘cause once again it is dark and snowing. Head office loves me right now I bet. I get some facebook shit done, upload some shit, do more boring shit, ooh and catch up on how the Terrorizer night at The Hobgoblin went. Fucking brilliantly it sounds! Sweet!
Lyall covers the stall for the first 15 minutes while I finish getting ready, no dinner again, and then off I scramble to the venue across the courtyard. There is a massive fucking queue! Not for us, bloody 69 Eyes are playing in the big room aren’t they! Lyall is hating on everything when I get to the stand. Too much to do, and too little time. Off he races to crack on, leaving me to observe the chaos of the stand that he has left behind. And I realise that I have lost a sodding glove, dammit.
Once again it is bought to my attention what a great scene the Thrash scene or indeed any metal scene is for woman to hang out in. There are like so many more men than women in this scene, the ratio is definitely in our favour. Tonight is a shining example yet again, there’s like half a dozen women.
I put out my new flyers, which is totally embarrassing but I think still a good idea. They are little, shitty, punk style leaflets. I quite like them. Someone does take one, which makes me mega excited and blush.
So everyone is getting a bit tetchy now, we must be about halfway through the tour and it’s starting to show in each of us a little, that we have no personal space ever, the closest to that being your bunks or when they are on stage and I’m on my stand. Tonight I am losing my patience with the interference from the band members at the merch stand big time. Thank god we have a day off in a couple of days, it’ll be nice to not be on a strict and tight deadline for a night. To chill for a minute. At this point, I am over having to set up the merch every night and stand there watching them play every night. Which I know is just needing a day off because I love watching all three bands play.
His girl comes up to me, one of the only ones in there and says that She knows me from London. The Crobar to be exact. Through a mutual friend, Jerry. I can kinda recognise her, and when we chat for longer I recall who she is, Isa, and am over the moon to have a girl to hang with tonight! She buys me a beer and goes off to watch Warbringer, a favourite band of hers.
As soon as the Fading start up, there is someone furiously banging their head at the front of the stage, I don’t think we need to worry about a repeat of last nights shit crowd participation. The stage is ludicrously tiny, a little bitty triangle, so a normal very active Ilia who finds it hard to stick in one place, is pretty much having to. I reckon at times like these there is only one thing for it; the singers should join the crowd on the floor, hardcore stylee. I used to work at the 12 Bar in Soho, had a tiny fucking stage, so that’s what the bands would do, half of them would just get on the floor with the crowd. It always looked awesome and the punters fucking love it! My God, I do love a bit of synchronised head banging and The Fading are on it! Nic from Warbringer is sitting up on the closed off balcony, warming up. He catches Shaked’s eye, points his drumstick at him and smiles. Shaked is smiling back from behind his kit. One big, happy, fucked up family. I realise at that moment that Shaked is wearing a Warbringer t-shirt, which makes me crack up laughing right there and then. So many of the guys are wearing each other’s bands merch now, free, clean clothes eh! I have to total it up soon and give them a heads up to watch it a bit, they are fine for now though fuck it!
The head banging has spread throughout the crowd and when they finish, they come cover me on the stand so that I can grab some chow and smoke quickly. I get back two Warbringer songs in and already there is a mosh pit! And we have a circle pit. Not only do we have that, but also some dude clambers up on stage and taps Andy the bassist to move out of his way so that he can stage dive! Ha, too funny. The audience, well about 8 of them carry him impressively and everyone is shouting ‘combat shark’, all good things considering that the venue isn’t packed.
20 Seconds in to Evile’s first song, Infected Nations and we have yet another mosh pit! These lot fucking love the Thrash, it’s awesome.
I have got most of The Fading and a Warbringer on my stall and it is driving me up the wall. Not so much them being there, not only is their company excellent, it is important for bands to meet and greet the punters to help with greater merch sales. What I do not want is this, standing actually behind the stand, so people are crowding over the table to talk to you and I cannot see the stock because you are in my way. Telling me that the person who you are talking with wants such and such, when I am quite clearly serving someone. Standing on the stand doing one or both of the above things when the other bands have just finished is also rude in my books. Bad band etiquette was all over the merch stand in Munich. Oh, and don’t fucking tell me how to display your stuff. If you don’t like how I do it, you can do it yourself. I wouldn’t dream of coming up to you on stage during one of your solos or something and telling you how to roll. Fucking tested my patience that night. I speak to Lyall about it and ask him to have a word to the guys about this, he has noticed it too and it is mucho better coming from him.
I go outside to have a couple of back to back smokes and calm down when I spot the same security / crew guy who gave me a roll of gaffa tape earlier. A massive poster of Method Man has caught my eye, and he says that sure I can have one, and that he will bring one over for me to the merch stand! Sweet! So far our bus has pics of Pammy, Hasslehoff and Slayer up. I think this will be a fine inclusion.
Killer from the deep means mosh time and I feel again, how lucky I am to get to watch these guys play every day. They really are fucking good. The Fading get back from showering, and the stand is covered in a lovely just washed smell that I look forward to getting myself at some stage. I’m just so fucked off with tonight, I can’t snap out my bad mood that the people around me have put me in. Watching Joel play takes my mind off it for a bit. On the last song, his hand is moving so fucking fast it is literally a blur. The kids in front of him look like their eyes are about to pop out of their skulls in disbelief! Nic comes over and pisses about with me; he is fucking great at making me laugh the silly beggar. Then this kid gets up on stage, dives off, but his mates don’t catch him so he goes crashing to the floor. Even Evile stutter a laugh and wince at it. These kids certainly have some big ol’ Thrash souls in them! I torch flash Lyall who is across the room so that I can point out Isa, standing in front of me. She is well his cup of tea, come to think of it; any girl is well Lyall’s cup of tea. Isa has eyes for Kevill from Warbringer though so ah well.
After the gig, Isa stays behind and keeps me company while I pack up, then we get the fuck out of there and go hang backstage in the production office with Lyall. A bottle of Jager is out and opened by the time I finish working out the figures for each band, and with an hour we have downed the lot, with the help of Ol and Laux and Kevill. I chain smoke horrendously ‘cause I know bus call is on it’s way and we fuck about till bus driver Steve comes and gets us to go having eaten and shit.
Up to the front of the bus to continue drinking, it seems our group of badness is now Lyall, Laux, Adam, Ol and me! Sweet! We drink and talk loudly and obnoxiously till who knows what time and fall in to our respective bunks in blurry drunk hazes yet again. When will we learn, I think my money is on not in this lifetime!
I get up before everyone today, what with my early, sober night last night. Everyone except Arie it turns out, who is outside scuffling around when I go out there to begin in earnest another unhealthy smoking day. I get all my shit together that I will need for the day and hang out with Steve 2 for a bit before hitting the laptop to get some writing down. Joel comes out and we venture in to the venue to have some quality toilet time in a toilet you can actually fully use, only to be greeted by a massive Doberman cross puppy. Its paws are fucking huge man!
Ana the puppy Doberman is the most adorable little dog to have confront you at a club ever. Awww bless her, she loved getting a fuss!
Once in the venue officially, I get soup and bread and shower and write to my family. You know, I’m fine, haven’t been gang raped by the bands, and am eating, am not on skag blah blah blah!
This venue is tiny, so we will be rammed tonight, and my merch stand is taking up half the sodding venue! Oh well! I am sharing my stand with a local band that go by the name of Godslave, by the time I have finished hanging everything, there really isn’t much room for them. Again, oh well! Their merch is rad, I’ll give them that, band fucking sucked balls though.
By the time doors open, I have had a beer but no time for dinner. Although I do get upstairs and get some to put in the dressing room for later. Adam, my fave from Warbringer, comes soon after I start and The Fading are on, to cover me so I can go eat and have a smoke. Yup, we are back in the land of no smoking in doors. Urgh. I have a cig’ with Laux and try and send some work related emails, but to no avail. Tis very frustrating not being able to get information to people who are waiting and relying on it. This tour has been a scary wake up call as to how dependent I am on the Internet. I can’t get any fucking emails sent, any photo’s uploaded or any blogs up. Fuck it, it can die.
I catch the last of The Fading, the crowd isn’t moving much but the merch sales are really impressive so who the fuck knows? This is supposed to be the Motherland or Fatherland or something right? What’s wrong with these people? It’s a really tough crowd. They are boring the shit out of me. Even Warbringer can’t get them going. No circle pit tonight. Warbringer does seem more popular for merch here. Evile is strong too on the ol’ merch sales so I chill a bit and go for a smoke when Adam comes back to rescue me. About 5 minutes after I’m back I unfold the bottom blank bit of my sales sheet and find that Adam has drawn a little character of me! Awwww bless him; see why he’s my fave? Very thoughtful man right there, of everyone around him.
The crowd tonight is boring the shit out of me; Laux tells me later that it was too packed and boiling hot for them to pit it. I don’t buy that although I do feel guilty for a bit. I have to say this, as gay as it is. I feel incredibly privileged and honoured to be on tour with these guys, to know that some of them will end up as long time friends and that I’m part of the team, when I see them up on stage. They are a very talented bunch of fuck ups and I am a lucky girl to be able to muck about with them everyday. Of course, they are lucky fucking bastards too, they got the mighty me! Physc!
Anyway, I digress. Where was I? Oh yeah. Tonight is shit boring the shit out of me. I guess the Germans are very reserved though? I don’t even fucking care at this point, I’m too tired to care. God, I am n such a wanky mood tonight! And, my spandex clad legs look like fat blubbery seals bickering over a streak of sun. I have got to stop eating as much while I’m not at home. I’m eating the same amounts but because I’m not doing any exercise, I’m piling on the pounds.
So finally the crowd are in to it, singing along, chanting etc. Another Metallica cover and we are done. I get packed up quick smart and go upstairs to finish my dinner and attempt to use the net again. No joy there, so I hang in Evile’s dressing room and piss about with Ol and Joel, pretending to exercise with Ol while Joel films the whole sorry mess. Did I mention that one of the things on Evile’s rider is a poster of the cast of Baywatch. Today we have the walls covered in pictures of David Hasslehoff in various poses and states of undress. There’s even a pic’ of him naked with two puppies strategically placed on his nether regions, which just makes him look like he’s practicing acts of bestiality. So we do some sit ups and that, and Ben shows me his hilarious stick men drawings that he does on his laptop when he’s bored, all good times!
Bus call forces me in to blog writing mode, up the front of the bus. Along with this, Lyall and me get the new European sales sheets for Evile and Warbringer done, currency changes and all. Who have I got here with me? We got Ol, and then Kevill joins Adam, then Laux, and then us. And the vodka is out. What convo’s did we get under our belts that night? Well, I bought some pretzels and found some dib dab sherbet bags that I got as a pressie for the cool crew. Although it should be noted that the illustrated kids on the front of these bags are well hot and not childlike at all? Go figure.
Ben comes and joins us and the gang of us cover semen piss? / Favourite films / thrash now compared to back then, i.e. Metallica, Slayer / the ‘put the lotion in the basket’ part in Silence of the lambs and finally Adam comes up with a great idea, tour wipes! We have got to get them made, for all your cleaning necessities! Other topics were covered but shall never be spoken of again, partly because I can only vaguely remember them and partly because they would get us in a lot of trouble and or be highly frowned upon!
Poltergeist is put on downstairs but I can’t be arsed, tis bunk time for me.
So I wake up feeling a bit ropey right, no worries, not unheard of. Fuck that anyway, I’m am mega excited about today, we are driving through the Czech Republic to play in Prague! I have wanted to come to Prague for fucking ages, so I get up quick smart and join Arie and Joel to watch the world go by at the front of the bus.
I am feeling slightly concerned with regards to last night, there is a definite blank spot near the end when I can’t recall a thing. Never a good sign that, never. Hopefully I wasn’t too loud and obnoxious, I didn’t wake Joel and he sleeps above me so I can’t have been that bad. I did wake up with a bin outside my bunk though, so you know, the jury is still out.
The Czech police pull us over at a service station, which is kinda unavoidable when you’re a massive tour bus with U.K plates. They want them some money bruv! I seen this in The Long way round so was quite excited by the whole thing. They took Steve our driver in to their van to haggle over how much money they could get out of him, 200 Euros I believe. Anyway, during all of this, I’m still sat up front feeling like death warmed up, and finally have to give in. I can’t stay on the bus anymore. It’s time to spew. I scramble off the bus and make it to the toilets just in time.
Bad roads and snow make the following 2 hours of that drive utter fucking hell for me. I sit up the front with Ben and Joel, trying not to listen to them rabbiting on about local Czech delicacies like deep fried cheese and stuff. The windows on the bus are filthy and we can barely see out, but as we near Prague, a valley down below us, the sun shines down on it, the first time we have seen it in about a week. I feel kinda happy at the moment but don’t dare get all excited for fear of puking.
As soon as the bus stops outside the venue, I run out and hit the toilet with furious, angry vomiting. 3 vomits later and I walk out to where everyone’s loading covered in sweat and shivering. This is not a fucking hangover. This is an avalanche of illness from my body packing up and leaving me. So lets have a look. Throughout the gig last night I had two vodka and mixer. On the bus watching Ghostbusters I had two more and some Jager. Ill, that does not make me. I had eggs at a service station last night with Steve the driver and Laux, but if it was that I would’ve chucked straight away. Diagnosis? I have been drinking heavily every night, bar two for the duration of this tour. My body fucking hates me. It hates me and it wants me to suffer for the brutal beating I have inflicted on it. Another vomit later and I’m defeated. I get it, time to bring it back down to 7.
I manage to eat some ready salted crisps and keep the second packet down, unlike the first, along with a cup of tea. I’m fucking shaking badly and it is such a mammoth task to set that fucking merch stand up. On top of this I have to do new labels and work out price changes for my new currency. Urgh. FML. Pizza is today’s dinner, I can’t face it yet so keep on my stall away from hungry men.
Surprisingly, I start selling as soon as doors open. This is unexpected. People round here don’t have much cash and all the bands have been saying to me all day that there is no point even setting the stand up, which did wonders for the state I was in. Thoughtless bastards. Having said that, they do check in on me regularly and I start eating my pizza, slowly but surely. It’s better working when you feel this rough ‘cause you don’t have time to dwell on your pain! I have to get to the toilets a lot that night. That was bad times right there.
Some guy tried paying me in U.S dollars, which made my night, how fucking dodge man, I came across illegal U.S dollars! Love it. The crowd is filled entirely with men, there must be like 6 girls including me and the barmaid in the whole place, which would be rad ‘cept the dudes are all older and stuck in an Eighties mullet world. They are obsessed with taking photo’s of the bands, the band members with themselves, getting autographs and guitar picks and drumsticks and so on.
I have a great idea for a short story. About a man who was the king of the metal social scene back in the Eighties but is now an aging computer analyst. So he sells up and takes his metal possessions to the Czech Republic, where the Eighties have only just started. Here he can strut around, mullet and all and be King forever more!
Then I throw up. No, I’m joking, I’m all vom’d out. Here’s how it goes on these here gig nights of ours. The Fading gets the crowd from walking corpses to fist pumping, head banging Metal worshippers. Warbringer gets them from fist pumping, head banging Metal worshippers to a frenzied, sweaty swell of Thrash madness and by Evile they are warmed up, ready to be taken in to absolute destroyed Thrash mayhem. Great success!
The Fading get the star treatment at the merch stand, as do Warbringer, and Evile can’t even get there, they are cornered on the stage by the frenzied crowd. I can’t help but smile whenever these bands are on, they are so fucking entertaining. Warbringer out right make me laugh. Laux was shredding away on his guitar and the guys in front of him all had they’re arms stretched out, air shredding at him. One guy was watching his fingers go and looked like he was about to internally combust with the sheer speed. We get mosh pits, the lot. Fantastic audience participation and the kids are stage diving throughout. Fuck man, I want to be in a band!
I think that I really should have flyers for my blog site on these merch stands and Lyall says we can knock up some on our laptops and print them off ready for another day, which is awesome.
Paul from The Fading hangs out with me on the stand and tells me about the friends he has lost in Tel Aviv to suicide bombers. These kids who are at house parties and someone walks in and blows them up. Jesus fucking Christ, it’s intense, I can’t even begin to imagine what that’s like. The closest thing we have were the IRA and I nor they, or any other bombings ever directly effected none of my friends.
Because of the way the venue is set up, I get to watch Evile from the side of the stage and even get to film bits, although my camera was not designed for this so the sound is utter trash. I can’t take photo’s ‘cause I’m still shaking, Prague fucking loves it! An awesome night, not bad merch sales at all and after I packed up I even got a chance to wash my spandex in the sink! Nic is on top comedy form all night and entertains me throughout with stupid white boy dancing and general fucking around being a silly sausage! Adam cheers me up to when he tries to take some photos but they come out blurry, thank god it’s not just me. Misery loving company and all.
By the end of Evile’s set, a guy has jumped on stage and grabbed the mic and is leading the rest in a chant of more, more, more. Here’s the thing. Evile are basically a new band in respect of having just found Joel and only having three weeks to practice with him. They don’t have endless songs, and after an hour set they are pretty much all out. Bring on Metallica cover time! They cover ‘Creeping Death’ and the crowd loves it, singing along and pumping their fists. Ol is shredding away and the mood in the room is electric. I have the best job in the fucking world moment and beam at the craziness in front of my eyes. Adam is keeping me amused informing me that he thinks I should be working the stand dressed like a mighty Valkari. Evile finally make it over for more photos and signings and eventually I can pack up, sort out the money and call it a night. I get 1000 Koruny for my trouble, which is this great purple note, buy a bad sausage I end up throwing, do some writing and hit my bunk. Today was pretty brutal. Still, I wouldn’t have it any other way.