Thursday, 24 June 2010
Evile Infecting Nations 2010 tour.Barcelona .
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!