Wednesday, October 7, 2009

zagreb - all good things (sept 30th)

In the beginning, of course, there was our second police stop and search of the tour, polite yet insistent questions about marijuana (no, we don't) and liquor (yes, we do) then a drive which took us through Slovenia*...

... and ending, as scheduled in Zagreb. Now, the thing about great shows and fun nights is that I don't end up taking any footage of them, because I'm too busy going about the business of playing and then, hopefully, drinking until dawn in a park.*1 I appeltise - Zagreb, you were the fucking business.

Mitch had remarked, in his own idiosyncratic way, that the standard of English wasn't too high the last time he was here (with jimi Tenor) - it's safe to say that wasn't a problem on this occasion. But then again, what does he know? He was asleep, in the club, ten minutes before we went on ...

So to the show, broken arms (and legs, allegedly) songs, more songs, singing along (with varying accuracy) and nothing but positivity and wonder. Footage on youtube, particularly here ... okay, the audio is a little compromised but you get the idea, the crazy, crazy fuckers. Seattle and Melbourne, you at the very least have some competition - perhaps the greatest audience in the world.

The next morning, five hours sleep, and even in the brain-hurting joy, a discovery or rather, undiscovery ...

A BIG THANKYOU to everyone we met and drank with but to Mate, thanks for the show and see you again - next time, with a support band.


* beautiful vistas a windscreen away - the curse of the touring band.
*1 this is exactly what happened. I should have turned in at 5am when sobriety was less of a distant dream.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

munich - octobernest (sept 29th)

to Munich, then, pants flapping immediately post-show in Brussels and the inevitable breakdown (van, and to a lesser degree, personally) ...

Munich is German but German, so German, in fact, that italics, bold, underlining and screaming the word over and over again simply don't do justice to the sheer meaningacity* of the word. The crowd, aside from a couple of pocket psychos down the front, are adequate and we play a decent show despite sound problems and the age-old Falkous curse - too much fucking bread.

Here's 'chin music' as filmed from the merch desk by the one and only Paul Resende. Notice how I attack the mic like a hungry shark*1...

After the show, we drove, and drove, and drove. To Croatia, of all fucking places.

* I went there. Alone.
*1 A hungry shark with an appalling monitor mix.

brussels - back to the front (sept 28th)

... to Brussels. I've made my share of mistakes and engaged in the occasional good time in Brussels, mostly due to the corrupting influence of both Chimay (bleu) and Jan De Mars, Beggars vassal and Wire-ite, but this will be my first visit to the venue La Botanique since 2004. Still, there was, as ever, laundry and a wonderfully Nathan Barley style hotel. Here. for the vaguely interested, is my journey twixt poles ...

To top the evening, there was Moroccan food, courtesy of the self-same Mr. De Mars ...

The next day, post-digestion (which took a while, due to the mass of food consumed) we made it to the venue. I was so excited to be here that I couldn't get the name correct.

The Brussels crowd are a little on the quiet side (where have you heard this before?) but a good show is had by all in the echoing auditorium although, in frank continental fashion, we're the only band on the bill.

To the van, sweetcheeks.


hasselt - one be one (sept 26th)

Hasselt, home of the Pukkelpop festival, extra polite hotel staff and lurking pederasts. I had a great time.

I ran through the city, dodging fat families and the occasional odd stare - there was a fayre (fair? I dunno) here, littering the land as a bored, gaudy centre of nothingness. It was as shit as you'd imagine. That is to say, shit. I captured some footage, but only in the sense that I'd like to now uncapture it and use the time to buy some new shoes instead.

At the venue, the Muziekdroom, there was a brief 'piece to camera' which involved us saying a series of place names. I warn you now, jacks face features heavily in this short clip -

The communal festival food was, as ever, uniquely awful, although Jack would like to put in a good word for the pudding. His dream, incidentally, is a world where the menu is entirely made up of starters and puddings with the tyranny of the too-filling main course resigned to history.

The show itself, aside from a broken guitar (I must be honest - I felt a little smashy) that Rob from Pulled Apart by Horses had fixed for me just the other day, was fantastic, featuring as it did, rock songs, Belgian staring, young Axel (how old were you, Axel, and why weren't you in bed?) and a little too much drinking. But hey, there are more important issues, the rider for one-

... and, post-show, the thievery (five days later it still sits in the back of the van, untouched by human or musician kind)...

What a glamorous bunch we are.



hamburg - plaisir junkie (sept 24th)

So, to Hamburg ...

We expect a lot from you, Hamburg, a lot, and I don't just mean porn, guns and public drinking - that all goes without saying.*

An odd day, then ..

The Reeperbahn festival is about more than music. It's also about queues*1, awkward load-ins and posters. Thousands of the fucking things ...

... with added gritty real-world information thrown in. About SANDWICHES.

Whilst Danananakyroyd played Kelson and James Brown of Pulled Apart by Horses not-yet-fame engaged in interpretive dance...

Such characters.

The show was ... okay, the crowd a little lame (to use the vernacular) by German standards and the temperature in the venue absolutely insane - as my completely ruined clothes and the vomit of Matthias bear testimony to. Christophe took some footage of 'plague of onces' from behind the be-grilled sound-desk ... perhaps it'll be posted on a later, less video-heavy entry.

Anyway, I don't keep accurate or up-to-date records but it may the (my) second hottest show of all-time, pipped at the post by the Tote, Melbourne, in 2003, a show at which an audience member claimed to have lost between twelve and fifteen pounds in weight.

Outside we ran into a bunch of disparate characters as my soaking wet jeans began to freeze and form as a wet-suit around my massive thighs - Richard 'Chill' Hawkins, Andrea Heil, the boy Churd and Ben from Biffy Clyro.

Then, a Jamesons (me, twice)), dance (not me), hug (all me) and curtsy (some girl) and we're off, protracted goodbye to dirty hirsute squat-boy Christoph not withstanding, bounding into the night as only bounders can.



*and, to be honest, I wish it didn't.
*1 or 'lines', my yanqui buddies.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

berlin - in out of glove (sept 23rd)

Berlin, Berlin ...

You are so vast, so casually consumed with your own biggery that I do not - I cannot - know you.

A shame, but the show, that daily punctuation point, can sometimes tell as much or more about a cities character as any tourist monument* or drunken journey around its bars.

I conclude, then - crazy. A little younger, a little fresher, a little less stable than other huge urban sprawls. Perhaps less sure of whatever the hell it is. Dark, mighty and with a relatively cheap standard of living - a little, it must be said, like my balls.

This is why we don't give Jack a microphone ...

Truly, sticking your finger in a colleagues mouth when they yawn ('mouth-rape') will never feel the same again.

Magnet, the club, is packed tonight. Here's as close as I could get to the stage to film a little of Pulled Apart By Horses...

Our show, whilst perhaps not as on-the-point as Cologne was helped by an utterly incredible crowd who carry Kelson half the length of the venue amongst the final, stupid notes; I attempt to get some footage of it but was rather distracted by the act of playing.


Still, all good ...

and BAD things ...

... pull a man towards his fate.




*ie. The Brandenburg Gate or the Cheltenham branch of Lidl, it's all the same to me*1
*1 No, it's not.

ps. you will have to excuse me the irregular, late blogs - i'm afraid internet access needs to be substantial to upload the goddamn fucking videos. Please, bear with me.

Friday, September 25, 2009

cologne - catch a cawling star (sept 22)

So to Germany, home of Germans, ample vegetarian options (nb. no sausage) and now the most entertaining (if far from technically perfect) football league in world. On a personal note I shall also remember it as the place where I learned to use IMovie.


Yes. Cologne. Koln. Big K. However you spell it (and wherever you're from, even if that place uses a completely different character set) it's a city with a fuck-load of churches and the bells to match.

Oh, the bells.*

So, we arrived late on our day 'off'*1 and I went for a run - the wrong way. So much for the sights - that's a river and them's barges. Bah. Twelve kilometres of no cathedrals and calf-burning pain.

The next morning, however, I ran in the correct direction and who do I spot amongst the teaming mass of the cod-religious, the photograph(iers)? Why, a young man of inquisitive mind and stout heart. A beat-maker. A lover of the cross.

We climbed the steps (2 euro 50) and looked out across the land...

Noting, upon the way, faith in practice -

By 4pm and now in a pleasured halfling agony, we make it to the venue. This is something that happened*2 ...

What a guy(s). What a show. Christoph, scourge of sounddesks (and now spotting quite a fetching hairdo since our last encounter, a year or so ago) aced it. Germans, as they do, smoked and cheered. Afterwards, everybody smoked (except for me). EVERYBODY smokes here, even babies. Smoke for breakfast, lunch and tea.

Smoke snack.


I love playing rock shows.


*Please, PLEASE stop ringing the bells at any available opportunity. SOME OF US ARE TRYING TO SLEEP.
*1 Read as day 'in''- the van. The shitting, pissing van.
*2 Note that not much happened.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

zurich - the first goat is the weakest (sept 20th)

It was always an ambition of mine to stand next to the breathtaking Lake Geneva and reduce its magnificence to a pithy aside or two and some of the most unsteady camera work this side of a Christopher Reeve home movie.* Well, here we are ...

A show, more people than expected, great food (the goats cheese almost did for Egglestone, I'm glad to report*1) and an interesting incident with a cut out of Kelsons face which the support band, dryconditions, had mysteriously brought along.


Tomorrow - Germany.

How Monday of us.


*No, it wasn't.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

bern - a rider runs through it (sept 19th)

And ... uh ... we all fail.

We jump to conclusions, rail against injustices and, occasionally, simply express opinions only to find, in time (sometimes in no time at all) that we were wrong, very wrong and, it turns out, wronger still. Sometimes we're so wrong (and I'm looking at myself here whilst attempting, generously, to devolve blame across the whole of humanity) that an apology is in order.

So here we go ... Switzerland ... I'm sorry ... a bit. You were ... pretty good. I had just finished recording an audio blog for the adam walton show on BBC Wales (the whole shebang available at for those remotely interested) about how distinctly underwhelming Swiss crowds and venues were, when the whole thing got turned on its head, firstly by Sabine and the merry crew of the good ship Dachstock then by the slightly less whelming (Dr. Johnson - is this is word?) Rote Fabrik in Zurich, what with their great food and not totally objectionable hippy vibe and all. Here I am wandering around the venue in Bern, post-run, post-beer, pre-rock show ...

It was a particularly enjoyable show and the crowd, by Swiss standards at least, were positively effusive. And this is my idea of a good time, after three hours of sleep largely dominated by dreams of the Usual Suspects as acted out by musical cats ...

I know not what or when I do.




I MET SEVERAL WONDERFUL PEOPLE IN BERN - Miriam, Sabine, Cat, The Fat Jogger, French Fans and Ventura, the rock band.

IN THE END Tullamore Dew is a poor substitute for Jameson, but we'll cope.

glarus - i'll take my czar to work (sept 18th)

We should have seen it coming, really.

'Glarus? Where the hell is that?' said a guy in Lausanne. A Swiss guy. A Swiss guy from Switzerland. Glarus is in Switzerland.

We should have seen it coming - but we were asleep.

Altogether now - awwwwwwwwwwwwwww*. We actually had a superb start to the day, bullying Mitch for his crap broken PC*1 and stubborn refusal to engage with the modern pathfinding miracle that is GPS.

Here's some not exactly compelling footage of me trying to wrestle something constructive from the early evening as I wander around outside the venue, full of bread -

We played a show, of course. It was stranger than a talking turkey. I forget how to type. Nobody needs this story but ...

... here is my memory.

I am 34 and at a school disco.

My only hope is a bomb threat.

Bomb threat.

Please ...

Bomb threat.

Emphasis is for emphasis.



ps. my housemates are mirroring our odyssey at - please give generously.
pps. some interview footage is up from the Siren festival at

* Quick, steal Kelsons blackberry and switch it to FUCKING SILENT.
*1 Favourite retort of the day - 'that is so Windows 98.'

lausanne - you're all that i wanted of a girl (sept 17th)

Paris, Alcatraz and Butcher Bay are not renowned for the friendliness of their hotel staff but baby, darling, they don't have a ringing thing on the geriatric racists and sighing twats of our Lausanne hovel. I didn't film there because the camera, horrified by its surroundings, simply refused to turn on.

Shithole. I went for a run and there were far too many hills, missed a Canadian phone interview (or was that yesterday?) and befriended a drug dealer in the park. Well, I say 'befriended' - I mean 'ran past four times and was offered a considerable discount'.

Anyway, thank god for the venue, La Romandie, which has moved across town to a slightly smaller room since our last visit two years ago but still maintains the friendliness and incredible rider we remembered so fondly. TWO bottles of Jamesons, no less - ARE YOU READING THIS BRITISH PROMOTERS?*

So, down to business, Flacko Bastard God*1 -

Et Egglethump, the supreme indiser of merch -

I got some footage of the show but it was SHIT (the footage, not the show). We played fourteen songs and some Germans danced as the Swiss clapped along in their own particularly Swiss way. I attempted to video some of the support band who were considerably better than any band called 'Autopsy' had any right to be. At the end of the night I had drank some alcohol and was tired so went to bed.

J'ai onze ans.


* This is a rhetorical question. You are in fact setting up a table for the after-club DJ whilst throwing the hated non-money making band down the fucking stairs.
*1 Actual name.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

tilburg - a post-beginning

As comedowns go this was, well, one.

Tuesday night in a relatively small city in the Netherlands and we're playing the Incubate festival with very little idea of what to expect or who to expect it from. As it turned out, the best thing that happened to me in Tilburg was/were bikes. Millions of the fuckers ...

Notice how I use the word 'bikes' a lot - that's the most fun I had today. The show itself was poorly attended ('drafty' is my preferred term of reference) and the catering s-h-i-t* but I did speak to a bunch of lovely people including the promoter, Frank, and the stage manager, also Frank.

Celebrity rock-band AIDS-capsules Mr.Big were playing across the way and there was a short altercation with a particularly loathsome Dutch GMIWNFUACW*1 who assumed we were the backing band. Sure, we told her, come in for the soundcheck - then we fucked off.

This is what passed for mental gymnastics today -

THE ONLY PEOPLE I MET TODAY were called Frank.

THE SADDEST THING I SAW TODAY was my own face in a mirror, so bereft of joy that my chin had fled upwards to my forehead.


* for 'sweet and sour' read 'red sauce'.
*1 Grand.Mother.I.Would.Not.Fuck.Under.Any.Circumstances.Whatsoever.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

amsterdam - a beginning

Like most significant events in my life, this one began with a solemn goodbye to a cat.

Following this brief conversation she decided to sit on my suitcase for three hours then throw up under the bed - I believe the phrase is 'emotional blackmail'. The guilt, it transpires, got me all the way to Amsterdam, albeit by 4am and with no fucking power in the back of the van.

Still, I read all of the Luke Haines book so thanks for that JWR, you fucking scourge.

The hotel has suicidally dangerous stairs. Here's me outside of it trying to be positive about some shit or other despite wanting to punch a cyclist directly in the mouth ...

... and here are the Jesus Lizard JesusLizarding* the lovely fucking main room of the Paradiso;
if I have infringed copyright, baby, know that I do it with the best intentions.*1

So, that was Amsterdam. I went out for a drink with Mitch, talked for a while about immigration then swore at a fat man in a unitard.

THE BEST THING THAT HAPPENED IN AMSTERDAM was a rock show (odd, that) and running around Vondel park, lapping bikes. Fuck you, slowcoaches.

THE BEST PEOPLE THAT HAPPENED IN AMSTERDAM were (naturally), the Jesus Lizard, Marcel at The Backstage Hotel and Stefan 'It is a bullshit' DeBerg.


* verb - to destroy with furious yet naturally ordained angularity.
*1 reportage. Solely reportage.