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.