SUMMER PART 1
Hey wow, we're done our annual touring of the European festivals tour, 2009. Last year as you may remember, we ventured into the summer, fresh faced and onstage at sunrise on some of Europe's greatest festivals. We played in front of upwards of 100 people at T in the Park in Scotland, after arriving so late that not only did we have to sneak into the festival because our gate had closed for the night, but we had to take our replacement band offstage as they readied their instruments to start performing. We played Reading and Leeds to thousands of adoring fans, as Damian would unveil that years coup-de-grace, the now infamous "Mangina", that would later be featured in rags through the world, from Spin, to NME. We played Zoo8, which would get shut down after 2 days of mismanagement and cancelling performers. At Lowlands, we would spend most of the rainy day next door at Wallabi world, riding rollercoasters, and at Eurockenees we made friends with rappers and played to thousands of French hippies at 3 in the morning. What would 2009 bring?
The summer started in Barcelona, where 10 months earlier we had experienced one of our lowest moments (no, I'm not talking about missing Barca vs Real, a game that was happening a scant 40 miles out of grasp) but Damians meltdown inside a ski mask. This year we were primed for success, and arrived at Primavera festival with the freshest of intentions. After a drug addled afternoon, we took the stage at around midnight. Sandy played one song completely in the wrong key for some reason (addled...), but the rest of the set was triumphant. The night ended for me at 5am, after trying mercilessly to get to sleep on the 20th floor of a hotel room facing the festival, which throbbed with techno loud enough that I thought maybe I should be paying admission. Some of the band would fly home directly afterwards to finish school and concentrate on artistic and familial responsibilities, while the rest would stay in Europa to engage in more romantic but wistful endeavors.
Our work related activities started up again towards the end of June at the festival seasons gleaming and muddy crown jewel - Glastonbury. Almost 200,000 people come to this cesspool of chips and dirty every year, almost 5 times the number of people that inhabit some of Europe's more elegant COUNTRIES (ie Monaco, where I'm writing from now bitches). They bring with them flip flops, tents, alcohol and really strange British taste in music. We arrived in our ridiculous green bus at noon, were offstage at 5, and bumbling our way towards Dover by 7, now weighed down with many extra pounds of mud and "wellies" ("galoshes").
Andy Capper came with us and when he got fed up with our tour style he took a taxi home to Shoreditch.
Then we played some shows in France and Belgium during the week that were boring. Except that one day where Sandy got tricked by this horse into getting electricuted by a fence:
This was our hotel the next morning somewhere in Belgium. It was right next to the Casino, where the night before Coolio had played. Europeans are weird.
We got to Denmark the following Wednesday to play Roskilde, which had some heavy hitter acts (Kanye, Coldplay, Oasis). Sorry to say, we didn't meet any of them. The band before us was some weird steam barbie style act that none of us understood because they were that European. Before our set the stage manager "got all in our faces" because he obvious reads blogs, and new that our performance would feature some extra curricular activities from Damian and he was really worried and basically we felt like we were in trouble, but it was cool in the end and we behaved. Except Sandy somehow ended up in a wheelchair:
I played football for a few hours with some kid, and we all thought it was cute;
The next day in Muenster, we played after The Cro Mags and that was really weird too.
A few days later we played a really weird festival in Rotterdam that was thrown by the city government and I couldn't stop laughing for almost the entire set because the only members of the audience I could see were:
1) the guy holding up his 1 year old baby, wearing a Mr Bungle shirt
2) A few homeless people taking turns laying down in the middle of the crowd, and dancing in super slow motion
3) Some little kid with a like "Kiss my balls" tshirt or something
4) A million goths
Also Damian made them do a huge wall of death, which, if you fully understand his love of the band Municipal Waste, is hilarity on the grandest scale. Or maybe I meant to type tragedy. After that we drove east to play in more weird places. First stop was Zagreb Croatia, where we played in an old military bunker outside of town or something, which was actually really cool and the show was sick. Someone asked Jonah what is 2 favourite bands were, and this was his answer:
The interview got him so pumped that he had to start doing jumping jacks right there.
A few days later we found ourselves in Budapest Hungary and discovered that the club was less than a mile from one of Europes finest natural spring bath houses. We got there too late to hang out in the steam rooms, but we did get to spend a few hours lounging in the pool with a lot of really fat hairy dudes, and we basically had to form a human shield around Ben full time, for reasons you can probably (and probably regularly do) imagine.
Later that night we noticed that had been booked into the hotel from The Shining, and so accordingly, a few of us were murdered that night
Then the next day, wow. We weren't even supposed to play this festival, but we extended the tour in order to get to Novi Sad to play Exit Festival. It takes place inside a fortress, and Korn was playing, as well as like 50 euro DJs. That was pretty much the whole festival. We got treated like Serbian royalty, which mean we got 9 rooms in Novi Sad's finest hotel and were promptly kicked out the next morning at 9 so that Kraftwerk could get into our rooms (I am not kidding). Crossing the border was nuts. There was a huge line up of cars and it took us like almost 2 hours to cross. Dudes were pushing their cars so they didn't waste gas. It was like a big party in the street, except really hot and no babes and no party things at all. But there were a lot of people hanging out in the street, thats for sure.
Also some of us met Korn:
We went to the airport the next day, and it was bad vibes. The airline never processed Damians ticket so we had to buy a new one right there. Also, the airport is named after Nikola Tesla, so I was thinking maybe all the planes were running on some kind of electricity that hasn't been invented yet. Plus Korn was checking in like an entire festivals worth of gear. There were atheletes from all over the world because Belgrade was hosting some kind of "sports" festival. We ran into runners from Australia and like 150 japanese people, who mostly just laughed and played cards. Sandy posed next to a few of them:
They were playing "asshole", which probably explains why they were giggling so much.
All in all, tour was really fun so we all agreed to try it again sometime. And we did! Like a week later we were back in Europe. But that will be for next time. Also unfortunately we forgot to ask for any money to play, oh well!
Thanks to Bram for driving and loving No Age, and Anna "Montana" Bewars for making us drive from Rotterdam to Zagreb.