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Tuesday, March 31, 2009


We are going on tour again:

04-06 Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
04-07 Milwaukee, WI - The Borg Ward
04-08 Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock Social Club
04-09 Winnepeg, Manitoba - Royal Albert Arms
04-10 Regina, Saskatchewan - The Distrikt
04-11 Calgary, Alberta - Royal Canadian Legion No. 1
04-12 Edmonton, Alberta - The Pawn Shop
04-14 Vancouver, British Columbia - The Biltmore Cabaret
04-15 Seattle, WA - Neumo's
04-19 Indio, CA - Coachella Festival

05-29 Barcelona - Primavera Festival

06-28 Cherbourg - Le Epicenter
06-29 Brussels - VK
06-30 Leffinge - Zwerver
07-02 Roskilde - Roskilde Festival
07-03 Muenster - Vainstream Afterparty
07-04 Paris - Batofar

PS Fucked Up was acquired by Warner Brothers this morning.


March 15th - Arrive around 1pm - 2 hour train to Nanjing
Nanjing - Castle Bar - 6pm sound check / 9pm show
March 16th - Morning do a little sightseeing
Evening take the overnight train to Beijing
March 17th - Morning sightseeing - Forbidden City, Tiananmen
Beijing - Yugong Yishan - 6pm sound check / 9pm show
March 18th - Afternoon leave for an overnight train to Wuhan
March 19th - Morning - Wuhan sightseeing, etc...
Wuhan - Vox Bar - 6pm soundcheck / 9pm show
March 20th - Morning - train to Changsha (Chairman Mao's hometown)
Changsha - 4698 Bar - 6pm soundcheck / 9pm show
March 21st - Morning - flight to Shanghai
Afternoon - sighseeing
Shanghai - Logo - 8pm soundcheck / 12am show

DAY TWO NANJING (Or Nanking, or whatever) AND BEIJING
So late that night we get to our first hotel of the trip, which ends up being pretty nice and costs about $20 American per room. We wake up kind of early when Abe brings tasty buns to our beds - these dim sum looking buns that don't seem cooked ever because they are pasty white, but filled with either spiced vegetables or I guess also meat. We'd find more types in Shanghai at the markets later that week that were so meat-juicy they needed straws, and little orange ones that looked like mini pumpkins. Today is our first day off (after a grueling one day of touring) so we're ready to go see what China is really like. Josh gets a drink from the fridge in the hotel lobby and breaks the lock, at which point all the porters and bell hops start to flip out..its like a small almost plastic lock, but we give them money to buy a new one anyway.
It's like 11am but Abe thinks it's time for lunch, so we stop at a restaurant almost as soon as we leave the hotel. The thing with eating in China is that we don't speak Chinese or have any idea what any of the food is going to be like, so meals are always us sitting around while Abe orders all these different plates of stuff for like 10 minutes.

One of the first things they bring out for us today is fish-head soup, which we all assumed would be like something out of Indiana Jones where you just get this murky bowl of liquid where these eyes roll up to the surface and startle you. Instead it's this mash of cartiledge and sauce and ends up containing only two eyes, which Ben and Damian spend the entire lunch rooting around in there for. I guess they were full of grit or something. I ate white rice and boiled spinach stalks, a local delicacy that would be mine to enjoy for almost every meal for a week. The other thing about us eating food in China is that we are 8 white people, so after the staff brings us our food, they kind of hang around looking at us and taking pictures, because apparently it's that crazy that we even exist, let alone want to order fishhead soup from them ("want" being a relative term for some of us, obviously).

After we eat we take cabs (30 minute cab ride is like $7) to the Nanjing Massacre museum, but it's closed (it was supposed to open like the next day...) so instead of learning something we walk around and watch babies pee onto the sidewalk and look fat, which is still kind of learning something I guess. We learned that in China, your baby has a slit in the back of its pants instead of a diaper, and that if you are baby, it is cool to just pee anywhere you want. Also, if you want, you can have your dad aim you at a garbage can on a bus, and poo in that, it's no big deal, thats what the garbage can is for. But seriously, a lot of people were killed in the Rape of Nanking, and now Japanese and Chinese people hate each other. Now YOU have learned something.

We go to a convenience store nearby (not sure if they are actually called that, I do know they are called "Party Stores" in Michigan) and gawk over the strange and wonderful flavours of chips they have - Mango, Blueberry, Cucumber. We can't believe it, but also don't get any of them, cause that is gross. The chocolate chips ("crisps", not the good kind of chocolate chips) in England were bad enough.

We get in another cab, at this point we feel like rockstars (oh wait..) cause we're jumping in and out of cabs like they are bumper cars (which they kind of look like, and also we can't believe we don't see more accidents than we do cause driving here is ridiculous) and take it to some mall so Damian can look for Pepsi shoes. I know that sounds ridiculous, but on the 3rd floor of some shopping mall we find the Pepsi athletic goods store. What a confusing country. Also I have in my notes that this mall contained "more babies".

Next on the list is some temple. We'd visited some temples in Japan, and if you ask me, if you've seen one temple, you've seen them all. This one was up a really steep hill and overlooked the back part of Nanjing. It was very peaceful and I think had a large bell at the top. There were a lot of suspicious looking monks ambling around, and I say suspicious only because they were all taking pictures of us with their cell phones. and smoking cigarettes, which kind of makes us feel like we're actually the monks, and they are the tourists from New Jersey, but I digress. We spent the rest of the afternoon walking up and down long stair cases, sitting in those chairs that look like hands, ringing bells and then Sandy got kidnapped by King Kong. We're ready to leave, so we order like 50 cabs and just tell 48 of them to just hang out and be cool cause it's so cheap, and we head off to Thinkpad town.

I've just learned that Lenovo is 27% owned by the Chinese government. Notebook computers are very popular in China and the district we arrived at had about 50 stores in a row that just sold them (and one men's fashion store that featured "Acrastutum" brand clothing). I go into one store to inquire about and compare prices (having just purchased my own notepad computer specifically for this trip) and am greeted with a round of "Welcome to Acer Store" from all the employees inside, but immediately turn around and leave, because there isn't a computer in the entire store. We then watch a woman trick a baby with a remote control toy car that has lasers coming out of it. The baby chases it for a while (almost onto the road at one point) and then pees onto the sidewalk.

We make our way to this massive fruit and vegetable market, which is one long hallway full of dozens and dozens of stalls almost half a kilometer long. We see stuff we've never seen before in a market, like buckets full of eels, (according to my notes, "tons of eels") fishheads everywhere (ok we saw a bunch of those in the morning), lots of turtles, stalls that seem to only sell impecable livers, mangosteen (the Jewish mango), etc. Everyone gets these weird crepe-like things. The street food in China is often so different from western food in conception but so close in nature that it's like the gourmand version of a bad translation. You can imagine buying crepes on the street in Paris filled with meat or sweets (like I did in a giant arcade in Osaka the previous week) but in China they have these bizarre street crepes that have coriander and an egg on them, some sauces and then they break a weird cracker into it, and then fold it up and give it to you. As if they are just making it up on the spot.

We all want to use the internet so we can wikipedia "chinese crepes" so we go to this strange building where in the lobby the two security guards are huffing glue. We take the elevator to the 4th floor and after using Abe to negotiate our way through the most Kafkaesque login process on the planet, use the internet surrounded by one hundred Chinese guys playing warcraft, and the alarming smell of paint thinner. We manage to get ourselves out of the building before we pass out from the dangerous fumes and go to do like the 10th thing just during this one day.

It's almost time for dinner so we take the presidents cab to the train station and stop for more food. It's dark and dusty and we imagine ourselves in the bad part of town. Abe tells us, as he will tell us a hundred more times this week, to watch our pockets at the train station because of pick pockets (and presumably, Ninjas). We all do, especially me, because my pockets are full of dried kiwi that I don't care to lose. Again, our meal is comprised of 100% things we've never heard of, and the entire staff laughing at us and taking pictures. Occasionally a fireball from the kitchen. We saunter across the street to the train station and almost miss it. It's a sleeper car, because we've got a 12 hour overnight journey to Beijing and it's full of guys and families and everyone has this crazy tea thats hot water and like so many herbs. My bunk is about 9 feet off the ground and like 5 inches from the roof but it's cool. I try to sleep comforted by the soothing sounds of adult contemporary communist Chinese elevator music for about 2 hours until they finally turn the lights off and we can't wait to wake up in Beijing.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


March 15th - Arrive around 1pm - 2 hour train to Nanjing
Nanjing - Castle Bar - 6pm sound check / 9pm show
March 16th - Morning do a little sightseeing
Evening take the overnight train to Beijing
March 17th - Morning sightseeing - Forbidden City, Tiananmen
Beijing - Yugong Yishan - 6pm sound check / 9pm show
March 18th - Afternoon leave for an overnight train to Wuhan
March 19th - Morning - Wuhan sightseeing, etc...
Wuhan - Vox Bar - 6pm soundcheck / 9pm show
March 20th - Morning - train to Changsha (Chairman Mao's hometown)
Changsha - 4698 Bar - 6pm soundcheck / 9pm show
March 21st - Morning - flight to Shanghai
Afternoon - sighseeing
Shanghai - Logo - 8pm soundcheck / 12am show


Hi. We are finally back from tour after starting with 10 days in the UK with The Bronx, that ended with our own secret warehouse party, an early morning flight to Japan, a show there with 4 days off, a portion of the tour that would culminate in us getting onto a 48 hour ferry that would take us to Shanghai, China, where we had booked 5 shows. We'll start on the boat.

We went ahead a few months ago with booking a tour of Japan, China and Australia after we got an offer from the promoters in Japan that would make flying 14 hours in either direction for one show worth it (which is almost exactly what happened). While we were booking shows in the other regions, I felt much like an easters military strategist, knowing that for capitilation of the entire region, there had to be a flashpoint. This we already had in Japan, and we spent the next few weeks wrestling with the domino theory and waiting for Australia and China to fall. We ended up getting a great offer for 3 shows in Australia, but when we started to buy plane tickets, reality set back in, and nothing could make it work. We knew now of the possibility of China falling as well, because the money we earned in Australia we were planning to pay forward on getting to China. On tour in the US, about a month before we needed to get on the outgoing airplane, we were in Denver, upstairs in the bathroom hallway of the club we were playing, looking for flights, as we had been doing every day since we decided to head east. As it stood, we had one way flights from London to Tokyo, and no idea how to pay to get back to Toronto, and no idea where it would be from. Australia as off the list. Somehow, we managed to find relatively cheap tickets to Toronto from Shanghai China. We were on the horn immediately to our friends Dan Yotive and Abe Deyo in China who would be working the tour for us. Even though nothing was booked and the proposed tour was less than 2 months away, they assured us they could make it work for everyone. We bought tickets and splayed that nights show.

Fast forward a few weeks and we're on a high speed train to Osaka. Our plan now hinged on a 48 hour boat ride from Osaka to Shanghai, which is the cheapest option for making that journey. No one we spoke to had ever heard of it. We were very skeptical, worried about the border, etc. No one even knew why it took 48 hours. The boat ride was great until everyone got sick. The first day was spent eating and playing ping pong. The 2nd day for the most part being sick in the bathroom. The overnight waves were high and frightening. Each room had a window and at night you could make out the faint and massive great swirling beneath you that would pummel the deck and try to lift you from your sleeping bed.

On the last day we woke up early and watched as the boat maneuvered up the Huangpu river into the heart of Shanghai. On the way it felt like'd we gone back in time as the river edge was all grey military bases, the river itself filed with small tugboats or ships carrying cement or sand. There were boats everywhere. In the distance was the Pudong Skyline, and we ported in view of some of the largest skyscrapers on the planet.

We all spent a good part of the boat ride nervous (among other things, like getting stabbed by the irate Chinese man we initially shared a room with, until he berated the starwards enough to let him change rooms) about crossing the border. We had tourist visas, but it's china, we all thought. We walked up to the desk, handed our paper work and took them back stamped in about 10 seconds. At the end you press a button to grade your attendants performance. We all chose "very satisfied".

We quickly ate (even though this restaurant had pictures of each of the about 150 dishes they made, including a bowl with a turtle in it covered with rice, I'm not going to describe this meal for reasons that will soon become obvious) after meeting Abe and Dan and went to catch what they told us was a "chartered bus" they had got for the short trip to Nanjing, which is where we would play our first show. After almost 3 days in the void with no outside contact, I was pleased with this result:

After last summer's fiasco, I told myself I would never get on another bus with the intention of using it as a tour vehicle. But yet on the other side of the world, I slowly trod up the steps to another yellow, stuffy and decrepit bus, this time in China. Here is a video of this particular journey.

See full report...

The bus was filled with the 6 of us, Dan and Abe and like 11 other people. Things started going from basically from when the key filled the ignition. We drove south and headed into what looked like a heavy industrial area mixed with apartments and small bight cities every dozen kilometers. The first thing you notice here is the air - the smog is so think and hangs so low that it should have an address. We start seeing fireworks going off in the distance every few minutes. The whole country feels like a giant tinderbox where every possible atom is about to explode somehow.

Meanwhile in the bus, the driver is revealing his character - after the gear shifter breaks, I see him smoking and talking into a cell phone at the same time. To make things a bit calmer, he's made his ringtone into the sound of a cop car siren, but louder.

We make our first rest stop to buy sugarcane. There are several cops on bikes circling us like Mad Max..we're not nervous? We keep spitting spend sugarcane on the road like everyone else and wait for the driver to fix the bus. He opens the top of the engine through the drivers seat like opening a can or sardines, gets underneath it, etc. As you can see from the video, we had to push the van back into gear and run into it as it drove to get back in. We're back on the road, trying to relax, and the driver is singing Chinese pop songs at full volume. Kids are sitting everywhere, on the engine, between the seats, there is crazy food all over the place. Nikki from STD is telling stories aboout the Chinese version of facebook where she calls the cops on her friends for speeding all day and pulling vegetables out from their gardens. We're all confused about everything at this point.

About 10 kms from Nanjing, the driver stops for some reason to fill up with gas (which he did with the van running). We were't hoping to stop again after what happened the last time. Of course, the van doesn't start for a bit, until he forces it and decides to drive us the rest of the way in first gear. We're going 5km/s and hour and we still think we're going to die. He can't stop the bus or it will break again, and it can't go any faster...he's tugging at the gear shift so hard it might wrench off, opening the engine while smoking, etc. It takes us 20 minutes to drive the 4 kms we were away from the toll station, so the van stops right beside a massive group of pictures warning against unsafe driving (pictures featuring the wreckage of Priness Diana, people ripped in half on the highway, the Titanic sinking?). We wait there for taxis to take us the rest of the way. Another van is chartered to bring everyone else home, which we learn later CRASHES.

We were obviously super late, so we got to the club in Nanjing and starting playing almost immediately. Despite no one in the dive knowing us or are music, we got a standing ovation as we walked from the stairs to the stage. We played at it was weird. We play lots of covers, play out of the smallest amps every, see lots of women, some taking pictures of themselves standing next to us while they play, weird mosh moves. We all have a great time.

After dinner is next door at McDonalds where I guess a guy picked up a prostitute? I spent the rest of the evening waiting downstairs at the club as the bar turns into the loudest disco I've ever been to, replete with 40 somethings slowly swaying to hard american blog-house.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Hi, so as many of you may know, we've been touring China. We played amazing shows in Beijing, Wuhan, Nanjing, Chang Sha and Shanghai. Last night we played our last show in Shanghai and we'll be back in North America in a few days. There are lots of pictures and stories and gross stuff to tell so when there is a bit more time we can tell you all about it, and then start immediately touring again.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Hey, we're on a bit of a vacation right now...posts and news will be short in coming, but when it resumes it will be good and packed with ridiculous stories and harrowing adventures. Please stay tuned!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Thanks Japan. See you soon.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Hey thanks to everyone that came to see us in London tonight. We are playing a party now on Saturday in Elephant and castle. The details are written really weird, but here they are anyhow:

Subject: Secret Headliner Announced ::: Fucked Up ::: This SATURDAY @ CORSICA STUDIOS


All the below for £5. Its even £4 if you come before 10:00.
First band on @ 10pm.

Tiger xx

This is music & Sexbeat presents...
with help from Judge For Yourself.

:::Fucked Up
:::::Mob Rules
::::::::: Male Bonding
:::::::::::: The Sceptres

DJs ::: Witchita vs Matador
::::::: No Pain In Pop
::::::::: Off Modern
::::::::::::::: Chaos vs Cosmos
:::::::::::::::::: Goodbye Mother
::::::::::::::::::::: Sex is Disgusting
::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Skill Wizard
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Lovvers
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::Pure Filth ((Gash))
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::Shitty Limits
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Chris Thrash
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Team Wolf (Gallows)

|Corsica Studios, Unit 4/5 Elephant Road, SE17 1LB | Saturday 7th March |
|Nearest Tube: Elephant Castle | 9pm - 3am | £5/£4 before 10pm |
| Night Buses:1, 12, 35, 53, 63, 68, 148, 155, 171, 176, 188, 343, 344, 453|

Also you can ORDER the NO EPIPHANY 7" NOW right HERE. We also have copies on tour.

Monday, March 02, 2009


Hi, there is an interview up with some of us right HERE.

We're gonna do this thing where we talk to people who know about certain types of music that don't really get a lot of attention, or a like objectively "lame" but still involved lots of people in their time and place. The first one is with our friend Andy, and it's about Donk music. He just did a mini-documentary on the music and you can watch that right HERE.

What is donk?

it's the latest incarnation of "scouse house"
high energy rave music
that you listen to on E and steroids
with loads of huge men with their tops off
going mental
do you want to know why i made that film?

why do you think the same culture that created northern soul created donk. what does that say about the north of the UK in 2009?
why did you make the documentary?

ill get to that after answering that 2nd qustionn
wigan, where donk is based, has always had a culture of young people dancing all night long
it used to be northern soul
and this was before drugs really got into dance cutlure
when drugs, especially E and coke, happened
all the american, black music disappeared
in favour of European dance music
Teutonic sounding crap that I hate
so Drugs made donk happen

but like that explains the people who go to donk nights
what about the people who make it
how did that happen?

they're australian and dutch people
who take E
that's why it sounds so awful
the reason i made the movie was becasue i always loved the youtube clips of Beefy and Taz
and i wanted to make a long form version of that world
E-d up thugs in night clubs going mental
all the other shows you see about it are rom the perspective of cops
or bouncers
like "street crime UK"
etc etc
this was from the perspective of the punters
and hopefully it goes some way to explaining why they go so mental to that music
because they want to escape the drudgery of either being unemployed
or working in the service industry in the north west
which is screwed, economically

to me its totally logical, because when you are up north, those are the only types of people you see on the street

they lift weights to it

like everyone is fancy dress 100% of the time

people kept saying "Power"
women especially
donk is "power"
steroids and E are the drugs in donk

thats like what people tell you or what you are getting from it?

that's what we saw
and that's what people told us
that steroids and E were essential to the music
cocaine also
partial nudity
the bits in wigan pier nightclub

when you were making the doc did you feel like the people you were talking to knew you were taking the piss kinda?

i was the only person in there sober
i don't know
i honestly don't think we were taking the piss
I put a London indie guy
amidst Donk
and just sat back and watch what happened
they are funny by nature

sure but like, it wasn't like you were coming up from the NME to document the music

the people in that film are just naturally funny
yeah it was more journalistic than that
we went beyond the music
and looked into the society that gave birth to it

i want to talk about the word and like the meaning

it describes the main sound
in donk
if you listen to any of the songs
the main snare sound is DONK
its like table tennis bat hitting a pipe

but like watch this
there is donk in the US, thats a soulja boy song

in this case i think Donk means "ass" no?
"she got a donk"
means she has a round ass I think

its a weird coincidence

a beautiful coincidence

in liverpool last night all we saw were people like that, passed out on the ground, etc
we were trying to think of a cultural corollary for the US and couldn't really
its like unique in western culture, the northern thing
like being afraid to walk around in newcastle because everyone is fucked up and mental

newcastle they really go for it
im not keen
when i was in wigan pier
alone in the backroom
i was just thinking
everybody in that room is everyboy who i ran away to london to get away from

yeah i mean the UK is weird because london is the urban escape, which every country york, LA, toronto, whatever.
but like the rest of england is still urbanized and cultured, unlike say the south in america, or like northern canada
but its cultured in such a fucked up crazy way
and like its all the same
city centres in Manchester, liverpool, leeds, whatever, they all look exaclty the same
nightlife up there seems indistinguishable

yeah its a shame
all the big chains have bought up the pubs
drink is super cheap
all the bars look the same
all the town planners are the same
it's intensely depressing for me
the way progress is manifesting itself in the UK
every town has a "leisure retail park" that has a Frankie & Benny's, a McD's, a crap cinema showing three films and a JJB sports

yeah the arcades

all the charming indiosyncracies of the north are being wiped out
southport, where I grew up, could be norwich

do you think donk makes people happy

yeah donk makes people really happy
its fun
i would never ever listen to it at home

what do you think its gonna mutate into next

i imagine it'll stay vaguely the same whatever it mutates into
metronomy just remixed blackout crew

what do younger kids do up there

listen to donk
its like everywhere
play football

its everywhere, everyone

if you could taste Donk it would taste like KFC
KFC with MDMA instead of salt

do people buy records? i know one of the scenes was in a record store but how important is that

yeah ish
but mainly compilation CDs
of ngihts they went to

so there is gonna be a legacy

its all documented
yeah people own it, its real

how did you get along with the DJs

yeah they were fine
nice lads
not really that much to say

how much do you think thet work on music

the main guy DJ Greeny
he seemed to be into it a lot

there is a scene thats kinda touching when those guys are recognizing their names on posters

blackout crew are quite young kids

so how do yu think it is that shit like this can happen that so many people aare into, but it totallly gets ignored?

it's not really a new movement
its a movement that's just got it's first boy band
and that we shone a torch on
and now a lot more peopleseem interested

do you think anyone is gonna pick up on it? like nme or whatever

it gets ignored because it's not "on the radar" of the London-centric music business

i'm assuming no dance dudes respect donk either?

im sure some people in dance respect it
the amount of other total shit they "respect" warrants it
i think the main thing that people like about donk is its total lack of pretence
and how people involved in it can see how kinda ridiculous it is
but love it regardless

yeah people always hate lack of pretence becauseit makes their jobs redundant
ie music biz people

music biz people's jobs are redundant for many other reasons
when i first started work at NME
i couldn't believe how many terrible people were paid so highly for doing so little
this was in late 90s
when the britpop bubble had just burst
donk was more fun than going to some indie band thing
far more entertaining
indie rock is worse than it's ever been at the moment