Tour Diary - Netherlands Day 3

Day 3 - New Jack City (17.10.15)

I awoke to the sound and smell of sizzling sausages. Eyes flashed open and all the colours of the world flooding in. I instantly knew I’d had an alcohol blackout and was still quite drunk, the fireman still inside me (not a euphemism), so the typical pangs of regret were starved, momentarily. The corpse of Kage to my right, Johnny and Scotty burst into the room like they’d been waiting, tales on the tip of their tongues. Kal joined us and for the next half hour we laughed our asses off at the recap of the night three of us couldn’t remember. The pics told half the story, the fresh combo of Gibbons and Mason told the rest.

They took great pleasure in showing the picture of me face-down in Kal and Damo’s crotches. My partners in drunk quickly stopped laughing when it turned out I’d been sick all over them, Damo frantically examining his puke-coated jeans and clown-shoes. This invoked the second new rule for Jordy’s list “You vomit, you clean it” – and I would, after having a kid cleaning your own sick from the floor of a van is no matter. Scotty told me how my intense hiccups, which I was strangely referring to as the ‘Snoop Dogg Hiccups”, wouldn’t stop as they’d had to carry me from the van. Johnny informed me of my lowest point – demanding a van stop, walking into the middle of the road, dropping jeans and boxers to the ankles, pissing and then vomiting onto me new Shapeshifters shirt (fortunately scored another on the Sunday). At this point I was just pleased to hear I’d not ended up scrapping. The ‘beast’, as my college friends dubbed my obliterated drunk persona, is either everyone’s best friend or everyone’s worst enemy – certainly my own in the latter.

From there my day continued in that detached from the world hangover way, suspended in an unshakeable feeling of shit. Toxic taste in mouth, insides bile burnt. Johnny suggest my first tattoo should be “Stick To The Beers” on the inside of my wrist – taken under serious consideration. The three wounded headed out for the Arnhem fresh air then went for a brief swim followed by twenty minutes in the sauna and Turkish baths to sweat the poison out. The echoing sounds of excited children rung through my head like a bell as we sat in the Jacuzzi with rye smiles, enjoying our revitalisation. Damien thought it best we not tell our better halves that we’d been lazing about in spas due to the inevitable backlash.

Back at the lodge we cleaned ourselves up and hit the road for Eindhoven. Johnny and Scott were wired on coffee, bouncing off the walls, giving us shit with consistently consistent consistency. Another supermarket stop turned many heads, internal paranoia questioning whether smiles were friendly or pitiful. Riding into the city the sights were mightily impressive. There are many unique and interesting buildings in the Netherlands and Eindhoven has a fair few. As the show was an 11:30pm kick-off we’d had an appreciated later departure, when we arrived the night was young and full of anticipation.

We strolled to the Cafe Jack to find friendly barmaids dishing out drink tokens (no free bar, thank fuck - never thought I’d think that). Unfortunately no food either, we were just getting used to it - but there was free table football and Premier League football on the big TVs. It was a very cool place on a very cool strip. We headed next door for some awful fast food. I decided to go to the toilet as everyone left and for maybe the seventh time in my life I found myself trapped in a cubicle – trust that to be the only place my luck evades me. After ten minutes of messing with the lock, which had come loose from the door, I bit the bullet and text Scott requesting help. Unfortunately he was on the phone to Amy so another ten went by. I was kicking the door but reluctant to take it down. The fast food guys had argued with us over messing up our order so I’m pretty sure they were leaving me to it. I thought one more try and then it’s going through… typically that last try saved the door and it’s hinges. When I got back Scott saw his text and I told them where I’d been – Damien was far too amused, saying he hoped I’d missed the gig because of it. Best friends ay.

Jordy’s band the Bud Spencer Rock Explosion opened the show and delivered a delightful set of rock and roll. Still feeling terribly terrible I tried to enjoy the atmosphere but the ignorant crowd were annoying me. A group from the North West of England were in, one lad from Blackpool even, but I knew our rock would weigh too heavily on those types and it most certainly did. We got on stage and blasted out an hour of hard rocking through a difficult show. The city crowd responded only slightly but appeared to be enjoying it, too-cool-to-clap syndrome. I got very abrasive on the mic and bit my lip hard - the reason I will explain entirely in the next paragraph…

The Iggy Pop looking wannabe sound-guy bounced around higher than a satellite, making it all about him, throwing things, dropping things, jumping on stage numerous times,  adjusting Damien and Johnny’s guitar amps at will. No thought, no reason, he took the monitors up and down through the whole show, sabotaging our concentration and making it near impossible to perform. Ignoring Scott’s request for some bass in his monitor he continued to infuriate. Maturity and a semblance of professionalism stopped me pouncing from the stage and dropkicking him through the bar. Usually a diplomat it takes a lot for me to bitch about someone but this guy was a nightmare and deserves calling out. Even after the show he danced on stage like an electrified prick as he packed away gear, moving it from one side of the stage to the other and back again. Johnny told him he hoped he would die in a fire and I was quickly in search of matches. His ‘performance’ caused a big argument between Damo and Johnny who were confused as to what was happening to their on-stage sound, blaming each other instead of the perpetrator. I made my smartest move of the day and left with Jordy for the van. To say the crowd had been slow to respond, lots of people stopped me to say how great we were and how much they’d enjoyed it. Kal did well on merch too. Too cool to clap.

The ride home was spent moaning about Iggy Pop-Tart. We got back at 4ish and chatted for hours about everything from our jobs to the puzzles of existence – forging quite the dichotomy with the previous night. Eventually Kal opened the toilet door after laying what smelt like bubbling sulphur, ceasing all conversation. We retired a stronger band than we’d awoke. Experience and tour practice, the next day would be our last and probably the best on strength of what a fun night it turned out to be.

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