Tour Diary - Netherlands Day 8

Day 8 – Ball to the Wall (07.11.15)

Body clocks can be annoying devices. With every intention to lie-in and recuperate, all of us bar Kalum were up far earlier than we should have been. Damn that internal alarm. Fortunately, it finally being the weekend, I got to Skype with my wife and daughter. There was a time when I cursed modern technology, spoiling (improving) the things I grew up with, but I can’t knock Skype. Free, with our holiday house wi-fi, I spent forty-five minutes watching Evelyn dancing around, kissing the camera, singing her little songs. It was the best call of any kind in my whole life, no exaggeration, filling me with pure joy.

Hungover Kal eventually emerged making his way downstairs. Ignoring the rest of the band he made himself a brew, drank his brew, headed outside for a fag, came back inside, said “morning Class, just getting a shower” then disappeared into the bathroom. I could hear the other three grumbling downstairs but paid little attention. The next thing all I could hear was Mason and Johnny laughing at the pitch of hyenas, Damien joining in with his baritone wookie giggle. Johnny appeared at the top of the stairs with Kal’s phone in hand, pure joy on his face (well, not quite as pure as my aforementioned joy). He’d cracked Kal’s phone lock, snapped a picture of one of his bollocks and promptly set it as Kalum’s profile picture on Facebook – ‘Powerplay of the Year’. He announced himself ‘King of Trolling’ and returned to the den of laughter below.

Mason hooked me up with a Sky Sports stream on his phone so I could watch my beloved Leeds beat my hometown Huddersfield in the Yorkshire derby. This was fast turning into a great day. Downstairs the three amigos continued their laughter through episodes of Southpark and Family Guy whilst Kal sulked in his room – the bitterly learned lesson ‘don’t brew up for yourself’. He made some idle threats about returning the favour but I don’t think he managed to pay them back. Quartermaster Mason cooked some tasty burgers and then we hit the road for Deurne.

Three hours on the road we arrived at a cool venue in a small town. Graffiti decorated the interior, a large open fire, a wall of CDs, big stage, table football and a fridge full of beer in our backstage area - our kind of place. The manager Bram, with his unique yet perfect English accent, looked after us really well. Treated to a home cooked green curry (three helpings for yours truly) and then several rounds on the table football (much victory for yours truly).

A comical yet rocking set from Jordy’s band ‘Bud Spencer Rock Explosion’ opened the night in style, followed by a competent yet slightly underwhelming cover band ‘The Jet Pilots’ who simply played for far too long. Numerous beers couldn’t touch the sides on this night and by the time we hit the stage at half midnight I’d worked myself into one of my tired bad moods which I just couldn’t shake – curse that early start. We went about delivering a blistering hour-long set, debuting a song from the new record and bantering with the local crowd throughout. One crazy group kept shouting ‘Slayer’ as Mason and Johnny teased them with riffs and beats. The reception was good and Kal did well on the merch again but it was one of those I couldn’t enjoy no matter how hard I tried. The only one not speaking highly of it, the guys brought me round as we chilled afterwards, chipping away at the near empty fridge.

A long ride home saw us in for 4ish and it was here it dawned on me how difficult this touring business can be - loads of travelling and very little sleep on the endless roads. I always scoffed at bands complaining about touring thinking it was the easiest job in the world but after only four days away from my family, deprived of any real rest, I found some appreciation for how hard this must be as a full-time job. It’s a lot of fun but it’s full-on fun and when your energy is eventually depleted, I guess that’s the true test. Sleep on the menu. One more day to go.


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