WEEK ONE - Third time to the UK and running strong. The first day was a marathon as we had to hit the ground at Heathrow -
off the plane to meet Platinum Tom, who was waiting with our rented splitter van, (RIP White Rider) and so it goes…
picked up the gear we had waiting in storage and found our way to Stoke Newington to sort out a rehearsal space to try everything out. It took about 5 hrs from airport to practice space to navigate through London traffic so by the time we got there we were slightly cooked. All we had to do was get enough rest for the Hyde Park endeavor that awaited.
Our first festival in England and a fest it was. We showed up with time for a series of press obligations before hitting the stage at 5:30. As we walked on we realized there was a problem with the keyboard. One of the obstacles to overcome when touring outside of the US is the difference in power for electronics. The issue was that one of the stage hands, not realizing that we need to plug all of our pedals and keyboard into a power converter had fried our keyboard 5 minutes before we were to start. Festival changeovers happen at a very quick pace and I can see how it could happen easily if there is a lack of communication but nonetheless we were kinda fucked. Someone produced a replacement in the nick of time and we were allowed to play our whole set in front of the packed audience. Whew…stressful moment but was abated in time to let loose and move on to do what we came for.
Once the set was over we were escorted to do our final bits of press with Absolute Radio who set us up on a small stage inside of a swanky lounge to play and acoustic set for a table crowd. Quite the dichotomy of performances to walk from a giant feeling festival stage, straight to vegas lounge act…In the ABSOLUTE RADIO INTERVIEW that followed we were asked if we had ever done something like that before. Andy answered with an astute, "Any band that says they've never played in front of a crowd eating, is full of shit." (I'm paraphrasing, of course but you get the point), Well said.
After all was complete it was our turn to spectate and that we did…among other things.
I was amazed at the cast of characters that you see wandering around the dressing trailers set up at these events…I looked to my left at one moment and saw that I was standing about 5 feet from Prince Harry. He was in festival mode with couple royal body guards directly on his heels. I have never thought I would be so close to not only Royalty, but men in Docker's packing heat. Dignified protection.
Not sure how much this one might be worth but just as we were waiting to be led up the side-stage to watch The Killers performance Prince Harry entered the port-o-potty right in front of us. Amazingly enough, the body guards waited for him to exit and when he did…we got this: Photo credit Andy Ridley
Watching The Killers perform to a sea of people was an intense energy…
We celebrated into the wee hours of the morning and slept it off the next day.
BIRMINGHAM - The Home of Metal
This show was anticipated for us, as we were there not long before with The Bravery and were looking forward to our inaugural headline voyage. The best part about this one was not only seeing our fans anxiously awaiting our arrival in queue as we arrived but the interpretive dancing chap with corn rows shouting at us as we played through our set. I didn't realize until Card brought it to my attention that it was the same guy that was screaming that it was his Birthday, shirtless at The Bravery show three months ago. Yep, amazing…
We drove through the night after the show, entertained by a hard nosed game of 'Would You Rather…'
"Would you rather be baldheaded with a birthmark on your dome in the shape of cock-n-balls or have a hairline that starts 1" above your eyebrows?" Good question.
This was followed by a new game we created on the fly called 'At Capacity'. The object of this one is to think of a ridiculous support scenario and choose between the lesser of two evils. For example: 'At capacity: Nickelback or Creed?' The first game split our sides with laughter…the second stressed us out a touch to invasion the obligation of a horrible reality. Found it to be a tad masochistic but we were quite entertained driving through the night to Newcastle to say the least. Our surrogate home away from home. Bridgette's Manor. xoxo Wey aye, man.
More UK Babies arrived to this show to greet us before we performed. When we arrived, I saw we had barely missed ANVIL playing the same room. SHIT! If you haven't seen the documentary, "The Story of Anvil", do yourself the favor…It's epic.
That show went well and was our first opportunity to play a full set which was a lot of fun and a nice change from our standard 30 minute banger we had been playing on the past two passes through England in support slots. Many thanks to all the Babies for making the trip to see us and hanging out after for photos and such. We love you all.
After amazing rest and a great visit with our tour mom, Bridget we set off again to our next stop, Manchester. HERE WE, HERE WE…HERE WE FOOKIN GOOOOO!
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