Wesley Patrick Gonzalez, singer in urch-poppers Let's Wrestle, gives DiS the lowdown on an eventful, not to mention prematurely terminated, tour in support of Bromheads Jacket last month...
Day 1: Brighton
Brighton was our first date, and probably the least eventful day, but did unleash the power of The Beatles on us. Our two Beatles rules were: every time something illegal occurred, we had to listen to 'Savoy Truffle', which later became known as having a 'Truffle Moment', and each day we had to listen to 'Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da' for however many days we had been on tour at that point - for instance: day 1, one listen; day 2, two listens and so on and so on... In Brighton, all we did was eat some Chinese food and do an interview for Artrocker.
Day 2: Oxford
Oxford was a bit of an awkward gig and nobody seemed to enjoy us that much, but afterwards is where the tour fun really kicked off. We were driving back on the motorway getting quite drunk, and we saw a sign for a turn off for a model village which excited us greatly as a model village is Let's Wrestle's favourite place to be. We also had our first encounter with how temperamental our car/chariot is. We had to hot wire it, and after a while we headed off and got back to good old London.
Day 3: Portsmouth
Portsmouth was our first good gig of the tour. We played with a nice band called Fresh Legs, who gave us a very nice penis show in the middle of 'I Won’t Lie To You' which we all loved. Once we had left, still on a model village high from the night before, we found Portsmouth’s obvious model village hotspot. I was pretty sure I had visited it before, even though I don't recall ever being in Portsmouth before.
Day 4: Concrete And Glass Festival
The Macbeth in Hoxton, East London, was where we were playing with our label-mates; Pete And The Pirates, Screaming Tea Party and Artefacts For Space Travel and it was really cool to see everyone and hang out. As we are a struggling indie band, we smuggled a couple of tins of beer in... but then were kicked out of our own show and reduced to drinking down a back alley and getting all our friends to leave. Other than that we had a great time, especially watching Paul, one of the three Stolen Recordings heads, flipping out at the venue manager.
Day 5: South London
On the fifth day we played New Slang at McLusky's in Kingston. In the day we went to pick up Mike [Lightning, bass] and Darkus [Bishop, drums] from East Finchley, and by the time we got down there they had been in the pub for a while. We set off on our journey and by the time we got to Camden a 'Truffle Moment' came to us. Most of us thought it was a joke, but the drunken Mike walked into Sainsbury's and filled up a trolley with what the police said was 288 beers and walked straight out with it... which was the last we saw of him for five hours. In that time we had to drive to Holborn police station and wait, meanwhile Mike was having a great time. Apparently the police officer who arrested him was a big Let's Wrestle fan, and Mike was flirting with the female officer at the desk. After time had passed we got in the car and went to South London, played, and went home.
Day 6: Sheffield
We didn't have our friend James driving us, and we had to get there on the coach which was a real bummer. When we got there we had a lot of time for Sheffield, it's a really nice place. We met Nat and Rob, who we were staying with. They were really cool, and took us to a nice place called Bears And Bungalows or There's A Bungalow In That Bear or something [Bungalows And Bears - Sheffield Ed]. Because of the coach and everything, we went back to their place to get some sleep but then Darkus Bishop told us the next day he had met the violinist from Pulp in a Britpop night of all places, which we all found quite amusing.
Day 7: Wakefield
Wakefield was another uneventful day and I can't remember what really happened apart from a train journey and the actual show, which was alright. The promoter Chris and his girlfriend Kelly put us up, which was a really nice thing for them to do at such short notice.
Day 8: Nottingham
We got to Nottingham pretty early for no reason in particular, and I think Nottingham was the day the tour caught up with us (the drinking and lack of sleep). Tour manager Mike Lightning of Lightning Tours was a bit stressed out because of mine and Darkus' endless childish chatter, but we all calmed down and eventually convinced Mike to take some Viagra (not to stop him stressing out there was just Viagra there and we needed to do something with it) half an hour before we were about to play, hoping he would get a hard-on during the first song. Unfortunately it didn't have an effect on Mike's penis, but he did say he felt ultra stoned afterwards. There was a guy who had made extra effort to wear a Hüsker Dü T-shirt in tribute to our song 'I Wish I Was In Hüsker Dü'. After we had played, we all went off to the Rescue Rooms to see Iglu And Hartly play as we had been given passes for it. We decided we fucking hated Hartly but loved Iglu. Mike said Iglu looked like Gaz Coombes from Supergrass mixed with Pippin from Lord Of The Rings, and I said Hartly looked like a fucking prick.
Day 9: Blackburn
The next day we got down to Blackburn College for about 1pm to do some filming for Art And Music Magazine's website, but as soon as we got there the alarm had gone off, which we kind of liked as it felt like being back at school. It turned out it wasn't a fire but a bomb scare, which made it more surreal and funny. Then we found out we weren't gonna get back in to do the session, and we ended up going to the pub before finding out there actually was a real bomb, and the college had to get the bomb squad from Liverpool down there. Jamie from Tompaulin, who was doing the session, looked after us well and made us a nice chilli, and we went and had a few beers at our hotel. I ended up having a drunken bath, which I can recommend to anyone - it’s great fun!
Day 10: Manchester
In the morning we had to do the session in Blackburn as we couldn't do it the day before which was good fun, and then we met up with James our driver and drove off to Manchester. When we got to the venue and soundchecked we went to sit in the Volvo and some dickhead kid came up to us and asked us "are you the guys from Foals???" to which we all replied "FUCK NO!" What kid thinks Foals drive around in a Volvo estate filled with rubbish? Manchester was one of my favourite shows and we seemed to go down well especially with an American couple who managed to get Mike's jumper. We went off to drink some cans of no-brand Dutch Lager outside the Student Union, and once we were very merry got back to our hostel and stole a bunch of the other residents' food whilst getting attacked by an Irish girl who tried to get me to sing 'Valerie' by Amy Winehouse to her as Mike told her I was a singer. At that point I felt I should really get back to our room.
Day 11: Bristol
Very hungover, we woke up the next day and started playing some music which is when Mike came up with a great faux-reggae song called 'Jamaican Me Crazy'. We got in the car to go down to what Mike had heard was the charity shop capital of England, part of a suburb of Manchester. We were very impressed and bought some 50p artwork from Help The Aged to decorate the car, which had gotten a parking ticket. We then drove down to Bristol, and as soon as we got to the venue we thought the best idea would be to stay in the car until ten minutes before we played... which apparently made the soundman go "out of his mind”, which made us quite happy. After we played we were set to go and stay at Mike's friend Chloe's Sister's house, but alas the car had broken down once again and we had to get the AA (I hear it stands for Awesome Awesome) in. The girls whose house it was seemed quite tired and uninterested in our conversation about Paul McCartney, whereas we were totally feeling the McCartney love. Everybody apart from us ended up going to bed and we started singing 'Jamaican Me Crazy' and woke everyone up.
Day 12: Coventry
After a quick get away from the mess we had made in the Bristolian house, we went to get some dinner on the Thekla. We went on the Clifton suspension bridge, which was great, and had a drive around the countryside. Even though we were too paralysed to get out of the car and look at nature, it still took us a long time to get on the motorway. We had blown all but one speaker in the car, and just outside of Coventry we decided to try and find a Maplins to get a cigarette lighter to mains plug machine, and took a detour to Worcestershire to find one.... but all we found were people that loved Skrewdriver and racism, that's all there is in Worcestershire, at least that's where we thought we were and that's what we thought the people would be into - we didn’t actually speak to anyone. When we got to the venue it was filled with kids who didn't seem like they'd like us, but when we played they still danced to us, I suppose because we were loud. Kids love loud things.
Day 13: Exeter
The day before Exeter we had a day off and we had gone to a hardcore club in Manor House, got ludicrously drunk and freaked out one of our fans by headbanging at him, so in the morning we were very hungover. Mike had brought a little TV for the car the day before so we gaffa taped it to the dashboard and watched Friends. We got so excited about having a TV in the car on a sunny day, we watched The Simpsons parked on a high road in Chiswick and asked people in the street to buy us ice cream so we wouldn't have to get out of the car. After that we headed off, and whilst on the motorway we went to Stonehenge and took a photo of me and Mike holding Darkus in the same manner as those big old rocks. Afterwards whilst taking a leak on a hard shoulder we found our new friend Toby who was our tour pet for one day. He was a frog we kept in a bottle and taped to the dashboard. When we got to Exeter we played, and let Toby go before going home.
Day 14: London
Today's gig is KCLSU in Central London, which means we don't have to get up early to start driving - especially if you don't believe in soundchecks. So we all had the day to ourselves, and I cannot speak for Mike and Darkus but, I spent the day stamping promo CDs at our label's HQ until it was time to get a cab down and meet my fellow 'Wrestlers as we had an interview at 7pm. When we all met up and started the interview, it seemed like none of us could stop lying: "we all met as pirate radio DJs"; "Alsatians killed my family"; "The Ting Tings molested us" - we do lie in interviews every so often, but we didn’t say a single truthful thing in this one! KCLSU was one the best shows we played and afterwards me, Darkus and our good friend Adam went to Camden to have a nice drink but I was bombarded by two older gentleman saying "you guys were shit, you can't sing, you’re so lazy", which is fine - it's their opinion - but they were seemingly more aggressive with me when they couldn’t get a reaction so we headed off. The next stop was The Black Cap, a gay bar with very cheap beers. After being greeted by a couple shouting "hello girls" at us we got a drink, but within a very short space of time a fight erupted in the club between a gay punk and a guy with breast implants. After that I can’t remember much, and somehow got home. The next day we found out we had been kicked off the tour for being "impossible to work with", so now I’m at home watching daytime TV and missing our Volvo...
The band support Fucked Up on various dates this month, then The Vivian Girls in December. Let's hope they last the duration...