- Dutch Uncles »
As part of the Memphis Industries takeover, Dutch Uncles have compiled a beautiful looking tour diary just for DiS...
"We were absolutely honoured to be asked to tour Europe with the incredible Wild Beasts. We were already huge fans so a two week ‘cultural’ jaunt with each day bringing a closing reward of a Wild Beats gig had us drooling. This came as a big surprise to us after our last meeting quite a few back in Hamburg, Andy tells the story in his little section.
Topping this, those Drowned in Sound chaps seem to think people might want to hear about our exploits so how could we refuse. We thought a blow-by-blow account of every day might be a bit much so we’ve chosen to each focus on an individual day we felt could be worth highlighting. If you don’t have the stomach for this little text marathon then we have supplied some pictures: expect fondue, the usual bits of food that look like willies, some bottom-slapping and Robin taking largely inappropriate opportunities to show his support for Stockport County.
The tour kicked off in Tourcoing followed by Nantes. We’re gonna fast-forward to Sped’s account of Paris and his usual complaint about beer prices just to prove we were there…
Day 4 – Paris (Sped)
Just three gigs in to the tour and we were already beginning to lose our minds in the van. Jammed in some tough Paris traffic, only half a mile away from the venue, we resorted to screwing up our faces like a badger’s arse and making fart noises. Fifteen minutes of tears and laughter later we arrived at the venue; La Flèche d'Or. This was the only time we left Wild Beasts to do our joint headline show with Young Galaxy.
It is a pretty notorious venue, renowned for thunderous, hot, sweaty shows. I was trusting that ours would be no exception.
Between finishing up sound-check and stage time we decided to visit the Eiffel Tower. It was about a mile walk down the road... and then seventeen tube stops. I hate the tube. It was so hot, I felt like a red puddle of piss. I decided to pass the half hour journey playing a very angry game of angry birds.
Our stop. You literally walk out of the tube station and glance to your left… Wow. There it is, all lit up gold, such an impressive sight. What's slightly less impressive is that it cost myself and Pete 18 euros for two pints of Kronenbourg, whilst in view of the tower. I think I only brought 30 euros for the whole tour.
Stage time was getting closer and closer so it was time to take my favourite form of transport back to the venue and see how the crowd was shaping up. The crowd was roaring and the room was steaming. It makes sense really, considering the venue is an old abandoned train station. The old rail still runs directly underneath.
On we went to hefty applause, which was very affirming. From what I could see through the dazzling lights, the crowd went right from the front of the stage to the very back near the merch stand. They were massively up for a good night and sang along to everything they knew. It puts you in a certain zone when you play to a crowd like that, the gig was always going to be good. Safe to say the venue lives up to its legend. Happy days.
Day 6 – Milan (Robin)
After a day off of travelling from Paris and some fine fondue by Lake Geneva, day six saw take the scenic trip through the Swiss Alps to Milan.
The picturesque journey was made all the more interesting with the running commentary from DU guitarist and glacier expert, Dr Peter Timothy Broadhead.
We arrived in Milan, loaded into the venue, and checked in at our hotel. There was much confusion regarding the clocks changing, and we found the 6 of us living in 3 different time zones. Following our Tour Manager Paul’s clock (I think he was on Russian time), we ended up missing dinner and headed back to the venue in time for our slot.
Despite playing on empty stomachs, the gig was great fun, and it soon became clear that the people of Milan love their prog. It’s always nice to see people singing along to our songs in towns and cities we’ve never played before, especially when it’s in a different country!
The sweaty five of us departed the stage and headed out for some Italian food. It ended up being one of the finest meals we had on the tour with everyone indulging in delicious seafood dishes (Sped’s pizza had 40 mussels on it). Our only downfall really was purchasing the two cheapest bottles of wine on the menu, which left an odd taste in the mouth.
We went back to the venue to catch the end of another storming set by Wild Beasts. Post-gig, we were invited onto Wild Beasts’ bus for some beers and a game of FIFA 2012 (we’re still playing FIFA 2002 in our bus…). Unfortunately, I lost the match I played 5-0 to Katie Harkin... Never mind.
The evening reached its conclusion with more unnecessary beers back at the hotel room. Needless to say, we all felt like steaming piles of dog shite the next day. With the help of one too many beers, Tour Manager Paul’s body clock was still out of kilter so we had a tough job of getting him out of his pit. To be fair it is usually him that is up first but the following video isn’t for the faint-hearted… there will be DU flesh!
Once Paul finally awoke under his own steam the drive to Germany was simply magnificent, again with Geography graduate Dr Peter providing the commentary which segues nicely into his rather more efficient and informative Berlin commentary.
Day 8 – Berlin Day off (Dr Peter Broadhead)
We wanted cold hard history…. We got it!
Guide Leader - Peter Timothy Broadhead
10:00 - Wake Up
10:30 - Breakfast
11:00 - Leave Michelberger Hotel and catch S-Bahn from Warschaeuer Straße to Friedrichstraße.
11:30 - Reichstag - Germany's parliamentary building. Was going to go in but couldn't be fussed queuing. But this picture of Robin says it all.
11:45 - Brandenburg Gate - The world famous ‘tor’, littered with bullet holes through conflict. Had to get a picture, since I was wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the iconic structure. So cool. Strange faux military personal and gorillas (don't ask why) provided wide eyed tourists excellent photo opportunities. Also strange bikes that seat 5 people whizzed around the square. Pretty tacky.
12:00 - Holocaust Memorial - An extremely poignant and touching memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe. We wandered with trepidation amongst the 2,711 ‘stelae’ becoming disorientated due to the dipping passages and towering concrete slabs.
13:45 - Fünf bier whilst listening to a teary rendition of Fields of Gold. We certainly needed a tipple after immersing ourselves into the harrowing tales and chilling facts concerning the holocaust.
14:30 - Topography des Terror/Berlin Wall. A gargantuan barrage of information concerning the SS and Gestapo. Located on the original plot of the Third Reich central headquarters. A stretch of the Berlin wall is also still intact at this spot.
15:45 - Checkpoint Charlie - A tacky tourist mockup, but had to be done anyway. A cobbled outline now marks the original point.
16:00 - Walked in circles trying to find somewhere to eat. Classic Dutch Uncles.
17:00 - Goulash, Snitzel und fünf Bier in a strange small doll house type restaurant. Sehr yummy.
17:45 - Berlin Tower / Alexanderplatz - A general mooch around admiring C&A's light display after being open 100 years in Berlin. Legs now aching.
18:15 - U-Bahn from Alexanderplatz to Hackerscher Markt for more biers in a Irish pub.
19:00 - S-Bahn from Hackerscher Markt back to Warschaeuer Straße to relax, freshen up and rest our weary legs at the hotel.
21:00 - Biers and football in OBE bar Kruezberg. Two pints of Astra for 5 euros and you can smoke inside! Need I say more.
23:30 - Burgermeister!!!! The best burger in the world, period. Situated in a disused public toilet, but don't let that fool you. Everything is perfect.
00:00 onwards - Reflection period and yet more bier in the hotel room listening to Kraftwerk. Then Sleep. A fitting end to a glorious day. We gave Berlin a real good seeing to and over to Andy for the next step… Hamburg.
Day 11 – Hamburg (Andy)
Hamburg; the home of our first musical endeavor as well as many other exploits that have become hazy over the years. Memories of failed romantic encounters with a dash of drinking until dawn seem to remain the most, Hamburg in many ways was a DU life school as this where we recorded our first album but this time Hamburg with Wild Beasts was a rather different occasion.
An attentive and appreciative crowd endured our set and during the main event, Wild Beasts explained to the crowd that we had once heckled them on the streets of the Reeperbahn many years ago (one of the hazier events of our time in Hamburg but one we hoped they had forgotten but obviously forgiven).
Skip to the luxurious A&O hotel, we sit in the tackiest bar ever created but with some interesting folk around. It transpired that celebrating Libyan rebels had travelled to Hamburg in order to find treatment for their injured fighters. Conversation ensued and naturally we now have a show in Libya, we’ll keep you posted. In all seriousness, their appreciation for the British was an unfamiliar feeling. Not a traditional visit to a notorious party city, but nevertheless an experience.
Day 13 – Amsterdam Day-off (Duncan)
Finally! Dutch Uncles reach the motherland, and hit the motherload as the more anthropological few of us got down as the natives would on this sleepy Sunday of a day off.
After a tip off from the Wild Beasts of a discreet cafe near our quarters, it seemed rude, nae, foolish for us to not partake in the activities, and after a severely sugared waffle (the secret weapon) and an overpriced Guinness we were ready for the first smoke of the afternoon! Upon arriving (and taking at least 15 minutes to register surroundings, the tea list and question the lack of beer over and over again) we discovered the 'Beasts' who had arrived in the morning were 'out of sync' with our itinerary and were taking temporary leave, so we agreed to catch up after dinner, leaving us lost in the forest of Buddha's on the wall.
We acted swiftly and purchased an 'indian sweetness' (the weakest of them all) and as the non smoker of the group I took it upon myself to go last for that more concentrated hit, and I must say when that sweet Mary-Jane caressed my lips I was besotted in my cheekiness and kept a grin for almost 5 minutes! When no one would go halves on a bong with me, it was decided the infamous 'Munchies' had come to the fore, so we stepped a fine Cheshire stride back on to the streets.
Fortunately it would appear that the only recognised cuisine around these parts is unprecedented portions of ribs, as we counted no less than six 'el rancho' rib refectories within a stone's throw. After devouring a Lion's Share (Narf!) we gallivanted back for round two at the Rockery but our ambitions got the better, and we were only able to consume the one spliff between the 6 of us, the shame. After failing to meet with the 'Beasts' a second time it was declared bedtime for the booda boys and all was left but to go back to our shitty room and to blow our minds over the discovery of where Daft Punk got their samples from. Needless to say, a pint of coke for breakfast wasn't enough to save us the next day.
With just Brussels and some steaming hangovers remaining we shall leave you here. We are now on tour in the UK swapping Fondue for a familiar petrol station Ginsters and the warm European hospitality for five small bottles of Carlsberg on the rider."
Dutch Uncles are on tour on the following dates:
22th Nov NOTTINGHAM Rescue Rooms
23th Nov BIRMINGHAM Hare and Hounds 2
24th Nov GLASGOW Nice N Sleazy
25th Nov CAMBRIDGE Junction w/Wild Beasts
26th Nov BRIGHTON Concorde II w/Wild Beasts
27th Nov BRISTOL Cooler
29th Nov SOUTHAMPTON Joiners
30th Nov LONDON Koko w/Go! Team / Field Music / Colourmusic - Memphis Bday!
2nd Dec MANCHESTER Deaf Institute
On Wednesday 30th November, "Lucky Thirteen" - a celebration of thirteen years of Memphis Industries - will take place at London's Koko. Memphis are giving away an exclusive 13 track compilation of "past, present and future Memphis Industries tracks" to everyone who buys a ticket.
You can purchase your tickets here.
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