Day six- 30/11/02
After a day of relaxing and recuperation we head off to the treats of Northampton. The venue is called the Soundhaus and it's pretty big, there's a cool sofa in the shape of some lips and a nice little room where we can keep all of our stuff. We head into Northampton and get some food and look around a record shop. Oh yeah! One thing I forgot to say was that in York I picked up a copy of Mr Lif's 'Emergency Rations' EP which is on Def Jux. It is seriously fucking good, anyone who is remotely in to hip hop should check it out, (Also get El-P's 'Fantastic Damage', wooo!) It's the shiz-nit!!
Back at the venue, doors had just about opened when we went on, I beckoned the crowd forward and about four people obliged (thank you). That show rocked, the sound was great and by the time we finished the place was pretty much jammed full. My parents were there too so we got kicked down with plenty of free drinks, alright. Reuben and Hell Is For Heroes rocked the house and then the place turned into a club that actually played some pretty good music. The DJ played Converge! He also danced along the stage as though he was performing in a band! Ha ha Sean, you got the moves... Another cool thing that night was Jamie and John from Reuben doing some lovely songs from musicals in their sound checks, ahhh, it brought a smile to all our faces. We also met quite a few cool people that night so hello to anyone who spoke to us, you were all super nice!
That night we travelled to a travel lodge type place and crashed out, Chris almost had a fight with the lady in reception as they would only let three of us in a room (the fascists) and he demanded for a drink of water so "they wouldn't die!" That night ended in some deep discussions and hanging out in a service station with pimps and weirdoes. Rock on.
Day seven- 01/12/02
Today was a day for chillin'. We drove to Rotherham and met up with Matt from thisGIRL. He put us up, took us to the pub and entertained us all day. Much MTV2 was watched and we also indulged in some Superman 2 action which was great. His Mum also cooked us a MASSIVE meal so we are eternally grateful. Big thanks to Matt and his family, we love you!
Day eight- 02/12/02
Derby was our destination, we took a while finding the venue but got there very early in the grand scale of things. The venue was very small, the show was tight, packed full with people. The stage was very small, I think I hit Craig in the face with my guitar at one point during the set! It was cool though, much more like the sort of shows we're used to playing. The kids were right in our face and there was plenty of rock action going on. Reuben played a great show, the crowd seemed to dig them allot and it pretty much went off for Hell Is For Heroes.
Other highlights from Derby were the AWESOME pinball table that I must have spent at least £5 on, finding a picture of (the incredible) Spy Versus Spy on the venue's wall and also meeting some incredibly EEEEEEEMO kids. They told us that we should make Tyler scarves and that they cry when they listen to music! They were cool and pretty entertaining actually so thanks guys for all your emo stories! The sound man also had a huge dog that followed him around everywhere, it was partial to a bit of booze and just kept appearing. At the end of our set the dog was on the stage.
That night we stayed at Pip and Hannah's good friend Ally's house (thank you Ally!) and very comfortable it was too. Long sleeps all round and tea and toast in the morning. That's not very rock and roll is it.
Day nine- 03/12/02
Today our show was in Hereford, it was a really nice venue with a huge room for hanging out in upstairs. We just sat around watching MTV2 (re-occurring theme) and drinking coffee and booze. Me and Chris went out for a skate which was cool, Hereford seemed like a nice relaxed place and even a security guard left us alone when he patrolled the car park we were skating in. We got back, had some food, sound checked and then were ready to go on.
It was the weirdest set up as these security guys came and got us from upstairs, escorted us down a fire escape and through a door straight onto stage! When I say stage I mean floor, there was no stage which is often the best set up in my opinion. Once again the venue was packed, kids were round the side of the area we were playing in as well as in front of us, the sound was fucking loud and the show was great. Possibly my show of the tour... We left by the way we came in, escorted back to our room, it was pretty ridiculous. I tell you what, Fugazi wouldn't be escorted via the fire exit to the safe haven of their upstairs room!
Couldn't really see much of Reuben and Hell Is For Heroes that night as when we came down stairs you could see sod all due to the no stage affair. They sounded good though. There was a TV which was supposed to show the stage but kinda just had the corner of someone's head in it which was pretty funny. I spoke to quite a few nice people that night too, some were just drunk! After the show we journeyed to Cheltenham and stayed with Pippa's sister, Amanda. We sat around, drank some tea and listened to Miles Davis. A good end to a night. I was starting to come down with some kind of flu so everyone was offering me drugs (medicinal), big thanks have to be said to Amanda for making us very comfortable, cheers!
Day ten- 04/12/02
We had a slow morning just lying about, consuming tea and not really waking up (that's how I remember it anyway). The journey seemed really long and tiresome, I think I was pretty grumpy that day. I got some cool lomo shots of some stuff as we were driving, I wasn't expecting much from Harlow and to be honest it didn't make much of an impression on me, sorry Harlow! We loaded in and then waited around for AGES as the poor soundman had a bit of a nightmare with everything. There were kids trying to sell us drugs.
We got cooked a nice meal which was great, also downstairs in this bar bit there was a kinda juke box thing behind the bar where you could choose from about 50 CDs, most of em pretty good, for free! Some of the treats that were on offer are as follows: Sleater-kinney, Liars, Metallica, Nought. It was pretty damn cool!
The crowd were mean, we weren't into it. Hmmm, a bad Tyler show. Loads of kids seemed to dig it though so you can never tell. Reuben were awesome and the crowd lapped it up. Hell Is For Heroes almost destroyed the venue, I got some great live shots from that night. Some hanging around, a bit of boozing, a touch of cake and we were off to stay at my parents' house in Byfleet. We pigged out when we got there, then sleep sleep sleep...
Day eleven- 05/12/02
We hung out with my Dad in the morning, had breakfast and made our way to Gloucester. The venue was huge, kind of like the Phoenix art centre in Exeter but better. Ben, our bass player joined us for this show as Anna from HeadsOnSticks had been filling in at all the other shows like a true trooper. It was great to see him. There were hugs.
Finding our way around the place was pretty funny, a bit SPINAL TAP at moments and we had visions of not being able to find the stage and running around corridors all night! There was a cool little exhibition space in the building with some photos on display so we took the opportunity and got Pip to snap some photos of us in there (they came out a bit shit but never mind!). We were served some great veggie lasagne and prepared our self to bring the rock. The show was great, the banter was flowing ("Can I come on stage please?" "On stage? Your place is down there little man") and plenty of rock shapes were pulled. The kids went nuts, fighting (not dancing, the fools) stage diving (!) and generally acting crazy. I guess there aren't many shows in Gloucester... I dunno. We got to play our new song too, which was great. We finished it just before the tour started so playing it live was a real treat.
That night, whilst watching HIFH from the balcony at the end of the massive room it dawned upon me how amazing the tour was, we were playing to tons of people, playing every night and touring with two of the nicest bands we've ever had the joy of meeting. I was not looking forward to the end of the tour! We headed back to my parents again that night and had a lovely night's sleep, the next day we were heading back to Exeter for two days off as the Bournemouth show had been cancelled...
Part 3 to follow...