Tour day 5: Stoke. More snow. Bloody FREEZING.
Us (Ze band and tour friends) and Viva Machine had found a Wetherspoons which was mostly pretty disappointing..I bought a towel..Christ, maybe I should start taking drugs, this is well boring. What's happened on this tour?

Well, there's the different kinds of pain visted on my left hand by my own clumsiness. On the first night I slammed the middle finger of my left hand in a solid, heavy, metal flight case, leaving a purple line running across the middle of the nail and a slight dew of sweat on my forehead from the dull, strength-sapping throbs of pain. I didn't do serious damage but it hurt like a bitch. Then a couple of nights ago I was making a brew of honey, lemon and ginger (good for the the throat, kids) and I scalded the index finger of that hand. Again, no real damage but a different finger and a different (but equally exquisite) kind of pain. I gouged out part of the middle finger on my right hand on a loose nail somewhere too..

The gig in Stoke was cool. There was a giant circle pit..well, there was a circle with no-one in it which the more enthuasiatic kids ran across occasionally. There was a lot of crowd surfing too, three girls at the front had people twice their size landing on their heads over and over again. I was dreading a broken neck situation at the time!

After the gig I did not go to Jumpin' Jack's, which I'm glad about. I turned back when Frost, Paul and Pete went in and just watched Back To The Future II on the bus with Iwan and Viva Machine instead. Frost, Paul and Pete couldn't have been in there longer than five minutes when they came back.


Tour day 4: The Snows of Northampton
I've played the Soundhaus before. My first memory of Northampton will also be my lasting memory of it. The bus arrived there overnight, so when I woke up I looked out of the little window in my bunk to get a snapshot of my neighbourhood for the day. The first thing I see is some graffiti crudely sprayed onto a wall opposite the venue saying "Jihad Warrior"..

The venue's a good one. We only played the small room before, but it was a well-attended gig and a great crowd considering how small a band we were then, so I was looking forward to playing. There was a great aftershow, too. We were in the big room this time and I wasn't disappointed.

There's not really too much you can say about a good gig - we played well and the crowd seemed to enjoy it. You were either there or you weren't, I'm not even going to try to give a blow-by-blow account. If something fucks up, there's plenty to tell! Paul made some friends and enemies by talking football during the set. Afterwards, someone was overheard saying "Pennie didn't annoy me half as much this time!!!"

After the show there was a club night but a few of us had heard about a house party from some of the staff in the venue, so Frost, Stan, Pete and I walked over there while it snowed down by the bucketful. Everyone at this party was battered when we arrived, it was hilarious. The house was absolutely packed, it was like an episode of skins! I spent most of the time talking to some guys out the back. It was still going strong when we called it a night at some point after 4am..

That's pretty much it!

Tour day 3: day off
Gloucester's only an hour from Cardiff so we came home. I woke up in my own bed, score! Actually, so far I've only spent one night on the bus. It was boiling hot and I was already covered in sweat from the Exeter gig. I was so slimy the next morning.

Anyway. I'm going to see Future Of The Left tonight. They're loud bastards. If you haven't heard them, do it, they're awesome.

Right, er, I'm still in bed, the only think I've done today is brush my teeth so I've got nothing else to say. Bye!

Tour day 2: Why can't every venue be like this?
Total contrast! Gloucester Arts Centre is huge! There's a stage big enough that we aren't smacking each other in the face with our guitars, for one. It holds 400 people and we sold it out, go us! I'm a bit surprised (in a good way) that so many people still want to come and see us after being off the musical radar in the UK for about a year, good times! It was a mixed audience, too - plenty of young folk in some sort of perma-pit who would probably have moshed to Sigur Ros, right up to the grown-ups lurking in the shadows at the back by the bar.

It was so different to Exeter..that had a kind of mad, frenetic energy that came with being in a tiny, packed sweatbox where it's hard to breath and no-one can tell what's going on. Tonight, more people were just standing and watching, which is what I've been expecting. Being between your first two albums is a unique position - you don't have enough of a back catalogue to play oldies from start to finish, and you want people to hear the new stuff too, especially as we've put so much into writing and recording it and it all kicks ass. Because of that, we've been playing a set that's half new stuff. It's gone down so well though, I can't complain!

This venue had a lovely dressing room, a shower, washing machine and tumble drier, great staff - all the things we're going to need and miss two more weeks into this tour! D'oh!

Tour day 1: Triumphant return, rock and roll, that stuff
It's weird how familiar a tourbus feels after not very feels like I've been away for a while and now I'm living out of a suitcase and sleeping in a two-foot wide constantly moving bunk again I've come home!

The actual gig part was a little less familiar - nothing was different from gigging before, there were no new experiences (apart from using the in-ear monitors maybe) but I'd forgotten a lot the stuff that I'll be going through on a daily basis for a month. I'd forgotten that when I know what time I need to be on stage, then in the hour before my body automatically charges itself with adrenaline. I started to go a bit crazy before this first gig! You can't go anywhere far away or engage your mind with much else in the hour before a show so all my attention goes to the show, and I just have to wait. Today being the first day of the tour, that felt like a really long time.

The show was great, a sell-out and a really enthusiastic crowd. A lot of people wanted us to play b-sides from our first, limited edition single. Hardcore! Because Exeter Cavern is about the size of an armpit, the first thing I did was bash into Frost and totally de-tune my bass. We opened with a new song, "Light Entertainment", so hopefully no-one really noticed. Speaking of new, when we introduced Paul there were a few surprised faces..I don't think they'd realised he wasn't Pennie!

After the show, our manager was involved in lewd acts with the drummer from our support band, Viva Machine. They got a bit, er, high-spirited and managed to scar Paul and Pete (merch, photos) for life. Good times.

(no subject)
Just in case anyone's reading (and I remain skeptical!), here's out latest tour dates. Looking forward to seeing you all out there!


28 Monmouth Blake Theatre (14+)
29 Wrexham Central Station (14+)
30 Caernarfon Galleri (14+)
31 Brecon Brycheiniog (14+)

02 Exeter Cavern
03 Gloucester Arts Centre (14+)
05 Northampton Soundhaus (14+)
06 Stoke Sugarmill (14+)
07 York Fibbers (15+)
08 Liverpool Academy (14+)
10 Dundee Doghouse (14+)
11 Inverness Raigmore (16+)
12 Aberdeen Cafe Drummond (14+)
14 Leeds Cockpit
15 Hull Welly (14+)
16 Tamworth Palace (14+)
18 Middlesborough Sumo Club (18+)
19 Leicester Charlotte (14+)
20 Norwich Arts Centre (14+)
21 Hitchin Club 85 (14+)
23 Brighton Audio (16+)
24 Southend Chinnerys (16+)
26 Portsmouth Wedgwood Rooms (14+)
28 Plymouth White Rabbit (14+)
29 Cardiff Point (14+)

Rob x

Every time I leave the bloody country!
God bastard dammit, I repel hardcore bands!!! I come to the USA and whatever band I'm listening too at the time fucks off across the pond and plays in/around Cardiff, without fucking fail. They're sodding well doing it on purpose. This time it's Gay For Johnny Depp, last time The Blood Brothers (incidentally - or maybe coincidentally - now defunct. I have been eternally denied.). Shit shit shit shit shit.

Anywaaaaaay, it's been 22 weeks since I last put cyberpen to cyberpaper to broadcast details of my itinerant existence. So what's been going on? Well, Pennie left, Paul joined. We simultaneously developed a vitamin D deficiency and wrote a cracking album in the illustrious surrounds of Warwick Hall of Sound. It really is a wicked album and you really do start to get irritable when deprived of natural light. I had a Christmas with the 'rents and girlfriend which was great, a comfortable expanse of not much to do with high-cholesterol food and drink and good company. I got a cool watch and a digital media-player-doohickey-type-thing.

And then the band and our manager flew to LA to get the album recorded. I saw the north pole from above, which was breath-taking. Also, I sat next to a guy who designs roller-coasters. My knees seized up and the jet lag was horrendous, my face went numb! I'm now sitting in our apartment adjusting to the time difference. We start recording stuff tomorrow.


Rob x

J'aime beaucoup Philly Cheese Steak
I've had a slightly out-of-the-ordinary day..ok, I know I'm in a reasonably successful touring rock band and my average day would be fairly out-of-the-ordinary for a lot of people, but for me, today has been unusual.

The oddness began last night, but past midnight, so it definitely counts as today. Y'know, technically. I received a text from a UK number on a phone that no-one texts (my email phone - I know, I'm a flash bastard) written entirely in French. I've got some rudimentary French skills so I was able to divine that it was a wrong number. I replied in my primitive, caveman-esque version of the lovely French language, explaining this and that I was English and apologising for my Francais. I'm sure I do to foreign languages what Hannibal Lector does to people. Anyway, I thought that was it and went back to messing around on this roll-up rubber Piano I've got and composing 'til about 3 AM.

I've never woken up in Philadelphia before, so that counts as another unusual thing I did today. When I checked my phone I found another text in French, from the same girl, asking me, as a Brit, what there is to do in London. This is hardly fair: yes, I have GCSE French, but no-one in the world speaks GCSE second-language French (perhaps some French people with learning difficulties) and definitely not my mystery French tourist. Anyway, I've ended up having a text conversation, on-and-off, all day, as her friends who lived in the UK were away. I got away with it: through a mind maimed by a good five years of substance abuse (a GREAT five years) I managed to dredge up enough understanding to hold it down, with a bit of googled vocab. I am unduly pleased with myself and feel very smug indeed.

Other things that will stand out from today are: getting a photo of me flexing the guns by a statue of Rocky Balboa; eating a genuine Philly Cheese steak (that's good bad food, folks), and waiting for hours and hours to get on a broken tour bus. Ok, the last one happens quite a lot!

Good stuff.


Rob x

Jacksonville, Florida
It fucking gave me heatstroke and sunburn. I went skins in Phoenix when it was 45C and didn't fry then!

We weren't allowed to swear during the show today at all - the same goes for the rest of the Floridian gigs. It's no swearing or get arrested. My theory is that curse words rile up the Alligators, and they'll come out of the swamps all pissed off and eat babies. I've yet to have that theory substantiated, but hell, no one's told me otherwise.

It was a good but long and sweaty day today. There was a great thunderstorm off in the distance this evening, accompanied by mental drum solos from a drum-off being held at the barbeque. Proper weather they've got over here. Only about thirty people watched us today as we weren't on 'til 7.30. They had fun though. I guess it was an "intimate" show..

Right, back to my thumping headache and peeling back..

Stay safe, y'all. Hyuck.

Rob x

Everything's bigger in Texas
There are Dragonflies that you'd need an Elephant gun to kill. I'm surprised people don't saddle them up and ride around on them, they're massive..

I've had a good day, apart from dodging the Dragonflies as they swooped down to try to carry me off to feed their grubs. It rained so hard yesterday that the Houston Warped show was postponed 'til today. It got moved into one of these enormous stadiums that you can (and they did) drive lorries into. It's air conditioned too, which is real nice is heat like this. I saw The Fabulous Rudies play today. They're the barbeque band, meaning they cook up a load of burgers every night in return for being on the tour. They've got a kind of Ska thing going on, they reminded me of Adequate 7 in places, but mostly they've got a Sax player and a trombone player. Score. I've asked them if they're up for playing with us on Gold Digga and they've said yes, so Atlanta's going to be awesome.

Right, I can't remember what I was going to say in this blog thingy..

Our accents are going down well, it pays to be British out here!

Fact of the day: Texans really do all say "y'all".

Rob x


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