Well, rather than start this months blog with the obligatory “phew” or “busy times” we can actually confirm we all got a weekend off. Andrew went to the south of France, Robbie went to a Stag Do and Tristan ended up in a car park watching Chase & Status.
Good, relaxing times.
Now it’s back to “Triple Gig Saturday” where we will be playing (you’ve guessed it) three gigs in one day – included two in our home town, Cheltenham!
They will be:
Main Stage, Midsummer Fiesta, Montpellier Gardens, Cheltenham: 1.30pm
Swanfest, The Swan, High Street, Cheltenham: 11pm
with the private one in Shropshire in the middle, but you can’t come to that.
FOUR FESTIVALS IN THREE WEEKENDS
Yep – another glut of gluttony as Thrill entertain various festivals around the county for the last few weeks of July. Midsummer Fiesta, Fairview Convention (23rd @ The Kemble), Gloucester F&D (24th, but not sure where yet) and of course the might 2000 Trees at Upcote Farm (15th) are all in the book, with a few other gigs squashed in between.
Yes yes yes! We’re going back into the studio to record a new EP with our ever-lovely producer friend George Shilling. We don’t deserve him and he doesn’t deserve us, but for ultimately very different reasons.
We can’t tell you what we’re recording yet, but we can tell you it will be out in time for the 2011 European tour.
Which reminds me…
2011 EUROPEAN TOUR!!!
What? How! Yes. Due to low-to-medium demand, we’re going back out to Europe between August 7th and 18th to do our 2011 European tour. Amazingly we’ve been rebooked by some of the awesome places we got to play last year – as well as a few new ones! Confirmed so far are six dates in Paris, Budapest, Prague and Frankfurt with more to be added. We’ve even got a couple of double dates in these cities, but we’ll soon have our pretty European tour dress on the websites and everything else for you to feast your eyes upon.
We can’t stress how excited we are to be lucky enough to be doing this again. With a European tour and mini-US tour in the bag from 2010, it was very much a steep learning curve and a lot of new experiences for us. This year we’re a little bit older, a little bit wiser and certainly more able in the drinking, playing, sleeping and travelling departments…
That is to say tour really does feel different from a cluster of dates. It’s a weird one to explain if you’ve never actually done it, but it’s sort of like a really, really intense holiday, roadtrip, party and a day at work all rolled into one.
Every so often we get, for example, four or five dates in a short space of time around the UK. This can involve any number of shows, overnight stays and about 1,000+ miles travelling from anywhere to anywhere. Seeing as we currently average 100+ shows a year (roughly one every 3.5 days for all you mathematicians) one could argue by many people’s definition that we are a band constantly on tour…
We do not consider this, to be tour, however.
Tour is a like a weird box you sit in for a couple of weeks, only to find out the box is your home, office and holiday and everyone is drunk.
It always starts by finally shutting the back doors on a fully packed van. Once this is done, sat nav is set and we’re on our way, usually down the M4.
Bands often talk about in-jokes and we have plenty of em. None of them funny outside of a tour and certainly not to other people, they would just seem stupid and non-sequitur. As you can imagine ours normally circle the humour-rich drain of disbelief surrounding the continuing mini-successes of a shitty (albeit hard working) covers band.
It’s obviously insanely exciting, buy once you’ve done your first night everything settles down and the sense of anticipation reaches a plateau for the duration. To save a lot of time and words, our days normally consist of the following pattern:
09.00 Wake up
11.00 Start driving (or go out for the day to busk if we’re in town for two shows)
13.00 €10 lunch challenge (to feed 5 people on bread, meat, cheese, crisps and sweet snacks)
17.00 Arrive at accommodation/venue
17.02 First refreshing pint/demi/stein/jug of the day
19.00 Sound check
20.00 > 21.00 Show start
22.00 > 00.00 Show end
01.00 > 03.00 Find our beds/accommodation from wherever we’ve ended up.
That looks pretty good doesn’t it?! Well, not that we’re ones to moan, but it’s worth considering the following side effects:
1. Waking up with a hangover everyday
2. Blisters from performing so much
3. Long days in a hot van
4. The smell of five boys on a tour
5. THE SMELL OF FIVE BOYS ON A TOUR!
6. Not understanding the rules of vignettes/road tax in various EU member states
7. The frustration at northern France’s peage policies
8. Getting out to eastern Europe and ALWAYS accidentally buying fizzy water
9. Drinking warm, unwanted fizzy water in the absence of cold, non-fizzy water
10. Hearing the following phrase: “So you are five Englishmen, in a band, touring the continent in a van? Please step out of the vehicle and open all doors, suitcases and equipment”
Feel better? We don’t.
The real good bits comes from the following:
1. Playing tunes
2. Meeting genuinely great people, promoters, music lovers and bar owners (!)
3. Eating amazing food
4. Getting lost on roads to the Ukraine
5. The €10 lunch challenge – it really is fun
6. “Nostalgi” – France’s best radio station, end of
7. Maxibon ice creams
8. Watching the boss get lost in the boozy antics of his band every night.
9. Seeing the white (grey) cliffs of Dover
10. If nothing else, just getting to spend a few weeks “being the band” – any band would be snobby to pretend that being the ones who gets to travel and play music with their friends is anything other than awesome.
We’re going to try and arrange a party night for the last date of tour with transport and accommodation – so if you fancy a silly one-nighter on the continent keep your eyes peeled!