We’re on our way to Nyon in Switzerland. Last night we had a barnstormer of a gig in Frankfurt. The sound onstage makes all the difference for us. If we are able to hear the subtleties in what each of us is doing, we can play off each other so much better and last night was one of the best shows on this European leg so far. We had an amazing crowd in and it was great to see people let go and dance with uninhibited abandon. The soundcheck yesterday also inspired the beginnings of some possible new songs.
Even though we felt last night was particularly good, the previous two shows were no slouches either. Both Brussels and Cologne were memorable gigs. It’s really encouraging to see the crowds beginning to grow in Europe. To use an expression much favoured by record companies, it feels as though we are “beginning to get traction”!
For want of something to write about, I’d like to describe to you exactly what is happening around me at this moment in time. This will give you some idea as to the levels of unbridled debauchery we experience on a daily basis. To my left, is Mr James Pepper Esq. he is fast asleep with his neck buddy pillow and his headphones on. I expect he is dreaming of string gauges, guitar changeovers and bagels, these being the foremost things on his mind during his waking hours. To my right is Phil Campbell, also asleep. He is wearing an outfit made entirely of denim save for his socks. He expelled so much energy last night that he appears to now be in suspended animation. By tonight he will be fully recharged and ready to unleash a Scottish tornado upon the people of Nyon. I hope they’re prepared.
If I look directly across the table in front of me, strewn with headphones, notebooks, empty coffee cups and sunglasses, I see Thomas Tunstall, resident poet, lothario, academic and merch salesman – also asleep and dreaming, I suspect of Kings, castles, swords, dragons and scantily clad maidens as he has been filling his head with such things on this tour. When not expertly peddling our T-shirts and vinyl, Tom can be found in the corner of a dressing room, his nose buried in a thick book titled, “A Clash of Kings” or “Game of Thrones” or “Puff the Magic Dragon.”
To the left of Tom, I see Luke Potashnick – not asleep. He is plugged into his laptop, mixing recordings of our recent uk shows which may one day reach your ears but for now reside in a secure hard drive as ones and zeros.
On Tom’s right is Damon Wilson – most definitely asleep. Damon loves to sleep. If the splitter were to career off the road through a corn field and into an icy lake, Damon most likely would not stir. Hopefully we won’t be testing that theory though.
Moving to the front cabin of our transportation unit we find Paul Sayer. As I have my back to him, I cannot see if he is asleep but he’s very quiet. Paul has been a little under the weather the last couple of days. This has by no means diminished his guitar playing however as last night he was on top form, executing guitar licks like a musical Bruce Lee. Special kudos must also go to Luke for his spellbinding solo in last night’s “Lovers and Fighters”. Anyway, before I write a full review of the gig, I’ll get back on track. The other member of our touring party occupying the front cabin with Paul also needs to be introduced. His name is Neil Dodd and he has stepped in for Iain Graham on this Euro leg. Iain has been called away on important business in America but will, I’m sure be back to terrorise us with his Malcolm Tucker style of tour management. Neil has so far proven himself to be a very affable character and more than capable of checking into hotels and making things louder and quieter on a mixing desk. I very much hope he isn’t asleep as he is currently driving.
So that just leaves me, writing this tour diary entry into my iphone to give you a snapshot of our day today. I think I’ll now read a bit more “Dracula” and then have a snooze myself.