Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Battle For Paris & run, WALK! Tour 2009

Day 1. The George, Andover

We set of just after lunch time in our humble convoy of one transit van driven by our good friend Rob and one faded aloha green Vauxhall Corsa driven by BFP vocalist Tim. We we're on our way to Andover to run, WALK! drummer tom's house where we would pick up him and RW bassist Matt.
We get to Toms and within about 3 minutes we have already seen his harry potter tattoo in the flesh. After the initial meeting and greetings we go into Toms house, watch top gear and make pizza.
We then decided that it would be an absolutely brilliant idea to shave BFP bass man Chris and driver Rob's hair. Tom then proceeded to buzz Chris' hair and scalp within an inch of its life, we all decided that Chris looked like a Neo-Nazi crossed with Converge's Jacob Bannon.

Eventually we headed to the venue, this was The George in Andover which is an odd shape for a pub, its basically one long room with the door at one end and the stage at the other. After setting up and me having to sound check for TomRW, during which i well and truly murdered RW's 'Time is Catching up With Me', it was so bad that we stopped half way through... thankfully Tom came back and both bands completed sound check in a orderly manner. For all of run, WALK!'s sets on the tour they we're going to be using two bass cabs, during RW's sound check it because apparent how loud this would be! And from then on my ears took a pounding every night.

Later on it was time for both bands to play...to each other and a crowd of three people. For RW this was annoying as they are experienced and always play the best of their ability, but for us it was a blessing in disguise as it gave us some much needed practice as we hadn't for about 3 weeks prior to tour due to various holidays etc.
Asides from the lack of audience we still managed to have fun and it was a good first show just to get both bands warmed up for the rest of the shows. We packed up the van we headed back to Toms after failing to find an open KFC, although we did circle one through its drive through route about 8 times before we got told to go away by one of the employees.

10 miles, 5 much needed shits, 60 press up's and a series of somewhat questionable texts later we were in our sleeping bags, and falling asleep.

Day 2. Garage, Tadley

After a late night the night before, we all rose in the PM the next day.
Tom's mum made us all bacon sandwiches and some of us had showers, me being one of them. I'm pretty particular about showering at other peoples houses, partly because i am somewhat a snob when it comes to me washing and partly because i am boring and find interest in rating peoples showers. Tom's shower was very nice on the whole and apart from the frankly awkward, sliding door system on the cubicle it was very pleasant, not to hot, not to cold and with fresh fluffy towels at the ready on departure.
After we were all fed and clean we set of at about 1.30pm towards the venue, this was the drummer from Black Heart Orchestra's garage in a place called Tadley, about 20 minutes away from Andover.
After a while of trying to find the house, we arrived eventually not really knowing what to expect, what we saw when we arrived was literally a 12 foot by 12 foot garage in the middle of a housing estate, this was all beginning to feel as Tom RW put it 'very punk'.
When we played ( first) there was about 25 people in there, a modest audience but with the garage door shut to do what little soundproofing it could made the garage seem packed, and it certainly made it hot and stuffy. During our set we played a lot better than the Andover show and even though Phil broke a string it was an awesome experience to play in such a small venue. After our set i heard that there was an aged old lady living across the road who was apparently dying of something dreadful, this made me feel bad, but the show must go on. Next up we're run, WALK! another astonishingly loud, frantic set with even more people in the garage.
After that Black Heart Orchestra played then we went to the nearby Sainsburys and upon our return came back to witness an American punk band that have forgotten the name of and the garage bursting at full capacity, it was an intense 20 minutes.
We said our good byes and packed up all our stuff, our bass head had some unidentified beer/cider/sick spilt on it, but apart from that it was an awesome show. We once again headed back to the Clements retreat to watch Harry Potter whilst making pure, unadulterated and filthy comments regarding Emma Watson.
Then it was Pizza for dinner, tom's 6000th cup of tea of the day a relatively early bedtime to get us ready for the Kingston Fighting Cocks the next day.

Day 3. The Fighting Cocks, Kingston

We decided to set of early to Kingston in order to firstly spend the first part of the day having a look around and to secondly, not arrive late or have to hang around the venue waiting to load in, although we ended up doing the latter anyway.
We set of with me and Matt RW in the van with Rob and the rest of them in the car; this made way for good races along the many miles of motorway, although eventually lost the car and ended up arriving at least twenty minutes before the others.
Upon finding the venue, we discovered it was near to a lot of tattoo shops and the sculpture of all the iconic red phone boxes toppled over onto one another and that was pretty cool after that we went into the main area of Kingston where we had Subway, this being my third ever time in a Subway, it took me a while to order my food and when the 'cookies or crisps' question came up at the end, even though I knew what he had said, i still couldn't understand because he said it so damn quickly.
We went to the big shopping center place that had the most amazing toilets EVER, you didn't have to touch anything except yourself and it was all beautifully lit and smelt nice, needless to say we all went in and had a go.
When the shopping place closed we went outside only to find a group of about 40 French kids that were all pointing and thumbs upping to each other in amazement at Tom RW's Justice t-shirt, then we made Phil play Justice on his iPhone and it was really awkward, then Chris and Rob lost money thanks to some bad advice and a horse race.
We went back to the venue where the conversation basically consisted of poo, vomit and different ways in which you could poo without a toilet, these included such highlights as... whilst hanging from a lamppost... into tom RW's hand and many others that I dare not divulge.
Eventually we loaded in, set up and sound checked.
The show itself was really fun, we both played to a good standard with a decent amount of people for both our sets, it was however extremely hot on stage, probably the hottest show of the tour so far; mine and Tom's drummer towel got very sweaty. Holy State Played before us, and they we're really good, but they couldn’t hang around as they had to catch a various trains and buses back home as soon as their set had finished, which was a shame as they seemed like nice guys.
After failing to convince my friend Chloe to let 8 sweaty young men stay in her 1 bedroom flat, we decided it would be best to go back to BFP's home town of Bridport to stay the night and get ready for BFP's most local show of the tour the next day in the seaside town of Weymouth, so with petrol in the tanks, we set of into the night. The ride home was filled with me and Matt RW singing awfully to lots of music, a stop at fleet services, the tour's first porn magazine and all kinds of other debauchery...

Day 4. The Queen's Hotel, Weymouth

Matt and Tom RW stayed at my house the night before, Tom stayed in Joes comfy bed, and Matt slept on Joes not so comfy, very broken sofa.
We woke up late the next morning and then decided to go or a walk around town, and buy some coke and sprite from Waitrose. We then spent the afternoon with a healthy dose of Countdown, during which Matt and Tom witnessed the wonder that is Rachel Riley, after that was Deal or No Deal, with Noel, poncing around like a constipated kangaroo in a awful shirt that is obviously about 3 sizes to small for him.
Eventually we hit the road on our way to Weymouth, and as it is only a 25 minute drive from Bridport we took our time. Chris BFP however didn't take his time whilst driving and managed to spill about 5 liters or white gloss emulsion paint in the back of his mum's Red Ford KA, Matt had to sound check for Chris that evening whilst he washed the paint out of his car.
After initial setting up, and probably the quickest sound check we've ever done we headed for the golden arches and had craptastic burgers all round, then with McDonald's hanging heavy in our stomach's we headed back to get ready to play.
First up we're new Weymouth shoegaze/whalenoise outfit Black Nerd, then a 4 peice technical metal band called Into The Dust. Then it was run,WALK!'s turn to play, but it wasn't any ordinary RW performance...after a couple of songs into their set they stripped down completely until all that was left holding their dignity in place were some rather tight, multi-colored boxer briefs. This was hilarious and made their set even better than it already was.(photos can be found on myspace.com/runwalk) Then we played and it was good fun apart from Chris' bass messing up for the whole of 'Fuck Your Deja Vu' The sound was rather good that night and it was nice to see such a considerable turnout for a show with mostly local bands.
Afterwards we went back to Bridport, looked at the nights photos on the computer and went to sleep.

Days 5, 6, 7. Bridport

We spent the majority of our days off, moaning about canceled shows, watching more Countdown and Deal or No Deal and eating a lot of boots meal deals.

Day 8. Jamboree, London

We planned to set of as early as we could from Bridport and after a scary 'where is driver Rob, he was pretty drunk last night shit we have to leave' moment we we're on the road safe and sound with me and MattRW in the van with Rob. The road was long and rainy but eventually we made it to London and this was where the fun started. We enjoyed the pirate radio stations, the London rush hour and whilst stopping at a red light me and Matt witnessed Rob roll the quickest roll up any of us had ever seen, it was so impressive, literally 20 seconds flat. We we're pretty late by this point and realized that we probably would just have to go straight on as soon as we got there.
After a bit of trouble finding the venue we arrived eventually. The venue itself was like nothing I'd seen before, it was basically a massive living room/bar with loads of obscure paintings lining the walls, apparently the guy who does them owns the building and lives of selling like two of his paintings a year, mad.
The sound was interesting, as i basically had the guitar cabs right behind my head, so it was nice be able to hear them, but still it left little room for me to hear much else, so in conclusion i THINK we played OK.. run, WALK! we're as sick as ever. I nearly threw up after our set, half due to dehydration and half due to suddenly accelerating my heart rate from 'im sitting in a van for 3 hours mode' to 'shit were half way through the third song and i feel like I'm going to faint mode' in about 2 minutes. Next up were another drum and bass duo called 'Bitches' it was pretty crazy, with lots of songs about hot sauces, peacocks and going on holiday. After them were Irish punksters WOUNDS, their performance was fucking mad, climbing over tables and onto the bar and off again. We had a chat with them afterward and me, Tom RW and Matt RW got cheap and in my case free t shirts, awesome. I also talked to one of their friends who was there that was taking photos, i think i got in her way a bit whilst they were performing but she was OK with that and was nice.
Chris and Rob stocked up the van Tetris style and me, JoeBFP, TimBFP and Matt and TomRW got in Tim's car. Then this happened. In the middle of a busy Friday night in Central London our sat-nav (that had by this point been affectionately named 'Suzie') decided to fuck up royally. We drove around London for about an hour before we managed to get out. 'Are we going to die Tim?' 'I fucking hope so!'
We made it to Brighton after traveling through the night with nothing to entertain us but one stale issue of Club magazine, Tom's casual racism and the beat boxing of the BFP/RW quintet that was born in Tim's car that night.
After Chris giving us the wrong directions to where the van was...'Yeah were like right outside Cyberdog' 'Look Chris, Cyberdog is beginning to get right on my tits' we found them eventually and ploughed on to Asda. Asda in Brighton at 4 in the morning, is an interesting place, everyone looks at you like your either drug users (none of us) drunk (some of us) or really lonely and the only thing that will comfort you at night is awful sandwich filling (all of us that dont have girlfriends). Regardless of this we got our supplies that mainly consisted of bread, the said sandwich filling and more obscurely for MattRW Mozzarella cheese, however most of this ended up on Tims car sunroof and was left to roast in the hot morning sun. Me and RW spent the night in the back of the van. Spooning with Tom is great but waking up with a sore throat, lined with van wood dust and his knees in your back doesn't have as much to be said for it, unless your into that kind of thing.

Day 9. Hectors House, Brighton

Hi, this is Matt from run,WALK!. Sam asked me to finish off the tour blog because he's a lazy fuck and it's been a month a half since these dates and he's only done 8 days. pffft.

As Sam mentioned we all spent the night sleeping in our van/car in a car park behind a casino in Brighton. It was fucking awful. When we all woke up with sore throats, smelly bodies and empty stomachs so we decided to hit Asda for the second time within 12 hours. We parked up and bought some breakfast. I can't really remember what i bought (this is Sam's fault for leaving this blog SO late) but all i know is that i only had about £3 left for the rest of tour at this point so i can imagine it wouldn't have been terribly exciting. We hung around in the car park like the little pikeys we are. We smoked, we brushed our teeth, we changed our clothes, played a game of skate (i won) and Joe BFP spilt his doughnuts on the floor as he was opening them. We got bored and decided to hit Brighton town to hang out. Plus Chris BFP decided that after two nights of completely out of tune playing that he needed a completely new bass, so we hit the lanes and in the end he just bought a tuner (he was in tune after that...funnily enough). We all got a Mcdonalds (thanks Sam for buying me one) and just tried to pass time by walking around. I managed to secure us a place to stay that night so no more van times for us!

We turned up at the venue to be greeted by a legend of a man called Sam who was putting us on that night. The venue was surprisingly big, had a decent PA (YESS!) and was pretty close to the beach, everything looked set for a good night. we sound checked, everything sounded sweet, i even had a mic offstage just for the lols, BFP sounded sweet as ever, probably the best sound of all tour so far.sweet.awesome.radical. The headlining band that night APPI weren't there for some reason, something to do with their guitarist being in another country so they didn't sound check.
Right. From this point onwards is when my memory gets really hazy. Basically we went back to Daddy and sat in the back and drank and drank and drank... Me and Tom were on first and we had a very acceptable crowd there (it was free entry) I'd say maybe 40-50 people, they were all sitting down, but that doesn't matter once we play they'll maybe stand up and come watch us yeah? NO. We went on off our faces, its a good thing i set up my stuff before i drank cause i didn't know what was going on. After Tom forgetting a masssssssive section of the first song things just got worse. After 3 songs about 30 people of those 40-50 left to which i made a drunken comment "where are you going? is it Mad Max that's driving you away?!" (The film was playing on a screen) to which one fat middle aged woman replied "no, its you"
oh well. who needs em.
BFP went on after us, most of which were equally drunk as us (i think) and they played a blinder of a set (they won't agree, sure it was a bit sloppy but it only makes them seem more human which i like cause normally they sound like a bunch of highly refined mathematical super beings). It was a shame that we'd got rid of all the crowd (sorry guys).

APPI were alright. Pool was better, there was fricking free pool! oh and we just kept drinking. Thanks to Sam for putting us on, actually paying us and giving us tonnes of drink.

we also got a fucking awful review here: http://www.xyzmagazine.co.uk/blog/wordpress/?p=1707

Afterward we went back to Nathan from Brontide's beautiful seaside flat, it really is great. I slept in his flatmates bed, who apparently still doesn't know. According to a timetable on his wall he practiced guitar for 6 hours a day. kudos to him! We Woke up reasonably early still not feeling quite right and only to find out both our van and car had been given parking tickets. fml big time. We packed our things, said our thank yous and set off to Winchester.

Day 10. The Railway Inn, Winchester

Matt again. Sorry, I'll let Battle For Paris have there blog again straight after this bad boy.
Last day of tour, in our hometown. We usually struggle to bring people to our shows at the best of times. Plus our mate Matty (i love that boy) had invested a lot of his own money into this show to put us on so the pressure was ON.

We arrived in Winchester after an uneventful drive, we were massively early which is always annoying. While the rest hung out in the van Sam BFP and I walked into town to find a camera shop that would let us charge a camera battery for us, no one let us. We went back to mine, tried to fix Chris BFP's cab (he has endless technical problems), witnessed the yet to be cooked 10 man lasagna my mum had made in an industrial sized tray thing. After my dad made us all cheese on toast we headed back to the Railway.
Keiran, the sound man at the Railway is this lovely, small Irish man who always puts so much effort into his job. We had him on like his second ever shift last October and he didn't know how to work the monitors but this gig he was intense, everything sounded awesome. Even better than Brighton the night before.
After sound check we hung around outside and just watched the place fill out, Tom and I were literally so surprised! Pretty much all the people that never come to our gigs + plus the people that always do = a truly brilliant crowd.

First band on were Southampton based Charlie Horse, they were good, they played to a lot of people and pleased a lot of people.

Next up were the amazing Citizen. I used to play bass for this band, back when they were shit, since I've left they've stepped it up 10 notches and have genuinely become so good. It was a very emotional set for me seeing my best friends play to a really appreciative crowd. I just wish they would get off their arse and do something.

Next up were Battle For Paris. Now their set that night was like 10 out of 10. Everyone stood there with their jaws on the floor. Joe BFP went absolutely ape, like literally, he decided to jump into the drum kit at the end of the set, which was cool until we realized he'd broken Sam BFP's snare stand. Not cool Joe... Tom and I absolutely felt the need to sing along to every word sometimes in a mic, sometimes not.
My friend Charlie got some really sick footage of them check it here: http://www.vimeo.com/5918569 (Notice the gang shouts saying "run,WALK!" and "I've got a stupid fringe, I'm in a band, Duran Duran Duran")

We were next, Tom and I decided to do the whole playing in our boxers thing again (Apparently a lot of people came just for that...) it was really really awkward playing in your underwear in front of your friends, quite a few of which waiting readily with camera phones zoomed in on my crotch area. So with the snare taped to the rest of the drum kit and all surrounding surfaces we started off on our extra special/ extra long set.We had people singing along which is a great feeling, it just made Tom and I feel like we were finally being acknowledged in our home town.

After watching Tom and an un-named girl fondle each other in the parking lot we all headed home and tucked into our 10 man lasagna, it was fucking amazing. BFP had work the next day so had to head home back to Bridport that night (with some of our equipment) while i stayed at home and went to sleep. It was beautiful.

Anyway, that was tour with Battle For Paris, I wish we could do it again and we probably will.
Thanks to those guys for being so amazing and a special thanks to Rob for driving Daddy around and having to put up with us being drunk and having to watch us every night.

I'll leave this blog alone now.

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