We drove… All 5am bleary eyed through a swimming pool drenched covered motorway. Thick wet drops of motorway sodden rain constantly gravel smacking the windscreen, the wipers on overtime and out of breath for such an early hour. The flat roads of Holland seem a while away from here.
16.10 – Still raining, still driving, I met the Boxer Rebellion at a service station getting a coffee 80 clicks outside of Brussels. They are a great band, if you haven’t checked them out I highly recommend you do so. here is a link.. http://www.myspace.com/theboxerrebellion
We drove all day , we left in the dark and arrived at the venue in the dark.. Our efforts didn’t go unnoticed as Melissa Auf Der Maur announced to the crowd that she could spot we were hard working rockers when she met us and gave us a nice shout out during her performance. It turned out to be a crazy even more tiring night than we expected. Upon the beginning of our sound check I pulled my in ear monitor headphones out of my ears to my shock horror that I had actually pulled the in ear part of the headphone away from the rubber piece that goes in my ear.. It was lodged deep in my ear canal, Dr Mangles tried to pull it out with tweezers but it kept slipping back, we managed to find some slim pliers and get a grip amongst Mangles shaking hands and pull the little rubber bugger out of my ear hole.. It was a bit scary and I’m glad we resolved the problem back stage and not at a hospital. In the gig I blew my voice out, it;s been ages since I’ve done that, then a microphone stand fell on my head in the pack down which made me tweak my neck.. Ouch. Oh well I guess it all comes with the territory when you are in a hard working rock n roll band. Shit I need sleep.
As I said in the last few words “I need sleep” we all needed sleep, No chance. We drove twenty miles from the gig out of town to an F1 hotel. For those of you that aren’t familiar with F1 hotels you are lucky people because to be honest these hotels suck, they are small and seem to be made of cheap plastic, shared showers, shared toilets that kind of thing.. They are kind of like the open prisons of the hotel world without a gym and pool tables. So upon our arrival we were greeted by some very shady looking men watching us from the open windows of their hotel rooms, we noticed there were a lot of transit and other large vehicles all with toe-bars parked in the very exposed car park. One character in particular took a very over enthused and blatant case the job interest in us and our van. SO interested in fact that he asked ” so what’s in the van then boys ? you must have something of very high value in there, what with all the effort of trying to park it up against something so nobody can break into the back”. he then said that the hotel had loads of gypsy’s staying in it that night and that they would steal it.. Funny that because his large moustache, bracer’s to keep his trousers up and strange Irish like accent didn’t make me think that he could have been with them !!! This triggered every paranoid sensed alarm system in our hearts and minds so after a quick chat and the line ” if our shit gets nicked that’s our careers over “, yes maybe a little over the top but as I said we were very paranoid, we decided to demand a re-fund from Hells hotel and the hell out of the dodge circus. The stoned Prison warden (Hotel receptionist) even agreed we should leave due to the high risk of theft !!! Even as we drove the suspected thief to be, watched our every move and now with two larger friends by his side.. Accelerate quicker and now we are gone.. We decided to drive to Belgium and the next town we are playing and it is still raining.
The Belgium show was great and our equipment was happy to be with us, all be it my amp dying… We did manage to have a few beers and some vodka and had a disco load out which was fun. We didn’t get much sleep again and the drive back to England was drenched in more rain and wind. the weather was so bad we were delayed getting on the ferry by two hours then when we did manage to get on and leave it was horrendous , a bit like that film the perfect storm ( yes I over exaggerate ) but it was horrible and for the first time in my life I got sea sick, the toilets on P&O ferry’s are enough to make anyone sick but having your head down one was just wrong.. we then sat in the English Channel waiting to dock which took another two hours.. I managed to finally settle and fall asleep under a table.. Strangely I dreamt about a lovely Greek salad…
So that’s a few things of what happened over 48 hours and two gigs in the BirdPen world, most of the stuff I wrote about was bad or mishap stuff but I think that makes better reading, if all I wrote about was good stuff it would get a bit boring.. wouldn’t it ??
I am Dave Pen
Sun photos taken in Greece, Belgium and Kent UK..