After the show in Glasgow, hometown of Donovan and the Youngs of AC/DC, a woman came up to Eric and said, “You guys made me pogo! I haven’t pogoed in years!” The vibe was one of ancient relics being unearthed at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, the storied venue where Oasis are said to have been discovered. But the atavistic charge likely had little to do with our band and a lot to do with a local band called the Elvis Suicide, and it didn’t hurt that they sounded like the Misfits. The sign on the front of the venue boasted that it was once called “The Best Live Music Venue in the UK—Radio 1.” This seemed as valid a claim as “Utz: Best Potato Chips—Potato Chip Review Board 1987,” ie, so definitive within as to be necessarily specious. But it was a nice place to play, perhaps the nicest we’ve seen in the UK so far, and we had a sizable little room to relax in, a rare treat. Well-named, too: "on the original Batman TV series, there was a villain called King Tut, whose lair was called the Wah-Wah-Hut." Chris Merok said the show sounded good, so hey. Before the set we came to loggerheads with the sound guy, upon whom was imposed a strict 98 db limit. Little Death had it worse off: their snare drum alone was clocking in at 105 db. Posters on the inside advertised Glasgow’s heritage: the Jesus and Mary Chain, Belle and Sebastian, Camera Obscura. Wowie!
Eric, Bo and I passed some of the time watching this very funny cover of Blink 182’s “All the Small Things” by a fabulous group called Sometime Next Tuesday. Feel free to watch that here.
Chris commented that ironically this video has more views than our music video for the song "Titus Andronicus."
On our way to Leeds we passed a sign for a place called North Cowton. We were playing a show there at a venue called the Cockpit. As we pulled up an American guy came up to us and introduced himself. So we thought to ourselves, what a nice guy! Brian, his name is, be our friend! But when he discovered that we were not playing in the big room with his show, that we were playing in the little room upstairs, he proceeded to be a huge jerk. “I have to make sure my bands are taken care of” at our expense, “don’t park here,” “do this” yadda etc. Perhaps we have been spoiled by only meeting people who share our youthful idealism about this whole r&r thing, and so we found ourselves so put off by this “every band for itself” mentality. I felt like a nerd in high school again, with that feeling one gets just after a swirlie. None of this was a big deal, truly, but the whole thing was so principally discouraging. Bands should be embarrassed to have themselves represented as such. We’re all abroad, on the road, having a difficult time being away from friends, lovers, family, etc., but isn’t that all the more reason to treat each other with a little more respect? Gimme a break!
We cowered off to get some lunch—twofer Cajun veggie burgers at the Hog’s Head—before loading into our tiny room upstairs. Many people remark that our album sounds like it was recorded in a tin can. The humor was not lost on us when we saw the room in Leeds, which, as Ian G pointed out, was shaped like half a tin can overturned on a wood floor. We were like bugs trapped by a sadistic child. Cold seeped through the aluminum roof, and everything within was bitesized—the soundboard, the storage room, even the sound guy was a little person (no he wasn’t). The Fosters they gave us were tiny, not-so-fun-size—we each must have had three dozen, and for what? The empty calories? Thimblefuls won’t do. But the show went well. Little Death’s last of four sets, in spite of some technical difficulties, was the best one they played, and we were sad to say goodbye to those nice guys.
LA’s The Bronx were there with part deux of the Shred Yr Face tour, with Rolo Tomassi and Fucked Up. On our most recent American tour with Los Camps (who were incidentally on the first installment of Shred Yr Face tours) we saw posters in virtually every venue for the upcoming Fucked Up show that was to take place just days later. Thus Fucked Up came to hang over us like specters, and our desire to see them grew by turns. They were a myth. When we heard we discovered that we would play in the same building as them, we were nothing if not amped—as we approached, I felt as Marlowe must’ve felt on the Roi de belge, creeping up the Congo in anticipation of meeting the dark Colonel Kurtz. When time came to see their set, we were excited to see that the club had made some sort of exemption for those of us in the band so that we could go see Fucked Up, but as it turns out, the small sign was there to stress that we in particular were not allowed into their show.
Today is our first day on our own, just the five of us and the road. Ian faced a great trial this afternoon, just out of Chris’ driveway, where he had to get the van going uphill from a complete stop. He’s taken these tribulations in stride and so we’re back on the Chunnel again, Patrick’s sitting down playing guitar just outside the sliding door, next to Bo and Eric, who are playing Egyptian Ratscrew, and up front I’m sitting by Ian, who is plotting the course to Amsterdam. Full tilt!
Today also marks the halfway point in our European travels.