Saturday, 4 April 2009

We Versus The Shark Tour Diary Part 8

Eighth Installment: Proper Jamming Econo (03/04/09)

The vocals aren't loud enough, and the soundboard is actually in the upstairs bar area, whereas we are in the basement of this tiny French club. We are able to exploit the language barrier when the proprietor asks us to turn down before we start our first song; there was no sound check. Two songs in, and I take a mic directly to the grill, very hard. That's on top of the grounding-related shocks they will continue to give Luke and I until the show's close.
Afterwards, while we wrap up our cables, I look at him and say, with all sincerity: "It's good to be back on the circuit."

The UK tour was unlike any We Versus the Shark had ever gone on, and more than just because the currency was different. As Pulled Apart By Horses' star has been steadily rising in the NME-driven scene of British bands, their accommodations and rider were pretty posh by our standards, and we definitely reaped some of the benefits. Blakfish, our Birmingham-based tourmates for the European leg of the tour, are by no means unknowns. But when we were checking out at the grocery store buying the bare necessities for the coming week, I said to guitarist Sam Mule, "I'm glad you guys are into jamming econo."

"Oh yeah," he answered. "Proper jamming econo."

And I don't know if it's some sort of weird, punk loser culture thing, but this is really, I think, where our band thrives. Disorganized situations, unpredictable events and a fucking budget. The culinary amenities and professional rooms of the UK leg were fine, but, truthfully, repetitious. NOT COMPLAINING. But. The who-knows-what-this-is-going-to-turn-out-like mystery of the coming weeks looks to be, frankly, more our speed. It's dumb but it's fun.

Ok, uh, also, right: France! Rouen is full of cathedrals that are so complex in design that words can't really encapsulate their majesty. It definitely makes modern skyscrapers look boring by comparison. We made fast friends with the promoter, Damien, and his companions, and willfully got an earful of Francophile history; we're talking structures, still standing, dating back to the 13th century. All that and, finally, some coffee I can get down with. Good thing we're leaving again first thing in the morning.

Jeff Tobias, We Versus The Shark. Blog courtesy of Flagpole Magazine: Colorbearer of Athens, GA Star Power!

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