Saturday, 20 June 2009

ASIWYFA: Clutch Tour Diary Part Three

On Thursday we piled back into the van and drove up North to Leeds for the next date of the tour. Playing to a crowd of about 400 people it seemed like the ideal time to say something from the stage...some of you may have read about the racial attacks back in our home of Northern Ireland. This is something which disgusted us all (and 99.9% of people who live in Northern Ireland) and effected us quite a bit as we had several people ask us about it throughout the day. During the set Tony made a short but passionate statement about these events which was very well received, before launching into a particulrily verocious version of "Clench Fists, Grit Teeth....GO!".

For a few days prior to this gig we were debating what to do about the following few days. Thursday was Leeds in England and the next gig was on Sunday on the far east side of Austria, on the border with Hungary. We could either drive a few hours a day and get accomodation each night or attempt something very silly - driving straight from Leeds to Austria without stopping. We chose the second option.

26 hours. 26 hours in the van. We got out 3 times. For 5 minutes at a time. For fuel and toilets. Apart from that it was 26 hours. 26 hours in the van. 26 hours. That is quite a lot of hours to be in a van. 26 hours. Does it sound like much? It is. 26 hours is a lot. I (Graham Smith, crew) have discovered one thing - ASIWYFA make some of my favorite music of the past few years but they listen to UTTER SHIT music 99% of the time. 26 hours. That is a lot of shit music.

We also discovered that our otherwise perfect van has developed a small but quite annoying problem. It likes to be pushed before it starts up. In heavy rain, somewhere in West Germany when you have not slept for a long time this small problem can be quite irritating.

After a lot of driving and a lot of bad music we finally made it to Nova Rock festival in Austria at about 11pm on the Friday night. Unfortunately, as this was the time Metallica were taking to the stage (and we were not due to play until the Sunday) we were finding it difficult to get our passes and so the decision was taken to park up in a nearby car park and deal with it in the morning. And so we bedded down for a cosy night in the van, earplugs firmly in place for the non-snorers amongst us.

The following morning we came across a slight problem - apparently in Austria they do not like 6 smelly Northern Irish boys sleeping in a van together and the police decided to fine us quite a hefty amount which was made all the more troublesome as they did not speak a word of our language and vice-versa. An hour later it was all sorted and we headed for the festival, this time to be given passes and more importantly Access All Areas which basically means free drink whilst mingling with famous people....a recipe for disaster? Only time will tell.

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