Thursday, 2 July 2009

ASIWYFA: Clutch Tour Diary Final Part

Thursday 25th June started off a lot more peaceful and relaxed than previous mornings. The venue we played the night before in Hamburg had provided us with accommodation in the form of a small but comfortable apartment nearby. Having a proper bed, shower and the knowledge that we did not have the usual mammoth journey ahead of us meant everyone had a comfortable night and in the morning and we all felt at ease. We sat outside a nearby coffee shop for a while, watching the world pass by, chatting over the previous nights gig before we once again boarded the van and hit the road for the final date of the tour in Berlin.

After such an amazing tour it was a shame that the final date did not have the same impact. This was for no particular fault of anyone, rather just several small points (such as the band playing very early whilst most of the crowd were still outside) resulted in a good solid show but not a breathtaking one. If this had of happened at the beginning or middle of the tour then it would have been brushed over, but when it is the final night it is difficult not to dwell on it slightly.

Still, with job done we packed up and heading for a nearby hostel for a few hours sleep before we started another epic journey - driving from Berlin to Belfast without stopping.

This could have been another very arduous drive but we got lucky. The band we had been supporting (Clutch) left early in the morning to fly back to America, meaning their very swish double decker sleeper bus was empty for the journey back to England. We had made friends with the bus driver earlier on the tour and he very kindly offered us entry onto the bus for the journey back, where we could eat and drink whatever supplies Clutch had left behind.

We came up with the plan of taking it in turns to drive the van behind the bus, stopping every few hours to swap driver. Having the space to stretch out, drink a beer, watch a film, get some sleep or just stare out the window was quite literally heaven.

Sadly we left the bus behind at Calais and once again crammed into our van (which seemed even less glamorous after the past 10 hours on the moving hotel), went through the Channel Tunnel and then made the final journey through England and Wales, trip on the ferry and drive up Ireland to finally arrive home in Belfast. Happy, tired, battered, proud but mostly excited about the prospect of future European tours we headed home, another tour completed.

In 12 days we drove approximately 2500 miles, across 9 different countries, playing to and meeting many many new people along the way. Our eternal gratitude goes out to anyone who came to see us play and enjoyed the shows even half as much as we did. Thank you and we will see you again very soon!

Photos couresy Graham Smith

No comments: