Monday, 7 December 2009

Skibunny Touring Under The Influence Of Har Mar

Skibunny report in on their week with Har Mar Superstar...

Day one - Sunday - Oxford
We meet up at Heathrow, Nick and Mark having flown over from Belfast, and Tanya having driven the bad-ass tour mobile (a sweet Peugeout 406, no less!) down from Edinburgh. After a bite to eat, we head to a practice room in deepest Oxfordshire to reherse the two new songs we’re going to be playing on the tour. It’s the same room that, many years ago, Tanya and Mark stayed in whilst supporting Gorkys Zygotic Mynci, so its very funny to be back again. To the venue, and meeting team Har Mar. They’re all very great people-Sean (HMS to you), Denver (bass, tall, laconic) Jeff (Guitar, Catfish, funk), Will (drums, new york dolls lookalike) and T (best tour manager ever). As T’s the tour manager of Skibunny guest vocalist MAPS, there’s already much to chat about. The show that night in Oxford is great, and late that night we hit the road for London and the flat of Tanya’s sister Liana (a most convivial hostess).

Day two - Monday - London
A London show can be a thing to fear, and in order to guarantee that we’ll be cooking with gas, we decamp to a practice room to go over last minute tweaks to the new tracks (which have new Bandwidth videos to accompany them for the AV part of the set - AWESOME people!) Things are sounding good so we wrap up early and head for The Garage - the last time Tanya and Mark were here, one of our band ended up lending Stuart from Mogwai pyjamas (loooong story….) and its great to be back in an 800 capacity venue with so many good memories. Soundcheck done, and introductions made with New Zealand’s Bang Bang Eche (opening act, they did the Har Mar US tour, and are blistering live), we head to the pub to meet Liana, Nick, and everyone’s favourite Dandy - Jim “Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer” Burke. The show tonight is really perfect, and we’re happy to see Ash from Smalltown America, who has come down to see Skibunny for the first time. Har Mar rocks it, and the night ends in The Lexington with many many drinks and toasts to one and all. Phew, London DONE!

Day Three - Tuesday - Bristol
It's Bristol, so of course we’re playing on a boat! Having got up late and devoured some bacon sandwiches, we hit the road, and are soon loading into the bowels of the ship we’re playing on. A bracing walk round the town leads us into an amazing art bookshop in one of Bristol’s biggest galleries - anywhere with Yoshitoma Nara postcards will work for Tanya…..The show’s great, team Har Mar have taken delivery of their US merchandise (ladies and gentleman’s underwear included) and late at night we hit the road for the Southampton. This is where the sat nav throws a hissy fit, and starts driving us round sets for The Midsummer Murders for about an hour….tiny villages with thatched cottages, and wild-eyed locals. Not what you need at 2am. Finally we get to the damn hotel, where some of us head for bed, and some of us stay up and finish the Jagermeister :-)

Day four - Wednesday - Portsmouth
Yaaaarrr. Tis another sea-faring town, you salty dogs! Actually, it's only an hour down the road, and so there’s plenty of time in the afternoon to do some Christmas shopping and get our daily soaking from the shitty weather that’s been following us round all tour. Uugh. The Wedgewood rooms is a venue clearly run by people who love music, so everything’s very easy and comfy. Nice. The show’s great, and spirits are high as there’s a day off tomorrow for everyone apart fro Mark who has to fly home for 24 Hours. He’s deposited at his Heathrow hotel for a 6.40am flight, whilst Tanya and Nick head back to team Liana’s.

Day five - Thursday - Nottingham
Day off people! Whilst Mark is staggering around the streets of Belfast bleary-eyed, Tanya and Nick head up to Nottingham to join the Har Mars for a night on the tiles. And what a night! The Horrors are playing and Sean’s mates with Farris, so he ends up coming out for drinks and punk-rock Bingo, champagne and more Jagermeister...

Day six - Friday - Nottingham
We’re playing the Bodega Social tonight, and from the odd looks of the barstaff, its clear that somethings up. Ahhhh yes, various people were in the bar/kicked out of said bar last night! Nice! Nottingham’s looking very Christmassy, there’s an ice-rink and full Christmas market a happening in the town-centre. Mark heads to the Oxfam boutique shop to pick up a lovely scarf, and then it's another easy soundcheck and what is, by team Har Mar’s accounts, our best show of the tour so far! Many many friends are made in Nottingham. Sean is doing a DJ set so Nick and Mark hit the road for Doncaster whilst Tanya stays to Dance to 'Buffalo Stance' and 'No Scrubs' at the club, hitching a ride up to Doncaster with the Har Mars.

Day Seven - Saturday - Carlisle
Wooh! Where did the week go??!! Last show already - You serious?! Ok, we get to Carlisle and go off in search of presents for everyone. We end up choosing a selection of biographies for Team HMS including Chevy Chase, William Shatner and.. erm... Chantelle “Living the Dream”! We also get everyone snow spray for general mischief, bottle-openers, stickers (of a stupid variety) and festive snacks. As well as that, there’s a communal bottle of buckfast, so they can blend in with the Glasgow mob the following night. In return there’s Champagne in the dressing room, and before a really amazing Carlisle show, we toast what’s been an unforgettable week. Then it's up the road to Tanya’s flat in Edinburgh and our tour is officially over... or is it....

Day Eight? Sunday?! Glasgow??!!
You didn’t thing that was the end of the story did you?! Mark and Nick jump on a plane back to Belfast, that much is true. But who is this singing “I got next” with Har Mar Superstar in King Tuts?!

*warning, this video is not suitable for young 'uns!*

So, thanks again to Team Har Mar Superstar for an awesome week, and thanks to everybody who came out to say hello, we can't wait to get back on the road again early 2010!

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