Sunday, 7 February 2010

LaFaro UK Tour Diary Part 8

Ah, the perils, thrills, trials, triumphs and mind numbing boredom that comes with being in a touring band. On any given day we are bound by will or contract to travel for anything up to 6 hours to play in mostly unknown venues to unknown amounts of people, most of whom haven't heard our music, a few who have and some who don't want to. Put that way it can seem like a strange career choice. And of course there are days when I question these choices, usually on days off when we're sat around like four lost Irish dickheads, unsure of our futures and disappointed with our pasts.

Of course being in a band is like anything else in life, you find your way through a series of unknowns, learning new things each time. As corny as it is to liken a band to a family or a troop of soldiers, it's not far off the mark. Any triumphs are shared but unfortunately so are all the lows. Morale is always an issue on tour. If we can go on a two week tour with Fighting With Wire having been given less than 24 hours notice and survive having all our gear burnt to a crisp in Derry then we can survive the rest of this journey at least. We carry on regardless of the situation. Because we want to and we have to.

In some ways we are fighting a war against awful music which is almost completely void of any substance or creativity. If I was to be given £5 for every half-assed, pretentious, talentless but well dressed band i've seen or will see on this tour I would return home a wealthy man. And if I was given the same amount for every time one of these no mark, tone deaf oxygen thieves used our gear without asking I would be wealthier still. Apologies for ranting but it happens enough that I feel the need to comment.

You also find new ways to keep yourself entertained in the back of a dark van when on tour. I've discovered that I can hold my breath for upwards of a minute now. I can also go for more that 4 days without a poo, yet no longer that 12 hours without a coffee and certainly no longer than 1 hour without a cigarette, unless I'm sleeping, in which case I'm probably dreaming of clean, warm beds, coal fires and roast chicken dinners. It has been a testing few days, as I'm sure you can tell.

Enough moaning then. We've been very lucky on this tour as we've found out just how many good friends we have scattered all over this land. Kind people who take time out their lives to support us at our shows, let us sleep in their houses, use their showers and feed us. People like Matt, DD, Anouskam Kiri, John, Bruce, Rick, Ian, Oisin, the KnuckleDragger boys and the others that I've forgotten. Without these people we would have returned home with our tails between our legs long before now.

The last week or so has seen us staying with our good buddy Ian in Manchester while Jonny returned home to play a Skip Moses show. Ian was kind enough to feed us, give us a place to sleep and take us round the sights of Manchester (Old Trafford being a particular highlight for me) and on the 2nd February we went to the Academy in Manchester to see our good buddies And So I Watch You From Afar supporting Oceansize. They played a blinder of course, even though they were only given a 25 minute set. The room was packed and I'm sure they converted a good few non-believers. From there we went to Sheffield to stay with a certain Mr Oisin O'Doherty and his lovely lady made us a fry (yay!!), in return we made him a pasta bake. Then we had a couple of gigs in the Midlands. In Derby we played in a coffee shop with Qisa (big, LOUD) and Idiosync, who are lovely, lovely boys, even if they are more racist than we are. Thenwe travelled to Birmingham to play the Flapper, again with Idiosync, and had a great time playing and meeting lots of lovely people. Then we drove through the night listening to Radiohead as we approached Oxford (coincidence really), grabbed a kebab and spent the night by the side of the motorway, dreaming of the usual warm beds and chicken dinners........

Last night we played in Chichester with Monroe Effect and Driveby Shark, who were both great but Driveby Shark certainly stole the show with their hilarious brand of thrash metal. We couldn't believe our ears. After that we drove to Pompey with our good friends DD, Rose and Adam for a good old fashioned drinking session which involved much nudity courtesy of Andy and me getting a mohawk courtesy of Rosie. A good night was had by all. Tonite we found ourselves still in Portsmouth which is just as well because a band pulled out of tonight's Edge of the wedge show so we stepped in to
fill the void.

By the time you read this we'll probably be on our way north again. I dunno where we are next, all the days blend into one after 22's still a strange career choice but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Herb x

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