PAWS Euro Tour Diary Autumn 2012 Part One
On October 8th PAWS release their debut album, Cokefloat!, but rather than taking a month off to party and celebrate its release (which would totally understandable), the band have decided to play a bunch of shows instead.
We managed to convince the band that they should document it for us, and you can find part one below.
September 10th/11th – London (Phillip)
We loaded up our Fiat Multipla, said our prayers and hit the road for London. A new adventure awaiting us. Belgium, Switzerland, Holland, Germany and Denmark. To be invited along for the ride by a band that we hold so much love for, made the prospect even more ridiculous. Our close friend Lloyd accompanying us, Euro bound.
Arriving in Dalston, London around 10pm we are greeted by Mr Kacey Underwood and Miss Alice Costelloe of the pop wonder outfit, Big Deal. Kacey had kindly offered up his floor as a camping ground so we could all rest our heads before the following morning's ferry trip to Belgium.
In the morning we awoke early and fresh. We head for Eggs Milk Butter to visit our friend Jess and grab a coffee. It's her birthday! She has just opened her own comics and coffee shop. After quick caffeine fix we set sail. All of our friends wishing us well.
September 11th - Ghent, Belgium (Phillip)
We board the ferry in Dover for Dunkerque, France. Hittin' the high seas and waving goodbye to the white cliffs of the Brittish coastline. Once we arrive, we are bound for Ghent in Belgium for a small show at Cafe Video to warm ourselves up for the chaos ahead. Ate some pizza, drank some beer, played a show, skated with the locals and wandered back to our hotel. Tomorrow we play with Japandroids in Luzern, Switzerland.
September 12th - Luzern, Switzerland (Phillip)
Switzerland is beautiful. Quiet and pretty. The venue for our first show with Brian and Dave is the Treibhaus. Just a few minutes’ walk away from Lake Luzern. The town is surrounded by towering mountains overlooking the quaint city on the lake. When we get to the show, we are shown upstairs to our sleeping quarters for the evening above the venue. Six or so sets of bunk beds. There is a definite summer camp vibe. Dave Japandroid is sitting on his bunk doodling in the guestbook; he welcomes us to Switzerland...and the tour. Sound check goes well and we have dinner and a couple of beers. People start to arrive and show time is approaching. We head for the stage and do our thing. The show is going really well and the Swiss crowd are kind to us. The last chorus of Bloodline and the guitar amp cuts out and I have to sing along to the bass and drums in a new stripped down ending. The amp isn't responding, disaster. Brian Japandroid appears very rapidly from backstage and jumps on stage to help me. Plugs my jaguar into his Fender Twin stacks and adjusts knobs to get a fitting sound for our closing number. The show goes on and ends on a triumphant note.
Japandroids take the stage and blow our minds. Their live show is exhilarating. After the concert we all retreat to our backstage greenroom and take advantage of the numerous beers on offer in a getting to know you drinking session/itunes sing along with our new Canadian buddies. We make new friends with Lewis (Jdroids Tech) and Mel (Jdroids Tour Manager/Driver). The early hours close in and the music is still blasting from Brian’s laptop and empty bottles of beer and Jack Daniels lay strewn across the floor. Josh and I are the last ones to crawl to our bunks. Failing to comprehend why the hell we are in Switzerland and daring to dream about what might happen in the fortnight to come.
September 13th - Luzern/Nancy, France (Josh)
The morning after, we are catatonic but soon recover after a big spread for breakfast. Whilst packing the gear into the car a hilarious scenario ensues and somehow we end up watching Phil Ollie over Brian Japandroid in the car park outside the venue as everyone gets ready to hit the road (footage to follow). We now have a daylong gap between Switzerland and the next gig so we decide to take a trip into Alsace to go camping. We arrive just as the night is at its darkest point and subsequently the worst tent setting up conditions. We drink cheap French lager and eat Laughing cow avec baguette gleaned from the campsites meagre shop. The next morning we discover we are camping next to a beautiful lake and verdant forest. A Huge barge flying the jolly roger steams past carrying masses of rusty scrap metal pissing on the tranquil vibe slightly. We exit post haste. We are now headed for Bruxelles to play La Chocolatiere. En route we encounter a colossal tunnel which seems to be leading us to the centre of the earth. It did not. We then ventured off the beaten track slightly taking a route through vineyards and a vast forest through the hills eventually resulting in our arrival in Brussels.
September 14th - Brussels, Belgium (Matt)
On the way to Brussels we discover that the electric windows on the car have failed us. With four unwashed boys trapped within, the scent confined to our tightly packed car most closely resembles that found on a farmyard. Needless to say we are delighted to finally tumble out of the sweat-box when we reach the venue. The gig goes well. The crowd in Brussels are pretty crazy - kids crowd-surfing to Japandroids and demanding of Bryan his top three tips for becoming a rock star (none of which I will pollute your ears with). After the show we load our gear as Lewis (he's the one giving you the finger in 'the house that heaven built' video) hunts white rabbits outside the venue using only a strobing torch to hypnotise the poor animals. The sight of a heavily tattooed man with a giant beard manically grabbing at tiny helpless bunnies is definitely a sight to remember. We set off from Brussels for the hazy lights of Amsterdam as Phil's toothache worsens. Arriving at an ungodly hour, we unload our stuff and head out to find a spot to park as drunken cyclists, three to a bike, weave two and fro in front, to the side of, and behind the car. Josh's native cousin has promised to find us a place to stay and it’s now we are given our options: a hippy squat, or his dad’s house which is currently undergoing renovation. We opt for the building site, setting up a tent within the bare shell of the house with a single candle for light. It's perhaps an unconventional sleeping arrangement, but having taken in three countries so far today, I could sleep anywhere.
September 15th – Amsterdam, Holland (Matt and Phillip)
Waking to a beautifully bright Dutch morning, we take a stroll through a bustling Saturday market and along the canals. Eating breakfast on a bench, we watch intently as an ambitious Seagull attempts to eat a generous slab of focaccia. We stay only long enough to share in his glory, moving on when we realise we need to try and remember where we parked the car. (Matt)
Once located, we make our way to tonights venue: The Meneer Malasch Art Gallery. Virals are also playing tonight so we are all very excited about the evening ahead of us. The basement of the spacious and well kempt gallery is about to endure a wildy and sweaty onslaught of intoxicated youths bouncing from wall to wall in an organic rejoice in rock and roll. We line check briefly and start the show. Almost immediately the crowd responds to the shattering sound of the snare reverberating around the crammed art space and they begin to slam dance. The whole atmosphere feels utterly jubilant. Some friends that I hadn't seen in almost four years since my last visit to Holland arrive right before our show starts and adds to the celebratory feeling of the night. The party lasts until 6am. Matt and Lloyd decide to sleep in the car and I wake up on a bean bag in someone's apartment. The last thing I remember is Josh smashing a bottle and then bustling me into a taxi to an unknown destination. I can hear Josh's dulcet snoring transcending down the winded staircase so I know that I have woken in a safe place. We need to leave for Incubate Festival in Tilburg but god knows where we are. We call a taxi and head back the gallery… (Phillip)
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Our favourite Scottish band, PAWS, have announced they'll be hitting the road with Bleached this May for a short tour around the UK. [read more]