To celebrate the release of their new album It's 1983, Grow Up (out now on Black Tent Press), Canadian quartet Fist City put together a killer tour diary for us, documenting their recent trip around the UK. Expect snoring, drinking, the Salford Lads Club. and an 'unbroken boulevard of green lights'.
Before we get to that, watch their video for 'Boring Kids':
We rented the biggest van in the world for some reason. Well, I know the reason. It was 600 pounds cheaper than anything else. There were three seats in the front, and seeing as there were four of us, one person was always left in the dark, sliding around in the back with the gear and luggage. Generally whoever was the most hungover or tired. It was a death trap.
Evan built a makeshift net across the back after getting his head smashed by a crate of LPs. It lasted the journey and nobody was hurt. We spent many nights sleeping side by side like a can of sardines in this van. The first night we arrived we stayed on a farm that belonged to a Reiki healer named Maggie. Maggie's Farm. We froze our asses off. It was great.
After Leeds we stayed in Huddersfield with two fantastic people (Kev and Pat) who had a bunch of kittens. Kier got too wasted and passed out with this cup of piping hot coffee balanced on his gut. We all noticed when he began to snore and had a good laugh. On the topic of Kier's snoring… It's unique. It's loud and abrasive. It's troubling. If we were splitting hairs, I wouldn't even call it snoring. A 'snore' generally happens when a person is inhaling through their nose. What K does is something completely different. When exhaling every breath - he blasts out a heavy moan that sort of sounds like the theme song for JAWS. It's hilarious - and terrifying.
We spent some days off in Leek with our best bud Juice Man. He's the coolest. He has an awesome family, runs a killer label (Drunken Sailor Records), has some incredible stories and is so generous and caring. He definitely has a great thing going on. At this moment we were at the pub with his sons and his nephews. His eccentric and outgoing nephew Ciaran (8, corner of the table) was holding court at this moment. Likely telling us about some whacky horror movie he watched on YouTube. About five minutes after this during a brief lull in conversation he announced astutely to the table "IF YOU DRINK BEER, LADIES WILL COME AT YOU." This might be the best thing ever said by an 8-year-old. Can you think of anything better?
More Leek, more kids. These kids in Leek were all so cool. They can party harder than anybody. We played this weird all-ages afternoon show at a community hall. The kids were loving it - can't speak for their parents though. We let the kids sound check our gear for us and they were all so stoked. It was really cool. Following the gig, we spent the rest of the time teaching them words like: hoser, badass, skid and teriyaki (?). We also continually forced them to say "oh my gosh I'm SO SORRY" in a Canadian accent because we figured that was one of the most commonly used phrases in all of Canada. We definitely broadened their worlds.
Following our show in London we stayed with on old friend of Kier's and her boyfriend. They were nice - and we were grateful they offered to put us up as the other option was sleeping in the van and it was cold. They lived in a fancy flat in Hackney with another couple. These were the kind of people, until now, I was convinced only existed in movies. It was clear (to quote Alec Baldwin) that these young folks had lived a life that was nothing short of an 'unbroken boulevard of green lights'. They were obviously disgusted by us. Our weird dirty van. Our loud music. Our attitudes.
In the morning I was showering (always a nice treat on tour) and was interrupted by a rapping on the door "I NEED TO SHOWER AND GO TO WORK NOW!." Fuck, I thought. How dare I inconvenience our gracious hosts. I threw a shirt on and gathered my things and jumped out of the bathroom in a hurry like a boy being chased by an angry father from the bedroom of his daughter. I finished getting dressed with my toothbrush hanging from my foaming mouth and went down to the street to spit and rinse with a bottle of water from the van. I cleaned the van and went for a coffee a stroll and a smoke. When I returned ONE HOUR later - this woman was sitting down to breakfast enjoying some eggs and toast with a serving of freshly pressed orange juice. I clearly could have finished brushing my teeth and getting dressed.
Before we left, Kier had inquired as to the location of a 10 pound note that was left by his friend (as she had left for work early in the morning) and was met merely with a bleak stare/eye roll and a point in its general direction as opposed to any kind of vocal response. Oh, this was in the courtyard of their flat. Historically fitting.
A night off, stumbling our way through the cobble stone streets of York concluded in hotel room stick and poke tattoos. Lindsay and Ryan had yet to permanently bare the FC symbol - so they made it happen like champions. There were so many points in this night I remember thinking 'If anybody were to walk in this room right now they would either, A: Think we're loading up on smack, or B: That we are a part of some weird cult and just about to drink the koolaid'. We, Fist City, encourage stick and poke tattoos. Message us on Facebook if you need directions on how to do it properly and safely-ish.
Evan had a bleak morning full of heavy discussion with his partner and was feeling super bummed about it. His day was not brightened by a trip to the house / street / neighbourhood where Ian Curtis lived and died. This house (house number and plaque stolen) was his. This is where he hung himself. It forcibly put some shit into perspective for Evan. What a trip.
Of course we went to the Salford Lads Club. Duh. What, do you think we hate music?
This was the venue in Manchester. It was a house party, and the best show of the tour. We played with excellent bands (Good Grief, The Hipshakes, Lab Coast). The ceiling was about five and a half feet high and the room was full of spiders. The night was a proper party full of laughter, dancing, tall tales, cussing and yelling. Thank you to Elena and her gang for making this memorable night happen. Also, we highly recommend the band Good Grief. It's required listening. The UK is lucky to have a current band that good in its belly
This picture was taken in Brighton immediately after the last show of the tour at the Blind Tiger club. We had just finished a discussion about if your band were to be compared to a sexually transmitted disease - which one would be the best? I believe in this shot we're all yelling "syphiliiiiiiis" instead of cheese. Brighton was so cool, and both of the shows we played there were fantastic. We stayed with some friends from Canada who had just moved there one week prior to our arrival. Portia and Miles, you guys are the coolest - and their roommates Bridey and Stewart - you guys are also the coolest.
Linz gripped this OG Misfits tee from a thrift store in Swindon.
This old dude slaying "Heart of Glass" by Blondie on his clarinet in Liverpool.
XO SEE YOU SOON UK
Fist City x