The Sword tour – part 1

Hello everybody. I haven’t blogged in a while but a few people have mentioned that they wanted to hear more, so I’m finally putting finger to keyboard to bring you the story of what happened when we went on tour with The Sword.

As with all good stories our tale has a little bit of a preface, one which is very specific to myself and my general well-being. It is an old adage that you shouldn’t start a tour with a hangover – we’ve all done it (obviously) but given the fact that the tour experience is probably going to break you anyway, beginning one’s jaunt feeling like shit can hardly be described as a well-thought out proposition. Unfortunately for me, whilst the tour started on a Sunday I had to be in attendance at a two-day long stag do immediately beforehand, an event that concluded at 8am in York on the very same day that the tour began. Compounding my misery as I crawled towards my car on the Sunday morning was the fact that the stag do had featured an afternoon of go-karting where I had merrily over-reached myself and crashed HARD into a wall when I appeared to mistake the brake pedal for the accelerator. This had almost instantaneously given me minor women’s whiplash and without putting too fine a point on it – FUCKED my ribs.

So imagine if you will a man with a gargantuan hangover, sleep-deprived and covered in bruises, getting in a car at 8am in York with the first date of a tour with The Sword looming – in Southampton. Somehow I managed to get back to Leeds in one piece, forced a Pot Noodle down, had a shower and then went to pick Atko and Dougie up. Fitting the Gentlemans Pistols tour kit into the back of a Peugeot is not the easiest of tasks and Dougie ended up pretty much entombed in the back of my car between a cymbal case and his own bass – good job it was only a short 5 hour drive down to Southampton. In actual fact, given the circumstances the journey wasn’t too bad, made easier by Dougie’s airing of his new Terry Wogan impression, which whilst very impressive did lose a certain veracity when he delivered lines such as “I’ve just shot me muck all over the blarney stone.”

We arrived in Southampton in one piece (just), met with Bill and Greyum (our tour manager, guitar tech, drum tech, driver and all-round hero) and got to Joiners for soundcheck. Whilst this may all seem very smooth and efficient, for me an internal struggle was giving rise to a serious metaphysical hangover, a predicament not eased by anything I could think of to resolve it, be it some spicy noodles or a litre of mango juice. This situation was made worse by the fact that the first band on, Dendera, were roundly and apparently effortlessly excellent, which whilst fine for them caused an almost unbearable wave of paranoia to wash over me, compounded mere minutes before showtime when I fell over the drumkit whilst getting on stage. I’m not a superstitious man but frankly the omens were hardly propitious.

Given all of the above, imagine my surprise when my limbs actually started working as soon as we started playing! Yes, I lost about 10 litres of fluid through sweat and yes, I felt EVERY SINGLE note ricocheting through my brain and body – but frankly it all went a lot better than I could ever have imagined. There was one moment when I forgot what happened in a song that I’ve only been playing for four years but we won’t dwell on that and I’m fairly certain I covered it with my usual professionalism and aplomb.

Having survived the gig we all retired to the merch desk where a faux-Malibu called ‘Four Palms’ was purchased, mixed with some tropical juice and imbibed, much to everybody’s great cheer. The Sword were excellent, as indeed they were on every date of the tour and by half 11 we were all installed in the travelodge watching Big Momma’s House 2. I discovered that mixing Malibu – sorry ‘Four Palms’ – with Caffreys is an unusual combination that probably shouldn’t be repeated and then it was off to bed.

The following day would bring dangerous levels of diarrhoea, more Terry Wogan impressions and trouble with security. Stay tuned, kids…

Published in: on May 29, 2011 at 12:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

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