With the UK leg of the tour complete (ie: one gig), we begin our European adventure with a trip to Leiden, Holland where I expect canals, waffles and nothing else!
06:00 – We board the ferry and immediately embark on a mission to find food, though our efforts are thwarted when paralysing laziness kicks in and cements us each to some remarkably comfortable chairs.
The hunger though, will not subside. Desperate to begin cultivating a devastating neuro toxin within the depths of his own bowels, Matt buys beans on toast, to the collective dismay of his band-mates.
Moments later, I follow suit.
Riley on the other hand, just looks like he’s dead. Similarly, I’ve no doubt, to how everyone else will look later when these beans kick in.
On the bright side, my illness seems to have subsided… possibly having decided to attack Riley instead.
Well, I’m sure that’s bought him great comfort.
07:?? – Land ahoy! Thus begins a four to five hour drive to Leiden, Holland, where I hope to see Canals and waffles.
I get my laptop out, ready to blast through some of the extensive work I’ve bought along.
Moments later, I am asleep.
??:?? – My slumber is rudely interrupted by the sound of some disgruntled old man, kicking off because he disagrees with Dani’s parking method. To those of us not stricken with a terminal case of miserablebastarditis, there seems precious little wrong with the maneuver she’s executed, so we politely ignore him and mock his socks.
That last part might’ve just been me – not a monster, just ahead of the curve.
Anyway, annoying as it is that some people just want an excuse to complain, the interruption to my sleep has instilled a fresh alertness with which I can finally tackle the aforementioned workload.
Moments later, I am asleep once again.
14:00 – Cab03, Leiden, Holland. An awesome building comprising various practice rooms and a mega chilled out bar area playing Portishead on a seemingly infinite loop. No complaints here about that.
We meet Jack who has organised the show, unload the van and elect to venture into Leiden.
15:00 – This place is boss! I love how the various canals and streets criss-cross throughout each other, almost as much as I love feeling like I’m in some bizarre take on Mad Max: Fury Road when I’m almost taken out by a bike rider every five seconds, though I do quickly adapt.
I’ve visited Holland a few times before so neither of these phenomenon are especially mind-blowing, but there’s a nice sense of everything feeling new as much as it does familiar.
15:30 – I massively regret not removing some of the electronics from this friggin’ bag before carrying it around town. Fortunately, I don’t expect we’re going to be out much longer.
16:00 – Alex finds a record shop. I contemplate throwing myself into a canal, confident that slowly drowning to death would be a preferable way of spending the afternoon if listening to him talk about obscure crap metal from the 80s is the only alternative.
But then it turns out the shop has a Jaws poster on the wall, which softens the blow.
18:00 – My spine feels like it’s been stamped on my a Tyrannosaur, my feet are sleepy and I desperately need something sugary, so we head back to the venue.
I down an orange juice like an absolute mad-man, fire up the laptop to get some work done and somehow find myself playing Doom instead.
I don’t think any of this work is going to get done.
19:30 – Now at this point, I made the mistake of leaving my camera behind, which is a shame because the place we went to get food was really cool.
It was a squat, really nicely done up, absolutely packed with people, lit in just a few spots by small lamps, candles and lanterns.
Food was three sources of soup, potato with fruity stuff and then some uber-boss things I forget the name of, for dessert. Scones? Meh, I forget, they were nice either way.
20:30 – First band goes on, evidently a popular local outfit given the rapport shared between they and the room they’ve flooded with people. Straight up punk rock, not my sort of thing musically but I do enjoy these sorts of bands live, they’re plenty of fun and play a tight set with good energy.
20:45 – Simon from 7 Degrees Records arrives, the chap responsible for releasing our last three records (so you all know how to blame now). We first met on Krupskaya’s maiden European Adventure back in 2005 and then again in 2008 at Bloodshed Fest.
We lament the lack of kindness with which the past decade has treated our respective belt sizes, but concede that the reunion is pleasant nonetheless.
21:00 – Second band goes on, I guess a mix between crust, death and goregrind? I’ll probably get scolded by Matt and Alex for my blatant misuse of nonesensical sub-genres there, but that’s what they sound like to me. Filthy, heavy guitar sound, rolling blast beats and a sound comparable to an elephant losing it’s shit with the football results bellowing down the mic.
Quite the mix, thus far.
21:30 – We play… it goes okay. Most of the audience seems to have cleared out with the first band (or they gave us a listen on YouTube to inform whether or not this was something they wished to be projected to, quickly surmising that no, it most certainly was not) and irrespective of my efforts to keep them in place, both the higher tom-toms, china and cymbal stands continue to move out of range through the entirety of the set.
The resultant adaptation to technique (a poor one, evidently) results in fingers which now look like the waste skips at an abatoir. Not a pleasant sight and an absolute twat to play these songs through, but we’re still tight, so not going to complain too much.
Oh and then the china cymbal I’ve borrowed cracks in two places, so that was well worth the extra ballache before coming away.
I put that to one side, this poor little guy’s tour has come to an end.
Now to spend my Grolsch tokens.
00:30 – Our host for the evening takes us home, feeds us with good stories, warm food and cold beer.
I retire to the upstairs bedroom with a view to writing up today’s journal entry.
Based on what’s happened every other time I’ve open up my laptop so far, you can probably hazard a guess as to what happened next.
04:30 – Someone’s snoring wakes me up, I consider smothering them to death with a pillow and swift stamp on the rib cage, but it’s too warm and comfortable within my sleeping bag.
Ugh, a catch twenty-two if ever I saw one.
Day two comes to an end. Thanks to everyone in Leiden!