Mini Tour – Johannesburg, ZA – Town Hall

By the time we got to Joburg, Sean Snout was really sick. The first thing he did when we got to our accommodation was to puke all over the toilet. We went out for dinner and brought some flat coke and dry toast for him to try and get him to keep something in his stomach. We tried to go to the venue as late as possible so that Snout could get some rest so by the time we arrived, the place was already pumping and we were far too sober (although the beer, tequila and whiskey backstage soon took care of that). The thing I love most about Joburg is people love to make sure all your needs are met there. Apart from all the booze, I was offered 3 different type of hard drugs and this was all in half an hour before our show while I was sitting backstage. The show was great, played another hour and a half set mixed with old favourites and new songs that seemed to go down really well. Snout miraculously pulled it out of the bag and rocked out like a trooper. Afterwards we partied quite hard with the occasional naked stage dive… in the van. The next morning after very little to no sleep, I said good-bye to the lads and carried on for the whole rest of the day causing me to very nearly miss my flight to London that evening. Good times.

Mini Tour – Durban, ZA – The Winston Pub

Durban is a strange place. It is definitely an acquired taste. I didn’t get it the first few times we toured there. I couldn’t understand the accents, nor could I tell if people were being friendly to us or if they were trying to insult us. The place really does grow on you though and now it’s probably one of our favourite places to be in SA. No one ever makes any money playing in Durban, but it’s worth it just for the people and the warm winter weather. During the flight, Sean Snout started feeling a little sick and by the time we arrived at the club he was completely man down in the van. We’d never played the Winston before, but the place is an institution and we had always wanted to. By the time the show started it was packed. We played an extremely hot and sweaty hour and a half  set introducing some new songs that we’d never played before. The crowd was going wild and because the Winston is a little on the intimate side, it was absolute chaos – these are the kinds of shows that we love most. Afterwards the Durban kids kept the party going until well into the next morning. In fact, the party was still pumping still at 4am when we left. We would have stayed if we didn’t have to drive to Joburg first thing in the morning. Love this city.

Rocking the Daisies – Darling, ZA – Cloof Wine Estate

Ok, apart from our show itself, I have very few positive things to say about this weekend. I’m not trying to take a dig at the organisers, from an organisation point the festival was extremely well run. There were toilets, Food stalls and everything else you could possibly hope for aplenty. In fact everything was so well run that it felt like it hardly felt like a music festival at all – It was a festival for people that don’t really like festivals. Look, Rocking the Daisies has really come a long way from the humble little party that we played in 2006, but with all the over-top-facilities and conveniences (there were evidently hair straighteners in the girls washrooms) it has lost all of the idiosyncrasies and charms that make going to a festival fun in the first place. I want to see people totally drunk and out of control, caked in 3 days worth of festival dirt, throwing away their name and making total asses of themselves – it makes me feel at home. Rocking the Daisies was more like a fashion parade at the Assembly filled with privileged white kids trying to be hipsters. I wasn’t feeling the vibe. The show itself wasn’t too bad, especially seeing as I had unintentionally gotten myself involved in an all-nighter the night before and I’m sure my voice wasn’t at it’s best. Afterwards the fest just got worse. The weather was miserable and then I got wasted, lost all my friends and ended up stuck by a huge bonfire with some weirdo with a swastika tattoo and an acoustic guitar, not knowing where anyone was and too cold to leave the fire to look for them. Not my favourite festival experience so far and probably not in a hurry to go back there.

Braai of Pain – Cape Town, ZA – House of Pain

Our contract with Rocking the Daisies stipulated that we couldn’t play any other shows in and around Cape Town within a certain time period before or after the festival. It’s a pretty standard festival clause, but because we were only all going to be in the country for 3 weeks, it meant that Rocking the Daisies was going to be our only show in the mother city. About a week before this show our good friends from the House of Pain asked us if we would play a secret set at their Braai Day party. A backyard party at the foot of Table Mountain with all of our friends, lots of beer and some of the coolest bands in Cape Town. You can’t really go wrong with that. Plus the fact that it was totally illegal made it all that much more enticing. I got there pretty early to check out some of the other bands and I am glad I did. It was the first warm day of spring, the sun was out, the vibe was awesome. Everyone seemed to know each other, like one big extended family reunion. There was no stage, just a basic PA set up in the garden, but it was still pretty loud. The cops did turn up once or twice because of the noise, but evidentially Jon Shaban bought their silence with a couple of dops and a TV! Our set was pretty rusty, but still cool. I normally hate doing daytime shows because it’s harder to have an energetic show in the sun, but on this day, the atmosphere was pretty unbeatable. I had to leave pretty soon after the show because I had a tattoo appointment (getting tattooed when you are drunk is not nearly as much fun as you think it might be) but judging by my Facebook newsfeed the next day everyone who was there felt pretty much the same as I did about the party. What a great day for our first show of the year on South African soil. Another one next year please!

EURO TOUR 2012 – DAY 16 Osnabrück, DE – JZ Ostbunker

Yesterday we had breakfast at a Dutch market in Shoonhoven where everything seemed to be deep-fried – damn tasty though. Last night was the last European show of the tour in Osnabrueck, Germany. We had played there twice before and the guys from Ostbunker were legends as always. Went quite large last night too. About to leave now for Berlin and I think only two of us have actually had any sleep. So much fun! Next Friday we in Cape Town – See you all there!

EURO TOUR 2012 – DAY 13-14 Göttingen, DE – Juzi

On Wednesday night we cooked the ladies at whose house we were staying an epic traditional South African meal to thank them for their hospitality. Then it was up early in the morning to make the long drive from London, through France, Belgium and Holland to get to our destination in Göttingen, Germany. We had a few setbacks and ended up getting there 3 hours late only to discover that the opening band (who was supplying the backline) had pulled out. Luckily there was some gear downstairs and we managed to sort everything out without too much hassle.

The club Juzi is really cool. Run by and frequented by “full-time” punks. We played there for the first time in 2005 and we all love the place. The people were all really friendly and seemed to really like the band. Once again in Europe people are never satisfied by an hour length set so even though it was really late, we still had to exhaust our repertoire of encores before being allowed to leave the stage. We also invented the new extreme sport of wheelie bag skating, which I am sure we irritated a hell of a lot of people with in our drunken state at 3 am this morning through the streets of Göttingen. We have two more shows to go, and we’re now hitting the last stages of the tour. I’m now in Schoonhoven in the Netherlands where the show is tonight, still wearing the same socks and boxers that I’ve been wearing since Tuesday’s show as I haven’t actually had the opportunity to change them yet. Gotta love show business!

DAILY DVISM: “Sean Snout is pretty unique, there just aren’t that many old Sean’s around.”

EURO TOUR 2012 – DAY 11-12 Shoreditch, London, UK – Bedroom Bar

Once again last night was great. London shows are always a lot of fun and so cool when people know the words to the songs, but at £4.50 for a single Jamesons, I’m quite looking forward to getting back to Germany. Once again, not many native English people, in fact I met more Germans and Spaniards last night than Londoners, but everyone that was there had a great time. Yesterday we all split up and did our own thing. London central is a lot like Cape Town in that it has a vibrant mix of different cultures that really make the city come to life. After being in continental Europe for so long, it was really comforting, albeit highly ironic, seeing so many African and Indian people again. Off to Camden now for an overpriced English ale or two. It’s gotta be done.

DAILY DVISM: “He has pointy earlobes, he looks a bit like an upside down pixie.”

EURO TOUR 2012 – DAY 10 Putney, London, UK – Halfmoon

Last night’s show was awesome. and after the stress of a 38 hour drive from Ljubljana, Slovenia to London, England. We were all finished. Luckily we had a club full of South Africans to lift our spirits. So much fun. Today we are taking a well needed and deserved day off in London. Tomorrow we playing another FREE ENTRY show in London. Should be cool.

DAILY DVISM: “You can just tell by his face that he has a massive penis.”

EURO TOUR 2012 – DAY 8-9 CALAIS, FR

The last two days have been a complete disaster. The show in Trbovlje was great. It wasn’t the best we played, but there were loads of people there. Since then we have realised that we are going to have to cancel the show in Ansbach as it is just too far for us to get to from London. We drove the whole day yesterday from Slovenia, construction on the road set us back a couple of hours. We eventually arrived at the club 3 hours late to discover that they venue wanted to charge us a venue hire fee upfront. We didn’t have the money, so we had no choice but to cancel that show too. So we got back in the van and drove through the night to get to London. Got to the UK border and now 3 of us are having issues with our visas. Sitting in a little French café eating croissants so we can use their wifi to hopefully sort things out. Will keep you all updated.