Thursday, 14 October 2010
European Tour Diary: Day 1 - Home to Stockholm, Sweden
We get back to Young Guns base camp (a.k.a Ben’s mum’s house) at some hazy point of the early hours of Thursday night/Friday morning. Our last UK show for a month and a half was also one of the best (Warwick University you guys ruled and provided a brilliant end to the University tour) and now we are all exhausted, so we stumble out of the van (spilling food wrappers, drinks cans and bits of crap that make up most of a touring band’s day to day existence all over the driveway, as per) and get a few hours sleep strewn around the place at Ben’s. We wake up (late, again, as per) and get a lift to the airport worrying about passports and wash bags and all the other shit that we tend to leave. When I say we, what I really mean is me, as I tend to be the only one that actually forgets shit. I like to romanticize it (‘hey, I’m a dreamer, it’s not a crime!’) but really it’s just plain stupid. Still, this time we are ok and make it to the airport on time and squeeze our way onto our first Ryanair experience. All I will say on that particular matter is that it really fills you with confidence when they have to shift around passengers on the plane in order to ‘balance out the aircraft’.
We land in Stockholm and bid farewell to our new friends that we’ve made on the flight, on account of not a single one of us sitting next to each other, and hop into a cab to go to our hotel. Nick from Leicester, and your Swedish wife Anne, nice to meet you both - thanks for the Carlsberg.
We show our passports, collect our bags and meet our friends Dave (merch guy and professional handsome man) and Mark (all round helper outer, anecdote master and get-shit-done extraordinaire) and bundle into our new ride for the next 6 weeks, oohing and aah-ing at the leather seats and marble effect ceiling (why...?). Dave and Mark, along with our Tour Manager (master of everything) Emre are the people that are working with us on this tour and are in many ways as much a part of the band as we are. Without a crew, bands, especially a band like us, are nothing. The help they give us on a daily basis is beyond essential, if it wasn’t Emre in particular’s constant direction and knowledge we would be up the proverbial creek, and most definitely without a paddle. We love ‘em, and they probably hate us. I would. They will be spoken of in more depth for sure at some point soon, but back to our journey.
We set off from the airport, and I sit with my face stuck to the window looking at Sweden zoom by in the fading light, and it is only at this point that it dawns on me what it is we’re about to do. See, when you’re in a band and manage to get to the place that we have gotten ourselves to, often things can move so fast that you never really have time to catch your breath, and days weeks and even months can go by in what feels like the blink of an eye. You can be looking at your list of shows for the impending summer, with things like playing main stage Leeds and Reading seeming like a distant impossibility let alone a 6 week European tour a few months after it, and wondering what I’s all going to feel like, and then suddenly you’re driving through Sweden’s capital on the way to your hotel. It’s scary really, and makes me wish time was less cruel. I resolve to try and drink in every moment I can, but know I will fail. It’s a blessing, a curse, and the ultimate irony of being in a band and progressing/becoming more successful than you were. The more you get what you want, the more it slips by without you noticing. I hate this.
We get to the hotel and although we are all exhausted we are also getting more and more excited. Sleep is not an option just yet so we walk from the hotel to the nearby petrol station and spend 10 minutes fucking around there, looking at the new foods on offer and eat a light dinner of hot dogs and ice cream. Ah, tour diets! Even these are pretty amazing though – I always hated reading bands in the press slating UK food when I was younger but sadly, it would seem they’re right, europeans just do it better (though Sweden is crazy expensive). We wander back and get some rest before the first day of tour.
(We'll be posting these regularly, providing we can jump on wi-fi. As today is the first day, pictures were few and far between, but we'll be posting them too, and sending some to view exclusively on our new phone app!)