Deadcuts / Dearly Beloved / Bash n Pop / Tour Diary Part Uno
Tour: Bash &Pop /Deadcuts/Dearly Beloved Uk Dates
Location: Somewhere between Glasgow and Blackpool
Chapter Content includes: Breaking guitars, Insomniacs, Reading lyrics off mobile phones onstage, Hitler Moustaches , declining advances from girls in full view of their boyfriends, Death and a case of mistaken identity
Slam...my head smashes into marks back , Marks face goes into the table - Natanya bounces off Marks shoulder whilst mark collapses onto the floor gripping onto his vape stick as if it were some sort inexpensive holy relic,Somehow Cass manages to remain (zen like monk still) - Aaron is seated in the front and catches a glimpse laughing his ass off at the state of us..I should explain...Our trusted Tour Manager (Nick) has put his foot down on the breaks - this always seems to happen when weve just fallen asleep - and as we don't have our seat belts on has caused everyone in the back of the splitter bus to go flying .
Were on our way to Blackpool from Glasgow after playing the first of some Uk dates with Dearly Beloved and Tommy Stinsons' (Replacements/Guns n roses) Bash and pop.For some inexplicable reason the person who initially asked us to stay has changed their mind ..but by the grace of Facebook we've had a few offers of shelter and luckily the kind Lenka Piscarova has invited us to stay with her.Its fucking freezing and we realise that driving to Blackpool from Glasgow in the night is the best option - we might possibly get "some" sleep before heading to play the Manchester "deaf institute" .
We arrive shivering outside Lenka's house to which point Nick pulls the keys out of the ignition and says " do you want blankets? They're behind your chair by the jackets " ...everyone gazes in silence at each other in utter disbelief ..after all the hours of travelling in the ice cold Nik has just informed us now that there are blankets as we're just about to enter a warm house and are no longer in need of them-this is a new level for Nick who I already have begun to plan my revenge on .
As we arrive at Lenkas house her daughter is up and ready for nursery , Even with our now melting make up and a night of the living dead palour she's totally comfortable with us, Natanya draws pictures with her and begins to pine a little.Lenka then drops off her daughter at Nursery -and I hit the jagermeister .Cass and Aaron and Nick hit the hay-it so turns out I'll be sleeping opposite Nik's room ...perfect for my vengeful plans.
Lenka returns and we talk for a few hours -she's a really cool hostess always being generous and making sure we are comfortable. Mark and I however have drunk way too much "coffee" and now can't sleep ...at all ...Mark decides to work on our website with Natanya whilst I make sure I wander upstairs locating Nik's bedroom,stand parallel to the wall closest to where he is sleeping and let out an almighty "Arrrrggggghhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!" , I gently turn my head around the door -Nik wakes looking confused but falls asleep again equally as fast.I am defeated.I give it ten minutes then consider drawing a Hitler moustache on him -Somehow I fall asleep clutching the marker pen .I manage an hour's rest and then we bid Lenka and her partner farewell and it's off to Manchester .
Manchester's "Deaf Institute" is very beautiful it has the decor of an old Edwardian Theatre - but it's a bitch carrying the equipment up the stairs ( three flights to be precise ) the rider in the dressing room is highly satisfactory which helps and the staff are very friendly and attentive to our needs.The dressing rooms even contain beds for and two bathrooms.
At some point we soundcheck , and then head for a quick interview backstage whilst applying eye shadow.
Dearly Beloved are a Canadian band who are joining us on this jaunt,they hit stage and are on point - they sound like a seriously well oiled machine never missing a note and have it down, there's one track that really stuck in my head In particular entitled "I tried to leave" they are lovely people too -not only does the guitarist Jc Sandoval make a note of my amp settings-he actually puts them back to how I have em after he plays ! These are the type of people you want on your tour plus they're always ready to help us carry our backline and equipment -something you might not catch a lot of our Uk Compatriots doing.
"Space travels in my blood there ain't nothing I can do about it....long journeys wear me out but....um what's the next part?" Tommy has asked Mark and I to do "Another Girl Another Planet" with them tonight and being a song we've heard a billion times we should remember the lyrics right? Wrong.Each version we check out lyrically online is different so I go to YouTube and listen , we decide we will do a verse each (Tommy, Mark and I) and see how it works (Tomorrow they'll perform it with the originators of that very song: Peter Perret and John Perry) .
Im feeling slightly hungry as I've barely eaten in the last couple of hours - I take two bites of a cheese/Ham sandwich and then it's time for us to go on -
Each night is exactly the same on those dates we start out playing to 25 people and by song three the venue is packed. , We fire into "The Purge" ...now we're cooking, Aaron is flawless he is like our very own Barry Adamson running bass lines effortlessly with precision ,I realise there isn't much room up here but we make the most of it ,doing the strut and as my ex used to call em "Sex Faces" .We get the chance to try out two fresh new tracks "Hold me up" (I'm told sounds like Killing Joke and early Cure) and "Dereliction" an Old tune of ours that we never got to perform starting with Cass beating the shit out of the drums ( three chords too) these particular songs through the set seem to win very single night they're performed , there's an alchemy to them that exchanges a transference of acute energy between us and make a mental note to monitor the audiences response each night we play em.
As we go into "Kill Desire" I get hit with a very heavy melancholy - my Gibson Les Paul Junior is at the guitar doctors being fixed so I've taken a beautiful Gibson Goldtop Les Paul that was left to me in my dear freind Mick Lynes will, Mick only passed away literally two months ago and it feels strange to be playing a deceased friends guitar -one that defined him and his playing onstage.It brings back a lot of memories - particularly the time when "Kill Desire "was written and Mick asked me to play it on that very guitar-and as much as I love playing it -I'd rather Mick was still here playing it instead.
As we go into the last track of the evening "Opium Style" I start to get very paranoid as Mark is whiling out but is very close to my power cable for my pedals ! One false move and it could all go Pete Tong, Luckily Mark balances his chaos and energy without booting the cable and we slay walking off moodily leaving delay and feedback to interweave and layer into a hideous noise...
I carry Marks guitar backstage (1959 Les Paul Junior Double cutaway) and am just about to put it in its case when Tommy asks if he can take a look at it - he plays a few JT licks then hands it to mark who then props it up against the table.Were all drinking and generally having fun and then the inevitable happens - I watch Marks guitar slide almost slow motionesque ( is that a word? If not I just invented it props to me) off the table onto the windowsill and into the wall and lands on the floor.This ain't no ordinary damage either the headstock has completely snapped off ...The whole room stops - Tommy Stinson looks like he's going to cry "Im so sorry man " he repeats ,Bash n Pops Guitarist Steve Selvidge ( also guitarist for Hold Steady) immediately yells " collect all the wood chips" - and Aaron flashes his phone under the table to make sure no wood chips are missing , luckily it's a clean break - but there is guitarist panic in the air to put it mildly.A 1959 Les Paul Junior ain't exactly the cheapest guitar ( some estimate between five grand and more) and I can't believe my eyes...Mark goes from being sad to mildly zen about it "Well it was gonna happen anyway the neck already was beginning to split" he says "Back in the day Cass and I were on the last night of a tour with The Senseless Things ...I think it was 95 ..Birmingham..and we decided to swap instruments and cover The Vaselines " Molly's Lips" - I got on drums animal style and Cass was playing my guitar and then right at the end lobbed it in the air and that was the first time the headstock came off , I told Cass not to worry but he still feels bad about it even to this day " -
JC (Dearly Beloved's guitarist) comes in ultra stoned followed by a cloud of weed and takes one look at the wreckage looks at each one of us and says " Woahhhhhhhhhhhh- Holy Shit".We snap a pic of the broken headstock for posterity and thanks to our ever loyal fans the second Mark puts it up online a bunch of them send him the cash to get it fixed -( Many thanks to any of you reading this )It goes to master craftsman and guitar doctor Phillipe Debruille and now you'd never think it was broken in the first place.
Its time for Bash N Pop to go on , tonight the fans are ultra into it - Tommy has serious stage presence and the band are incredibly tight , their drummer Joe Sirios has serious swing he is like a Clem Burke and Jerry Nolan in one- I think to myself he looks might familiar and at the end of the night I find out he used to drum with Mighty Mighty Bosstones.Steve their guitarist is another of those guys who can literally play with his eyes closed and the bassist Justin Perkins is tearing it up."Friday night is killing me" is one of those classics and the crowd sing along with every word.
Its encore time and were told to come on and Mark and I leg it to the stage and up we go for "Another Girl ,Another Planet" , Mark reads his lyrics of his mobile and I've written mine on my left hand -the only way to remember lyrics unless your some stadium band who can have em on a screen in front of you.The audience love it - it's up there on YouTube in the ether ...after we all leave the stage Tommy goes up solo asking the audience for requests.
Afterwards their is much drinking and jesting -I meet a bunch of really cool fans a few ask for photos , a few ask for signed albums (or both) however One in particular looks slightly confused that I've written Jerome ...turns out he thinks I'm Mark.....,
As we all pile out of the venue it starts to rain , there is a sweet ginger boy that has been patiently waiting an hour for a photo with Mark and is genuinely made up when he gets his wish.A girl comes over and asks me if she can come with us to London and then asks for a hug , this hug seems to be taking a mighty long time ..then she looks me in the eyes and asks me to kiss her...This girl is very beautiful but I decide to be a gentleman kiss her on the cheek and jump into the vehicle , she doesn't look happy but her boyfriend looks somewhat relieved , in all truth at this point all I really give a fuck about now is getting to a McDonald's or a fast food dispensary -"Nick -can we please stop of somewhere for some food" I ask he responds with an abstract unfunny joke that hovers above my head like a plane that's about to dock and doesn't ever land ...
We hit the motorway...
Next Stop ...London Garage ....
Thanks for reading .J.