Day 29: Barcelona

Welcome

Yesterday we played our last show of the tour at Primavera Sound in Barcelona.


I didn’t make it to the hotel breakfast because we had an early flight to Barcelona. I ate some cherry tomatoes during the drive from Tilburg to Amsterdam airport.

We landed in the early afternoon and went straight to the hotel to meet our manager Jake and his wonderful wife Apple. On the ride from the airport we ticked our first item off the ‘tour photo bingo’ list.

Jake and Apple took us out for some great Tapas, Apple scoring an easy +1 for a good food recommendation.

Our show was at the Sala Apolo, and was part of the Primavera Sound afterparty. The room was packed and the audience were incredibly energetic considering that some of them had probably been awake for three days straight.

Soundchecking at Sala Apolo.

This was the amazing poster for our show, by artist Sabrina Gabrielli

I would like to congratulate Apple Bagios on winning her first Beth of the day.

Jono, Liz, Tristan, and I all got our bags searched at airport security which was a firm -1 and we never really had a chance to recover. Jake was looking good on a +1 for having a travel adaptor so I could charge my phone, but Apple swooped in with another point for lending Jono an earing so he could open the sim card tray on his phone.

You did a fine Job Apple. Not everyone wins Beth of the day on their first try.


I’m sad to say that this will be the last blog entry for a while. We are staying on in Spain for a month’s holiday and then in July we head to the US for more breakfasts and more shows.

I should be publishing again by the 27th June.

Thanks everyone for your continued support.

Ben

Day 28: Tilburg

Welcome

Yesterday we drove an hour to Tilburg in the Southern Netherlands where we played at Best Kept Secret festival.


The hotel breakfast was another good one. I had tomato, cucumber, cheese, hams, bacon scrunched, sausage, small pancake, boiled egg, croissant, and brown bread.

We got on the road straight after breakfast and made it to Tilburg right on time for soundcheck. We were the first band of the day, playing at 12.30pm, which gave us the rest of the day to enjoy an amazing lineup of bands and an open bar.

📷 Vitaly Zimin.

I saw a swathe of bands I had been waiting to see for a long time including Hop Along, Lucy Dacus, and Snail Mail.

Beth of the day goes to Jonathan. He saved me a plate of lunch because the catering was going to close, he negotiated with the dressing room staff to hold on to it for me, he gave me the last Aperol Spritzer when the bar ran out of Aperol, and he cleaned and wiped out our van.

It has taken you a while to get warmed up Jono but I feel like you’re going to destroy it next tour.

Day 27: Nijmegen

Welcome

We spent the afternoon in Groningen yesterday before driving to Nijmegen for our last European headline show.


Breakfast was make-your-own cheese toasties at Vera.

We visited the Martinitoren and climbed it’s 260 steps up to the viewing platform at a slightly underwhelming height of 57 metres.

After climbing the tower I was exhausted so I went and slept in a nearby park for an hour.

On the way into Nijmegen we drove across the Waal river on a beautiful arch bridge called the Waalbrug. I’m happy to announce that the Waalbrug is my bridge of the day with it’s 244m arch and 604m total length elegantly carrying 50,000 cars every day.

Built in 1936 the Waalbrug was the first crossing for automotive traffic across the Waal. At the start of the Second World War Dutch combat engineers blew up the bridge (presumably they dynamited it) to slow the German advance, however during the German occupation it was restored to service.

In 1944 the Germans attempted to destroy the bridge to prevent the allied advance but Dutch resistance member Jan van Hoof managed to disable the explosives.

We played a nice show at a venue called Merleyn, a comfey 150 capacity room with a pleasant backstage area.

Beth of the day goes to Liz for finding two pairs of jeans that fit, for buying a present for a family member, and for cleaning herself really well in the shower.

Rub a dub dub three points in a tub, nice work on the scrub, Liz!

Day 26: Groningen

Welcome

Yesterday we had an easy two hour drive to Groningen in the northern Netherlands, where we played at the famous rock venue Vera.


I had a reasonably restrained breakfast of ham, cornichons, tomato with mozzarella, boiled egg, and bread roll.

We had a late hotel check-out so I managed to fit in a run around the city centre. It was German Father’s day and I had been told to expect large-scale public drinking but the streets were mostly deserted.

St Lamberti Kirche, a 90m Roman Catholic cathedral with a 4.6 star Google rating. If you look extremely closely you can see three cages that hang above the clock. These were used in 1536 to display the corpses of the three leaders of the Münster rebellion, after they were publicly tortured and executed.

A morning regatta on the Münstersche Aa river (4.3 stars, 9 reviews). They could be drunk but it was hard to tell.

Vera is a venue situated in one of the oldest preserved houses in Groningen¹, dating back to the fourteenth century. The venue is run largely by volunteer staff and provides an opportunity for them to learn the skills involved with live music production.

The building also has sleeping facilities (which we stayed in) and a screenprinting studio where posters for the upcoming shows are designed and produced.

This amazing poster designed by Willem Kolvoort.

Left to right: Willem Kolvoort, Elizabeth Stokes, Tristan Jeremy Deck, Jonathan Pearce.

Willem’s daughter Tove made posters for everyone in the band. Mine was the best.

Jonathan picked up the win in Beth of the day but it was a rollercoaster. He began with a minus one by waiting expectantly for Ben to reverse the van out whilst unknowingly having the keys on his person. But he made a swift comeback by peeling and salting me a boiled egg while I was driving the van.

He scored a point for setting up the GameCube at the venue so Tristan could play Need For Speed Underground.

He picked up a couple of points during soundcheck, first for bringing everyone berries and sparkling water and then for suggesting that we dim the lights and perform a song for Tove who wasn’t able to stay for the show since it was past her bedtime.

A last second pee right as we were about to go on stage was a strong minus one but he got back on the horse and won the day by successfully making a phone call to his New Zealand bank in the middle of the night.

Most people would have given up with two minuses but not you Jono. Well done for sticking at it.

¹Wikipedia

Day 25: Münster

Welcome

Tristan did a heroic 700km drive yesterday and we played a great show at Gleiss 22 in Münster.


I started off my day with a great breakfast buffet. I ended up putting scrambled eggs and bacon inside the croissant (not pictured).

We left just before 9am, Tristan at the helm driving slowly and patiently as it was his first time on the Autobahn.

Tristan demonstrating his favourite steering wheel grip the “one high, one low.

He kept up an aggressively consistent pace of not too much more than 100km/h for the whole trip and managed to get us to Münster in an impressive seven hours flat.

Along the way we found a rest stop that had some gym equipment so we stopped for a quick exercise.

I spotted a really good bridge.

Unknown rail bridge near Kamen, Germany.

And a power plant.

Westfalen power plant, disappointingly coal-fired, 800MW.

We spent a long time coming up with a list for our game of tour photo bingo. I’ll be posting updates as soon as we spot anything.

We had a really nice time at Gleis 22 where the staff fed us lots of snacks, then cooked us a beautiful dinner and did our washing 😍.

📸 Verenas Jukebox

Tristan gets Beth of the day for doing a seven hour drive, and for buying the most disgusting drink of the tour.

Congratulations Tristan, I love how hard you work every day for this great award.

Day 24: Dornbirn

Welcome

Yesterday we drove East through the heart of Switzerland and then crossed the Austrian border to play a show in Dornbirn.


I breakfasted on a carrot with houmous and some paprika crisps.

📸 Tristan Deck

My first impressions of Austria were the narrow roads, confident drivers, and the incredible hospitality.

Dornbirn is located in the Southwest corner of the country near the borders of Switzerland, Germany, and Liechtenstein. It sits right at the foot of the Karren mountain at the edge of the Eastern Alps.

We played at a venue called ‘Spielboden‘, a cultural centre housed in a former textile factory. The room we played in was kitted out with all the bells and whistles; there were more lights in the rig than there were audience members.

Our green room was packed with more food than we could eat so we made lunches for the next day. The venue made us a beautiful dinner that included a soup course, earning Liz’s stamp of approval.

The show was not very well attended (not too surprising considering we were playing in a small Austrian city of 50,000) but the audience were very appreciative and it was a good chance to practise my German banter. It went okay.

Liz’s Dornbirn highlight was playing to a friendly attentive audience.

Tristan’s highlight was having a post-gig sauna back at the hotel.

Jonathan’s highlight was when I turned on all nine of the horizontal shower heads in the sauna shower.

My highlight was a late night video chat with my favourite twins from my favourite band.

Beth of the day goes to KJ for hosting Jono and Liz and providing us with van breakfast.

Congrats KJ on your first Beth of the day!

Day 23: Bern, pt 2

Welcome

Yesterday was another slow news day. We spent the day in Bern and tried not to spend any money.


For breakfast I ate the leftovers from my dinner the night before which was bread and butter with salami.

Tristan and I spent the afternoon getting haircuts and then going for a run.

Jono’s highlight of the day was visiting a tall cathedral. “Going up that cathedral I think must have been my favourite thing. You can go way higher than you should be allowed to go”.

Münsterkirche.

📸 Jonathan Pearce

Tristan’s highlight was “that first wheat beer at the Altes Tramdepot. It was nice to have a beer with my friends”.

Liz’s highlight was “seeing KJ. Talking with KJ”.

Liz and KJ.

📸 Elizabeth Stokes

My highlight was seeing Tristan knock over a bar stool while completely sober.

Beth of the day goes to Ben for remembering to bring Jono’s jacket that he left in the van, and doing a great Instagram story.