Day 20: Glasgow

Welcome

Yesterday we played our last show of our Europe/UK tour at Barras Art and Design, in Glasgow.


I breakfasted at the hotel buffet and enjoyed porridge with berries and yoghurt, toast with Marmite, and toast with Marmelade.

We had a late call time for our Glasgow show so we decided to detour through the Lakes District National Park for some scenery and lunch.

Jonathan earned a strong point for scouting a good pub, where we stopped and enjoyed Sunday roasts and English ales served at a great temperature.

Unfortunately Jonathan lost a point for leaving his bag at the pub but Tristan made the most of this blunder, picking up a +1 for remembering it.

After lunch we walked down the road to have a look at the beautiful Windmere Lake, and Liz picked up a point for touching both a goose and a pigeon.

We pulled up in Glasgow at 7.30pm and were met by none other than old mate, #1 promoter, and Beth of the day alumnus Gerry Blythe who as usual made us feel right at home.

The Barras, the old market district where our venue was located.

The show went well and afterwards we did the fastest merch selling of our careers as the security tried to hustle everyone out of the building for curfew.

As is tradition after a show in Glasgow we headed to Broadcast for a quiet drink followed by an early night. Liz earned a point there for ordering two White Russians.

Beth of the day goes to Rikki. Rikki is our friend from home who now lives in the UK and kindly agreed to join us as a guitar tech for the UK leg of the tour.

He scored a point for immediately falling asleep in the van after lunch (literally within a minute), for packing up all of our gear while we tried frantically to sell merch, and for quickly drinking the White Russian he ordered just as everyone was leaving.

Congratulations Rikki, you’ve been working hard in the background for the past week and it makes me extremely happy to see you get some recognition.

It has a been a long stretch of touring for us and I’m happy to say that we are now heading home to enjoy the New Zealand summer.

I would like to thank Liz, Jon, and Tristan for being such wonderful people to tour with and for supporting an assisting me with the blog.

A huge thanks to everyone who came out to see us play, and of course a massive thanks to you – the reader. Without you this publication couldn’t exist and I am eternally grateful for your support.

I will leave you now with a final faucet of the day that we experienced just this morning in our last hotel of the tour.

The Cat’s Teats is a complex design that uses a three way flow controller to direct water to either the fixed shower head, the hand-held nozzle, or the twelve sprayers set out in dual vertical columns at torso height.

Sadly the lack of pressure in this installation provided an underwhelming experience but I still feel that the innovations in the design are paving the way for our future generations of faucet designers.

Please excuse the portrait video, I felt that it was the only way to properly frame this invention.

Cheers

Ben

Day 19: Manchester

Welcome

Yesterday we drove north on the M5 and M6 to Manchester, where we played a show at Gorilla.


We grabbed breakfast just down the road from the End Of The Road at the Chettle Village Store.

I had a Morrocan Lamb pie.

We took a small detour on the route North to be able to tick ‘Henge’ off of the tour photo bingo list.

It is worth mentioning that Tristan and I actually spotted a henge in Kansas City but unfortunately it wasn’t eligible because we didn’t have enough band members in attendance.

We were all dog-tired after a poor night’s sleep in a freezing tent so I would like to nominate Tristan for a point for staying awake and being a great co-driver, so the others could nap in the back seat. He provided valuable navigational skills and great DJing, and ensured a timely and safe arrival in Manchester.

Our show at Gorilla was one of the most difficult ones we’ve had in a while, with the understage subwoofers obscuring every last shred of recognisable pitch and leaving us floundering in the dark. Luckily Liz has memorised how to sing in tune so I think we came across okay.

It was also a very sad night because we had to say an emotional goodbye to our friends in Peaness. They have been an absolute delight to tour with and they delivered amazing performances night after night without fail.

We love having the opportunity to meet and make new friends and it is with a heavy heart that we wave goodbye to them and head to our final show in Glasgow.

Beth of the day goes to Tristan for great co-driving, for getting a chicken to go on to his leg, and for eating a pie and a sausage roll for breakfast.

Thanks Tristan, we’d be falling apart without you at this point.

Day 18: Salisbury

Welcome

Yesterday we played at End Of The Road festival in the Larmer Tree Gardens in Salisbury.


We set off on the A27 along England’s South coast, enjoying two castle sightings within the first hour. We had subway for breakfast and I ordered a mega-melt, and for some reason added spinach, pickles, aioli, and barbeque sauce.

Driving through Southampton we ticked off Pirate Flag from the tour photo bingo list.

Upon arrival at End Of The Road we made our way through a multi-layered defence of festival volunteers until we found our stage. I should mention that the volunteer staff were absolutely lovely, and went above and beyond the call of duty to help us out.

Liz earned a point when we arrived at the green room for remembering this wifi password correctly: LARM3RBackstage19

We had a couple of hours to spare before soundcheck so I went to watch Stella Donnelly play. She sounded amazing and punctuated her performance with cool dance moves inspired by her favourite band The Wiggles.

Our set at the Woods stage was in the middle of the afternoon and was surprisingly well attended. The sound engineer did an amazing job and we played one of our best shows of the tour.

📸 Cerys Kenneally.

Afterwards we ate dinner and then headed to our campsite to pitch the tent. It was a joint effort led by several different project managers which eventually led to a respectable erection.

Jonathan scored points for straightening out all the bent pegs, and for standing inside the tent holding the centre pole throughout the whole process, a job in which he was so uncomplaining that noone knew he was there.

Later in the evening we went to watch Mitski’s set which was spectacular. Please excuse everyone around me talking through the song.

Our second performance was just after midnight at the Teepee stage. We slammed cups of tea to stay awake and managed to push through our exhaustion and play another really fun set.

📸 Cerys Kenneally.

Beth of the day goes to EOTR volunteer Janice who told us how to talk our way into the best campsite, and gave us sweets while she was doing so.

Thanks Janice. You are the volunteer of the year.

Day 17: Brighton

Welcome

Yesterday we left London on the A2 motorway, and then took the M25 and M23 down to Brighton to play a show at Patterns.


I again went for breakfast with my cousin William, who I should mention was generous enough to put me up at his flat while I was in London. We went to The Good Egg in Stoke Newington and I ordered an Iraqi Aubergine Pita.

Jonathan earned the first points of the day with a pre-journey table wipe.

On the drive down to Brighton we stopped at a gas station where Liz earned a quick point for a carefully chosen Krispy Kreme.

Our soundcheck was extremely pleasant and afterwards we got fish and chips to take down to the beach for dinner. Liz unfortunately fell victim to a coordinated gang of seagulls who swooped in from behind, one pouncing on her head while the others stole her piece of fish straight out of her hand.

The fish and chips pre-attack.

Possibly one of the culprits.

Not fifteen minutes later we saw another group of beach-goers fall victim to the same tactics, this time with a slice of pizza being the spoils.

Ben did score a notable point for unpicking his inside jacket pocket so he could sneak a beer down to the beach for Tristan.

After dinner Tristan and I went down to the end of the Brighton pier for a rollercoaster ride, followed by a slide down the Helter Skelter.

Right before the show we had a minor disaster when Jon’s amp broke down. He handled it magnificently though, quickly plugging into a DI box (direct input) so we could do the show.

After load-out we went with our friends from Peaness back to the now seagull-less beach and enjoyed a few drinks next to the softly lapping waves.

There were some significant points scored yesterday that I wanted to mention.

Jon scored a point for a quick guitar amp fix but lost one for leaving the van key on the beach.

I got a point for buying breakfast for Tristan but lost a point when I was late for van call because I read the map wrong.

Liz scored well with her Krispy Kreme but then lost a point for having her fish stolen.

Tristan was the only one with enough stamina to pull ahead at the end of the day. He fixed Chrissy P’s bike seat and he delivered a great dinner recommendation.

We ran into a spot of bother when we were selling merch after the show and we couldn’t get internet to operate the card-reader. Tristan engineered a great solution by turning his hotspot on and leaving his phone halfway up the stairs with the security guard, enabling us to connect to the worldwide web by barely a spider’s thread.

He also lost a point for leaving a banana skin behind the merch table but still ended up with a 1 point lead over everyone else in the band.

Nice work Tristan, it always feels good to win with a -1 on the board.

My faucet of the day is a beautiful example of a vertically oriented three way system with an independent temperature control, that Liz christened Squareky Clean.

Day 16: London

Welcome

Yesterday we spent the day in London doing tasks such as laundry, before heading to Charing Cross for our show at Heaven.


I started my day with a run along the Regent’s Canal where I was happy to witness Sturt’s Lock in action.

I don’t know how anyone could give it less than 5 stars but here is what one Google user had to say.

I ran under the Whitmore Bridge, a brick arch bridge with a Google rating of five stars from one review. I couldn’t find any information on the bridge except that it was probably constructed in the early 19th century when the Regent’s Canal was built. If anyone has any knowledge to share about the Whitmore Bridge please get in touch!

📸 Robin Webster.

I went for breakfast with my cousin William at The Dusty Knuckle Bakery in Dalston, where I enjoyed a spiced lamb shoulder sandwhich.

In the afternoon we headed to venue for load in and I assisted Tristan in a very tight van park.

Our show was at Heaven, a venue located underneath Charing Cross Station. It opened in 1979 and was the first gay superclub in the UK, helping to bring gay clubbing into the mainstream and heavily influencing London’s nightlife.

It was our biggest headline show to date, and we were thrilled to play to a sold-out room of 1000. The lighting and sound staff were stone-cold pros and made us look and sound really good.

I would like to take the opportunity to feature a few photos from the evening from our good friend Dani Bolton who is a Kiwi photographer based in London. You can check her out on instagram.

We came back to the green room after the show to find a huge bottle of champagne that our managers George, Apple, and Jake had secretly organised. Thanks team, we do love you madly.

Beth of the day goes to Liz for doing everyone’s laundry, for safe champagne opening, and for heading straight out to deal with a hectic merch table after the set, without even taking a breather.

Congratulations Liz on your Beth of the day hat trick!

Day 15: Rotterdam to London

Welcome

After our Amsterdam show we stayed in Rotterdam so yesterday we drove from there to Dunkirk to take the ferry across the channel. We had dinner in Dover and then drove right over to London, arriving late in the evening.


I had a reasonably balanced breakfast of egg on toast, jam on toast, cucumber, tomato, olives, plums, and mandarin.

I went for a quick run down to the waterfront and enjoyed enjoyed seeing a merry marina, a trim tram, and a rather comely cable-stayed bridge.

Erasmusbrug (Erasmus Bridge) is a cable-stayed bridge that crosses the New Meuse in Rotterdam. Designed by Ben van Berkel it was completed in 1996 and is 802m long with a longest span of 284m. It also features an 89m bascule section that is the largest of it’s type in western Europe.

We happened to drive over the Erasmusbrug on our way out of Rotterdam and were fortunate enough to witness the bascule span in action.

The early evening ferry ride was beautiful and we enjoyed the view from the aft deck while sipping pints of John Smith’s, the beer that champions everyday ordinary folks that are actually anything but.

Boarding the ferry.

Leaving Dunkirk port.

Arriving back in Dover.

Back in Dover we had an enjoyable exploration of English food culture, eating dinner at a Weatherspoon’s pub. After dinner we were treated to a substantial M2 detour which landed us back in London just before eleven o’clock.

Beth of the day goes to Liz for eating cup noodles for breakfast and for great podcast DJing during the evening drive.

Well done Liz, even though the noodles were terrible it was the intent that counts.

Apologies

Sorry for the radio silence.

I have been having problems with uploading photos for the last few days and I just figured out that it was because I had run out of storage space.

I have now upgraded to a premium plan and I will be able to catch you all up!

Cheers

Ben