Internet hard to get here. Been traveling big distances, playing, sleeping & doing it again the next day. Midi Festival in Beijing tomorrow. Next episode of the tour diaries will feature the last few days. Fingers crossed for good internet soon.
First show at Xin Xiang University, on Friday night to about 1500 kids. It was an open-air stage & we kicked off just after sunset. Great night. Took the shot below while we were walking off stage at the end of the show.
Xin Xiang University, 26 April 2013.
Tonight we played the Ark Bar Xin Xiang. Had a lotta fun at the show. Went out afterward with the owner. Lovely guy. Now it’s 5am & we haul out for the next city in a couple of hours. Can’t sleep. Body clocks are shattered. Woke at 5pm before the show last night. Bed at 4am before that. At least we slept. Really needed it. Feels like weeks without sleeping.
Jet-lagged & trying to get it together today. Hard to stay asleep for longer than a few hours. Went for a walk through the Hutongs in Beijing before 6am to tire ourselves out & get back to sleep. It worked. Woke from deep sleep at 9:30 & stayed groggy for the rest of the day, including 5 hours of rehearsal. Out for dinner tonight with friends. Early morning tomorrow – a travel day to the first show in Xin Xiang at Xin Xiang University. We’ll be flying on a bullet train.
Rehearsal today in Beijing.
Uploading the next episode of the tour diaries right now. Hopefully it gets through (a little tougher to upload from here).
Got in to Beijing midday yesterday direct from Frankfurt. Kevin rolled in from Houston about 3 hours later. Went out on the town & stayed out way too late. Sitting in a cool little cafe this morning just around the corner from the hotel. Rehearsal in an hour.
We’re on our way from Germany to China. Probably in the air as you read this. Pic below from our last German tour show at Gorilla Bar Münster. Killer show – great crowd, lovely people, amazing fun, amazing Vagrants.
Last show in Germany tonight. Emotional. For 3 weeks we’ve been touring with The Vagrants, smelling each others underwear, kissing each others microphone sweat, drinking each others unfinished beer. And tonight it’s over, just like that. We’re gonna really miss em. All of em. Dammit. Tonight’s show was awesome. The best of the tour. Wild crowd, crazy into it. Couldn’t ask for a better send off. Gorilla Bar. Check out the 4th episode of our video tour diary below.
I worry about the last show of every tour (try not to admit that to myself). It’s either gonna be icing on the cake or a bitter taste. Icing tonight, alright. This has been my favourite tour of all. German people love rock, young and old. They love punk, art & attitude, young and old. No sitting at the pokies on a lazy Sunday. They’re at the pub watching bands kick it, young and old. You can’t not love it. Pubs feed and give bands all they can drink. And put us up. Coming from Melbourne, you feel like crying when that kind of hospitality implies the respect this society has for artists who live hand to mouth to bring the joy. Danke Schön Deutschland.
China looms like a vast monster on the horizon, heaving for breathe in its petrochemical air. We’ll be there late tomorrow. Even that is hard to believe as I sit here in a hostel lounge at 3am in Muenster, Germany. Shit – what a ride.
We drove in through stunning ancient castle walls. Insane. Pulled in, unloaded the cars & van for set up. Feeling like millions of people had been in this place, lived and died for hundreds, thousands of years before us. Kids going off in the university, loving the show. Vagrants were great – they’re hitting it big now. Killed it.
Big long drive tomorrow for the next show in Zweibrücken at Sutter. 8 hours. Jeezus. It’s 3am. Signing off…
Last night was massive. Great show in Berlin at Dazzle. Beer flowing, small but very vocal excited crowd. It sounded amazing. We stayed up til the wee hours, pumped after the show. A great night with a stack of classic rock & roll moments. Our good friend Danny came along for the show & we hung out front-of-stage for the Vagrants’ headline set. We first met Danny 6 years ago on our debut European tour. Fantastic to see him again – such a nice guy.
On stage last night at Dazzle ,Berlin – right before the final song (Max waiting for me to put the camera down).
The Vagrants absolutely killed it last night. I’ve never seen them blitz a show like that. A balls-to-the-wall, double guitar onslaught that blew my mind. Me, Danny & Max stood there in awe – classic high energy pub rock at it’s finest. They were so locked-in and tight, the bass & drums thundering. Ren’s vocals were a little drowned up front (with the guitar volume) – but the power and feel was all there. A massive sonic flood in the tradition of epic guitar-rock bands. MC5 comes to mind.
Day off today.
3 shows in a row starting tomorrow (to round off the German tour). China next week.
Had an OK show last night in Breman at Meisenfrei. Not our best, had a few technical probs (caused by me). But we had fun with it. If the same thing had happened a few weeks ago, panic would have ensued. We’re getting used to dealing with ‘mishaps’ & turning them into something else – so I guess we’re getting more and more comfortable with the new way of doing things. ‘Sky Caves In’ turned into a trash-fest at the end, me writhing on the stage & Max standing over me – I hit the wrong loop & everything went haywire. The crowd loved it (thank god). Encore-chanting at the end of the set.
The guys in the Vagrants were a little miffed we didn’t continue with an encore. I just had this feeling we’d pushed it as far as we could, my brain-freezing at critical points with the looping & octaving. So I figured, better to leave it on a high, than engage in a kamikaze mission for one more song.