Mailing List 5th of July 2009
Here is the latest update from your meaty children. we have officially started our 6 month busking tour of europe. The end of june we played in London at Fish Night at The Foundry (nice one Bob) and busked at Tower Bridge and Victoria Station. Thanks to Fitz for helping out and Alice and Joe for putting us up. Then back up to Manchester for our leaving party. We were scheduled to play Tiger Lounge but we boycotted the gig because of big burly bouncers. Moved everyone to Fawlty Towers and it was the best! Massive thanks to all the guys and gals who came down as well as The Autonomads and The Whiskey Bastards....twas the tits.
The next day was full of comedowns but more beer and some tearfull goodbyes took place after we completely rammed our van full of guitars and survival crates. We made a fairly efficient journey down to Harwich down south, with a lovely detour through Cambridge city center. Got the ferry at 9 and were in Holland by 5, straight on busking in the center of Amsterdam. Made some fivers, bought some weed then to the beach for sleepy time, and thats how our epic journey was to begin...
We awoke to a blazing sun and a swim in the sea, said a long kiss goodbye to the soft brown sea and re-loaded the van headed for a squat in Amstel. Having met Gabe the night before he proveded direction, though to no avail, lost in the one way sytems and small roads we eventually found it stocked up on supplies went to the park and jammed on the grass until long past the midnight hour. Slept in the squat and went busking early, made a good wage and met a dutch guy named Patrick, he took us to a brand new squat bar in the center of Amsterdam said that he has a cancellation for a gig that night, we happily agreed to fill in and carried on busking and basking in the sun. The gig was a good laid back affair with lots of laughs and a never ending bar. Kept the place open an hour and a half later than allowed and we pulled a good crowd by the time the taps ran dry. Treked back to sleep illegally under the stars....
The next day the sun was still coming down in shards of gold and we began into town with good intention and warm hearts. Only to be stopped outside central station to witness the brutal beating of an old christian woman...BY THE POLICE...her crime? Apperently freedom of speech has it's limitation here, as does standing up for whats right-as hundreds or tourists flooded past, not blinking an eyelid. Our nauseous spirits were lifted from this reminder of a totalitarian forced authority reminant of 1984-by the encounter with Boyd. Our American host living in Holland who took us to his milk farm to play a private show for his house warming party. The air was ripe with sweet milk, lavender and moss. The grass a soft green, naked babies with golden curls looking like the lovechildren of Persephone and Eros, tumbled with laughter across the fields. Multi-coloured home made flags danced in the fading light. In the horizon a single strip of road shaded by sycamore, an open sea of sky, slashed with peach fingers, and the black and white dots of farm animals. Boyd satisfied our thirst with a bucket of Heinekena nd stuffed us full of Pizza, and we strummed and plucked our strings sat on a fallen branch in a dried up ravine. We were last to leave the party, as mist settled over the canals, we headed back to Haarlem to rest and dream beneth winking stars and spend a sunday between sand and sea.
Since then we have been busy and trying to escape the rain.
We spent 5 days in the south of Holland in a town called Aardenburg with our friends Melou at a 70 bedroom anti-squat hotel. Interesting times and interesting minds. We spent a day in Brugge and relaxed then back up to Amsterdam to try to make some euro's, met a new friend named Erik and stayed with him for two days under the bridge going into Central Station. Last night we managed to sardine all of us into the van for a whole night, minus a few limbs out windows, now we are in Germany, Koln to be exact relaxing in the sunset glow with a beer and The Autonomads. Our friends from Manchester. After here, who knows...we have a gig on Sunday in Amsterdam and a gig on the 24th of Zeeburg Campsite (Amsterdam) and a gig on the 1st of August at Skek (Amsterdam).
Before we left we recorded a new CD titled "Can we play in your Garden?", at Fawlty Towers and Debees Music Bar. The photograph on the front was taken at Manchester Southern Cemetry by Chris Javin. If you would like one they are available from behind the bar at "The Red Lion" pub in Winsford and online from Pumkin Records.
We are booking shows in England from Feb 2010 and are still booking for Europe up till then so get in touch if you have any ideas for shows.
We love you all very dearly
KEEP IN TOUCH
The next morning with a belly ache of mushrooms and gut rot we started on the drive to Hamburg, stopping halfway to sleep in some bushes at the side of the motorway.
We entered the city to the drumbeat of rain, but by time we'd parked the van and hopped the underground, a pale smiling sun was waiting to greet us. A quick fire round of busking took our money situation right out the red and led us down the infamous Reeperbahn. The grizzly sight of neon, sex and bums rotting in doorways, crusty punx with dogs, beer and trash and cigarette butts expolded onto the oil slicked streets.
The musica was calling from every open door and the vibe electric. We stumbled in a blind daze to the star club (where the beatles had their residency) and then slipped into a strange Thai karoke bar to exchange a song or two for a round of whisky and cokes. But alas, by the time three non-blondes and one very drunk girl came around it was definitely time to leave. We made our way to the big park in the centre of Hamburg and slept in the thorny midst of the bushes to the 90's party soundtrack coming from across the road.
The next day stormclouds threatened, but a stroke of luck from global freeloaders led us to a gypsy campsite, last tram stop from Hamburg. The place was amazing, converted circus trailers, solar power, barking dogs, forestry and travellers. Big respect to Simon ( the guy who helped us) and his beeautiful handmade wagon complete with tree branch bookshelves.
We slept in a caravan and when the rain came it dissolved everything in sight.
In town we got caught in the downpour and dashed into the nearest club, where once again we exchanged playing to an empty bar for a round of drinks.
We really wanted to experience the real hamburg, in the form of a hamburgian hamburger, so trailed the streets searching out beers and burgers at an acceptable price for 6 travellers with 6 months ahead. Unfortunatly hunger pangs got the better of us and we stopped for a Hes Burger (think Mcdonalds with a slight pulse) we can admit it now, the result was grease ridden nausea.
Hamburg is awesome, everything is free, travel, food, etc and the squat scene!
Man the squat scene makes you blush when you compare it to what britain has to offer...
Imagine on the harbour front, four massive apartment blocks painted in multicoloured pastels and artwork, benches out on the street, an open fire, a hundred people arriving everyday to eat a free dinner with local produce donated by the local supermarkets. A free shop, free internet, a day cafe for the homeless, a whole apartment dedicated as a sanctuary for asylum seekers, and a general harmonious, productive environment.
We ate an enormous dinner of salad, vegan pasta and a sweet potato cinamon desert, washed down with beer bought from the squat bar.
Seriously all our friends back home, lets get on it and make a dedicated, productive social change-be inspired!
Well thats all there is to say about Hamburg, other then Mr Silvers got caught stealing chilli con carne and had to run to the hills in order to escape, oh and we found a travelling circus - no need to elaborate.
So back to Amsterdam, a three hour trip turned into a nine hour drive, but back we were with our good friends Eric and Mr Lee under the bridge.
The next gig on the list was Camping Zeeburg, who fed us, watered us and paid us. We even recieved a quarter of weed for one CD - viva Amsterdam!
the next night we had a private gig at a garden party - which turned into a full blown array of cocktails and cake. The food was so good we couldnt resist stuffing our bellies and bags with the buffet table.
Then it was down to the coast to catch one of Melou's last shows, a rainy beach day which couldnt hold us - the highlight being mark trying to force his autograph on a young and unsuspecting Dutch girl.
The next few days we spent chilling at Erics, enjoying a bed, Southpark and a football until it was time to head down to Den Haag to see the Dead Subverts. Unfortunatly Kims van had bust a tyre and with the rain pounding down, it was Super Gaz (aka G-Force or Indiana Lunt) to the rescue.
They turned up to the venue just in time for a fifteen minute set and a quick beer before we all set off back to another great squat with three crates of beer.
One by one we fell and by four am the majority of the alchohol was left to Matt, Gaz, Mark and Alex. Who decied to stretch their man strings by arm wrestling and having a raw garlic eating competiton. Needless to say the rest of us remained unimpressed at the offensive stench for days.
The next day after vomiting chunks of garlic we headed down to the Pirate Bar - a squatted bar on the sea of Den Haag. Since many of us couldnt face an early bird beer after the night before, we sailed a make shift boat out of the bay, true pirate style, until caught and sent back by the coastguard.
Back to Amsterdam with Matt and Liv onboard for a gig at Skek and gay pride day. Fighting through the throngs of tight shirts and grinds, with Gaz getting eyes all round.
With France in near sights we decided to spend a day amongst sand and sea at Zaandfort beach with Penn and Becks (friends from our home town) eating anchovies, swimming an drinking beer.
Then some more hardcore busking, deterred slightly by Alex and Mark getting arrested for trying to pocket some bug repellent. The politie putting on another show of petty indecency instead of doing their job (which could have been trying to stop the knife wielding crazy guy, blatantley threatening to stab American tourists at the festival).
So here we go, a month has passed and Paris is calling, Tomorrow we start the winding meander out of Holland and into France, to the land of free camping, baguettes and woodstock!