The Re-education of Michael Lowry

Hello all! Well, here I am again for another exciting installment of all things UNKLe…on the road. We have actually been kind of taking it easy since the KOKO show which I hope that a lot of you were able to see, at least I was taking it easy anyway…….And now…..we’re back and we just did a show in Manchester opening for Ian Brown and next we are off to Italy ( at 5 am on Saturday..oof!).

When I awoke the day of the show or rather when i was awakened, late, by James G. on the day of the show, all signs seemed to point it not turning out to be such a good day. First off, it was just pissing down rain. Second, Pabs couldn’t get a hold of us because even though he lives right around the corner from us, we live in a baement apt. and we both have shitty cell phone reception so we had to meet on the street, in the rain, and hopefully catch a cab to the train station to make our 9:19 train to London….

Wellllllll, as soon as we ran into Pablo, who looked wetter than he was because he was just laden with bags and gear (which he usually is) he starts yelling about how we are never going to find a cab because of the rain, and we will miss our train, and he can’t get in touch with Lisa, and she is supposed to be riding with us and so on and so on. Now up until that point I was trying to remain positive and optimistic which is hard for me because I am very much a glass is half empty kind of person ( I turned down a free hug from a stranger because i thought i was going to be robbed) but I am working on that and trying to sort of always have a full glass….

However, when we ran into Pablo while we were rushing to get to the train station I could slowly start to see the water drain from my glass and i started to suddenly feel tired and cold..you know, fading light and all that..but then a stoke of a luck!!..Right in the middle of Pabs’ rant about how we were going to have to a bus because we couldn’t get a cab, a cab pulls up and we’re off!!! But not before we have to swing by Lisa’s to pick her up, which is fine, but she also is getting no signal and Pablo doesn’t know where she lives, i mean he knows the street just not the actual address. so we spend about ten minutes slowly cruising up her street like a couple of hit men and then at the last second we are connected and she runs out and this time we are really off!!

Except we don’t make our train.

All is well though, there is another one in 20 minutes and we board it and everything is fine, I have got my book, and my little ham and cheese baguette and i am content and the glass is full and we shoot off to London. So its still raining when we get to London, which isn’t really something that bothers me because the stage is covered right? (see?….half full.) And even though we have to drive the tree or four hours down there in a splitter (ugh) its lovely to see everyone again.on a side note, I have to say I have never been apart of a group that is always happy to see each other no matter how much time has passed. We are all very much that way, it could be a week or a year and the reaction is the same…I don’t know why that is but its kind of brilliant…makes for hilarious tough times thats for sure.

While driving to Manchester, it started to clear up and became a really beautiful warm day!!! I think that definitely took the edge off of things a bit and even though I was sandwiched between Jeff, our tech, who masterfully handled the driving, and Jonny Dodkin, (or as we call him..the greatest)like a hostage, I still managed to sleep a lttle bit and read a little (The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. Great Book.)It wasn’t until we actually arrived that i thought to myself “Shit, we haven’t been able to rehearse and I haven’t even played the drums since KOKO. I hope I remember my parts. (half empty)

Thus begun what I would call the re-education of Michael Lowry and it pretty much took up the entire afternoon. I just sat in our little hot plastic Porto-whatever you call it, with the green shell, fluorescent lights, and stark white mad-house walls on the couch and poured through the tunes and try to calm myself down and assure myself that actually I did know what I was doing and that desptite no rehearsal and subsequently no sound check (and did I mention the part about how I lost the lead to my in-ears and had to send someone to purchase me a new one….half empty), that I would do fine and the show would be fine.

I think that we also didn’t realize that right before us was the guy from New Order’s new band and the last bunch of songs in their set consisted of Famous New Order songs, that Huge Chemical Bros. song, and Joy Division hits, not the least of which was “Love Will Tear Us Apart” which they closed with…..in Manchester…in front of like 10,000 people. We all kind of sighed a collective “Fuck” after that, not a short little exhortation either more like a long slow drawn out “last breath” kind of  thing. Alright I am being a little dramatic about that last part , but c’mon it was intimidating to say the least! The show must go on thought right?.

Well we got set-up, dotted all of ours ‘I’s and crossed all of our ‘t’s, well mostly, as well as we were going to be able to in the 10 minutes that we had to change over and line check, and that guy Craig from Red Dwarf introduced us, and I have no idea how that happened, I know that he came with our old friend Griff but apart from that i was out of the loop..you know…practicing and worrying and all that…and we started up ” The Answer” and within like 5 minutes this huge fight kind of erupted in the front row and all the security just start violently pulling people out of the audience. it was bizarre and a little scary, and because the first half of the set is all joined together we couldn’t stop and say anything..no Altamont moment for us, we just had to keep going. It actually turned out alright. I didn’t have any major fuck-ups, (although I started to come in too early on the first break of Ablivion) and the crowd seemed to be quite attentive………after that you think you can breathe a sigh of relief but we had to still drive three hours back to London in the splitter….

By the way Jeff our Tech was the absolute star that day, he loaded the gear in the morning, drove us all down there, did the gig, helped break everything back down, loaded it back up, drove our sorry drunk asses back to London, then dropped all of the gear off….here’s to you Jeff. Make Sure that you lovely people reading this, the next time you see Jeff, give him a hug or a hi-five or if its after a gig..buy him a beer because he is one of the ones that really help to make this whole thing happen and we couldn’t do it without him.

Well I guess that this is kind of it for this one. I will try to write the day of the gig in Italy but i ain’t making no promises since I will have been up since 5am and I don’t have kids and I am not Rocky so that’s early for me…see you later. mike

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Deadwood, Cakes, Whisky and God’s dreaded hammer

Deadwood, Cakes, Whisky and God’s dreaded hammer – Blog Post 3

Ok, so after crawling out from under God’s Hammer in Zurich we were off to Paris. I think that we were all feeling just kind of like everything was out of our control and I think we kind of wrung our hands and were like “oh, well”. But then the gig was great!!!! We had no problems!  No tracks cutting out, I could hear everything, yeah it was great.

James Griffith’s quote of the day was “I am Deadwood. If I had a gun i would kill every last one of you then go down to the bar and drink a pint of whiskey”.  Afterward I rewarded myself with a falafel and we were back to London for what would be the beginning of the most hellish week ever.

After coming back to London, the bus dropped us off and all of our shit at a hotel right at Heathrow, where we literally had about 5 hours to sleep and collect ourselves before going to Russia. Pablo left us there and we were all super gutted that he was going home (he doesn’t like to fly) so after seeing him off, a few of us went to a little pub to eat some lunch and it being nice out, finally, we were delighted to have a few pints and sit outside. This was short-lived however because we were driven mad by airplanes flying right over us every 2 minutes. But hey what do you expect when you are basically at the airport right? I have to say it was kind of funny seeing this fat middle-aged dude in a suit and tie standing at the jukebox whistling and  singing along to the Arcade Fire and dialling in songs by Nazareth. It was surreal.

So, our first show in Russia was in Ekaterinaburg, we had to  fly to Moscow, we got there really early in the morning and then had to wait in the airport for 6 hours to get our connecting flight which would then be another two hours until we actually got to the gig. Man, we were all absolutely shattered and we ended up just sacked out on the floor of the terminal. (There are pictures of this…I think Lavelle took them and he will post them soon I think.) It was pure glamorous rock’n’roll shit. All of us huddled together on the floor like we were  sheltering ourselves from the elements in some, you know, post apocalypse scenario like “The Road”. Real “huddled masses” type shit. When we finally arrived I felt like I was losing my mind…it was just surreal.

It’s times like these when everyone is fucked and tired where the promoters could make your life a lot harder or a lot easier and the promoters in Ekaterinaburg, Simon, Kate and Kate were absolute stars!!!!!!Just really really great. They took us out to dinner the night before and just really made us feel welcomed, I think it was the first proper hot meal that we’d had for quite a while and you don’t realize how important healthy good food is until you have been deprived of it for a while. There was Vodka too. Lots of Vodka. (hey, “when in Rome” right?.)  There was a hilarious moment when we first arrived to our hotel, we were just comatose and me and James were in our room flipping through the TV channels, (The A-Team in russian?….Hilarious)And we landed on MTV and the video for Heaven was on and afterwards there was this really bizarre ad that I guess was a promo for the show that listed James Lavelle and then randomly James Griffith. It was hilarious because we couldn’t understand a word of it and it seemed like it was an Ultimate Fighting advert, like James and James were going to fight or something…..bizarre…….

The venue was odd too it was like something out of “Hostel”….but the show was great!!!!People were great and we had a lot of fun. I think that I was just kind of fucked the whole time from all of the flying so I think my worldview was a little askew but it was a  lot of fun. After the show we had about 3 hours and then it was off to Moscow where we would play later that same day.

The venue there was called Arena and it was brand new and they were still literally building it when we showed up to soundcheck. It  looked like a building site. The cement was still wet on the floor, there were dudes riveting and drilling  and there was a welder there literally building the stairs that would lead to the stage. It was crazy. Luckily our hotel was right next door to the venue and that made things infinitely easier (that and the breakfast buffet.) The show was great and it finally felt like we had given God’s Hammer the slip and were settling in sans problems…..

I have to take a time out right now to say our tour manager, front of house man, Johhny Dodkin was an absolute star!!!!!We turned up there and they had no monitor engineer so Johnny was bouncing back and forth like mad doing our sound and monitors and tour managing….he is just an incredible guy and I shudder to think what would have become of us if he wasn’t there.

After the show in Moscow again we had about 3 or 4 hours to sleep and get our shit together and then we were off to St. Petersburg. By the time we reached St. Petersburg I felt like I had aged like 10 years, we were all sore and tired, James Griffith had hurt his leg, Jeff, our tech man, threw his back out, and we were all just hazy. I didn’t even realize that it was my birthday. Finally, after this week that felt like a month, we were able to actually walk around and do some proper living. Its such a beautiful city and it was warm and sunny with the occasional breeze and was just lovely. I was able to get some proper cheesy tourist stuff in, photos and gifts and all that. It’s really a huge drag when you have absolutely no time to do anything and your going to these places and you’re just missing out on experiencing the actual culture because your so fucked from traveling, that all you do is sleep. It can really do your head  in, so just being able to walk around really helped to make me feel like a human being again. The show was fantastic and it was really very touching. At the end James Lavelle called me to the front of the stage and got the entire crowd to sing Happy Birthday and then I turn around and there was this huge cake there!!!I was utterely shocked, it was brilliant. I had been feeling a little low, and that made me feel really special….and everyone deserves to feel special on their birthday right? After the show I drank a lot and I will just leave it at that…..

Yeah, that’s probably for the best. I will say that I was a little worse for wear the next day when we flew back to London but whatever, I had fun. Now we are back in London and its really warm and lovely and I feel like a new man. I think we all do, except for Martin our receptor man who was up all night being sick….sorry buddy I hope you feel better. I think that that pretty much gets us up to date, I am really sorry that I wasn’t able to keep up better while everything was happening but man  everything was so hectic and hellish, it was almost impossible………..God’s Hammer did make another appearance today while we are setting up for our KOKO show, the air conditioning caught fire and we all had to evacuate for about an hour……stupid God’s Hammer.

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The Moody Hipstamatic Light Series Spot Deadwood

5e403 tumblr l32oyywbd21qc0ctyo1 500 The Moody Hipstamatic Light Series Spot Deadwood
The Moody Light Series: Mike Lowry

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The Moody Light Series: Pablo Clements

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The Moody Light Series: Joel Cadbury

5e403 tumblr l32oyywbd21qc0ctyo4 500 The Moody Hipstamatic Light Series Spot Deadwood
The Moody Light Series: Gavin Clark

5e403 tumblr l32oyywbd21qc0ctyo5 500 The Moody Hipstamatic Light Series Spot Deadwood
The Moody Light Series: James Lavelle

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The Moody Light Series: James Griffith

The Moody Hipstamatic Light Series

Spot Deadwood – read the tour blog for clues!

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A rat ran under the case – Blog Post 2

From France to Switzerland

Ok, wow i don’t even know where to begin really…I apologize for not keeping up better but between travelling and sketchy wifi i have not been able to keep up properly….again, sorry…….

Ok, so after the first show in France that was, well, just bad, we trucked off to Luasanne, Switzerland and we were feeling quite low but we were optimistic about the show being better and well, it was. Nothing went down, we didn’t fuck up, the visuals were ok and we had a really lovely time. Midnight Juggernauts supported us there and the following night in Zurich and they were great. I strongly urge you all to check out there stuff….They were really great guys as well.

Nice one guys, hopefully we will be able to hook up again soon. 

 So, with the fire of our first successful show of the tour still burning bright in our bellies, we carried on to Zurich. It was really overcast that day and the venue looked like it was apart of some building sight. I mean there were literally giant cranes and scaffolding everywhere and the club was down this ramp that looked like the entance to a carpark. I didn’t really sleep that well the night before and so getting off the bus at like 9 or 10 or whatever and facing this kind of grim industrial sceneknid of dampered my spirits a little. When it started sprinkling a short time later I kept half expecting to see all those rotten little kids from that Apex Twin video, Come to Daddy, darting in and out of the shadows terrorizing old women!

However after a shower and some food my spirits brightened and a short time later we played. Now, remember when i said that we had ironed out all of our difficulties? Well God’s Hammer struck again and all of our tracks went down yet again….in front of a packed audience……So, faced with impending doom, we tried ripping into Hell Hole, which while being funny, didn’t really cut it, so instead of just crying, giving up, or killing ourselves we just decided to play on with what we could without backing tracks or anything and it ended up being kind of ok…I think people really appreciated that we kept on trying our best when everything went down and I mean what were we going to do anyway, just walk-off half way through a set and leave people who had come down to see us hanging in the wind? Fuck that!  So we did our best, even if it were no match for God’s Hammer……..

Pablo’s quote of the day——“Fuck me, I just saw a rat run under that case”……

I have got more…….loads more to write because it only gets better from here but i will write more later…right now I am in Moscow on like 4 hours of sleep and Iam about to start screaming/crying…….so I have to get some rest before our show tonight…thanks again to everyone that came out in Switzerland we had fun despite all the bullshit……………

 

Mike

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