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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