So last Thursday and Friday I found myself in the Rock Van belonging to Woodenbox and a Fistful of Fivers on a whirlwind trip to England to play shows in Sheffield and Stockton. This van reminded me somewhat of when I played hockey and the school team used to make trips to other cities to play. There with that rickety old feel about the thing and something in the back of my mind that thought we’d never actually make it to Sheffield let alone there and back again via Stockton. It was sweet though. A nice big white transit, modified to allow storage of equipment and with plenty room for the band to crash out after shows. An inbuilt dvd player which allowed the watching of classics such as Teen Wolf and Predator was also a pretty sweet addition to the van! Also on this journey, I discovered that I get a slightly weird enjoyment from sleeping on the floor of such vans. Perhaps when you are in the tour situation you actually take pleasure in such slight, erm, ‘comforts’ but I really found a nice comfy spot on the floor and made it my own.
Anyways, it took us ages to get to Sheffield due to country roads and traffic jams outside Newcastle. We arrived in time to grab a bite to eat though and then get stuck in to the show. It was a good one. Good sound, good crowd. In fact, very generous crowd as we got offered numerous places to stay for the night. Fortunately we already had accommodation – though some of the guys didn’t need it preferring the street and garden as bedrooms. Anyways, after a night of much whiskey drinking we headed onwards to Stockton for the Stockton Riverside Festival being headlined that day by the Charlatans. It was pretty sweet. We got guest passes which gave us access to the hospitality area and lots of free food and drink! It also gave us the perfect view of the main stage from which we took in quite a few bands. Wild Beasts were brilliant. Very similar in style to new Grizzly Bear stuff, they sounded awesome live and I will be investigating their records for sure now. The Charlatans also rolled back the years and sounded pretty awesome. Tim Burgess is 42 and can still rock a pair of skinny jeans. He must be so tiny! Anyways, we headed over to the Georgian Theatre where we were playing and played a great show to a large and enthusiastic crowd. It was a top gig. We hung around for a bit after, chatting to the locals before jumping in the Rock Van and driving through the night for home. It was a good couple of days for sure and it really gave me a taste for how life on the road would be. I have to say that I for one could really get used to that lifestyle.