All posts in November 2016

“Wood & Wire” acoustic tour (Week 2)

Maastricht Musiekgieterij 22/11/16

After a day off we’re ready for tonight. Never been to Maastricht before, our hotel is opposite the MVV Maastricht football ground.Town is gorgeous and makes me regret not going out the previous evening with Neil, Richard and Herb.Gig is a wonderful old market complete with steel girders and cobbled stones and it works really well for an acoustic show. The audience are friendly and warm create a fantastic atmosphere in the venue. The lights are great and afterwards we chat and have photos taken with a few people. Thanks to all at the venue for the good food, helpful tips and hands with the equipment. We’d like to return to Maastricht with the full electric band experience.

Brussels Botanique 23/11/16

We didn’t know how this gig would go as it wasn’t seated and we were worried that it might lead the audience to believe it would be a full on show. No need to worry the Brussels crowd sang their hearts out from start to finish and made for a full blooded show with shouting, drunken chants and lovely smiles.
Thank you very much for your kindness. That was a wee bit special.

Roeselare De Spil 24/11/16

Another first. A fantastic venue. Stunning inside like an opera house. At first I found the setting strange but soon got into it. The crowd was really sweet keeping us going throughout and when we started asking them to boo Donald Trump they happily obliged. Thanks to everyone including the venue for making this a special night. We’d like to go back.

Rotterdam Arminius 25/11/16

One of my favourite cities in Europe and I don’t get a chance to visit it very often. We start the day at famous Barbershop Shroem where we play in the back while people get their hair cut. A first for us! Thanks to the guys for the food and drinks. Next time I might get myself a haircut.

I then spend an hour looking in record stores for local band release Sweet Release of Death but I can’t find it.
The gig was on another level altogether. Stunning venue, incredible crowd and I thought we played very well. What a night. Seeing all the smiling faces was an immense feeling, real goosebumps. A big thank you to all of you who came, all at Rotown and Ronald, our Dutch friend, who turned up with a vinyl copy of the album I’d been looking for!
Can’t wait to return to see you all again and the spectacular night took our minds off the fact that we had a twelve hour drive to Linz the following day.

Day Off, Linz 26/11/16

Arrive at 16.30, have beers in bar, find Bar showing Chelsea v Tottenham game.Drink more beer while cheering on the mighty Blues.Chelsea win 2-1 with a stunning goal from Pedro and a second, well worked one, set up by Costa and scored by Victor Moses. Come On You Blues KTBFFH

Go to curry house and, for the first time ever, let the guy talking us through the menu choose my meal for me. It’s delicious. Back to hotel, watch crap TV and hit bed. Big day, big gig ahead in Vienna. Go to sleep still buzzing about the Chelsea win.

Andy Cairns

“Wood & Wire” acoustic tour (Week 1)

Oosterpoort, Groningen

After an overnight boat from the UK its an early start off the boat but once we get our bearings we are straight on over to Groningen. We’ve played here a couple of times before and its exciting to see how it goes down in the acoustic format! Take a bit of time working through the sounds at soundcheck…Neil is using a very stripped down kit and both Andy and I have acoustic guitars/bass.

w_w_diary_sm_01

He’s got Wood & Wire eyes

Soundcheck is sounding good so we have a quick look at the new merchandise and then have a lovely dinner in the venue restaurant. There’s no support tonight so we were doing two sets with a small interval, again, another first for us.

The show goes great and the Groningen crowd seem well up for it, singing in all the right places and clapping in the others. A lovely atmosphere all round, nice one folks, we had a blast.

Melkweg, Amsterdam

Great venue, nice staff and good soundcheck. Our friend Robert is joining us tonight for a couple of songs so we play them through at the soundcheck with him. Stagetime is fast approcahing so we get a quick bit of dinner down in the restaurant, chat with Eric the owner about the Die Kreuzen days and head back up to the dressing room.

w_w_diary_sm_03

The Melkweg

Gig is pretty lively as acoustic shows go, everyone seems well into it and again lots of really great fun onstage. Robert joins us later in the set and its fun to have the additional guitar and voice onstage. After we get towelled down and packed up, head over to a pub for a quick beer and hang out with Robert, Ronald and a few others. Many thanks Amsterdam, it was a pleasure to be back in your city again!

Day Off

Sleeping, eating and showering. Perfect!

013 Tilburg

Another lovely venue and very cool staff and set-up. We’ve played here a few times over the years and its a great example of a custom built venue that looks and sounds great. Very helpful crew and nice backstage facilities which is always a bonus. Its should be a busy night, both our show and the one next door (Opeth & Sahg) are sold out.

Soundcheck for a bit and once it sounding good and there is a nice balance onstage we head down to the catering area for a lovely meal. Its a real luxury to get one decent proper hot meal a day as opposed to eating junk food at service stops. After that pop next door to watch a bit of Sahg at soundcheck and they sound ace, very chunky, very dark with some ace doomy riffs.

w_w_diary_sm_04
Andy has very kindly chased me up a copy of the new Metallica album so its good to get a bit of that pumping in the dressing room before showtime! Again its the two set format and we play a slightly re-jigged version of the previous nights set. Seems to work well and from the off people and rocking out (or as much rocking out you can do at a seated gig ;))

Pack up the gear, sign a few things for people and then we’re trekking back across town for a well-deserved rest before nipping across the border to Belgium.

Warande Turnhout

The drive over is very smooth and the town seems lovely. This is the first show with a support act so we have a slightly shorter set and play it all through with no interludes. The crowd are quiet to start with, possibly getting their heads around the format 😉 Soon enough they begin to start singing and generally having some fun with us. Some nice heckling as well!

After we chill out, pack up and get back to the hotel for a nice easy night. Big thanks to everyone at the venue for helping us out and also to Jan De Bruyn for opening up…a very talented artist and very funny and entertaining company at dinner!

Orpheus, Apeldoorn

Very cool venue, super nice dressing rooms and a very cosy dining area meant that we were excited to be back in this area (for some reason I think we played a festival nearby in Tiel with Madness and The Virgin Marys?).

w_w_diary_sm_05

Unfortunately the excellent run of gigs was slightly derailed tonight by a succession of onstage technical problems that seemed to conspire against us. First up there was a ‘bad’ cable between my bass DI and the PA which resulted in a horrible rattle throughout the first 5 songs (for some reason it took the in-house sound guy that long to work out the problem was with his cabling not ours!)…then Andy broke a string on his main acoustic (too much riffing!) so had to swap to his 2nd guitar, which was in a different tuning and that had to be retuned up and down until Richard managed to get onstage and get the guitar restrung.

The author typing his diary in Appeldoorn

The author typing his diary 😉

Thankfully we had an attentive and warm audience who had a lot of patience for the situation. It was frustrating for us as we always aspire to put on the best possible show for the crowd and tonight it was a tough one. SOooooooooooo thank you Apeldoorn, we appreciate you bearing with us through the technical hi-jinks. Its another day off tomorrow so we get our laundry (amazing how it builds up on tour) ready for ‘washday’ and chase up a few things before calling it a night and heading off to the hotel.

Thanks to everyone who’s come out so far…it’s been a brilliant experience so far…roll on the rest of the dates!