Diary

“Wood & Wire” acoustic tour (week 3)

Porgy & Bess, Vienna
After a night letting off steam and eating well in Linz, the following morning we head over to Vienna. The venue Porgy and Bess is a renowned jazz venue and we’re very excited to be playing there. The venue’s wonderful and the gig’s brilliant. To top things off, our friends Christian and Hannes join us onstage for Screamager, Nowhere and Die Laughing which is great fun!

Colosaal, Aschaffenburg
Apart from the freeeezing cold dressing room, the Colos-saal was great. Lovely people and great food! The show goes down really well and we have a smashing time.

Stone Im Ratinger, Dusseldorf
(Before leaving Aschaffenburg)
Ok, so, me and Herb (our lovely merch guy) dropped everyone’s washing in at a launderette the previous day to be washed overnight and picked up before leaving for Dusseldorf. The morning’s plan was to quickly pick up the clean clothes and then head off… erm, not quite!!
Let’s just say something was lost in translation and the launderette thought we were picking up the clothes a day later than we wanted!! After much pleading from us both we were asked to return in 2 hrs and everyone’s washing would be done. This allowed us to have an unexpected walk around Aschaffenburg which was absolutely lovely I must say. The Christmas market was in full swing and Christmas was definitely in the air. What began as a disaster actually turned out very well (thankfully for me and Herb!!!)

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We eventually arrived in Dusseldorf, sound checked and made sure everything was nice and comfortable on stage. The gig turns out to be more like a ‘rock gig’ than most of the shows we’ve done on this acoustic tour (yes, there was even stage diving!!) Everyone was very rowdy and in fine voice. Thanks Dusseldorf, what a great night.

After the show we begin the trek back to Blighty. We make a start by driving to Holland to stay over before driving on to London the next day for an evening off. We all chill out and have a lovely meal together in preparation for London.

London
We arrive at the Union Chapel around lunchtime. All I can say is wow – what a venue! The place is stunning.
We spend time getting the sounds right on stage – tonight we have our friends playing alongside us, Stevie and also Jenny Nendick on cello, so we make sure they’re happy and sounding great.
For us, the gig was amazing. I loved every minute. Thank you, London and thank you to everyone who travelled to the show. What a fantastic end to the tour!

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An acoustic tour was always going to be an odd one for us (from our end and yours)
It was the first time we’ve attempted acoustic shows and I can honestly say I’ve not had so much fun in a long time.
Approaching the songs and the tour in the way we did was a real challenge but it was incredibly rewarding and to be honest I’ve come off the back of the tour feeling invigorated and full of new ideas for the future. I loved it! Thank you for your part in making each and every show so special.

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Finally…
A massive thank you to everyone who came out to the shows in each city and all who travelled from around the world to join in the fun. Also, thanks to all our friends who got up onstage and played alongside us. We really must do it again some time!

Cheers
Neil

(oh, I’m on Instagram if you fancy it… ncooper.insta)

“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.

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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.

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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.

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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?).

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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!

“Wood & Wire” Acoustic cd recording session

When we heard we were heading out on the “Wood & Wire” acoustic tour we thought it might be a good idea to ‘document’ the tour/idea with a companion cd which people could get at the shows, sort’ve a momento of the night with the reworked older songs on there. Anyway, to get the cd pressed/produced in time we found ourselves back in Blast Studios right at the start of October, acoustic guitars in hand. First day is always a bit of a set-up, get sounds up and fine tune stuff and as my flight gets in quite late, the lads have already got their gear up and are ready to roll. After a quick hello to everyone and a cup of tea later we are up and running. Once we fall into a routine it begins to go quick, normally we’ll re-arrange the song a bit, tweak the tempo, Andy will do a guide vocal/guitar and then myself and Neil would take a couple of passes at the song and nail the rhythm parts. Come 10:30pm we’re all feeling a bit frazzled so we decide to pick it up fresh again in the morning. We’ve still to drive over and check into the hotel so off we go to get settled in case of any late night ‘no room at the inn’ hi-jinks.

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Andy on axe

Walk over the bridge from Gateshead to the studio the next glorious morning is quite a feeling. Sun is shining and the streets are quiet, always nice to be up and at ‘em before the rest of the world is awake.

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Glorious views in Newcastle

We finish off the remaining 3 songs by noon and then after a short break Andy is straight in doing the guitars. Neil and I take the opportunity to nip out and collect some lunch for everyone and the rest of the afternoon is spent hanging out in the studio whilst Andy finishes up the guitars and moves onto the vocals. Our friend Jenny comes down after dinner time to add some cello to our new version of “Gone” and that sounds amazing. A very cool addition to the recording, hope you will agree!

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Jenny on cello!

Get finished up around 8pm or so and Andy heads back to the hotel whilst Neil and myself take the scenic route walking back over the bridge and enjoying watching the ebullient Newcastle nightlife begin to build-up.

Michael

We’re now at the final day of recording and we have a busy day ahead.
At this point in the session things have come together nicely for the tracks we’ll be putting on the acoustic tour ‘memento’ CD.

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Neil getting jazzy

After a long day, yesterday, Andy heads to the studio early this morning to record the vocals and guitar parts on the remaining songs. Once the recorded parts have been finished we all get a chance to listen through each song and make any last-minute comments and suggestions about the recordings. By mid afternoon we’re able to leave studio engineer, Thom, to begin the mixing process.

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Rythmn section hard at it

As mixing gets underway, rather than sitting around waiting and twiddling our thumbs, we’re able to meet up with our old friend Tom Hoad to take some photos and capture our time in the studio. He has a couple of locations in mind which we head out to and we also invite him in to the studio to snap away whilst we play through some tunes.

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Mr Hoad snapping away

Finally, before heading off on flights and long road journeys home, we head back in to the studio and listen through the first song Thom has mixed. Everything’s sounding great and really captures the session nicely.
Hope you enjoy it.

Neil

Nirwana Fest & Boerenrock 2016

26th August 2016
Nirwana festival,
Lierop, Holland

Sorry for the delay on this. After returning from the two shows and sitting down to type some kind of diary my laptop decided to grind to a halt, annoying the shit out of me. This developed from screaming at the machine into a period of red mist where I caught myself punching the keyboard repeatedly, smashing in the keys and power button. (“ooooh, you don’t wanna do that” I hear you cry… damn right I don’t!) So, a new laptop and a silly number of hours salvaging all the shit I’ve accumulated over the years. It’s true what they say about regular back-ups, kids.

Now then, the gigs…
The trip began with a pleasant trip over to Holland. Travelling across on the Eurostar and arriving at the hotel in time to have a beer with The Stranglers and crew. All very relaxed and everyone seemed to be looking forward to the following day’s show.The festival had really nice feel to it. Very relaxed and well organised. Who could argue with any festival that decorates the dressing room with this…

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Starman in the dressing room.

We were really excited about playing and got to add a couple of songs since our previous show. Having not played ’30 seconds’ in a while it’s a real treat to play.

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Setlist Nirwana Fest

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Men in black

The gig was great fun.
After our show we had time for a beer and got to check out The Stranglers who played a storming set!

27th August 2016
Boerenrock festival,
Kortenaken, Belgium

We began the day with a leisurely trip across to Belgium. The temperature was extreme. It was a bloody scorcher!!
We found our dressing room and settled in although it was miles away from the stage. This can be a little disconcerting – strangely, the constant thump, thump of a bass drum makes you feel part of the festival. When you’re sat in silence it can a be a little…. well, odd. Having said that, the gig is brilliant. The onstage sound is excellent and we all really enjoy ourselves.

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Full frontal

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Rear end

Holland and Belgium, thanks.
Until the next time.

Neil

Stendhal Festival 2016

Even though I’m a native from the North of Ireland I’ve never been to Limavady in the half century I’ve stalked this globe. The Stendhal Festival was a good chance to acquaint myself with the town, it’s people and their customs. Earlier in the month I’d talked to one of the organisers by telephone as part of an interview and enjoyed our chat and discussions about art, music and gardening.

On the day of the gig it was raining constantly and my fears of a stilted audience and compromised performance began to flutter at the back of my mind.On arriving at the gig I was struck by how many people were just getting on with things and more importantly smiling and laughing.

Ten minutes into our set the skies evacuate all that heaven allows and soon we find ourselves at one with the audience and both drenched to the bone, guitars slippery with rain water and amps steaming in the back of the stage. On looking out at the lively crowd there is no register of this discomfort. Those smiles again, people are beaming and I start to get infected too and realise that this is going to be a very special night indeed. Our sound engineer, Richard, hoofs it onstage to see the state of the water retention and I ask him, mid playing, ” what are my chances of being electrocuted?”, ” minimal” he replies. Although not the answer I wanted to hear it’s enough to spur me on through the set and get carried away with the energy of the crowd.

Some people head for shelter under adjacent tents but still stay with eyes focuses on the stage while the others get fully involved leaving the writhing, gleaming mass in front of the stage resembling a cross between a fun wrestling tournament and Dante’s hell. The passion doesn’t let up and their big “fuck you Donald Trump” before Living In The Shadow of the Terrible Thing is the loudest of the festival season so far. This means so much to me coming from the crowd as Stendhal as the song itself deals with myself and peers attempts at stoic resolve during the dark years of our youth growing up in East Antrim.

This festival experience was one of my most memorable in my twenty six years of doing this and is like to thank firstly the fans who beamed a positive light through all the weather and to the festival organisers for making it such a vibey event all round.Also, my comrades Michael, Neil, Richard, Steve and Mark for being there all the time.

The next morning I bumped into legendary songwriter Damon ( Badly Drawn Boy) and he was an absolute gent. That was my weekend made complete.
Take care folks,
Andy C

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Red light fever!

 

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Gemil glows

 

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“Neil, Neil, drum like a ___________!”

 

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Cross the beams!

 

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McKeegan meets the locals

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Drying day

 

(All photos kind courtesy Paul Beattie @PaulTweetie)

Scream(ager) For Me Wacken!

A wise friend once said “When a man is tired of riffs, he is tired of life”. Agreeing with that wholeheartedly I was excited, intrigued and chuffed to be heading to Wacken Open Air 2016, arguably Europe’s biggest and best heavy metal festival. Its one of the very, very few festivals Therapy? have never played and it’s always nice to be experiencing new things even after 26 years of rocking.

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Heading to Hamburg!

We hooked up in London the night before staying over near the airport as we’d an early flight into Hamburg and we didn’t want to suffer any unwanted delays or hold-ups. It was a beautiful day to fly and the mood was great as we were all looking forward to getting out to Wacken.

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He is the strong arm of the law!

Our hotel in Hamburg was straight across from the airport terminal so after an effortless check-in and dumping our non-essential festival belongings we soon were in the big black Wacken fun bus heading up to the site. Felix our capable driver got us there in good time and we got settled in the dressing room. It was a bit muddy due to heavy rain the day before but our room was warm and dry. Fair play to the Wacken people as the rider was excellent and we had goodie bags full of all sorts of cool and practical branded items to explore (Wacken face wipes anyone?)

Can you spot mr Andy Cairns?

Can you spot mr Andy Cairns?

Dinner is good, I opt for the chicken satay and with plenty of time before our show to digest the food, I even treat myself to a frozen yoghurt…rock and roll! Henry Rollins is just finishing up his spoken word on our stage and behind the scenes (in our huge tent there are two identical stages beside each other with a huge loading/set-up dock behind) is a hive of activity. Very helpful stage crew are whizzing round and getting various amps and cabinets onto risers as crew members get guitars and drums tuned and set-up. Andy goes off to do a quick interview with Arte who are filming/streaming the show tonight and I have a very surreal moment when I meet Buck Dharma from Blue Oyster Cult in the backstage hospitality area. I’m a massive fan so after plucking up the courage to say hello, I had a very enjoyable chat with him and he kindly lets me get a pic with him.

*insert generic 'more cowbell' quip here

*insert generic ‘more cowbell’ quip here

We have a signing scheduled over by the main stage so we wander over there checking out some of the scenes of carnage in the crowd. Everyone is in good form and it’s nice to see a lot of drinking being done but hardly any casualties dropped in the mud 😉

LEMMY!

LEMMY!

Signing goes well, there are people from all over Germany and even a lady from China of all places, amazing to think that our music is known over there as well. Catch a bit of WHitesnake on the main stage and then Tsjuder over on our stage. Both sound great and beginning to get nicely vibed up for the gig. Mike Monroe band are here as well so hang out with them for a bit pre-show…super nice guys and it’s always great to see Rich Jones, top guy, we’ve got a long and fun history with him. There’s a bit of rain just before we play so after Marduk finish (again, I’m a big fan so it was cool to see them decimate the tent) we do our last minute warm-ups and head over through the downpour to hangout on the back of the stage. Our stage is curtained off whilst the gear gets set-up so it’s a really surreal feeling to be hiding behind the curtain, bass in hand, ready to go.

I must admit id been a bit nervous when I saw we were the only band playing at the same time as Iron Maiden on the main stage…not even a slight clash, our 45min set started an hour into theirs and we finished 20 minutes before they did. Couple the fact the festival had sold-out before we were announced there was always the risk the audience would stayed rooted for the full Maiden set. I was selling ourselves short ‘cos as the curtain opened on our stage, I saw the whole tent was packed…not just packed with curious observers, it was rammed with people ready to sing, clap and mosh along. Too many personal highlights in the short set, it really flew by and we tried to keep everything snappy with segues and quick intros to the songs so we could get maximum riff age crammed in. The sound onstage was great as well and that always makes a big difference at festivals especially when there’s no sound check. There was even an impromptu ‘happy birthday’ singalong for Mr Cooper when we’d finished, heart-warming!Anyway you can watch the stream HERE and make up your own minds!

Scream for me Wacken!

Scream for me Wacken!

Afterwards catch a quick bit of Mike Monroe, high energy thrills as ever, and then head over to the VIP area to have a quick drink with Jan our German promoter and old friend Sean B once he’s packed the Maiden gear away. Bar is good fun, there’s huge selection of Becks beer on ice, too much choice in fact (did I really type that?), most of the ones I pick up are either waaay too weak (1%) or faaaar too strong (8%??).

"Pick a Becks, any Becks"

“Pick a Becks, any Becks”

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Michael meets Mikkey!

Meet up with Mikkey Dee again and hear how he’s been doing and also get introduced to Sam Dunn from Banger Films who’s Metal Evolution series is a must see! Last time I saw him he was hosting a Q&A with Rob Halford when we were in Toronto for NXNE many years ago. Good times.

Eventually the shuttle bus call goes out and we retrace our steps back through the mud and rain. Things don’t seem to be winding down either as we hop in the big black bus and begin the drive back down to Hamburg airport.

Hand on heart, that’s got to be one of the best festival experiences I’ve had as a punter or in the band. Everyone was super nice, helpful and easy to get along with…no egos, no ‘rock star bullshit’…lovely crowd and inspiring atmosphere.

Eat my face!

Eat my face!

As always big, big thanks to Rich, Steve and Mark for all their hard work…Andy and Neil for all their fun and inspiring playing, Jan and the Wacken organisation for looking after us so well and of course ultimate respect to the audience who came out to enjoy our show. Very very much appreciated!

Michael

Campus Festival,Hungary

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The weekend began with a nice, easy going flight arriving late in Debrecen with time for a bite to eat and a beer or two.We have a leisurely start to the following day.I wake up with the ringing in my ears of the previous night’s conversation…. the observation that there’s a distinct lack of bidets in hotel rooms now compared to when we all began touring. This lead to a rather disturbing conversation (you know the type… once you’ve heard it you can’t un-hear it type conversation) about everyone’s anal washing habits. The ‘wash’, ‘wipe’ or ‘waft’ debate has been tormenting me ever since. Just when I thought we’d covered all topics possible…..

Anyway, we head over to festival for a lunch time sound check. The people looking after us at the festival are really friendly, professional and incredibly helpful. The onstage sound is amazing and we’re ready to rock.
We have time for some lunch and a relaxing afternoon. It’s such a lovely day I walk over to the festival site getting my bearings and being strangely drawn to this along the way…

SUPER-COOP!

Coop-Szuper!

Nice to be welcomed in such a manner!

I have a bizarre amount of difficulty getting into the festival however (even though, earlier in the day I’m given a ridiculous amount of ‘backstage pass’ wrist bands which I’m told I must wear! Rules is rules, as they say) Eventually, I get in and we’re ready to go.The three of us are really looking forward to the gig. We have just over an hour for our set which allows us to play a couple of extra tunes. We add ‘Living in the Shadow’ which we haven’t played in a while, ‘Stop It You’re Killing Me’, we keep ‘This Ship is Sinking’ in the set after the Crete show and add ‘Lonely Crying only’ too. The show was great fun, the crowd were brilliant and the onstage sound was excellent which always helps!

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Spot the typo!

After the gig we had time to cool down and get cleaned up before relaxing and checking out ‘Tankcsapda’ who put on a great show for everybody. The audience obviously loved every minute!
The festival had an amazing atmosphere. It was nice having a wander through.

To finish our evening we hit the bar situated in the 100 yr old water tower and were invited to a VIP tour of the water tower roof. I’m not usually bothered by heights – but, yikes! On reflection, the bottle of tequila consumed en route (by the whole party, not just me I’ll swiftly add) wasn’t the smartest of ideas. What a breath taking end to a great evening.

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Well done, Hungary. You smashed it!

Rock storm!

Rock storm!

A big thank you must go out to everyone at the festival who looked after us, especially Attila and Dave Bali.

See you soon.
Neil

Chania Rock Festival, Crete

I was very excited when the offer for Chania Rocks Festival came in as i’ve always enjoyed our Greek shows ever since the first one in 1994. I like the people, the culture and the general atmosphere of the place. We leave for Crete on a delayed flight and during the trip experience bad turbulence which I’m not a fan of. On arriving very late to Chania we find out that our hotel room hasn’t been booked so we have a late hunt for a replacement and finally get to bed towards 4am.

View from the stage at soundcheck

View from the stage at soundcheck

Next day the weather is glorious and we head to the festival site a wonderful medieval fort at the top of a hill with a sound stage and lighting system fitted.The sun is beating down while we soundcheck and the view from the stage of the coast, blue water and mountains is gorgeous.We get taken to lunch at the harbour and on the way drop in to see the lovely people at Monsterville a Comic book/Rock wear store that has lots of good stuff and kind staff who sort us out with cold drinks which helps in the heat.

Trip to Monsterville

Trip to Monsterville

The meal itself is fantastic and is made all the more enjoyable by the sea view. We have fun and people-watch while eating.

McKeegan contemplates a dip

McKeegan contemplates a dip

The gig itself is a lot of fun. All the bands seem to be enjoying themselves and the crowd seem up for it. I manage to catch all of Rotting Christ‘s set and it’s a wonderful mix of extreme power and memorable riffs and vocal hooks. ‘ Nemesis‘ is a particular favourite.

When we take the stage it’s apparent that a few people have travelled from outside of Greece to come to the show. Big respect to the Finnish, the Turkish, the Dutch, the English and of course those from mainland Greece that have made their way over to this famous island to watch us play. It’s a memorable experience to be onstage in the evening heat, watching out over the crowd and the bay with a summer breeze not only blowing into our faces but putting a strange pressure on the guitar strings meaning that inbetween songs there is a mysterious ethereal hum coming from the amps.

Front row!

Front row!

Afterwards the boys head into town to party the night away at the Rock bar and I head back to the hotel to be woken in the middle of the night by some drunks having an altercation with the police outside. Next day we have our van hit by a car and thankfully no one is hurt in either vehicle but we have a nervous hour waiting on the police hoping we can still make it to the airport in time for our flight.

Thanks to all the people who put on Chania Rocks, all the fans and friends that made the effort and a big thanks to Richard and Mark from Therapy?’s crew who had an awful lot of work foisted on them this weekend. Looking forward to the next time we do club shows in Greece.

Take care,
Andy C

When Wrong goes Right (Wrong Festival, Bulgaria)

Another early start but thankfully all goes smooth and soon am pottering about Gatwick waiting for the rest of the chaps to hook up and head out to Bulgaria for another rock and roll adventure. Having had a brilliant show the previous Saturday at the Stone Free Festival, I was enthused and invigorated to heading back to Sofia for the first time since 2011.

Today is a travel day so we relax, catch up, fly and eventually get into the hotel. Stefan our local driver/helper/guru recommends somewhere to go get food and a drink so some of the lads head off with him whilst I and a few other opt for an early night.

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The next morning we have a sound check scheduled so it’s up for breakfast and then a short 30 minute drive out to the festival. This has got to be one of our earliest sound checks ever…we’re done by 11am so by UK time that would be 9am! Weird. Already its crazy hot so in the absence of any shelter we hang about for a bit then Stefan drives us down into a nearby village for an excellent traditional Bulgarian lunch.

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The food is superb and enlivened by a couple of thunderous showers resulting in us moving table not once but twice as we slowly work our way through the delicious fare. Good call as we won’t be eating until after the show and Richard our tour manager has a sneaking suspicion our stagetime will be put back due to the gig running late.

After a coffee or two to waken us up we do a load of interviews, couple for some music programs, couple for national TV, all of which are good fun and they have some good questions. I think some of the questions stumped us, which is something considering the number of interviews we’ve done over the years. Rich even gets asked to get involved!

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Back up to the festival and we hang out until our show. Sadly there’s only one small communal dressing room which in itself isn’t a problem, but there is now one of the other bands all fast asleep on the couches in there. As a result we just sit on a bench outside, in the blazing sun, waiting for our show…old school!

Andy has had an invite to go play with a fine Bulgarian band called BROND so a few songs into their set we walk over to the 2nd stage to watch them rip it up. They do a very cool version of “Living In the Shadow Of The Terrible Thing” and despite the best efforts of a dodgy mic lead, all goes well.

Pottering about the crowd already I can feel it’s a very nice atmosphere at the festival…people are dead friendly and having a good time, getting into the spirit of things and it’s getting me very excited for the show.

We signed this for Stefan when he met us on our first visit back in 1998!

We signed this for Stefan when he met us on our first visit back in 1998!

As Rich predicted we go on about an hour late but no bother to us, a show is a show regardless of stagetime and there are people here to be entertained! We’ve added “Stop It You’re Killing Me” into the set in light of the bad political mess we left in the UK and popped Unbeliever and Misery back in.

From the off the crowd are into it…punks, metallers, hippies, kids and older folk are all rocking out and going for it. Quite a sight to behold. Thankfully the onstage sound is perfect like sound check so it’s very easy for us to dig in and enjoy the playing. Bar a moment when I bang my bass headstock off another bands keyboard stand which was leaning a bit too close to me, technically its ace. Vibe-wise it’s a perfect crowd and the sun begins to set as we play through the tunes resulting in us playing the final few songs in darkness lit only by strobes and red light.

There’s time for one more song when we finish so we quickly tune up and get into “Trigger Inside” before exiting to ANOTHER camera interview, a meet and greet and then we grab a quick bit of dinner. All a bit hyper we watch Vintage Caravan’s set which is killer; check them out if you get a chance, lots of energy and lots of riffs! As midnight draws near the early starts and the hot & humid weather begins to kick in and we all wisely head back to the hotel to get rested up.

Sooooooo, thanks to all you folk who came out to the show, everyone who looked after us (esp. our man on the ground Stefan!), everyone who chatted with us in the interviews or came up to chat at the festival. It’s a cracking setting with a cracking line-up and we were honoured to be invited. Cheers Wrong Festival.Hopefully get back sooner rather than later guys,

Thank you all again!

Michael