Tour Diary: Curse Of Lono - Day Five
Day four of Curse Of Lono giving us an exclusive look at their life on the road. Drummer Neil Findlay is shining a light into the dark recesses of the reality of a touring band. Supporting country rockers Uncle Lucius, they're taking in Europe and the UK. Join us for their trials, tribulations, and highs. You can find the dates of the rest of their tour, as well as music and videos on their website.
Today's diary entry is subtitled: The Ghost Ship
It's with great relief that I wake in a warm cosy hotel bed with no hangover to the realisation of a luxuriously late lobby call. I must remember to thank the stern barman for my lack of nausea this beautiful morning. I'm up early as roommate Felix is packing to catch an early flight to fulfil an engagement he had been unable to change prior to the tour starting. It's good as I have a few hours to myself before we leave. As a touring musician, a few hours to yourself is something of a rarity and getting up early allows you to go eat breakfast somewhere, have a walk, read a book, catch up on your emails or have sexual intercourse with groupies, often with several at once. I made that last bit up, there's rarely time to pick your nose when you're on tour. Despite what some people may think about life playing in a touring band, we're not Motley Crue, more like the Chuckle Brothers these days.
With Felix on his way to the airport, I grab myself a coffee and decide to try my luck flirting with the attractive Dutch lady behind reception. It's a relaxed Sunday and there's no one about to distract her as the hotel seems deserted. She's never even heard of my band, wasn't at the show last night and has no idea what Jaffa Cake Castle is. Looks like I can firmly cross intercourse off my list of options this morning. Joe appears in reception in his running gear and decides to go for a bit of exercise to take his mind off the upcoming shows he's frantically trying to learn the Lucius set for. Poor guy is still looking nervously at his watch as he heads out for his run. Charis is still asleep in her room and I suspect Dani will be starting his daily 3-hour hair arranging process anytime now or keeping his fans happy making slow mo hair videos for his hair's own Facebook page. I hear a hairdryer. Do not disturb.
I decide to go for a walk around the University grounds. I stop to watch a kid’s local football match played on a beautiful ice rink of a pitch, mingling with excited parents as I enjoy the quiet stolen time away from the chaos of our traveling circus. The sun shines through the clouds as I walk back to the hotel a while later and count myself lucky to be here in this peaceful place on this beautiful autumnal Sunday. Peace – a rare thing these days. Don't enjoy it too much though, as my phone rings and it's Mark, the tour bus is now outside the hotel and it's time to zip across to Rotterdam to catch the ferry. All aboard – apart from Felix, who hopefully should be on a plane right now.
We arrive a few hours later at the rather industrial scene of the Rotterdam ferry port. It looks like the set from Blade Runner as we navigate security and warily escape the bus for a couple of hours before our boarding begins. The prospect of finding a place to eat seems an impossibility in the vast terminal of nothingness and we're directed to a small discreet pub near the check in named 'The Pub'. It's deserted. We are the only customers.
We're not in there long before Dani spots a piano and starts to have a tinkle. The barman surprisingly starts playing a harmonica in accompaniment as Joe grabs a guitar off the wall and I pluck a hand drum from the top of the piano. An impromptu jam session ensues. When you're a musician, there are always ways to amuse yourself. The barman thanks us for the jam and we head back towards the bus.
Before long we're on the boat and checked into our 'luxury cabin' (which is smaller than the tour bus) before donning our Halloween costumes for tonight’s festivities. We're feeling spooky. It's a while later that we're drawn to The Transformation Station (check them out online!), an area on the ferry full of colourful costumes, fun looking people and a beautiful naked model having her body painted in amazing colours. I'd love to make a music video with these guys and get the Lonos all painted up in crazy art. Possibly an idea for the future…
We soon find ourselves joining the fun and having our faces sprayed and painted into ghoulish zombies by the amazingly talented make up artists. It's like a Mardi Gras Halloween and the ship is full of ghosts, goblins and ghouls and, bizarrely, it appears the Captain has just popped in to say hello. Who's driving the boat I find myself asking as rounds of Jagers are distrubuted and the party kicks off to the soundtrack of an on board Bon Jovi tribute band. I'm sure we'll be fine. Mark will be on the case as the ghost ship parties on across the sea.
Many crazy hours, drinks and partying later with our new colourful Transformation friends and we find ourselves on the dance floor with Angus Young from the closing AC/DC tribute band. It's been a beautifully surreal evening aboard the boat, partying with lots of new friends and it's easily one of the most enjoyable ferry trips I can remember. I pass ghosts, witches, ghouls, goblins and even a passed out pensioner, minus a shoe, crashed out on the floor on my weary way back to my cabin. With the sounds of 'Highway To Hell' still ringing in my ears, I finally make it to bed as the ghost ship sails on into the darkness. A bizarrely amazing night.