Tour Diary: Curse Of Lono - Day Four
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: Last Orders At The Bar.
I knew this day would come, on a tour it is only a matter of time before it does. I knew by virtue of the fact it that was light when I went to bed that today was going to be a challenge. It's yet another early morning lobby call and I find myself feeling distinctly hollow. Did I pack my brain this morning or did I accidentally leave it on the hotel bathroom shelf next to my toothpaste? Certainly I am what may be classed as hugely hungover. I know this because I want to curl up and lie horizontal to ease the incessant bass drum that seems to have rented my brain overnight without my permission. Come to think of it, I don't remember it paying any rent either. I must check on that arrangement when I can get around to figuring out where I am and which day of the week it is.
I am guided gently towards the tour bus. The bass drum sound check eagerly continues in my head as I unearth my sunglasses from my travel bag. Unusually for me, I have no control over its volume.
I can affirm to any living person reading this or anyone who has ever overindulged themselves in a hotel bar until the early hours of the morning, that there really is no worse place to endure your (self inflicted) suffering than in the back of a tour bus being driven at high speed down a motorway. Even the sunglasses don't come close to helping this morning. I sit quietly in the bus watching the fields and windmills roll past my window. I'm determined not to vomit and I know it's going to be a very long day.
Pulling up outside the Nix Club in Enschede a few uncomfortable hours later, I see a pink drum kit set up on the roof of the building. This, I decide, is a good sign. The amazing family who run the Nix club meet us at the load in door along with Joel and Gizmo, the venue doggy. They welcome us with much needed coffee and I begin to feel my system fire up for the first time that day. The bass drum sound check starts to dissipate. Discovering Joel to be a fellow sticksman to various bands in the UK and Holland, I enjoy a guided tour of his prized Hayman drum kit. If this was a car, it would be a classic.
Uncle Lucius are in the house, most in similar quiet states of recovery from the previous night’s frivolities. We all blame Ramone. The stage area is soon a buzz of activity with musicians and crew making sense of the mountains of road cases and miles of cables. Amps fire up and lights begin to flash, the real bass drum sound check begins. Luckily, I have regained volume control. It's going to be a good night, I can feel it. Backstage, the mood is high, but, as we're in Holland, that's to be expected. Copious quantities of food are provided and enthusiastically demolished as we all steal a rare half hour of downtime before it's time to get back to the serious job of entertaining tonight’s crowd who are beginning to fill the venue.
The sound is great tonight and everyone seems happy as we smile and enjoy our onstage musical journey. The crowd reaction is great and we are treated to an amazing reception, leaving the stage to a loud ovation. It wasn't long before we're behind the merch counter defacing the CD's and vinyls which are flying out tonight and chatting to the audience who are showing their appreciation. I love playing in Holland, everyone here seems to love their music. The Lucius boys play an absolute blinder and Josh their drummer is on it tonight with another great performance. I enjoy watching him play and, judging by the smile emanating from under his cool, crazy hair, he enjoys it too.
It's not long before we're all packed up and the buses are again in convoy back to the hotel, which is situated on the University of Twente campus. Sounds promising. We've just arrived, everyone is thirsty and I've spotted the hotel bar. Our "Ramone" for the evening seems very keen to move us on as quickly as he can. He's specified that he'll serve one round and one round only. We'll see about that. It appears I have extensive experience of such situations. The one round goes down quickly between the musicians and crew and we try to order another. A very stern looking barman shakes his head and points towards a clock above the bar. Despite offers of bribery, both alcoholic and financial, it looks like it's time to go to bed as all bars on campus are apparently closed. University, it appears, isn't what it used to be.
Our last night on the continental leg of the tour comes to a close as weary Lonos and Lucius's say their goodnights and head to catch some zzz's before tomorrow’s transit day. A day off from playing shows, dedicated to hauling the bands, crew and equipment back across the channel to the UK. Lucius have an early lobby call as they're going to Calais but we're taking an alternate route, jumping aboard an overnight ferry for the trip back to the UK. The mood is clear between all aboard, we're having too much fun out here and aren't quite ready to go home yet. The audience response, hospitality and reception we've enjoyed every night has been incredible and we've all had the most amazing time. It's been a short trip into mainland Europe but I have a feeling we'll be back soon as we've all had far too much fun out here. Everyone seems really happy and morale is high. That guy in the audience back on the first night of the tour in Belgium was absolutely right. Europe certainly was ours.