DAY 8… Warsaw, Poland!
We woke up the next morning in our East Berlin apartment feeling on top of the world from the night before. We had a really early start though to get ourselves over to Poland! It was about a 6/7 hour drive but our van could only go 62 max I think so could have been 8 hours. I wasn’t too fussed though because at the end of it we were playing a show. None of us had ever been to Poland so were excited. The boys in Counterfeit told us the Polish fans go crazy as well. They’ve played there a couple of times before and at this venue, so I was expecting a good show. It was also an 800 cap sell out so it was definitely on!
We crossed the border around midday and stopped off to get some food. I stayed in the van and just remember Tom coming back empty handed after trying to buy his stuff with Euros… apparently the lady behind the counter lost her shit at him HAHA! Obviously he had no idea what she was saying. These things only ever happen to Tom.
About an hour before doors opened we were in our dressing room and Katy suggested we wear white for the show. Now… we always wear black and have our own style within that. Jack always rocks the cardigan for example. He’s bringing it back. We’re digging it. I personally wear t-shirts with all the sleeves cut off. I didn’t have a white one with me so I became a mannequin as Katy started to cut up one of my tops while it was on me. She did a pretty good job to be fair… it was the last time we wore white on this tour… lots went wrong on stage gear wise, superstition set in, especially for Jack. His bass stopped working and he disappeared for a few minutes to try and sort something out. Katy’s mic cut out and then she knocked over a load of the drum mics that I managed to catch whilst playing… cheers for that Jackson. I personally had an awesome show. It was one of my favourites from the whole tour. The Polish crowd were so up for having a good time! I loved it. We all did. Each show is unique for various reasons but this was definitely one to remember.
DAY 9… Hannover, Germany!
Back to Germany we go! The third show here, this time in Hannover. I really enjoyed this show. Not just because it was in Germany, but also because by now everything feels settled and calm. At this stage we were just over a week into the tour, the routine of our day to day is firmly set and everyone knows what’s up. Everyone is comfortable and in full swing ‘tour mode’! I just want to quickly mention nerves / excitement before playing because I think there’s a fine line between the two. For me personally I think I can say that I’ve only ever felt real nerves over excitement a handful of times… most of the time I am buzzing to just get on and play. Sure, there are some pre-show nerves as I leave the dressing room about 10 minutes before walking on, but they definitely lean more towards excitement. I would say that there’s only been a few times in my career so far where nerves have dominated the excitement. As soon as you walk on and feel the energy from the crowd though, they’re gone! Every show is different. Maybe it’s the scale of what’s about to happen or added pressure from press or industry being there. Nothing changes though. You’re the same player you were the night before. I honestly couldn’t care less if there’s 500 people watching or 8,000 people watching, or if there’s someone really important in the crowd, I’m still going to go on and give it everything I have, do what I do best and play the show I always play! Nerves are normal, but it’s the way you channel them. It’s sink or swim… make sure you have some rubber armbands!
Sorry, I went way off topic… the show was awesome and they had all the cereal I could ask for upstairs in the dressing rooms, so I had a huge bowl… or two. Yeah I definitely had two after the show. It was great!
DAY 10… Prague, Czech Republic!
OK so it’s day 10 and we’re in Prague. I would talk about the journeys more but I’ll be perfectly honest… I only remember a few! Most of the time they were all the same. Me listening to music, staring at the back of Jack’s head from the seat behind. Not that there’s anything wrong with the back of Jack’s head… I mean, he has a great head of hair right now but still… it’s the back of Jack’s head.
We get to Prague and straight away, much like Stockholm, it feels like a cool place to be. I actually thought it looked like a set of a Disney movie. Not that I was going to break into song there and then, but still.
You can pretty much tell straight away as you drive into and through a city whether or not you’re going to like it I think. Katy had been here before and wanted to take us to this special clock, and I really wanted to try and have a little look round anyway if there was time, so luckily we could fit all of that in after sound check.
We were playing at the Rock Café in town. Very cool venue. Super long load in though… like I’m talking take all of our gear halfway, leave it and go back for the next item kind of long. Eventually we were in and set up. It’s a weird kind of day when touring. You wake up, you travel all day, you get to the venue, you wait around for hours and then play a show… it’s the waiting that I hate. Let’s just get on with it and play!!
This ended up being another one of my favourite shows. The crowd was awesome. It was rammed. It was hot and sweaty and everyone was up for a good time. After the last note was played in our set we did the cool “let’s just walk off stage without looking back” move only to get to the side of stage door and it was locked… HAHA! We couldn’t actually get off the damn stage so I just sat back down on it. It was funny though, we just looked at the crowd who were loving it and shrugged. What could we do?? Afterwards, I said we should have become the first support band to ever do an encore. We probably had time thinking about it now, a good 3-4 minutes passed until someone let us leave.
DAY 11… Vienna, Austria!
Coming up in Vienna we have a ton more graffiti and a massage!! That’s right people… our apartment here had a massage chair and a Jacuzzi bath! Now, Miss Katy Jackson couldn’t quite handle the heat with it, saying it hurt too much so I gladly took over and spent the next 30 minutes enjoying a well-deserved massage. After 8 days of shows it was very much needed. Decade tweeted us saying that they had finally got to the venue before us. It made me laugh… I thought, “You can have this one boys, I’ve somehow managed to land my own personal spa…JC out”. *Enter peace sign emoji here*
We headed to the venue. It was right down on the river where as we were taking the mandatory Instagram #squadgoals photo, we saw not one but TWO full loaves of bread just floating down the river. I don’t know why but it made us laugh… maybe they don’t quite understand the correct etiquette when feeding the ducks. The aim is to FEED the ducks, not kill them. Here in London, we break little tiny bits off before throwing them in. In Vienna, it appears to be all or nothing. To be fair, looking back now, I didn’t actually see a single duck out there… maybe the aim is to actually go for the KO.
This show was going to be different from all the previous ones. Up until this point we were on second as main support. It was agreed before the tour that we would share this spot with Decade who had been on first every night. Vienna marked the half way point of the EU tour so we were swapping positions for the remainder of the tour! There are pros and cons to each. I actually like both for different reasons. Playing later on in the bill sometimes means you get to play to more people because the doors have already been open for a while. Sometimes when you’re on first, you might be playing 15 minutes after doors so you hope they get them open on time!! On the other hand I like going on first as well because it’s the first thing people hear that night and you can set the tone.
DAY 12… Travel day to Milan!
Today was the day we were heading to ITALY. I love Italy. I first went to Italy on a family holiday when I was 16. The people are awesome and the food is great, so it was a win win.
We had another apartment for a couple of nights. We were staying about an hour outside of Milan where we would be playing the following day. I can’t remember where the apartment was, but I can only describe the building as something you might see in a horror film. It didn’t help that while we were all watching TV later that night our front door slowly opened all by itself and the only thing holding it shut was basically a massive prison lock… it was comforting to know it was working well.
Tom and I went down to the local supermarket with a massive bag of coins to buy everyone food, Katy said she would cook if we went shopping so off we went.
I don’t eat dairy, so trying to find milk that I can actually have when you can’t read Italian is interesting. You have to look at the pictures and hope Google Translate actually works… adding to the fact that if I picked up one that had traces of nuts in it Sean would have a very, very bad night.
The atmosphere outside was pretty chilled. It was quite residential, the sun was out with a few kids playing footy out on the streets.
DAY 13… Milan, Italy!
We had about an hours drive into the city, which after the drive the day before felt like we were touring the UK… it was nothing! Much like most cities it was busy, lots of cars and Italian drivers are interesting to say the least.
We went straight to the centre where the Duomo di Milano Cathedral is. It was and is an incredible sight. As we turned the corner the sheer size of it makes you stop right where you are and you can’t help but just stare at it. Katy made some friends with a load of pigeons before we tried to go inside the Cathedral, but the guard turned us away because Katy had her legs out… it is what it is I guess.
We had a coffee and something to eat in the square before heading to the venue. I walked all the way there; it was only about 40 minutes and it was nice to see a bit more of the city on foot instead of always in a van.
We were playing at Alcatraz that night which one of my favourite bands, Korn, played a few weeks before. I had seen an Instagram video posted by their drummer Ray Luzier of that show, which looked insane, so I just wanted to get in and ready.
Another memorable moment that I won’t forget was walking on stage at this particular show. I can now add another reason why I love Italy. We met so many people that night after the show. It’s always nice to talk to people that enjoyed the show, so the fact that so many came up to us was really nice.
DAY 14… Rome, Italy!
The same can be said for Rome as well! This show was another special one for various reasons.
The venue itself was a strange layout though. I could tell straight away that it was a club first and foremost. Walking in you could barely see anything apart from the blue lights everywhere.
We had a slight issue during sound check where the in house techs told us that our set up and rig was “impossible to use”… interesting. I think it was mainly due to the language barrier and getting our point across but Sean sorted it all out and eventually everything was ok for us to get on with it.
Fast forward to the show and another awesome night for us. The crowd were up for it from the word go and we a lot of fun up there.
There was a worrying moment near the beginning of Counterfeit’s set where a girl had a seizure but thankfully everyone reacted super fast and got her the help she needed. We heard after the show that she was ok and stable, thank god.