DOVER // ENGLAND - CALAIS // FRANCE
3 AM, dark and out of time, the red menace falls through the small hours, edging closer to the big blue. I don't remember watching the sun rise, i must have slept, although sleep doesn't feel like sleep when you're in the van, it's a kind of limbo sleep that stabs you with the promise of rest then falls away back behind your folded pillow, and cold finger tips.
No trouble getting on the boat, talk about having our own, a big black killer whale of a boat, flying the T/C flag, no Hawaii, we'd all go to the Antarctic, or Norway, somewhere cold anyway. It's been almost 10 years since i was last on a ferry, so out came my canon, boom boom boom.
ANTWERP // BELGIUM
Antwerp, lined with difference, beer and friends. Smiles all round, heavy eyes, but the electricity of our first show of tour keeping us alive.
EINDHOVEN // THE NETHERLANDS
Waking up in a large room, Joe is still in the jacuzzi, his choice to sleep in there was one that i feel he did not regret. No door or curtain on the shower, Tom Greens arse. Goodbye Antwerp.
Eindhoven brought us down, a smaller crowd handed us a boost, but not a large one. Glazed in sweat and the stink of two days without a shower, warm in the european air, Two men asked politely for my phone whilst i was facetiming Bee, i declined, and walked back to the show, no drama, just thought it was worth mentioning. Pictures with fans before bed for the night, concrete and cold, but better than the van.
BERLIN // GERMANY
A gruelling 10 and a half hour drive from Eindhoven, Netherlands, to Berlin, Germany.
The gods of urban decay have smiled kindly on Berlin, spattered in graffiti, forgotten by renovation, but held closely to the heart of community and soul. It's a city that has truly been reclaimed by the people, an illustrated and righteous gift from Germany to its people, or perhaps an olive branch, in hope that mistakes fade as fast as cheap paint. Pockets of unity spread outwards from the centre, and in the cold autumn night, the dull lights that illuminate the stone walls, glow like tiny fireflies, wide eyed in the tropic. Cassiopeia lies within a complex of reclaimed buildings, gutted of their industrial innards, and replaced with artists, music, paint, and a real bohemian itch, that its people catch and embrace. Wondering what's next has been a constant on this tour, you never quite know what is about to happen, we could spark fires off eachother, each electric with anticipation, content that we are the stark opportunists that we were made to be. Beers with other travellers, stories shared, soft beds made, berlin, we will be back.
ESSEN // GERMANY
I won't lie, i was so tired that taking photos escaped me on this day, alone inside my sleep, missing home. A set cut short, half thankful, my blood is thin, and so is my patience.
PARIS // FRANCE
Paris brings stark realisations and high contrast, in it's people, and the lives they lead. The main roads leading to paris are lined with shanty towns, pockets of hope in minus figures, people who have been very much forgotten about by this grand city, and the country it lies within the heart of. After the noise, we gave the food from our rider to a homeless family, setting up their home for the night beside an ATM, yeah i said family. Small tears shed, but an interview on french radio dragged my mind out of it all for a while, as tour does with life, and life does with everything else.
Europe made me grateful, in so many ways, by way of realisation and comparison. Every gasp of air, every vocal chord, every drop of sweat, of every fan who screamed my brain waste lyrics back at my body waste performance. Every homeless soul, with whatever they had, modesty and honesty, joined in all of the landscape. As always, the people made the places, and now we have a taste, i know that we'll be back, soon.
P.S - Thank you to every single person who was involved in this tour, to everyone who came to a show, gave us a bed or a floor to sleep on, bought merch, went wild, hung out, organised a show, anything you did, i'm thankful for it, as are the rest of T/C. Here's to working hard, being kind to kind people, and sharing what you love with others.