As the days shorten and the leaves turn to reds and browns, let us look back on the summer that was and smile.
For me the summer of 11 was a time of simple pleasures. I was travelling in the company of Baaron Von Cuddles III, performing pop-music concerts in various shitholes throughout
continental Europe. It was a time of car-stereo fights, finger-food, hang-overs and borrowed Ampeg 8X10 cabinets. Who could ask for more?
This sizzling summer adventurescape included a four-gig stab at Italia, a country we'd had very little experience of up until then. Aaahhh, the memories come flooding back. The pizza, the chicks with moustaches, the pizza, the emphatic hand-gestures and of course the pizza. Let's have a quick look at some highlights, yeah?
Gig one, and before we've even reached the venue, trouble. The Baaron decides that necking a shitload of 600ml Morettis is the best way to kill time and starts to get loud and belligerant. But worse is yet to come.
Here's me after diving head first into a submerged rock in a little beach town outside of Genova. The water was completely opaque, so I just dived head first straight into the fucking thing. I was amazed that I didn't shatter my nose. This photo was taken after I staunched the bleeding and cleaned myself up. There was alot more gore before I hit the napkins.
For the rest of the tour it became a nice little talking point.
-"Hey, great gig. What happened to your face?".
-"I got in a fight with an off-duty cop / I shot up some dirty smack and fell out of the car at 90kph / I hate myself and only feel right when I'm smashing my own face with a coffee mug".
-"Ooooooohh. Well...hey...great gig!"
No, we seriously played a gig here. The grumpy old yacht-rocker who owned the P.A system had the song "Up Where We Belong" on a continuous loop the whole afternoon. The Baaron tried to make me see the bright side, but I told him to go fuck himself and sat in the car crying and listening to Unleashed.
We played at sunset in front of eight Italian grandparents, ten parents and about a dozen under ten-year-olds, all seated on those fucking pink plastic chairs. They were polite at first, then restless and then started booing us loudly and wandering off in chunks. The experience was partially saved by a small knot of Genovese hipsters who had driven out to check the action and do some friendly heckling. We ended up selling a bunch of merch and hanging out. Life is like a box of chocolates.
These are the dangerous Genovese fucks who set the whole thing up.
In fact they were, like, super extra nice and took us to their favourite late-night panini spot. The Baaron ate about twelve fucking foccacias in twenty minutes and the other patrons were vocally shocked and sickened by the spectacle of that much dough disappearing so fast into such a weedy human. Good old Cuddles. He knows how to put on a show.
On our way up the coast (after we got chased out of Pescara like scabby stray dogs...see last post) we dallied in this little resort town for a few hours, licking gelatti and hitting on rich, leathery old Milanese women for fuel money.
Our next show was in Faenza, where it's traditional for touring acts to blow bubbles for the local children.
The Baaron was shocked and saddened to learn that we've been an American no-wave garage power-duo this whole time. I have tried to tell him on many occasions, but he just laughed it off. Turns out the joke's on him.
We played in this little cafe/art-gallery/wine-bar/restaurant type place, run by an atom-bomb/woman called Morena. She did our sound and mocked our fears and created this fuck-off incredible three-course meal which remains unchallenged as the Best Food Ever consumed by Any Touring Act Anywhere.... ever.
The gig was pretty cool. Not super-well attended, but fuck, it was a Monday in a small town on the Adriatic coast. Whaddaya want? So because the gig went well and they had a selection of good Deutschen brau on tap I don't remember this scene at-all. Could be something to do with Cthulu.... again. Don't remember.
In another "box of chocolates" twist, we played bottom-of-the-bill at a metal festival outside Milan and were not beaten into bloody comas by outraged Italian metal dudes. No-one even yelled "Faggots!" and some of the long-hairs actually seemed to think we were pretty funny.
The Baaron pulled on a black sleevless number and Rob Halford cop-shades in deference to the atmosphere, and I think people appreciated the effort.
I was curious to check out Kylesa, who I'd never heard but remembered had been included in Pitchforks "Top 50 Albums of 2010", but alas they were sucky and proggy and wussy and psuedo-brootal. Boooo, Pitchfork endorsed metal, boooo!!!
Japanese retro-doom-groovers Church of Misery, on the other hand, were stoneriffically, chuggatronically bongtastic. They had the biggest flares and the longest hair and the crowd went beer-zonkers to their sabbathy soundzzz. Italo-crowdsurfing and everything. Good times.
On our way over to Sweissreich at the end of our Italian adventure we stopped for luncheon on Lake Como and tried to mingle with the Porsche driving, villa-owning locals.
But our clothes were stiff with gig-
grease and passers-by were visibly repulsed by our "musk". Even the waiter at this shitty pizza restaurant seemed to deeply resent our presence and treated the act of serving us as a vicious assault on his dignity. So we kicked over a few garbage bins, spat on a few statues and smoked rubber out of town. Take that, rich cunts!
Yes, it was an Italian summer holiday to forget. What was I talking about? Fuck it, let's score some more of that dirty smack.
P.S. All these shows really deserve a full, frank post and all the people involved deserve big back-slapping onyas, but since I've trashed the notion of posting for every show, this sort of truncated, amalgamated overview will probably become more common. But seriously, to all involved, big bigups and sloppy kisses. XXXXXX