Saturday, 8 February 2014

MAN-EAGLE TOUR 2013: Blog [Part 5]

DAY 5 – “Everybody’s Gonna Be Happy”

We wake up find that what Pete told us was true - no hangovers! And we drank A LOT last night. That wine must have been seriously goooood and (relatively) healthy stuff... Having said that we still aren't feeling right by any means.

QUOTE – ‘I’m more wine than water...’ - Hetty

However we're soon presented with a Slovakian breakfast - garlic broth, and bowls with croutons, ham, and cheese to sprinkle in the soupy goodness. It tastes incredible and it totally sorts us out, we feel normal again!

We drive out to a kind of country club / bar in the middle of the rolling hills and fields for some much needed lunch. Inside there are HUGE stuffed deer heads on the walls, bigger than any deer any of us has ever seen or imagined could even exist! There is a definite hunting vibe about the place... They look like they've just smashed their heads & shoulders through the walls and are just watching you calmly as you tuck into your grub. We have goulash, aptly made with venison.

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We head over to Pivny Bar, Skalica, for the show. It's a small venue, especially after the festival! But it turns out to be the most amazing gig!! It's also Joe’s Birthday, so we continue the celebrations from the wine cellar the night before! The owners of the bar don't let us pay for a single drink all night. Rob signs a girls boobs. The owners buy our tshirts and get us to sign them - they afterwards framed them and they now have them as a kind of Wall of Fame! They sent us this photo:
The organiser from Hrko Fest, Dodo, sorts the sound & lighting for us; he brings in the full crew from the festival!! We're totally looked after! It doesn't even matter with the crowd that there's a big language gap - we communicate with the few words we've learned and have an incredible time. As Vault Of Eagles play Rid Of Me (P J Harvey), getting Anya back up for some harmonies and a jam, we are all happily amazed to find that everyone is singing along! More people there know and love P J Harvey (and Patti Smith) than in many of the UK shows we've played! After we've all done some encores, a few people from the audience get up and join us on stage. They won't let us leave, buying us shot after shot... After shot...

Finally we head back to Pete's friend David's country cabin for a sleepless & extremely happy night! We're provided for all our needs again - it is unbelievable the hospitality we're shown! At one point David goes out in the middle of the night & shows us rows of fresh peas growing in his garden! He says to come out and graze whenever we feel like it. It starts raining at one point and everything feels refreshed outside, we go out and enjoy it! We have a few jams, there are a couple of guitars around. David starts playing a captivating circular rhythm and sings a traditional Slovakian song. It's beautiful the way the vocal melody lilts around, lulling us all almost into a trance as it circles back round again. Have a listen to it here in this short clip:

Afterwards we ask Pete if he can translate it as we loved the feel of it. The explanation is not at all what we expected - "Buy some mice, skin the mice, make something from the skins, sell what you've made with the skins, use the money to buy more mice!!!!!" Amazing. We're slightly disturbed as well! But it is still beautiful.


>>> Click here for Day 6 - "Sittin' On My Sofa" <<<<

Monday, 20 January 2014

MAN-EAGLE TOUR 2013: Blog [Part 3]

Day 3… “Sunny Afternoon”

We wake up sweating our tits off in our tents!! It's so damn hot... Sunny afternoon is an understatement. Luckily for us we're camped backstage next to the festival cabins & facilities, where there is an outside tap fully equipped with hose. We put that to good use immediately! We're not sure how it's going to be playing in this heat in a few hours time!! It sure is good to no longer be stuck inside that van though!!

We're onstage around 2.30pm, it is easily the hottest gig any of us has played. Ever. Constant sweat pouring off our faces, fingers dripping, slipping from the strings and sticks!! Literally!! After successfully pulling that one off we feel ready for anything, any gig anywhere would be a piece of piss after that one!! After we come offstage it's straight back to the Hose…!!

Whilst wandering around the festival site we discover Langos, a kind of tomato garlic bread (there's garlic in EVERYTHING over here!! Lucky we all love garlic...) It totally sorted us out though…! The bar is token only, so we have to predict how much beer we're going to consume & hand over the equivalent note (which in Slovakia is next to nothing, less than 1 Euro a pint!!) There's going to be no sleep for us! We learn our first Czech word in context - "Pivo!" (beer) This easily becomes the most used word in our vocabulary, along with "dobre pivo!" - good beer! (and "curva dobre pivo!" - fucking good beer!)

Some people befriend us from the hippy/alternative stall (which has some cool clothes, and other things). There's this one woman in particular who speaks absolutely no English whatsoever, but she loves us and keeps talking to us - we somehow manage to communicate by mime - Hilarious..!! She buys us loads of shots of a Slovakian liquor called 'Slivovice' and we head off into the rave tent...

This punctuates the whole trip from here on in! (Maybe you had to be there...)

Here is a picture of a futuristic style cigarette booth we found amusing, like something out of Blade Runner!

You wouldn't see that back in the UK! We feel strangely privileged.

As the night draws on we head back to the main arena, Pete has told us about some of the bands on the bill who are big names in Czech Republic. Sometime later we're sat stageside and we’re pretty wasted, the one headline band have left the stage, stopped playing. We start talking to them about what’s happening and it seems to be something to do with their payment. They're not going back on til they see the money! Now we’re worrying about OUR payment, as we've not had our money either, and this is the bulk of what will cover our costs for the tour... Plus if they've not paid them, and they're a well known band... (This turns out fine though! Phew...)

>>>> Click here for Part 4 "All Day & All Of The Night" <<<<<


Sunday, 12 January 2014

MAN-EAGLE TOUR 2013: Blog [Part 1]


Soundtrack – The Kinks

*First lesson learned from tour!! (And not by any means the last, as you'll see) - relying on an ipod, the van we ended up with had NO AUX IN so just 1 cd for the whole journey (well ok it was a double album so there were technically 2 cds)...

DAY 1: "Dead End Street"
[20 - 23 JUNE – On The Road from the UK to HRKO fest - Slovakia/Romania border - journey time: 36 hours]

BAAAAAD start as everything seems to begin to go wrong before it's even really started..!
First of all we're waiting for hours wondering where Pete The Czech is with the van, then when Pete finally arrives with the van it has problems. So we have to take it all the way back to (Walsall?) before heading back over to Worcester. By this point we're wondering if we're going to have to cancel everything. We've already had to accept our ferry would have left without us... :-0

Tour quote No. 1: [Mari] "Bullshittery!!!"

Finally though, we're all in the van leaving Worcester just after 4pm (5 hours behind schedule) and heading for the later ferry, Rob's cracked open the bottle of Aldi's finest champers, and we're ON OUR WAY!! :-D

>>>>> LINK TO DAY 2: "Waterloo Sunset" <<<<<<