Touring, touring and more touring....
These last three months I've done more touring than ever before and despite all the stress and hard work it's definitely what I want to do every for the rest of my life. Naturally, being stuck in small spaces with the same people every day, and especially people who are very unique and have their quirks means tempers do flare occasionally - it's no surprise really when you actually drive the tour bus, run the merch stall, load and unload the gear as well as perform and soundcheck every night. But still, I'd jump at the chance to do it again!
Our touring started off on 7 March in Newcastle. We didn't really know what to expect, but we'd been warned that most of the time the bands at Legends have less than 10 people in the audience. When we had a really enthusiastic audience of about 100 people, some of which could sing along to almost every single one of our songs, we were over the moon! What a fabulous start to our spring tour!
After Newcastle we played two UK shows with one of Germany's top goth-rock bands: ASP. We returned to the same venues we already played with Emilie Autumn 9 months earlier, so it almost felt like coming home and boy, do we love the food at the Corporation in Sheffield! The first two shows with ASP gave us a little taste of things to come... a large number of their fanclub had travelled to the UK to support their favourite band on their first UK shows. Their presence and enthusiasm has been very noticeable at every show we've played with ASP and we consider ourselves very very lucky indeed that they embraced us in the way they did. Their support and appreciation at every show was wonderful and really made us feel welcome.
Next came the German, Austrian and Swiss dates. Now that was something else: every single night was a homeplay for ASP and it was amazing to be a part of that. I couldn't possibly talk about every single show now - I'd be writing away all night - but while every show was great in its own way and carries its own particular memories, I have to say that there were definitely a few shows that did stand out for me and Magdeburg probably stands out the most of those. The reception we got there was just mind-blowing and will remain hard to top...
After the ASP tour we all returned to our everyday lives for a while. Well, kinda anyway. I wouldn't say that the following 6 weeks ressembled anything close to my everyday life, but that's another story. I actually went on tour again, but this time not in the limelight, but in the background of another, much more famous, recording artist. But more I won't divulge... :)
Anyway, June approached quickly and the next UK tour dates were approaching rapidly. 2 1/2 weeks before our first show in Leeds I got word that Chris, our guitarist was in a coma in hospital and the doctors weren't sure whether he'd pull through or not. I almost couldn't believe my ears, it seemed so surreal. Luckily after a couple of days the doctors were a lot more positive, but we were told that it would take some time for him to recover. With the UK dates looming we took the decision to ask Sascha Dannenberger to learn the songs, so we wouldn't have to cancel any shows. We knew we'd have only one rehearsal together as a band before the Leeds show, so naturally I was quite nervous as to how this would work out, but I needn't have worried. Sascha was amazing and had not just learned the songs inside out, but also added his own little touches to them. And so the Leeds show was a complete success. Also, Paul - the promoter - had been advertising it heavily in the preceding weeks, so we had a great turnout on the night.
Chris recovered faster than we could have possibly hoped for and so he was able to join us for the remaining tour dates in Weston-super-Mare, Newcastle and London, where again we met some wonderful fans, promoters and other bands!
So now it's all over for a couple of months. Actually, by now it's only another 6 weeks before we next hit the stage. And I can't wait. We'll be back in Germany for 3 very different shows: one in a tiny little club near Lutz' studio in Karlsruhe, the second takes us back to the Matrix in Bochum - which seems to have become the spiritual home of ASP and may very well become ours as well - and then we're off to Sachsen for our first festival performance as a band: the Nocturnal Culture Night III. And one month after that we'll be back on the road in the UK.
No rest for the wicked as they say and I've been so very, very wicked...