Male Bonding Tour Diary

(1) We'll never complain about a drive ever again. We swap long, long straight ones for small, small sprawling ones. After being in the USA forever we're back on the crazy A-roads getting all pumped for the M&S services.
And VHS in Sheffield.
A lot of VHS.

(2) A great start Sheffield. The Harley. We sleep on top of a party. We mark our territory by accidentally leaving a box of our new album with Sheffield and drive to Liverpool.

(3) It’s one of those music-city-events. A million conflicting bands infect a city all beer buzz and style fuzz. We’re on a bill with Titus Andronicus, Crocodiles and Blood Red Shoes. Show is great. I give Brandon Crocodiles a Madonna sucking a lollipop tshirt. It’s trade. International relations. We are building transatlantic bridges for you. Don’t mention it. Titus Andronicus strum a Let’s Wrestle song backstage, based on that act alone we could only ever be BFF. Blood Red Shoes are kind with their whiskey.

(4) Words can not get close to describing the experience of staying in the Formula One “Hotel” in Liverpool. Real anarchy. Brits-not-abroad. Big men topless singing Erasure songs until 9am. Word perfect too. Faeces in the shower. Broken bottles in the halls. John is so psyched to complete the “How was your stay with us” form.

(5) It’s one of those music-city-events. A million conflicting bands infect….blah. blah. etc. etc. Love Scotland. Love that we get to play with Ganglians who made possibly the best album of 2010 that actually came out in 2008. Those guys are amazing. Before we play with Ganglians we play a sweat-out at Nice ‘n’ Sleazys. It’s cool. It’s not cool, it’s hot. Very. Anyway we swan around hilly Glasgow so pretty in the sun. We pal around with Titus Andronicus who play a stormer at the Art School. And what a dream it is to be staying with Tara and Lee and cat once again. It’s all whiskey, real tea and home made crumpets. It’s love.

(6 - 7) We have another day here in Glasgow at this Stag and Dagger thing. So we take the train in to town and eat vegan records at Mono. It’s good to mooch. Glasgow is blazing. I have never seen so much collective sunburn in my life. We play Captain’s Rest with Ganglians and a few other bands. It’s a tiny box in the ground. Every one is so cool. And the buildings, the sandstones, all tall and mackintosh, they’re cool too. We wind it up and sneak three of us in a room for two. We’re doing this, us three in a car. Regular road warriors. Real snug.

(8) A stunning drive up and over the border. We stop off at this tiny border town called Lauder. We seem to scare the living crap out of the tea shoppe. It’s cute and we got to eat.

(9) To Newcastle.

(10) Stop off at RPM Records for an instore. It’s super positive. Independent retail marching on. The show tonight at Head of Steam sells out. And it’s awesome. We hang in the kitchen till playtime. We nightcap and in a beat we are on the breeze cruising past the Angel of the North just as the sun rises. London, old friend, we’re coming for you.

(11) London. Camp Basement. It’s Upset the Rhythm’s three hundreth show and it’s our album launch party. The party is double. And it goes off. Insanity. But the best thing about the whole night was how amazing the atmosphere was. It was as if at the core of it, the people, our friends, were being as amazing as ever but it’s like it spread to other people. And it was like a wave machine in there. Another sold out show and we can’t believe it. It’s packed tight for Veronica Falls and PENS who, both, are completely amazing. Amazement after wave of amazement.

(12 -13) Earth thuds as we pack a three-way hangover in to the car and roll out to Canterbury, Kent for a show with PENS in a farmhouse which really isn’t a farmhouse. It’s pretty cool. They have Only Fools and Horses DVD box set on the rider. And we obsess about Rodney’s band: series three, episode three.

(14 - 15) Our Home Counties night trips with PENS end up in Guildford, Boiler Room. And it’s intimate. And it’s Surrey. And we send the bottle of whiskey around the club. And we invite the whole crowd to come back to the Haggerston pub in London and some of PENS and Male Bonding jump in a car and some of PENS and Male Bonding ride the train and we’re all home like we never left and home until we leave again.

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