8.30 Today we’re on tour… ish. Tonight we’re playing in Utrecht, Holland and we drove halfway last night, so we all wake up in a hotel in Calais. We’re supposed to be meeting at the van at 11am, so I get up around 8:30 to shower and practice some yoga before we have to leave.
Before we left home yesterday, we officially committed to our album and delivered it for mastering. We’ve been working on it pretty much around the clock for the past three or four months in one way or another, so it feels weird to finally stop working on it and say, “I think it’s finished.” We’ve definitely both been stressing out about getting it finished and fussing over minor details… “anxious” is pretty much our default setting anyway, so the pressure of delivering something that we’re really proud of (and hopefully will be in years to come) has kicked that into overdrive lately.
So basically, I’m aware of how dumb and pretentious it sounds, but I think yoga really reminds me to chill the fuck out. When I get down to the lobby Sam tells me that he got up early and went for a run around the area and saw a dead rabbit. Ewan is still asleep.
11:00 We leave the hotel and go to a supermarket to grab some breakfast. The dietary requirements of the members of this band are a bit of an adventure. We have two vegans, one vegetarian, one normal, and one non-dairy/non-potato… yeah. European touring is awesome because the people are so lovely and they seem to really look after bands, but life “on the road” as a vegan can be a little tricky. So we all stock up on what Ewan calls “beige food” (bread) and he even takes a punt on a weird olive paste thing. He didn’t enjoy it. The rest of the afternoon is spent in a van driving to the venue.
16:30 We arrive at EKKO (the venue we’re playing at tonight) without knocking any cyclists off their bikes. The venue is super cool and right next to the canal. The toilets are unisex. Soundcheck is the least fun bit about playing live. We have a broken hi-hat clutch, so I run into town to find a music shop to buy a new one. The sun is shining on Utrecht, and it is absolutely stunning. Everyone here seems to be super beautiful and super healthy. I manage to get to the music shop and back without being mowed down by any cyclists.
The rest of the evening leading up to the show is super chilled. We have some dinner together and hang out with some of the guys from the venue. They’re mostly volunteers, and they’re all really nice. The other bands (Brooke Bentham, Ruby Empress) are really good and make me nervous to play. This happens quite a lot.
22:10 While we’re playing the room is full of strangers, which is good. Some people have travelled from Germany to see us. This is the nicest and most unexpected surprise of the night, and we all really appreciate the handmade banner they’ve made for us. It says “YES”, and they hold it up at all the right bits when we play ‘Are You High?’.
After the show, we hang out for a bit and chat to a few people. A man comes up and tells us, “I think you should work with Brian Eno”. He doesn’t know Brian, so I don’t think it will happen, but it’s a lovely compliment, and I’ll take it.
00:30 We’re staying in a hostel just on the other side of the canal. I want to shower before bed, but there are no towels. I have to drip dry. “There are 1 million bicycles in Utrecht,” the wallpaper next to my bed tells me. I believe it; then I fall asleep listening to a Harry Potter audiobook.