My band and I embarked on our first mini tour from the 20th July to the 23rd of July and we had a blast overall. Initially five days, the four day tour gave us all many great experiences and we met many great people.
The tour begun on Saturday (20th) at midday in Nottingham’s bus station for our Leicester date. We’d been booked to play a charity all-day event alongside Origins, Icons and Foul Body Autopsy amongst others in memory of Sophie Lancaster (RIP). Leicester was, without a doubt, the most stressful day of the tour. I had to run around Nottingham trying to find our drummer (he’s not from round here, so he was unsure where to go) whilst people were boarding the coach. When we found Ryan, he then had to pretty much bribe the driver with a £10 note to let him on the coach. The journey was over pretty quick but we spent three quarters of an hour walking around Leicester trying to find the venue. Although Google Maps said it was two minutes away from the bus station, we learned that our band is crap with directions. We eventually arrived at the venue only to find out there was a mix up with the equipment and we wouldn’t be able to play. Some of the staff ran round the venue trying to locate us guitar and drum equipment and for that, I can’t thank you enough. Local band Three Thirds Below had been booked to play last minute and they lent us their equipment (it’s like fate, huh?), and we had to cut all the stage banter out from our set in order to get through all eight songs in the allotted time we were given. The set itself went okay but by the end the floors were so covered in sweat it was absolutely LETHAL if you wanted to 2-step or throwdown to the next few bands. I was pretty stoked when I found out we had been booked on the same stage (a dingy basement) as Foul Body Autopsy (one man brutal death metal band with plenty of slams), because he’s one of my inspirations whenever I write death metal riffs. His set was fantastic and I walked away with a shirt.
Most of us slept in a tent in my back garden before grabbing a lift to Chesterfield for the next show. Fissurefest was good and bad for different reasons. Our drummer organised it and we lost cash because so few people turned up. Shout out to Matt and Sam who came down from Nottingham to watch us and the rest of the bands, cool dudes. The venue has a “no moshing” rule which put a downer on the whole day and the licence the venue held meant that everybody under 18 had to leave after 7pm. We opened the show and our set went down pretty well, we got some cool photos out of it as well (thanks Victoria!). I spent most of the day skating around Chesterfield with the lads in Sink The City and drinking chocolate milkshakes from MacDonald’s. Despite that though, there were some really great sets. Our friends in Derby melodicore (is that what people are calling it?) band Last Day of May put on a really great show, as did The Distant North and the cool deathcore band Beneath A Liar. Definitely check them all out. Unfortunately the event overran and Sink The City didn’t even get to play because half the members are under 18 which is an absolute fucking joke. How you can claim to run a venue that puts hardcore shows on and have restrictions like that is beyond me. We drove back to Aly’s (bass) house afterwards in Notts to get ready for the show the next day. We pretty much just watched Peep Show till whatever time.
Nottingham doesn’t have a hardcore scene, I can name like 3 bands besides us that come/came from here – Feral Youth (RIP), Splitcase (RIP) and Bleak Reality. Oh, and Destroyer BC, they’re cool too, check them out if you like doom/sludge, for sure. I put the show on at The Maze that day and walked away with £120 (woo!). It was pretty cool – Derby deathcore band We Are Tyrants headlined and proved they are an absolute force to be reckoned with, whilst Set In The Skies brought their usual balance of melodic sections and metalcore heaviness. Maven are more mainstream, plenty of clean vocals, choruses and sing-alongs. They’re from London and you should definitely check them out if you’re into The Blackout or any of those bands. Despite having TWO bands cancel on me 6 HOURS before doors were due to open (naming and shaming We Fell From Glory because they “forgot”) the show was really good. Our set was fun too, had some people singing along to our Desolated and Acacia Strain covers and had a couple of people throwdown and 2-step to our songs too (which is rare in Notts). The sound was perfect that day, just want to say thank you to Phil (I think his name is), he seems like a nice guy and his sound is always great. I think he plays bass in Notts emo/punk bands Plaids too. We headed back to Aly’s after to prepare ourselves for Rotherham, the final date.
Bessfest is, without a doubt a) the best show I have ever played b) the best time I have ever had and c) the best small/local show I’ve ever attended. Personal note: I’m friends with people all over the UK in hardcore bands, and Rotherham was amazing because we all got booked on the same date, so I got to meet them all. I got to meet the dudes in Journey’s End (Wakefield), No Excuse (Southampton), Snake Eyes (Glasgow) and my friends Lee (Selby) and Tom (Wakefield). The day was a whole lot of fun, the Journey’s End/Dead Inside crew spent the day eating MacDonald’s, bitching about bands and taking xtoughguyx crew photos. Our set was amazing too – while our opening was a little shaky, the room EXPLODED in a flurry of spinkicks and crowdkilling to our Shattered Realm cover which followed soon after. About 50 people lost their shit and it was absolutely beautiful. The rest of the set was cool, plenty of mic-grabbing during The Acacia Strain and Desolated covers. Journey’s End’s set was a lot of fun too, so glad I’ve seen them live. No Excuse’s set was on a whole different level though – Their brand of 80s influenced straight edge youth crew was a welcome departure from the beatdown hardcore many of the other bands offered that day. Though they only played for ten minutes, their set was the most fun and the most memorable of the day – plenty of 2-step sections and sing-alongs. Snake Eyes had a lot of groovy riffs and stuff too, though I only caught the last ten minutes of their set. Revelations hailed from Chesterfield and their pits looked ABSOLTUELY LETHAL. So many people crowdkilling to 40BPM beatdowns. Fairly amusing to watch too, check them out if they come to your town. We left afterwards though, and the goodbyes were pretty heartbreaking haha!
I know it sounds cliché but I met so many great people and I can’t wait to do it all again at some point in the future. There’s nothing better than sleeping in your own bed after stinking of sweat for four straight days too, and if anybody tells you different then they’re lying.
Shoutouts to all the bands mentioned above, all the promoters, everyone who came down to see us, everyone who moshed and all the parents who had to put up with us haha!