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Guitar technician reporting from the tourbus....

Sunday, 31 May 2009


Feeling nicely refreshed after a day off in Buenos Aires where there's a decidedly autumnal feel to the place. It rained all day yesterday but that didn't stop Matt and I heading off for a spot of sight-seeing with local helpful chap Dennis who took us to a couple of monuments and the old port. After a record store signing session we were driven to a restaurant (more a temple for the worship of meat) for some dinner and then back to bed. All very boring really but just what was required after the last few days traveling. From now on the schedule is pretty relaxed with flights at reasonable hours and (hopefully) decent venues with proper facilities. A couple of the band are feeling a little under the weather but that's hardly surprising considering the amount of time spent on aircraft and the hours we've been keeping. Our arrival at airports is usually met with masked doctors frantically collecting health questionnaires filled in during transit (do you have any of the following symptoms: fever, sore throat, aching limbs, etc) while passengers are filmed with thermal cameras and police stand by, presumably to arrest the infirm. It's invariably a snaking melee of irate travellers as queue management is non-existent and immigration and customs still await. Not what you want after a long flight. Still, it could have been worse, we might have been flying on one of these:

Friday, 29 May 2009


All a bit hectic really, what with flying in and playing on the same day. The venue was as described and lacking in many basic health and safety areas (must not stink of diesel being one of them), though it meant Vincent finished the concert in dramatic fashion, flat on his back after an electric shock from his effects pedals. Quito seems a nice town, though the sight of a dirty two-year-old kid wandering alone next to a main road without a care in the world was a little jarring, particularly since we were enjoying the luxury of the Hilton Colon hotel. Sleep patterns can now only be described as farcical, though the schedule means we can relax for a couple of days on arrival in Buenos Aires. We're flying via Peru so dramatic scenery should be available to those interested along the way.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Waiting for our connecting flight to Ecuador in a most mellow departure lounge in San Jose, Costa Rica. We all wish we were getting off here - it looks ace. The Mexico gig was well received by the most enthusiastic audience I've ever seen and therefore can be classed "worth the effort". I've lost all concept of time and distance now but it doesn't really matter any more. We're straight off the plane to the venue in Quito today (a brick hut if rumours are to be believed) but after that it's two days off in Buenos Aires.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009


It seems like I fell asleep in London, had a seemingly never-ending nightmare about planes, then woke up feeling knackered in Mexico. It turns out this is all true, apart from the falling asleep bit. Twelve hours on a plane is a long time, and I was awake for every sodding second of it (not to mention the previous connecting flight as well). There were some breathtaking sights as we flew over the Bahamas though (see above). It was pretty chaotic at Mexico City airport - wheelchair-bound officials were helped by thermal imaging cameras to spot fever to make sure no-one had swine flu, while sniffer dogs looked diligently for naughty stuff in baggage. Customs officials invited everyone to play the "press the button" game - you press a button - a green light means pass through, a red light means you're searched. All passed except Danny, though he didn't get too much hassle. The drive to the hotel was nuts as expected - no driving regulations to speak of and some very interesting vehicles. Nice food at the hotel, though the fact that the peso and dollar signs are so similar had me wondering if we were in one of the worlds most expensive restaurants ($178.00 for a steak!?).

Off to the venue now. Lets see what awaits.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Slobbing around for a week in London before heading off for Mexico and South America next Tuesday. The Spanish leg of the recent tour was a bit of a drag - none of the venues were particularly great and most were in the industrial outskirts as usual. Alicante was nice though, Danny somehow getting the audience swaying along to an impromptu rendition of "The Jolly Pieman" - a bizarre sight, footage of which may appear on Youtube. I would highly recommend Portugal to anyone who's never been. I'd always imagined a bit more Spain with a different name but couldn't have been more wrong. Most on the bus seemed pleased to be heading home by the end of the tour - sound man Ian Bond itching to get to LA and his missus, the band bungalow-bound to put the finishing touches to the album. I on the other hand am happy doing absolutely nothing.


Saturday, 9 May 2009

In Granada at a classic industrial estate venue. It's been raining so hopefully life on the bus will be a little more bearable than yesterday in Madrid. Unfortunately the schedule means we haven't had too much time to explore, though Vincent has been making sure he takes in some art when he has the chance. Nothing particularly blog-worthy has happened to be honest - the shows have been well attended and well received, the drives between cities smooth and uneventful. I did get left behind at a service station but a quick phone call sorted that out. Oh yeah, I think I might have lost a couple of cables but I'm not sure. Maybe something exciting awaits us in Alicante.

Thursday, 7 May 2009


Having a morning cuppa in the new Traveller's Arms (not quite as charming as our last mobile local but we're working on it) on "the Cream Machine" while driver John steers us through big open plains and the odd town towards Bilbao after shows in Lisbon and Porto. I like the new bus, mainly because there's only ten of us on board this time. The bunks are a little bigger and the toilet has rocks in it (either turd deterrent or ornamental piss-feature, we can't decide which) but on the whole it's business as usual. Portugal is a great country - like a grander version of Spain. We had a spectacularly tasty meal by the waterfront in Lisbon, enjoyed to the sound of a swarm of giant hornets (actually traffic noise from the nearby bridge) and then headed for the old town to sample the traditional Portuguese drink known locally as "a bucket of vodka with ice in it". Les' birthday was celebrated after the Lisbon show with a huge cake and happy birthday sung repeatedly to him by a nutter. Porto is a typographer's dream - elegant buildings with cool lettering and neon signs everywhere you look. Multi-skilled Mick Reed joined fine support act Leafblade with his djembe drum last night, managing to squeeze in rehearsals during breaks from his new job as chief lampshade designer for the tour.

Friday, 1 May 2009


Flew in to Bucharest, stayed in a hotel, had some beers and food, Anathema played to a couple of thousand people in a big hall, then we flew home again.

Touring Portugal and Spain starting Monday and we're on a bus again. Hope it's as much fun as last time.