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zaterdag 13 augustus 2011
ALESTORM: Tour Diary Australia 2011

The plundering trip of the pirates of Alestorm goes on relentless. Continent after continent surrenders to their inciting pirate metal. Recently they released their third album ‘Back Through Time’ and it looks like more gates to success are about to be opened. But the band works terribly hard for that. Even before the new album was out, the four-piece went for a second tour through Australia. I asked Dani to write a tour diary and the debonair musician took that to heart and did it with flair. Read everything about this hilarious trip, written by guitarist Dani Evans. We thank him grandly for that, it reads as if we were there. Cheers!

Alestorm - Back Through Time World Tour
Dani Evans

"The Intricacies of not dying on tour while in Australia"

Sunday 8th May: Tilburg, NL

So, here we sit getting ready to begin the world tour in promotion for our new album 'Back Through Time' with our second Australian tour in a year.

The first of the tour dates are as follows -

May 10th - Amplifier Bar, Perth
May 11th - Enigma Bar, Adelaide
May 12th - The HiFi, Brisbane
May 13th - The Manning Bar, Sydney
May 14th - The Corner Hotel, Melbourne
May 15th - Rising Sun, Auckland – New Zealand

We're sitting at home for a few more hours before heading off to Schiphol, then London and then onto Singapore (for cocktails) finally landing in Perth, Western Australia after 22 hours of flying, 6 hours of airport lobbies and I imagine a copious amount of free booze from the flights.

Nothing really interesting has happened yet. I'm listening to Queen and eating breakfast while the rest of the guys finish up packing and making sure we haven't forgot any of our gear. Passports check, guitars check....I'm sorted!

I'll be checking in on the daily flights we get to enjoy at 7am so I expect some of these entries to get weird. Stick with me though. This is going to be a hell of a ride!

I'm checking out for now!

Monday 9th May....I think.

First proper entry, reporting from my seat in row 56 of this Qantas flight to Perth, Western Australia!!!

So we've been in the air, and between airports since errr....yesterday? These flights really mess with our heads. We're all having a smashing time but 22-25 hours of flying can really mess with your perception of when and where you are. Chris has been travelling in a all white suit (pictures will no doubt surface soon) and he has yet to stain it once. Which is a miracle as the rest of us are messy bastards. We've got through our fair share of alcohol on these flights, with it being free and all it was just our thing to do! We topped of the visit to Singapore by going to the tropical bar there. 33 Degrees and about 100% humidity. It was awesome, all of us had Singapore Slings, in keeping with the tradition set by Chris and Gazz on our last visit there. Our Tour Manager, Stijn being the straight edge kid of all of us had a non-alcoholic cocktail but much entertainment was had and a lot of lovely photos taken. Seriously, Changi Airport is fucking amazing, I recommend it anytime. If you can transfer there, you're set in terms of awesome fruit based cocktails.

We've had no real delays which is a relief as we're on a pretty tight schedule this tour but I'll try and keep it updated as much as I can. We're expected to land in a few hours, at 12:30am local time in Perth. So we're probably going to drink a few beers, hit our hotel and try and get some sleep in preparation for the first show in Perth. We're looking at a good night out with our best Aussie mates in 'Claim The Throne' and meeting our supporting band 'Voyager'. Check them both out through our Facebook page! They're awesome!

I'm logging off for now. May update once we hit the hotel but that's technically the start of tomorrow entry. Now, where's that stewardess, I need more rum!

Tuesday 10th May.....technically, it's too early for thinking.

So we've just got into our hotel in Perth. Same one we had last time and met Glenn Dyson who did our merch last time around. He's now on TM duty for this leg of it all. It's fucking class as, once we'd landed and sorted everything out, he pulled out a six pack of beer. Which was fucking class. We drove in, got into our hotel and ended up at Fast Eddys, a classic fast food joint here where we had fuck all idea how to order food. It was awesome, but it took a while. We all ate well and drank some beers. Now we're sitting getting ready to sleep and get ready for this day upcoming which should be awesome. Meeting Jim, Cabba and all the Claim the Dole guys. Can't wait, but first sleep and lunch. It's late days here so we're gonna be taking it easy and trying to not die of jet lag in the coming days. More to come in the next few hours!

What a show. I can honestly say we had one of the best shows in our history tonight. By no means a technically perfect show but the atmosphere was second only to the last time we toured Australia. Amazing crowd and they were all completely insane.

We had one hell of an afterparty, in which, I'll be honest here... I don't remember much of. We managed to sneak into a harbour and mess around with the boats there while drinking a bottle of vodka the Claim The Throne guys had with them. This was after finishing our own rider and drinking a ton of beers. We went and hang out at something called 'The Belltower' which is the biggest waste of taxpayer money, I've ever seen. Still, much fun was had and we ended up in the water around it taking pics like we were school kids playing in a pool. After this my memory gets a little (read, a lot) fuzzy. I know we....actually, I've no idea what we did. I don't even remember how I got here, which is slightly un-nerving.

Wednesday 11th May - Radelaide time

Radelaide time. This is our first show in Adelaide and we were really looking forward to it. We've warmed to our lovely support band Voyager after the massive party that went on last night. Meeting up with them in the Perth airport is a refreshing sight. Nicking a quick snack and chatting to those guys seemed to take the edge off what is a bone tingling hangover. I'm not sure what kind of show it'll be today but I'm going to be taking it a bit easier this time around. My body is in a bad way at the moment and I don't know how long I'll last on stage if I keep doing that everyday.

As a small note, quote of the day goes to Scott from Voyager; "On a scale from Hello Kitty to Josef Fritzl. How fucked up is this?!" When discussing the baggage situation they got hit with for excessive. I think I nearly passed out with laughter.

Three hours later and we're on land again in Adelaide. I can't think of anything witty to say right now. This hangover has switched gears. I need a meal and a sleep, neither of which I'll end up getting for quite a while. I think I'm on about four hours sleep in the last four days. It's going to hit me someday and I'm not really looking forward to it. Without a doubt, the hardest part of touring Australia is trying to get sleep and food in you. I wish I'd brought some multi-vitamins now. They would be a complete lifesaver right now.

So we're done with the show. That was a complete riot. A small show in a small club but completely awesome either way. Played a lot better today too and did yet another unplanned encore. We're not used to this whole headlining thing so we had nothing prepared. Still, it's all fun and games and we pulled it off in true Alestorm style. With another intense afterparty and another 7am lobby call for our flights. Well, off to the plane for another few hours. Next up, Brisbane. Where I know there is one guy from Chile coming, who flew in for the show. Mad man.

Thursday 12th May - BrisVegas

Quote of the day part two. Alex from Voyager... in fact, I think I should just call this 'Shit Voyager say!' - When discussing Goregrind with a man wearing a shirt that stated 'xxxxxxxx Dripping Gore Grind' on the back Alex extends Scotts quote to the logical extreme.

"On a scale from Hello Kitty to Josef Fritzl. You're Hitler"

See. Logic... somewhere. Needless to say, I nearly died once again.

So after quite a trying and longer journey we made it to our hotel. It's once again the same one we had. The same one Pete ended up with a near broken ankle at not even one year ago. Still, that's not the plan this time around. Although, plans and Alestorm don't go together at the best of times.

Gareth is in quite a bad way today, having barely slept and then deciding his Hungry Jacks soda wasn't 'vodka-esque' enough at 8am he's in less than great shape. Chris, Gazz, Pete and Ash from 'Claim The Throne' were in a spa for a good portion of the night while, which was something I never needed to see. Eventually Ash came and started drinking vodka with me, which lead to us lobbing glasses off the eighth floor of the hotel. Fucking rock stars. All of us are feeling it a bit, I've pulled a muscle in my leg and it's agony to even sit down in certain positions, so tonight's going to be interesting. I've got a lot of friends here in Brisvegas who I'm looking forward to heading out and drinking with them! I imagine this will be the night of stupid and drunken actions... wait no, that's every night.....After tonight though, it will be the survival instincts kicking in that will keep us going.

So, I'm writing the rest of the Brisbane part from my hotel in Sydney. As the afterparty for Brisbane was completely killer.

We were all feeling pretty hellish going into the show. The good thing about that though, is that we go in feeling shit and come out ready to party. You've sweated out all the alcohol from last night and are ready to replace it all over again. This was a night we would not forget... well, we probably would but not because it wasn't memorable.

Our good friends from Aeternitas and Lagerstein (again, Facebook) were in town and we were not missing the chance to party with them. Meeting up with their keyboard player Phil, who brought me a new power supply for my wireless system, and the drinking starts. We nailed through our rider in record time tonight leaving only the fruit and a metric fucktonne of empty bottles. We headed to a bar which was cheap... and boy was it cheap. I can't actually remember what or how much we drank, but it was a lot. I can't honestly go into detail as I can't really remember what happened but I assume it was an awesome night as we were all feeling reasonably hellish at the 7am lobby call.

Friday 13th May - Sydney - Student bar night

After our reasonably lovely flight from Brisbane to Sydney. We were back! Flew over the Opera House and Harbour bridge and Sydney looked completely lovely. We didn't do much in the day due in most part to the party we had caused the night before. We hit our hotel and slept/passed out/were in comas, not sure what fits best.

Still, we knew today was a big day. Sydney Manning Bar, in the middle of the University of Sydney campus on a Friday night. This was going to be a big party and Sydney did not disappoint. Voyager played to a very large and enthusiastic crowd, they were growing on us every day. They're a brilliant band and we're hoping to see them sometime soon.

By the time out intro was playing the crowd had swelled to near capacity. It was a big hall and it was pretty much packed. I had a lot of friends in the crowd that day so I was feeling a bit nervous but the show went off without a hitch. The crowd was wonderful and we were, once again prepared for a party.

This was the first show with a dedicated afterparty for us which we attended with glee. As they're always a laugh. We headed into town with a few people from the show we had met. They knew some bars which were open late so we were more than happy to follow. Booze started flowing and the music got worse and worse as the night progressed. The best part of this night though was the Voyager guys turning up for it, though they had already put their lead singer to bed as he was too drunk. What a night he missed though.

They have a new member in the band, Scott (of quote of the day fame). He was to be initiated that night and I was only happy to give a hand in this one. So for the whole seven minutes of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' by Queen, he wind milled... successfully. I have never seen such a feat to this day. I spent a good portion of the night avoiding slightly creepy Aussies and getting the Voyager guys drunk, especially their guitarist Simone who didn't even thank me the next day! Though I don't think she was too appreciative of double rums in the morning. I decided lifting their bassist Alex into the air above my head and going for a jog around the bar was a good idea, much to the dismay of two large bouncers who nearly kicked us out. With a bit of persuasion, they let us stay… After plenty of singing, dancing, drinking and looking for missing band members, we departed back to the hotel at anywhere between four and 7am. I don't know which at this moment I just know we were in the lobby at 7.30am.

Another quote came to light that night but none of us can remember what it was. We'll just put it in the annals of time as the best one because no-one can remember it.

Saturday 14th May - Melbourne - Return to Ground Zero

This is where my mind gets fuzzy. Thanks to last nights drinking my hangover was pretty much the only thing on my mind. Stuff happened in the day, probably at a snails pace. I don't really remember, my mind is fried.

However, a back story to Melbourne.

When we came here last, we walked into a hall the size that would rival a good European venue and we thought "How the hell will we sell that many tickets?!" Much to our surprise we sold 702 tickets that night. So upon returning we were determined to break it and break it we did. Melbourne was oversold by 22 tickets, giving us a sold out total of 772 tickets on the day.

The venue was completely packed, never have seen bodies so tightly pressed up against the front barrier outside of festivals. It was unreal. Our show was not perfect thanks to a less than capable monitor guy messing up the sound and us not being able to hear anything at anytime. Still, we played to our best.

This night was the last night we played with Voyager too, so we were going to do something special and of course we were waiting on our surprise from them.

Our special thing was to have their lead singer/keyboarder Danny come up and we had a three-way Keytar, Keytar and Guitar dual which was ridiculous, culminating in a triple arpeggio run. Which was completely ridiculous as we were all in different tunings and played the arp in different keys, still, it was damn epic and a hell of a fun change to the normal set of songs. When it came to ‘Keelhauled’, we knew we were getting something and something we got, the whole of Voyager came up on stage and started line dancing and feeding us booze mid song. Much to the delight of the crowds! We played our Encore and headed off stage.

Tonight was a quiet night as we had a huge day ahead of us, 3am bus call to the airport for our trip to Auckland, NZ. I'm away to grab some rest in the van before sorting this all out. It's going to be a long day. Night all, I'm gonna try and rectify some aches and pains today.

Sunday 15th May - Auckland, NZ - Night of the Early Risers

It' and we're already on our way to Auckland for the final show so far. I haven't felt more normal than I do now on this whole tour. A nice couple of drinks and some actual sleep in a bed, albeit two hours but it's more than I've had the last couple of days. This should be a good show. I'll be checking in later to tell you all about it!

Well, after landing in Auckland and meeting our driver, Val, we drove to the venue taking in some sights from Auckland. Sadly we wouldn't have much time to explore this wonderous country. Still, we get to see some of it from the van. Upon arrival at the venue, we were greeted by the promoter and our go-to guy for the day, Gareth. After arranging the stage and sorting out food and booze for the day. I had an interview with NZ TV which was pretty awesome, as I've never been on TV there. The guys doing the interview brought us a case of beer and by us I mean... me and the guy doing the interview. After a case of beer and 45 minutes of TV interviewing, we were done and ready for sound checks to start.

Once we were all done, my interviewer took me downtown to have some dinner and pints. While walking down the street, every group of people we saw were dressed as pirates, one had a massive jolly roger. I knew from just that, this was going to be a special night. After watching a guy walk past the window of the Pizzeria four times, he finally came in and spoke to us. Handing me a bottle of booze from somewhere on the South Island, which was nice of him.

By the time we returned to the venue the doors were open and there was a lot of people there. This was a reasonably small venue but there was still a lot of people queuing. Getting back inside and watching the opening bands was pretty interesting as we had left Voyager in Australia, there were three new bands to listen to. Once they were done though, it was our turn for the last time on this leg of the World Tour.

This gig was hot. Unbearably so. By the end of the first song we were all completely soaked through. Our drummer, Pete was having a hard time holding sticks. The place was packed and the front row didn't even exist anymore. There was a barrier but by the end of ‘Wenches And Mead’ there were just wenches standing along the front of the stage in front of the barrier which is one of the most badass things I have ever seen. A front row of lovely women in corsets dancing around to every song we played, even the new stuff! About halfway through the show, a mystic breeze showed up and started cooling us down. We had no idea where it came from until after the show, frankly, if it had not have shown up I don't know if we could have finished that show. It was easily the hottest show we've ever done. It turned out that the venue has Air Conditioning but no-one had thought it wise to turn it on........

After the show, we shared a few pints with the fans and signed a lot of stuff. We were mostly knackered though. We headed to our hotel for the night. Chris stuck out and partied with some fans and our TM, Stijn. Me, Pete and Gazz retired to our rooms and recovered in preparation for our 36 hours of flying the next day. I was especially pleased as I had a whole suite to myself inclusive of big TV with satellite channels! I pretty much died that night though, it had been such a long tour. Even though it was only a week long, it was a harder schedule than anywhere we had been before!

Monday 16th May/Tuesday 17th May - 4 Flights, 2 Layovers, 2 days of not knowing where we are.

Well, the tour is over. We're all rested up for this one. Four big flights in thirty-six hours. This is going to be a long day.

First flight is Auckland to Sydney and getting checked in is a laugh. We have about 115 kg of checked baggage and the airline was trying to charge us for it, even though we had flown it there with the same airline. So after forty-five minutes of debating, we win and get to go and find somewhere to eat some food and buy some souvenirs for our girlfriends/parents... anyone back home. After this was all said and done, time to board the flight.

This was second shortest flight of the day and the word of the day was most certainly 'slurped'. We don't know why but we kept making up sentences using it, causing us to explode in laughter. This three hour flight went surprisingly quickly. Which boded well as the next flight was 22 hours with a two hour layover in Bangkok...More on that when I get to the fight.

Well, here I am. Three hours in on our 24 hour flight plan... screaming children and a two hour lack of entertainment and we're finally all settled. Me, Gazz and Chris have been plying ourselves with rum and coke and been enjoying the sleeping position of Stijn. He sleeps with his mouth wide open, much to our amusement and his peril. I guess I'll check in once we pass Bangkok, we're going to try and get cocktails while we're on a layover there.

Well, Bangkok airport is behind us and it was a bit of a disappointment. As we were delayed we had to rush through security and only got a little while to run around in the airport looking at things. So no cocktails this time around.......

The flights were pretty uneventful... well, until we arrived in Schiphol and Christopher heard that three of our bags had managed to make it from Auckland to London and then be lost there… After hanging around and tracing them back, they will be delivered to us sometime soon at a cost only to British Airways. It does mean we have less luggage to drag back home though, which is nice as we're all pretty beat from the trip. We're at about 36 hours already and we still have two hours of trains from Amsterdam to Tilburg to do.

Final Check in - Wednesday May 18th

Well, we're all home and we've all slept. This is the sort of end piece of this whole tirade/debacle/diary of a man not sure how to write things.

I just want to thank Vera for letting me do this.
Voyager; Danny, Simone, Alex, Mark and Scott for being such an awesome bunch and an awesome band
Claim The Throne; for just being a bunch of drunk bastards.
Everyone reading this part; you're all legends!

Aside from that Alestorm will be playing in Belgium at Trix (Hof Ter Lo) with Finntroll and Turisas at the 16th of October 2011! Hopefully we can see you all there!

All photo credits go to Christopher Bowes.

Geplaatst door Vera op zaterdag 13 augustus 2011 - 15:45:49
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