Hearing a few decent tunes never fails to calm me down, keep me sane, reassure me that - in the words of The Killers - everything will be all right. So I made a playlist. Each tune on the playlist is from a different EU country.
I'm on the Fink tour bus, somewhere in Ukraine. Earlier today we were woken at 7am (having not crept into our bunks until about 3am after the show we played in Minsk, Belarus) and told to get dressed and ready, passports and vaguely sober expressions close at hand, for the border crossing.
A festival tour, where you're encountering different bands from all over the place day after day, is even more likely to fill your brain with the most insistent variant of demented earworms. And so, upon my return from Fink's June/July festival run, I present to you, with the assistance of Spotify, my latest Festival Trip Tunes...
Sit back and look at our Viennese friend Matthias Hombauer's jolly nice photos of the three days he spent with us as we belted across his home country, leaving approximately two thousand people fractionally more deaf and hopefully entertained.
Plans for Fink's production rehearsals are plunged into a skipful of turds by one of those professional rehearsal spaces turning round at the eleventh hour and calmly announcing that they don't allow use of a smoke machine. Panic! Fink's entire live show is based around a smoke machine. I'm personally lost if I can actually see the rest of my band through lack of fog.
Sobriety happened immediately. As a couple of friends took him to the hospital, I remember sitting on the stairs trying to process what had just happened and being completely unable to comprehend how anyone could do something like that.
He recoils with a faintly amused expression on his face, shrugs, then glances around for an appropriate piece of hardware with which to impale me. He seizes a nearby spare mic stand, and so begins a Tom and Jerry style chase around the backstage area, me leaping over flight cases and knocking guitars to the floor in my efforts to escape... My tour bus dreams are getting stranger.
There is one situation in which an encore is definitely not such a good idea. Frowned upon, in fact, by just about everyone in the venue apart from the audience cheering for it. And that situation is a festival. For a festival to be a success, it must run on time.
This is the second in a series of New Breed blogs introducing some of my favourite breaking bands that have captured my ears in 2014. Every summer hails the emergence of a new breed of young, up and coming bands heading out on festival season opening up muddy fields and tents across the country ready to make their name known to the world. Here are 3 of the best new bands destined to make big waves through the end of 2014.
Broadcaster Paul Mason put it best: the first law of sociology is that all youth subcultures eventually come back. First it was a post-punk revival in the mid-noughties, then nu-rave later in the decade and lately we've been reminiscing the nineties. Is it now Northern Soul's turn for a revival?