Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Russia Tour Diary Part 1

Day 1 – 16/09/09
...”well get Putin down here then!”...

The day started at 04.00am with a very hungover, pukey journey to Heathrow where we managed to blag our excessive baggage on to BMI's 09.30 flight to Moscow. The flight consisted of Fanny having Final Destination style premonitions, Harrison puking every half an hour, shit food and a very dull Eddie Murphy film.
We landed in Moscow at 16.30 local time where we were met by our tour manager, host family, a very flash mercedes (complete with blacked out windows and a mullet-sporting driver) and our first bottle of Russian Vodka!
After getting to know our new Russian friends over a bottle of voddy in the van we arrived at Igor and Paulina's flat where we soon discovered a wall-mounted HDTV, PS3 and fridge full of vodka. Within five minutes of us putting our bags down, the second litre of vodka was cracked open.
“you must drink vodka with guerkins” we were told. The smell and taste of vodka combined with the brutal taste of guerkins didn't sound all that appealing, but when in russia....
Another two litres of vodka and a jar of guerkins down we were REALLY FUCKED!
The hours shot by and Phil, Kal and Fanny decided to call it a night, with two more litres of vodka still left Harrison and Pete decided to represent until there wasn't a drop of vodka or a single guerkin left in sight!
They stumbled to bed around 6am only to awake again within the hour.
Now what happened next is a perfect example of why English people should never attempt to keep up with the Russian's when it comes to drinking Vodka, or pretty much any intoxicating liquids.
Fanny awoke to Pete puking on the majority of his upper torso and received a very well executed upper cut after trying to move our now paralletic front man.
Harrison awoke to the sound of “ I can't fucking puke any more........well get Putin down here then!” Intrigued by all this comotion, he also received a left hook Ricky Hatton would have been proud of after trying to diffuse the Punch-drunk time bomb!
After a boozy scuffle everyone returned to bed to sleep off whatever the fuck had just happened.

Day 2 – 17/09/09
...”Mate, I'm SO sorry!”...

With the stench of Vodka and Guerkin-based puke freshly lingering in the air, Harrison awoke to a very hungover, appologetic Pete.
We laughed off the previous nights' events over our first cooked Russian breakfast, before jumping on the Moscow underground to the first show of the tour.
We arrived at the venue which was.............and had some lunch.
With our hangovers still in full swing we decided to try a traditional Russian hangover cure...........more Vodka!
Based on the same masochistic principles of our “Hair of the dog” theory, the Russian's find this to be the ONLY way to cure a hangover.
I feel at this point I should point out that all shots in Russia are served in 75 ml glasses, not the standard 35ml glasses our binge-drinking society are familiar with.
By the time soundcheck roled around our alcohol levels were back up and we were ready to complete the longest ever soundcheck. After checking each drum, amp and microphone at least 7 times, we nestled in to our booth for some dinner and more Vodka.
We met Russian Fat Mike who turned out to be called Romi, guitarist from Trick Shots and our Tour Manager for the second half of the tour.
After spending roughly half an hour repeating “Fuck Dude....you look just like Fat Mike!” we cracked on with more Vodka and watched Jet Packs open the show.
We were soon shit faced and asked to do a video interview for some website, Harrison managed to string together a few answers whilst Fanny repeatedly shouted at the interviewer “mate you look just like Gareth Gates........what do you mean, who the fuck is Gareth Gates?”

All was going well until three songs into our set all the power on stage cut out. We were told to remain on stage and half an hour later we were allowed to carry on with our set. Not the greatest start to the tour but the crowd got really into it and we witnessed the gnarliest crowd surfer ever, Swanton Bomb (RIP Matt and Jeff Hardy) on to the crowd from a height of 20ft – Mr Crowd Surfer, we salute you!
After the show we discovered something awesome, something which would never exist in England.
Ok, here it is.... In Russia you can wave any car down and ask them to take you home! All you have to do is pay them a small fee (£3-£6). Even if it's well out of the drivers way, they'll do it. GENIUS!
We got back to the flat and tucked into some more Vodka and a UFC Playstation tournament.

Day 3 – 18/09/09
"you must eat marmalade cake"

The plush Mercedes picked us up around mid day to take us to Tula, a City three hours away from Moscow and famous for its AK47 factory and Marmalade bread/cake/stuff.
Vlad decided that the best way to make the journey seem quicker was to drink vodka, so we humoured him and got drunk. There was already a crowd outside the venue when we arrived for soundcheck so we got the feeling that the show was going to be a gooden.
Once again, food and vodka awaited us after soundcheck – much nicer than the customary English walk to the nearest supermarket, eat in the van and hide your alcohol from the bouncers.
After washing our dinner down with vodka we were asked to sign the main poster for the show which was at the entrance and give an interview with local music press. The woman was really nice and was very patient with us, drunkenly trying to form vaguely intelligent answers. I expect “Yeah....Russia's awesome.........Vodka!......Hot girls” was pretty much all we could manage.
The Bojarski opened the show and whipped the crowd into a frenzy, they were awesome! We had a great time on stage – Igor spent the majority of our set pouring vodka and gin in our mouths, Harrison fell over and played the whole of “A Look Over” on the floor, unable to get back up.
After the show we went outside to get some air and ended up spending around an hour signing things, tickets, money, passports and asses – very strange experience!
Back to Moscow.

Day 4 – 19/09/09
“Champagne Supernova”

After a much needed lie-in we got to the metro for a day of sight-seeing in Moscow. We spent a few hours being tourists at Red Square before heading to a bar to get drunk on the cheap before hitting Tanya's party.
We met up with the guys from CMEX (Smeck) who were playing at the party and with us the following night in Istra. They were great guys and joined us for more beers and Vodka.
By this point we were completely smashed and all it took was a few chords of CMEX's first song for us to get the pyramid's and shoulder ride fights going.
We drunkenly danced the night away, one DnB “anthem” at a time, after driving everyone else off the dance floor we returned to the backstage area. To our amazement, Vlad was stood on a table stripping and pouring one of Tanya's birthday bottles of champagne over himself.
It was fucking hillarious!

Day 5 – 20/09/09
Welcome To Mother Russia!

After an hour and a half on the train we weren't even out of Moscow yet, it made us realise how long our journey to Ufa and Ekaterinburg was likely to be.
We were met at the train station in Istra by a few guys who were coming to the show and offered to drive to the venue. Now your average Russian driver will drive like a psycho, but this guy was a fucking lunatic!
“You like Lamb Of God?” he asked, as they just happen to be Fanny's favourite band he replied “Yes”.
For the rest of the journey we had “Sacrament” playing at a deafening volume, no seatbelts and a stomach full of vodka. After overtaking one car with a BMW heading towards us, the driver decided to continue passing as many cars as he could and tuck himself back in, seconds before a head-on collision.
We told Vlad to tell the driver to slow the fuck down! And arrived at the venue soon after.
The venue was an awesome place – CMEX had recently built the venue themselves after squatting the building and we were to be the first band to headline a show at the new venue.
After soundcheck we went to our backstage room where a table of food, two bottles of vodka and a 24 pack of beer awaited consumption. Ofcourse, we obliged and got wasted! CMEX opened the show and were even better than the previous night.
The show was awesome, lots of crowd activity and some nice pit moves were displayed. After the show we signed autographs, posed for photos and begrudgingly parted with plectrums, drum sticks and various items of clothing.
The night was going very well and we were sitting backstage with a beer when everything got pretty fucking mental!
We heard a lot of shouting coming from the venue so we poked our heads around the corner and saw our friends Tanya and Paulina get hit by a drunk guy. Everything got really out of hand and a huge fight broke out between all our Friends and a fucking crazy guy who continued to hit Paulina and Tanya.
Once everything had calmed down we were rushed out of the venue to wait for a cab to take us to the station. Once outside, the crazy guy came back to appologise to Paulina. He said it was just a mis-understanding, what a fucking prick!
We were all shocked at by what had happened yet the majority of the crowd seemed strangely un-phased. We asked a guy if this was normal, his reply - “welcome to Russia!”
Once on the train back to Moscow a photographer from the show took some pictures of us and shared some beer. Strange night!

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