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Black Mercies Tour Diary #6

 
By on Friday, 15th May 2009 at 2:00 pm
 

hope-london-venueIslington, UK

The Hope and Anchor

storm-o-face

what a blast! a tremendous end to our first ever UK tour. lots of history bleeding from the walls in this basement venue. very typical UK pub style: the drink is the focus and the stage is located in some distant antechamber, complete with treacherous stairs for your drunken loading pleasure and destroyed toilets for you to hover over while you try to work out the road cloggies.

first up was bye bye johnny – two parts the Jam, two parts Madness and one heaping hunk of mystery meat. . .bouncy, ballsy and beatific.

storm-o-face4 bands on this stage and in this room made things a little claustro-cozy. . .but once BBJ had cleared the stage we hit it with as much fever as we could. . .a wonderful crowd bobbing up and down and lo and behold even some people singing the lyrics to our songs! ! !?? ? ? i was amazed, a twitter, agog and afire! ooh the alliteration abounds. . .ok – too much.

next came medicine show who’s name is absolutely indicative of their music. . .a sort of tribal and tongues blues catharsis channeling the punk side of the pogues.

lastly and by no means leastly – a newly reformed Git who poured mood into pint glasses and rocked an ambient poetry swill that made me feel a little better for never having the opportunity to see joy division. . .perhaps a convenient comparison but no less apt. . .Git are kind and brave fellas who take chances.

the tour over, we spilled out into the london streets and searched for something to do. . .all the chip shops closed. . .bells having rung last call. . .Pizza Kebab anyone? ? ?

colby

all that’s left is stumble back to our hotel and drink our last pounds and pence away then to bed for an early rise. we return our rental gear and shout obscenities at our disembodied Tom Tom navigator nagging us to take the next left when we can only go right!

the flight home:

3 movies –

Control (joy division coincidence?), Slumdog Millionaire and Frost/Nixon. . .top rate one and all.

the most excessive and fear inspiring turbulence i have ever experienced threatening to drop me to my death in the atlantic ocean. . .many prayers to all gods of benevolence and finally a safe landing back in Seattle. . .

in a few days we will be heading out for a small NW jaunt with LA band the colour turning. . .fine chaps, top notch music. . .definitely worth checking out.

big american hi 5’s to the UK! we will be back soon.

Black Mercies

bb

 

Black Mercies Tour Diary #5

 
By on Thursday, 14th May 2009 at 2:00 pm
 

london-performanceHertford, UK

The Marquee

Got to admit the build up for this particular show didn’t exactly meet the reality. The Marquee name is a legendary one and we were very excited to play this venue. The sound was top notch and the crew, especially Ben the sound engineer, was wonderful.

Unfortunately, that’s where this one stops. Poorly promoted, there was absolutely no one there. . .bands playing for bands at best. We have been quite fortunate so far to share these bills with class acts like Horseman Shakes and the Draymen who played before us. HSATD delivered a powerful set of Led Zeppelin meets the Commitments infused with a bit of Pearl Jam style rock which had us movin’ and shakin’ our butts. . . The opening band, however, demonstrated none of this class. . .limping through their half-baked set and then lumbering right on out of the club. . .despite the fact that all others on the bill stood before them and cheered them through what was truly an insufferable 30 minutes. How about some enthusiasm for your own music?. . .you could show a little effort – we all have lives. . .we all have to get up in the morning, we all have to go about our daily grind, but aren’t we all here to share our music? regardless of genre, personal taste or chops, music is the common bond in these situations. . .

not whining here. . .it just f***in pisses me off when a band does the kiss, kiss hug hug socializing thing before they play their set and then suck and leave, showing no support for any of the other bands on the bill. . .boo 4 u. . .bad form.

anyway, back to sunshine and lollipops! our last show at the Hope and Anchor tomorrow night. . .we are STOKED!hope-and-anchor-show

 

Black Mercies Tour Diary #4

 
By on Wednesday, 13th May 2009 at 2:00 pm
 

storm-silverDoncaster, UK

The Leopard

DONNIE! Though nackered after our castle climb we barely slept and had to rouse ourselves early to load up the van for a fairly uneventful drive to Doncaster.

The Leopard was one of the larger stages we’ve played since we’ve been here. The crew at the joint were top rate. Arv the sound engineer really new how to squeeze the sound system for all it was worth and the promoter Jimmy Mac was as kind as they come. . .an old boxing promoter with that glint in his eye that told you if you crossed him, well. . .suffice to say you best not cross him. . .sort of kris kringle with a mean right hook. The crowd was absolutely enthusiastic and we reciprocated the fever in kind. . .we are loving every minute here in the UK.

Up first, The Hottest State hit us with some decidedly American R-n-R and after that Area laid it out with a hybrid that landed somewhere between System of A Down and Oasis – a quirky middle ground between wall of sound angst and pop deconstruction. Thanks to everyone who stuck around and cheered us on as we worked out our demons. . .

A day off tomorrow and then the Marquee in Hertford.

 

Black Mercies Tour Diary #2

 
By on Wednesday, 29th April 2009 at 10:00 am
 

img_0250IPSWICH. . .

The people of Ipswich are amazing!  Gracious, hospitable and super friendly.  We showed up at PJ McGinty just in time to catch the last half of the FA cup match between Arsenal and Chelsea. . .had a pint and then hauled our gear up the treacherous steps to the Blue Room.  Did the usual sound check thing and settled back to watch locals ATLAS open the show with a wonderful sort of Billy Bragg meets Joe Jackson set.  We came on next and were fortunate enough to play to a near capacity room.  However, the night was not without it’s challenges – right from the start our laptop running the keys decided it was going to quit 4 bars into each song. . .what could have happened between a successful sound check and our set time God only knows.  Despite the keyboard failure, we rocked the set out as power trio and got our first encore which was amazing!  The energy was brimming and the crowd was on our side. . .what a great night!!  Following us the Waking Captors laid it out with a more hardcore Constantines-like dissonant punk and the headliners Alpha Road just blew us away with an early “caught by the fuzz” Supergrass type set. . .man those gents were good and again all the fellas were extremely friendly.

Veronica and Dave, the pub manager and booker graciously offered to put us up for free in the flat above the pub.  Built on the original town wall, it is apparently the most haunted in Ipswich. . .the friendly apparitions: a little girl who passed away due to cholera – tugging at your sheets at night, an older gentleman standing behind the television while you watch, a woman dressed in white victorian garb watching as you leave the pub toilet and a Monk who left the church and wound up at the bottom of the well that sits inside of the pub.img_0253

Left Ipswich this morning to the chants of the revellers marching their way to the darby match between Ipswich and Norwich. . .give ém hell Ipswich!

2 miles out had a flat on the motorway. . .no mind. . .we’re all in it together!  fixed the flat and we are now heading out to Edinburgh, Scotland.  We are very excited for this one as we have been asked to come in and do an interview and live acoustic performance on 98.8 Leith FM.

We are doing NO sightseeing and getting what believe to be the real UK experience. . .real people, real countryside.

 

Black Mercies / April 2009 UK Tour

 
By on Thursday, 9th April 2009 at 2:01 pm
 

Hailing from Portland, Oregon – Black Mercies are a new romantic/new wave four-piece who are set for their first ever tour of the UK. With a possible tour diary in the works we at TGTF are looking forward to see the impact this indie outfit make when they hit the UK later this month..

Thursday 16th April  2009 – Oxford – Jericho Tavern
Friday 17th April 2009 – Harlow – Club Quattroz
Saturday 18th April 2009 – Norwich – The Queen Charlotte
Sunday 20th April 2009 – Edinburgh – Sneaky Pete’s
Monday 21st April 2009 – Doncaster – The Leopard
Wednesday 23rd April 2009 – Hertford – The Marquee Club
Thursday 24th April 2009 – London – Hope and Anchor

 
 
 

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