Instead of spending my half term cycling to Penzance and going surfing, I spent it sat in my dingy bedroom typing up the notes from the Bangers/Sam Russo European tour that we endeavoured upon in March/April 2012. As I sat at my desk writing I also discovered that my neighbour is a fully blown drug dealer! I hope everytime he saw me writing he didn't think I was writing about all the shady business he gets up to. I am not the cops! Anwyay, the zine is done now, so expect the full thing for sale soon at gigs and thru the Specialist Subject webstore. The current edition of the zine is in the editing process of "sexing down" by Andrew and Russo. Hopefully the fact that Sam Russo is the filthiest man alive will shine through even after the editing. God knows where he gets off singing such beautiful and sensitive songs when in actual fact he's an absolutely filthy rotter! Here's two extract from a later point in the tour where we all didn't feel very well from drinking too much champagne. Tour lifestyle, ya know.
Friday 13th April
AJZ, Bieldefeld, Germany
On an arid quest for the ultimate dryness, today’s diet contained no moisture whatsoever! Three pieces of bread and cheese, two rusks, a portion of fries, and a handful of pretzel sticks. Added to this we are all starting to resemble four freakish Californian Raisin mutations through the disgusting hangovers and spending the next eight hours stewing in our very own micro climate (the van). Sitting there, one can hear our dry eyeballs creak as we watch landscapes blur into one, it’s hard to remember life outside van. I know it existed once, but I don’t think I enjoyed it. As we near the squat we are playing tonight, I start to tremble at the thought of leaving the van. Luckily Russo fixed my ass up with three pipettes of rescue remedy. I reacquaint myself with the outside world and decide its ok here.
The show tonight is in Germany’s oldest squat with one of Germany’s biggest bands – Turbostaat. It’s the squat’s 39th anniversary, the show is sold out to 500 people, and there’s a massive rave afterwards. I am excited and the queue for the show stretches around the corner. Everything goes smoothly music-wise and afterwards I even try to talk to a girl; what a waste of time. She is a florist. Finally it’s 5:30am and she’s tired but doesn’t want to walk home. I offer her a bed upstairs which she turns down because she “doesn’t want to be a groupie.” I tell her that I’m the least sexual person she could meet and that she can have her own bed, I don’t care. She follows me up the 10 flights of stairs to the band room, I go to the bathroom and take a piss. I come out into the dark corridor and can hear her sobbing. I find her almost in tears, saying that she doesn’t want to stay. Fine, whatever. I walk her back downstairs, she thanks me and walks home. The end.
Saturday 14th April
JK Zomar, Dilbeek, Belgium
I slip back into consciousness, am I a poltergeist? Russo returns from another of his romantic forays and hops into my bed, I hop out and naked elbow drop him, I jump out of bed and punch a wall, I look to the window and want to jump out of it. Downstairs at breakfast, the promoter Marten tells me I look like shit. Man, I am all encompassing shit. I am a shit. I AM SHIT. Three more pipettes of rescue remedy and a hungover heart attack. For the sheer love of energy drink, I began to cry. I put my hands on my haunches and began a slow, obscene grind. I want to destroy myself today and Belgium is the right place for it – the bleakest pit of despair on the face of the Earth! From the back of the van Russo says the most rock star thing I have ever heard, “All I can taste is champagne!” Last night we were drinking a vile drink called Turbomate, a mixture of Club Mate and champagne, it has fucked me up entirely. Last night we got paid as much as I make in a month and it feels like I earned it: I am a human dishrag that’s never been up from the basement, a real baby eater. I am experiencing auditory and visual hallucinations and the beat up sat nav is spinning us every which direction except for the right one. For a while I doze to the Black Flag song “Obliteration”. I wake up. I don’t want to be in the van anymore. For once in my putrid life I am pleased when we arrive in Belgium, the drive was very frightening and quite the mental endurance test.
The venue is a dusty little youth club with no sink. I take a life altering shit and have to ask the barmaid if I can wash my hands in the sink behind the bar. I can remember looking into her frightened little eyes and thinking “WHAT?! I AM NOT A FREAK.” Another degrading experience, I honestly love being on tour and the complete loss of self you experience, nothing is ever certain. Petit feeds us a tasty bit of pasta and I hit a trough, nothing feels good at this moment in time, especially the first band who I can only describe as “tedious”. Russo leaves the room and goes to the toilet. Later he tells me he sat there on the toilet and fantasized about taking a shit on the guitarist’s face. Whilst they continue to play their dire gruff punk I can smell how clean they are which makes me hate them even more. They finish and leave the stage; I can’t even bear to look them in the eye. Fuckin’ Silver and Gold – check ‘em out, the most uninspired band I ever heard. Another forgettable band and then we play a slightly awkward set to a crowd of teenagers, last nights booze intake makes its way out of my battered pores and by the end of the set I am sticky with energy drink sweats. I smell like shit. Like Marten said this morning, “Is it not enough for you to look like shit?”
After a half an hour break Sam finally plays to a room of drunken, obnoxious jerks. Before he starts playing, he addresses his audience. “You’re all dicks.” Petit, the promoter is so drunk that he drops a full glass of beer next to Sam’s feet as he’s playing. It smashes loudly on the floor. Petit twists Sam’s nipple and puts his finger in his mouth whilst he is trying to play. At one point he shouts “Play some Lagwagon!” The reaction to Sam’s set is tepid, the best reaction comes to an impromptu song about Andrew, I can only remember the line “Drive, a crazy motherfucker straight outta the beehive.” People love this song but are indifferent to his normal songs, which are incredible as per normal. Belgium is the most fucked up place ever. Roo gets weird on a kid that looks like a younger version of himself. Whilst standing at the urinal, Roo looks over the little divider and then says to the kid, “Is this barrier supposed to stop me looking at your cock?”
I drink disgustingly sweet Belgian beer and talk to the prettiest Spanish/Belgian girl I have ever met. Slender nose, big brown eyes, jet black hair. Ellien, she stands close to me and I feel my legs wobble, I could drop to her feet and start barking, WOOF! WOOF! WOOF! I pause for thought - she’s only half Belgian, only half insane…I could live with that. Alas, I suddenly loose all desires and I just wanna go to sleep. I pass out on a dusty floor knowing I am in for the bad shit tomorrow. I haven’t showered for several days and I’m in for a hangover3.