Hi NME readers, it’s Paul here from Glasvegas and i’ll be reporting back from each leg of the NME tour so stay tuned.
Liverpool: January 29th
The tour kicked off in Liverpool, an amazing city that deserves nothing but the best musically. Traditionally we (Glasvegas) always start tours off with a Keystone Cops-esque shambles with everything that can go wrong going wrong. This was nibbling in the back of my mind as I watched the rest of the line up, Florence and the Machine, White Lies and Friendly Fires, tear it up seamlessly.
When you’re in a band you don’t get to see many gigs so it was good to stand in a crowd (albeit with shades and my hood up, like MOI needs to be incognito, my own Mum calls me at least 6 names before she gets to mine) and watch live shows for the first time in what seems like eons. As this is being written well into the tour I can say that the electricity I noticed that first night has carried on and I have seen something in all the acts to justify the plaudits I’d heard people giving them beforehand. Back to the first night though (apologies for the Quantum Leap chronology).
Something happened in the cosmos that night, stars aligned or some tea leaves landed right and we shook our first night hoodoo. It was nowhere near our best gig, not even on the tour this far, but everyone was buzzing. The best thing to come from the night though was everyone impressing and inspiring each other, from the bands to the crew to the caterers (who are FUCKING mega), to push ourselves that bit further. After the show we had a few drinks and a late night on the bus home. I spend way too much time pissed on buses.
Glasgow: January 31st
I got to spend a rare night at home then got a borderline racist taxi driver into the venue. The Academy in Glasgow looks much smaller when it’s empty. We started hearing the crowd chanting 20 minutes after the doors opened and it carried on until we went onstage. The noise from the audience was frightening, like thunderous waves hitting you in the chest. The second night was the exact same. We’re not going to be back in Glasgow for a while so it was an amazing way to say goodbye for a while. Someone even ended up on the gazeebo above the lighting desk, which looked in danger of collapsing.
Newcastle: February 1st
Newcastle has won the award for slippiest stage of the tour. It looked like someone had painted it with gloss to make it easier to clean. Me and Rab struggled through with a few near slips that could have been disastrous. After the show we got to meet up with the rest of the bands for the first time. They all descended on our dressing room and it got very messy. James struggled to walk the 5 yards from the toilet to the chair and I couldn’t even get off my seat.
Sheffield: February 3rd
I woke up in Sheffield and couldn’t walk so I was dispatched to a chiropractor to get my joints cracked. This helped in the long run but on the night I took so many painkillers it felt as though life was going at twice the speed I was. I struggled through the gig but played nearly every song wrong. Tadger. The rest of the band carried me through so by the end of the night everyone had a bad back.
Birmingham: February 4th
Birmingham was the biggest venue of the tour so far. There’s something about big venues that makes you work harder. I don’t know if it’s a bigger stage to fill or the heat but we blew the roof off the place. I got manhandled off a balcony by a bouncer because you weren’t allowed on it with drinks. After that there was a lot of “If he didn’t let me go I’d have…” Like I’m gonna take on a bouncer who is twice the size of me.
Manchester: February 7th
Manchester is like our second home. We’ve always enjoyed it and the musical history of the place is amazing. The crowds were amazing from the start of the first night to the end of the second. After the shows the dressing room was full again for another party which started in Manchester on a Friday and stopped in Leeds on the Sunday. Carnage was caused by all.
Leeds: February 8th
We got up with raging hangovers in Leeds and I went wandering. I passed an ice rink and some people on unicycles which made me wonder if I was hallucinating. We struggled through soundcheck and started feeling ok after dinner. Leeds is another city that’s always been fantastic for us so again we played a blinder. The bus and a few games of football on the computer were as adventurous as we got that night. And kebabs. I can’t believe I almost forgot the kebab.
Lincoln: February 10th
There’s been a bug going around everyone on tour that’s causing sickness. I caught this in Lincoln and spent the whole day being sick or sleeping so I don’t know what happened until I got onstage. I struggled through and in the first song a passport came flying onstage next to me. It made me laugh and in turn that made my stomach churn so I spent five minutes fighting the urge to vomit on the front row. James must have caught it too as when we came off he done an exorcist into the bin and I was shipped off to bed.
Nottingham: February 11th
I managed to shake off the bug and was back with a vengeance the next night in Nottingham. We finally got to see the Brian Clough statue (he’s one of our biggest heroes) and someone informed us it wasn’t life size. It was about 8 feet tall so that led to loads of “no shit sherlock”s being levelled. Everyone headed out to a bar for the evening and again it was messy.
Norwich: February 12th
Our first gig in Norwich was pretty uneventful. Electric, but uneventful. There were blizzards all day and this led to us staying in the venue like rats in a cage. I went to do an interview on student radio and the presenter was frightened to take his hand off the mute button cause I started swearing during a rant. I ended up on our crew’s bus again, not able to move so had to travel with them.
Cardiff: February 14th
We headed on to the only Welsh gig of the tour. The rugby team were playing during the day and it was obvious the gig was gonna be good when they beat England. We went along to the Friendly Fires aftershow and it was like the street parades at the end of the war. The club was packed and started giving me the fear so I only lasted 15 minutes then retreated to the safety of the bus.
Bristol: February 15th
We made the short drive to Bristol and fell out the bus into the venue. The last few nights had taken their toll and everyone was shattered. It didn’t stop me watching Rangers v Celtic in the pub and making the night a little bit longer. I staggered through the soundcheck and fell into a coma on the bus until we went on. Another night of kebab and tour bus ensued.