Monday, November 24, 2008

Protest and Survive

Belfast turned out to be a good show despite the disgusting wet weather. I came into the venue desperate for food and Jennifer the promoter was kind enough to drive me into town to McDonald's (this is desperation in a nutshell). On the way in she pointed out many sites of “the troubles” in Belfast and as we arrive in the city center I learned that the main open air market used to have armed guards and security checkpoints just to go shopping. The tension of those years was not evident as I went in to order food, but it is hard to imagine living like that for any reason, much less because of internecine Christian fanaticism. Speaking of which, we did indeed see the promised protesters with their signs and bullhorns across the street from the venue. I went out to take a photo but the promoters asked me not to engage them in any fashion. I was disappointed, but I supposed it did seem ill-advised to stir up that kind of craziness. Luckily Teloch was sneakier than I and got a shot of them. They sang, they chanted, they prayed, and then they vanished in the painfully cold rain. It seemed that God had better things to do tonight. This was underlined by the fact that as one of the congregation attempted to leave on his bike he completely wiped out on the wet pavement.

The show itself was well-attended, we were well received, and our sound and performance was easily the best so far. Gorgoroth had a good night too, but we were all surprised at the lack of sales despite all the positive response. The rest of the evening went smoothly and we're once again ensconced on the bus and hanging out. We have a day off tomorrow in order to ferry the bus to Scotland. It is just as well, as a Monday night show in Glasgow sounds like an abysmal proposition. Truth be told, our tour manager Jay advised that while the Ireland shows had strong presales the UK dates are pretty soft thus far. I hope that doesn't remain the case as the only thing worse than playing total shitholes (as I have been warned is the case) is playing empty total shitholes.

Later - a friend of the opening band Zebadiah Crowe helped us load out and for his trouble managed to slash his thumb wide open. He was taken onto the bus and Gaahl ended up attending to him with bandages and black pepper. I think it made the kid's night to have the front man of Gorgoroth serving as the attending physician. On to Scotland tomorrow. Posting is hard to do at the moment so it looks like I will be a day behind going forward.