Sunday, 30 August 2015

Thisclose in America - a brief shake down part .1

A brief look at our tour round the USA in words and pictures, part II to follow, Ow!


Big crowd and hot response. Venue was a night club and we played on the floor. Some cool support bands including Beach Mover and Rawfilth. Lotus Fucker smashed it with their new line up, young and hungry (except for Donkey and Mickey Malone obvs), and they played a cover song of xSAXONx for me and Nips which was really special- love those guys! Dethfox are worth a special mention as well straight up Rudimentary Peni worship which was a lot of fun. Vegan hot dogs for sale outside, so I paired a couple up with alcohol-free beer to make a start on my US beer gut.

Baltimore is pretty run down in places and its easy to see why so much stuff is kicking off here, rich poor divide is startlingly evident from neighborhood to neighborhood.


Crustier crowd, small bar/club with shitty PA. Human Mania and Dethfox opened the gig, good bands, good sets. Smaller crowd but good response despite mistakes from us. Gig ran on a bit late so the crowd was smaller for Active Minds but they had a great reaction from those left over and played a few encores.

Best experience of the town was hanging with a local gadgie outside the gig. The lad must have been 18, mussing a bunch of teeth, smoking like a chimney and was strolling around topless at 10.30pm just seeing what the craic was. He thought Scotland was in Finland and showed me some videos of Finnish jack-ass on his phone. nice kid.


Sweat box Discharge themed (you could buy Cal cocktails at the bar) venue for the kick-off night of the Philly punx picnic 2015 - cool! lots of really noisy dis-bands including one with a couple of ex-Lotus Fuckers - nice to see a familiar face! We played pretty badly, mistakes in most songs, but I think we got away with it, crowd was digging it anyway.

But after the gig we went to a local bar,me and Dan had a $4 Chinese take away then we played some jenga with our pal Katie from Boston who had joined us for a few days. Band digs were clean and full AC, I actually had to sleep with jammies on, and we had a chance to do laundry in the am, clean sock bliss!


Only real 'basement' show of the tour, a really small basement in a suburban area - we had to set the merch up on top of the PA mixing desk and hang the t-shirts behind the drums! Went a wander to get some space and so missed the first band but got to shoot the shit with a couple of local punks and Jimbo outside the local store, slamming a bottle of my tour tipple O'Douls alcohol free - ow!

Neutron Rats were great, cool to see band I'd seen last time I was in the states still killing it. We played next, small crowd and weird 'space' we did our best to rip it up despite the water leaking into the basement because of the now torrential downpour raging outside. Active Minds got their set cut short by the cops turning up which was a bummer as one super-fan from the 80's had traveled 6 hours to see them or something crazy like that.

We crashed with a lad  who was into old UK bands like External Menace and The Threats - cool! I found a nook behind his sofa with the AM boys and zoned out from the drinking session drone.


It took a long time to get here so I made a start on the Dee Snider autobiography I picked up in Albany for $5. Once we found the venue we headed to Veg Galaxy, a vegan restaurant which had been bigged up by Catie and Nibbler as thee place to eat. The food was ok but we had to choose in a rush and have it take-out because we we in a rush (turns out of course we wernt!) so I don't think I got the full experience (except the killer price tag!).

Active Minds rocking the gallery!

The venue was an arts space where a PA had been set up in one of the rooms, so no fancy lighting or stage. Lotus Fucker joined us again and tore it up opening the gig, cant wait to bring these kids to Scotland next year, then we ran through our set, plenty mistakes but the crowd were digging it which lessened the blow. After us Active Minds and Peacebreakers played - missed them both because I was yacking with the promoter Eric about 1980's Discharge, a conversation we continued until about 3am.

When we woke up Eric took our Dunkin Donuts order and got us 'breakfast' in - legend! Check out his fanzine its really good

Some of the killer bands we played with on this stretch of the tour: