We arrived in Seoul at a reasonable hour and were greeted by the promoter and his interpreter, who not only is playing in the support band the next night, but also owns the club where we will be playing and a bar where we undoubtedly will end up partying in after.
The lengthy journey into the city via a giant red penis statue, finds us at yet another luxurious hotel (The Marigold-just constructed) where we have enough time allocated to drop off our travel bomb sites before heading out for some boiled local meat cuisine and local beer.
Everyone is dead tired after a day of travelling once again, so it's not too long before one by one we retire for the evening (even the gluttons) whereupon I have to badger reception to get my Internet fixed and the light sensor in the bathroom, which is flashing on and off non-bloody-stop.
Seeing as we had such a good night's sleep, everyone is up reasonably early, on this sunny Sunday morning in Seoul. And you know what? Not a bloody nuke from the North in sight!
The venue isn't far way at all and it's a pleasant walk through what is
tantamount to Camden in London, South Street in Philly or St Mark's in Noo York... Lots of coffee shops, untoward clothes stores, trinket stalls and fuck loads of people jostling about enjoying the clement weather in the busy streets.
We spend most of the day hanging about the venue or exploring the locality, popping back to the hotel whenever the need takes us, and making sure we're prepared enough for the show tonight. Our guide Pain ( well that's how you pronounce it) is a good host and looks after us well, making sure we're constantly supervised and catered for.
Sound check goes pretty much to plan, there is an issue with the PA speakers being too close to the monitors and setting James's guitar whining as they seem to affect the pick ups. Still, our ever vigilant crew manage to sort the situation it as they do everyday, and it's to little worry that we hit the stage a few hours later to a jam-packed ravenous crowd, as noisy, if not noisier than always.
'The Writings On The Wall'
The show is amazing and very very hot, but fun nevertheless and we play a longer set than is usually sufficient. Afterwards there is another signing session in front of the stage, a weird phenomena seeing as it would've been better for fans to meet us when we're not reeking of the sweat, with corpse paint still heavily etched on our faces, but they all seem pretty stoked, so much so that we walk away with plenty of gifts including traditional fans, hand-drawn caricatures of ourselves in frames and lots of local sweets.
As this is our last night in Asia we head back to the hotel to swiftly clean ourselves up, then head out to an eatery and a spot of Karaoke. Well, I say that but Lindsay, Paul's somewhat overbearing American friend and myself aim to. Instead we end up ditching said annoyingly drunk fellow and end up disco-dancing in a random late-night bar, regardless of whether they have a DJ or not. Just for the bloody hell of it.
Having said that, the next morning is painful, seeing as the hotel room of exquisite faults has rendered the alarm clock somewhat redundant and therefore I arise with a few minutes to pack the detonated bomb site and pray that everything is is a reasonable state of travel, the last stage consisting of jumping up and down on my case to make sure the bastard actually closes.
Two lengthy flights today, with a five hour stopover in China where there is promise of Wi-Fi which proves utterly useless, (it seems the Chinese have infiltrated and corrupted their own mainframe) so it's to the wine house and a couple of shared bottles of the red for the crew.
The final flight to Brisbane is overnight and finds me changing my seat almost as soon as I sit down, due to the amount of annoying children spotted in my periphery. Don't get me wrong, I love children, but I couldn't possibly eat a whole one, especially in just one flight.
What follows is nine hours of bliss listening to music, watching movies and more importantly, falling asleep at the exact moment that the plane apparently hits a nasty bout of turbulence, one that finds (God! I wish I could've seen this) Big M and sound wizard Matt Rowley (oh, Mr Rowley!!!) hitting the floor and cowering below some seats, holding on for dear life with their hands and bowels.
'Young Daniel, You're a Real Tiger!'
We arrive at silly o'clock the next morning and head to our hotel midst a beautiful Australian Autumnal morning, the sort that the UK would be proud of even at high Summer.
The Point hotel is luxurious enough and there is time for everyone to hit the sack for a few well-deserved hours before regrouping for a lovely little trip into the city.
This was actually the last show on the previous Australian tour, so I am pretty familiar with the terrain, though Simon our tour coordinator steers us perfectly towards a steak lunch, some record stores (the new Ghost album beckons) and a souvenir shop to bag our much-anticipated Kangaroo scrotum pouches.
That evening a few of us opt to visit tomorrow's venue as The Bronx are playing tonight, so we start off with a sidewalk dinner (the weather is perfect for us flaming Brit Kookaburras) before sliding in through the side door to watch the band perform.
Now I haven't a clue what to expect, but I must admit the show was fucking amazing. Like a cross between the Cro-Mags and AC/DC (my analogy) The Bronx are spitting fire tonight and amidst the grit and hardcore noise I get to meet some really cool people who populate this particular nocturnal Brisbane realm, including the band themselves.
The night ends with everybody spilling out onto the pavement to chat and smoke and cool off, then, having said our goodbyes, Simon, our ghoul-guide drives us back to The Point for a couple of bevvies in our rooms before slipping into well-deserved, jet lag-tinged comas.
Tomorrow, sunny climes and the promise of a warm pool and some warmer Aussie hospitality beckons.
Today is the second day off in Brisbane, and first thing is a visit to Black Milk, the nylon company that Lindsay is sponsored by and that my wife Toni is bonkers about, a company that specialises in awesome printed leggings and dresses, with our resident tour guru Simon (aka Shrimpy) driving us there in his UT. Black Milk have everything from Star Wars designs to art nouveau classics, to beer bubbles, bio mechanical armoury, muscle tissue and spattered paint coloured leggings, with my favourite being the Hieronymous Bosch 'Garden Of Earthly Delights' Hellscape design, which looks great stretched across my wife's legs. This is their new office/warehouse as they are growing more popular day by day and rightly so, though they desperately need to sort out some overseas
distribution as the import duty on their stock is sometimes ludicrous, as the demand is so high for their sexy wares (equally great for women's thighs and men's eyes!!!). Still, we're only there twenty odd minutes, but everyone there is super friendly and wearing either their own brand short dresses or suspenders, which I am definitely not grumbling about (he says getting a clip round the ear from the aforementioned in-law!!!).
We wander around having a guided tour and get to meet some of the Sheilas that work there, then Lindsay sorts out her tour order and I manage to blag a t-shirt for my daughter and some sexy leggings and a catsuit for Toni, before taking a bunch of photos with Christie, Black Milk's red headed head-honcho and some of our fans who work there too, putting six of them onto the guest list for the following evening.
Not wanting to encroach on too much of their time, we make good our escape to grab some lunch at a Deli and then most of our touring entourage hook up in the hotel lobby with the plan to visit an animal sanctuary a few miles out of Brisbane, with the aim to feed some Kangaroos and hold a Koala or two.
Big success! Our ever vigilant agency rep manages to get us in for nothing and it is with huge smiles (okay, I know this isn't very Black Metal, but they are incredibly cute!) that we all line up for our individual handling photo sessions before taking an even more embarrassing group shot. Still, we're in good company as the gift shop is full of famous faces having the same religious experience, including (amongst many) The Pope (oh, that cunt!) Taylor Swift, Slipknot and
Marilyn Manson dressed like a really bad rapper. Paul is quite nervous as Koalas do have enormous claws and have to be handled with care lest they tear your face clean off, but I think his Koala senses his wariness and has to be exchanged for another before it's shit kicks right off. Surprisingly cuddly and unsurprisingly smelly, but well worth it as this is the quintessential thing to do when in Australia... Obviously other than drink a bucket load of beer and play weird Rugby.
'I Like The Pope, The Pope Likes Koalas'
We also bump into the band Funeral ForA Friend who are also haranguing little furry animals. These include Dingos, Platypuses, Wombats, Tasmanian Devils, Deadly Drop Bears and of course Kangaroos, which we overfeed with pellets as they swarm about us being bouncy... (The Kangaroos and not FFAF).
'Skippy and Hippy'
A really enjoyable afternoon away from the sweat of the city, strolling about amidst the flora and fauna of Australia, taking in the sights and smells of this awesome continent where it appears even the cutest looking animals have the potential ability to rend, maim, poison and cause excruciating agony in their unsuspecting human victims.
The evening finds us opting out of a BBQ with some other bands (there are quite a few staying at the hotel including The Kooks, They Might Be Giants and some random DJ guys) in favour of a quiet night at a steak house and a huge slab of meat each. I know this sounds a bit weird, but trust me, four gig days with four flights ahead, one does not want to enter into this run of fun with a stonking great hangover...
Paul's friend picks us up from the hotel and drives us there and back again, so the night is very chilled at the eatery and we arrive back at our digs at a reasonable hour, with enough time to watch some TV and trawl through our backlog of errant emails.
Day three in Brisbane.
The sun is shining today like it did when I was a wayward child (or is that the rose-tinted spectacles and the two days off?) and breakfast time feels like being on holiday, seriously. I love Brisbane and if it wasn't so bloody far away I'd come here more often as the place is gorgeous and everyone seems very chillaxed. So much so that most of us head to the venue for half past one with the crew and proceed to spend the afternoon exploring the local record shops, hanging about the venue and more importantly for me, dyeing my hair with the aid of my personal wardrobe assistant, Flimsy Stoolcraft.
Decorum restored, at least on my head, sound check goes swimmingly and we return to the hotel just as the sun is bleeding upon the waterfront and staining the high rises of the financial district an awesome scarlet hue. I even get the chance to watch 'Sucker Punch' on the telly as I'm making up for tonight's festivities and then get back to the venue to witness the aural destruction that is The Amenta, our support act for the next three shows. Really nice guys
There is still no sign of my stage top that was inadvertently left in Jakarta a week and a half ago, despite someone promising to FedEx it through to this hotel. I'm a bit annoyed about this I can tell you, especially with all the massive servings of food we've endured over the last week, as what I have left to wear on-stage is skin tight and I'm starting to hatch a beetle belly!
'Next Stage Costume'
Anyhoo, our show tonight is massively rampant, the crowd rapacious, and the band on top form, having refuelled over the last three days away from playing with anything other than ourselves, and it is with some small sense of jubilation that we leave the stage to a whopping fanfare. And we only have ourselves to blame, as we were totally fucking on fire this evening!
Afterwards we meet up with the Black Milk girls, the other bands and friends who have come out to see us tonight.
There can be no rest for the wicked as the next four days are particularly tight time-wise, with really early lobby calls and shows on the same day as flying. This starts almost immediately as the journey tomorrow morning to Melbourne is at the mythical hour of six, which sounds luxurious if you're a Scottish farmer (oh, wait...) but not quite so great if you don't come down from the show until around two thirty in the morning.
It's okay, not brilliant news, but one we swallow...
Much like the awaiting breakfast.
Brest, Dani Filth