Voices from the Daftside
-A tour diary of sorts.
Dani Filth aged 13.5
I'm surprised that I even made it as far as the tour bus considering the hectic week that led to it's to chaotic beginnings.
Chaos heaped upon chaos. But in a nice way.
The week of doom really started in the previous Friday taking my wife Toni and Daughter, Luna (plus chum) to Thorpe Park theme park for one of their Hallowe'en nights, highlights being the Saw ride, Nemesis Inferno, Oblivion and the new (and utterly fantastic) Swarm experience, which is a roller coaster shaped like an alien fighter craft that swoops about a track that goes ballistic all over the place, including under a downed Boeing 747's broken wing, then skittering upside down and across the side of a lake. It looks even better at night when it's all lit up, like a meandering electric
centipede against the brooding sky. Fortunately the weather held out for a really magical day in, under and around some of the coolest breakneck rides around and the place just got better and more atmospheric at night when the zombies came out to play.
The weekend was equally packed with a Halloween bash and a family
get-together to fill it in, Monday was album launch day, so TV with Scuzz and further ISDN radio linkage -a two hour train journey into London- which also gave me the opportunity to meet up with Ross Bolidai, the director of Lilith Immaculate and now the director of the forthcoming For Your Vulgar Delectation offering, all planned for shooting the upcoming Saturday, to finalise the storyboard, pick the lead actress and generally shoot the shit.
Tuesday I had interviews but managed to squeeze in a rehearsal in the morning and catch the new James Bond movie at Cineworld in the afternoon with my wife. Great stuff indeed and highly recommended, but I'd like my wife back after please!
Wednesday was Hallowe'en, that most magical of nights, (also known as my wedding anniversary) which, again, was spent in London, but this time in a plush hotel by Tower Bridge and London by night courtesy of The Tombs at London Bridge ( a horror walk-through which, amid the many tombs and tunnels beneath the railway line, was genuinely fucking creepy) and a mystery tour aboard the necro-line Ghost Bus ( an Old fashioned black London bus painted black and once used for ferrying bodies out of the city, allegedly). Both events were brilliant fun and conjoined by a few beers in the Sherlock Holmes pub on Northumberland Avenue made for a great Hallowe'en and wedding anniversary. Plus the sex was pretty good too!
Next day, following a big London fry-up, we wandered around the Victoria and Albert museum with all its fabulous Empirical treasures, them took a cab to our costume maker's flat in Finsbury Park to try on my battle suit for live.
A fine meal across from the Queen's royal barge followed, with a journey home via Luna's friends to pick up the girls, then it was a movie in front of the fire to round off the festive fun.
Friday began the start of my pre-tour panicking but not for long as once again I was being whisked away to London for some radio spots and the Cradle Of Filth launch gathering in Soho, in the cellars of a nice antiquarian pub/club. Much mooching was to be had with journos, friends and the suchlike
and much quaffing of the vine before heading home in a taxi, train, taxi before the hectic scheduled excitement of the next day.... The
much-anticipated filming of the second video from our latest album.
Paul drove the worst hire car I have ever seen, a Daewoo Tin Can up to Oxfordshire where we were shooting in the grounds of Brian Eno's ex-wife's country house, a copse of woodland and a field where a smattering of vehicles were all parked up when we arrived around two in the afternoon.
Make-up was a bit of a squeeze as costume adjustments, prosthetics and actress dressing were all being done within the tiny confines of a wheel-based camper, but we managed. The true Olympians that we are. The toilets were actually constructed for the day from left over prop parts from the last Star Wars movie and were actually not too bad considering the later chill and the natural decomposition that lay beneath.
Make-up was pretty lengthy due to the scarred prosthetics that had to be applied, but fun as the guys and girls were really easy to get along with and the experience was new. I'm not going to give too much away about the video as its premise is pretty simple but really fucking cool. In a nutshell, it's a long scene from a horror movie set in a forest, with living nightmares being finished off in a succession of ways by the beautiful young heroine of the piece. That is until the end of the game being played behind the scenes is finally, and quite horribly revealed. This one is gory and sexy and very much directed by the song that rolls upon
it. Shooting all hours of bonfire night in an illuminated wood surrounded by graves and fog/smoke hovering in the freezing air was some final Hallowe'en week experience! Thanks to everybody on set who made it possible, especially the effects guru who'd worked on everything from Krull to Batman, who had me shot full on-in the chest with a Handgun.
And yes, we set someone on fire in this one!
Cradle Of Filth -'Creatures From The Black Abyss' Winter Tour 2012 e.h
Cradle Of Filth
Dani Filth- vokills
Paul Allender - guitars
James Mcllroy - guitars
Daniel Firth - bass
Caroline Campbell -keys/ female vocals
Martin Skaroupka -battery
The Crewdle Of Filth
Martin 'Big M' Lamb -tour manager
Rupert Shaw aka 'Vinny' - lighting
Matthew Rowley - out front noise
Michael Horrod - monitors
John Finch - merchandising
Michael 'Mick' Reed - drum tech/stage manager
Darren Miah -guitar tech
The tour almost didn't start at all as the bus was eight and a half hours late to arrive at Springvale, where we had gathered after a small banquet at the local gourmet pub. The wee hours were passed either asleep in a van or watching Red Dwarf down in our toastie rehearsal room. Anyway, the bus finally arrived at a quarter to three, we hastily packed the bays and trailer and set off, very few of us getting off for the ferry across to France, favouring the quite roomy bunks we'd successfully picked for our hamster-like future sleeping marathons. Though the aisle in the sleeping areas ( now known as Saville Row, as opposed to the usual Bummer's Alley) is a tad thin, so it's one person down it at a time, else it's a tight, unfriendly/friendly squeeze given your persuasion.
And obviously the delay in being picked up by the German Bus Company (not really their fault to be honest), meant that we arrived almost the same amount of hours late at the venue. The afternoon, what was left of it, being a bit of a mad scramble to get the stage set-up and the band sound checked before the paying public were let in. Still it was managed just in the nick of time and although we were a little ropey on a few small parts due to the
rushed set up, we played pretty bloody well for an opening show and small issues aside, we really enjoyed blasting through the set. Plus the self-operated under lighting/ smoke machine works a treat, providing I don't blind myself and fall from the stage.
The other bands I thought were awesome too, Dark End sound a lot like us in our youth but with a Mediterranean edge, Rotting Christ are getting more epic with every album I swear and deliver a really powerful set, whilst Godseed are all blistering black metal and sluggish pomp.
Afterwards we hang out with the other bands, my friend Tom from Temple (Of The Black Moon) plays bass for Godseed and several other guys are known from my visits to Bergen too, so some reunion is called for before bus call and a journey of a mere few hours to Leeuwarden, the next date in Holland.
The venue today in Leeuwarden is a pew-ridden old church and is situated down a cobbled side street in an attractive part of town, all posh eateries and dustless Antique shops. Time is spent preparing properly the evening's entertainment, considering the lack of time the night before, though there is enough time afford a walk about and a visit to a local coffee shop.
After a lengthy sound check, dinner is served upstairs in a beautiful little restaurant/bar and for the first time this year I feel all Christmassy, especially with hung lights twinkling down the narrow old streets. Festive sap that I am!
The show is awesome, but stupidly loud despite the new drum screen we have to combat any encroaching Tinnitus onstage and the crowd are pretty manic tonight. We're still finding our feet live-wise, yet the set is solid aside from a few tiny mistakes here and there, though there still is the problem of our video projector not working. We must get the hard drive fixed or a new one bought in the next few days.
After the show we shower and drink wine as the audience (and our blood) thins and the circus is once again packed up for delivery into another country, eventually trolling our way back to the comfort of the bus and its cosy, warm lit interior full of chat.
Today in Osnabruck I walked through the adjacent forest at the back of the club and climbed to a lofty position on the hill by way of a dried up stream, utilising the boulders for grip on the climb. This afforded me a great view from a jutting rock and a perfect place to sit and listen to some inspiring music. Trouble came when I felt my buttocks were going numb and I decided to descend to the golden leaved forest below, as the way back was pretty precarious. Still, I made it with only a grazed heel and a poke in the eye by a passing twig, then it was back beneath the awe-inspiring canopy
of the Autumnal forest. And who should I spy whistling along a winding track? None other than young Daniel Firth, out for a similar stroll or some other nefarious business involving a spade and a freshly spayed body.
The venue here is really special as it used to be a circus tent across the road, before being rebuilt in its own image. What we have is a round venue with a lot of interesting looking hanging beasties, such as a Pterodactyl and an enormous bat, some ample catering and the aforementioned forest surround.
The show is good yesterday's volume having slightly roughed our edges but not too much, making for another adrenaline fuelled hell ride through material past and new. The day ends with a few drinks on the bus, or else spent in the whirl and rush of the Darkwave disco that the venue metamorphoses into come midnight.
Denmark is colder, much colder, though the Train club in Aarhus is modern and clean, plus the food here is exceptional. Proper al a carte. Meat, fish, more meat, all cooked to perfection. Plus there's canapes and some delicious rhubarb crumble pudding for afters.
The day begins with the perfunctory cleaning and coffee injected straight into the eyeballs, then it's a jaunt round the heaving town to find a suitable present for Ms Campbell's birthday (33 today, again!). After a few hours impatient fretting I at last come upon a perfect gift from the band and crew. AC/DC monopoly! And in English, which is also useful! Still, Caroline loves it when she eventually crawls out of bed in time for an early soundcheck, which sounds really good now that we have the small issues with
noise contained; so that's all that matters!
The show is a really good one, best thus far in my humble opinion, how cool the crowd's reactions are, we are cooking on gas mark 13. Afterwards it's the rudimentary showers and load-out in time for the Saturday night discotheque that takes over from the live club.
A few spins later, strutting my stuff on the dance floor, it's back to the bus for a few drinks, chats with the support acts and a film in bed ( Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy, only slightly interrupted by the continuing rolling over to relieve a dead arm as the bus lollops along on its way toward the early ferry to Sweden, and the promising spell of two days off. Before bed though, we stop along the way at a services and decide to take some weird-looking pictures atop a floodlight, having obviously had a wee smoke in the
First day off is a travel day, well-spent at the cafe bar on the ferry, then, for the most of the day, ambling in conversation about the bus, reading or in bed. The second day is no better really, as we're parked up outside the venue here in Sweden for power and water and not a lot else. Some of us go sightseeing, some lurk about the bus awaiting the toilets and showers to be opened, and some of us don't surface at all. A meal is taken at a local Thai called Phucket Island ( I thought that was Great Britain's acronym)!) and the day is over really before it has begun, as it gets dark rather early and the basic needs of survival here, beyond the wild frontier, are at least slightly catered for.
LG from Entombed stops by for a brief visit as he is recording a track in a studio in the bowels of the venue and there is an offer of a free ticket to see the local Hockey game, but I'm not sure of anyone took up his kind offer. Bed beckoned with another movie (Sexy Killer) and the promise of a lengthy night's deep sleep in preparation for the morrow and the first Creatures From The Black Abyss show in two days...
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