09/11/17 & 10/11/17 - Belfast, UK & Edinburgh, UK
I woke up from a nice/cold 8-hour sleep. Apparently, people don’t warm their houses as much as we do. I guess that’s because they don’t have shitload of hydroelectricity like we do. Anyway, I was the first to wake up and I met Conor’s roommates. One of his roommate cooked us some really great breakfast (not an irish breakfast) and she did a little impromptu photoshoot for us, check out her Instagram/Facebook: Ciara McMullan Photography.
We were already in Belfast so we decided to visit the place where the Titanic got built. We talked about boats and we walked around the harbour. At 4pm, we had to go to the venue to load-in.
The Empire Music Hall of Belfast is by far the prettiest venue we’ve ever had the chance to play. We loaded everything in, installed everything and waited. Hurry up, and wait. After an hour and a half, Empty Lungs started their soundcheck and we did ours right after. The sound there is as good as the place looks. So the sound was AWESOME. Vinny and Oli went for some chips (what we call “fries”), which by the way, are the best fries I’ve ever had. Belgium fries are not as good as Irish fries. Sorry mates.
After that, we went back to Conor’s place to eat. We waited in his lovely, now heated, living room, watching Rick&Morty, drinking bud light and talking about serious/current stuff that’s happening in our shitty world. The dinner Kevin (singer/guitarist of Empty Lungs) cooked was TIGHT: some kind of (Irish) butternut squash curry sauce on rice. The Irish also introduced us to Buckfast. It tastes like shit, but I like it.
I jumped in Kevin’s car to get to the venue around 8:30 because I wanted to see how many people were already there. It was a bit of a disappointment when the first band started and only 7 people were there. Great venue, amazing sound, cool band. Kevin told me people usually arrive around 9:30-10:00 and he was right. More and more people started arriving in the venue as the first band was playing. A second band went on and a little more people arrived. For this show, the beer the venue provided was very Irish: coors light.
When it was our time to play, there was maybe around 80 people so the venue looked a little empty but it didn’t really matter because the sound and the venue were both fantastic. Also, 80 people is a really good amount of people on a Thursday night in a place we’ve never been. I had the opportunity to ice Oli right before our set. 5£ for a Smirnoff ice might be a little too much for a good joke though.
Anyway, our set was fun, Empty Lungs were great and some guy talked to me about The Sainte Catherines after our set because he said he only knew one other band from Montreal. That guy’s favourite Ste-Cath album was Fire Works and we talked a lot about that band that inspired me a lot. It’s funny to think that this band was one of the reason why I wanted to start a band and tour, and now I’m in Belfast and some guy talks about them and told me we sounded a bit like them. Really.
The next morning, we had to wake up kind of early (8am) to take a ferry to Scotland. The ferry was very wavy and we drank a lot of coffee on that boat. After a shaky 2.5 hour boat ride, we were in Scotland! It’s exactly like you would think it is. It was raining. A lot of big/green spaces. We still had a 3-hour drive to do before Edinburgh so I tried to sleep in the back of the van. We passed by Glasgow and I thought it looked like a beautiful city. Next time maybe?
We arrived in Edinburgh, met the nice people in the other bands and Billy Liar, the promoter. We’ve been told there would not be any food but there was so that was a great surprise. The highlight of my night was when I had to drive the van to a parking spot. That was INSANE. 1- driving stick 2- having the stick on the other side 3- having the steering on the other side 4- having to drive on the other side. Fun time and good adrenaline rush.
No seriously, the highlight of my night was probably our set. Once again we got to play in front of decent amount of people. The venue had a 70-people maximum capacity and it looked packed enough. Empty Lungs played next and I went to the merch table. Once again, people were super nice. I’ve had a lot of “your band is great! But I’m not buying merch” people. But hey, still cool to have a lot of people enjoying our songs.
After the show we hung out at the bar downstairs and we eventually went back to Kev’s place (another Kevin, the one from Paper Rifles, solid local band, check them out). We drank some liquor and we ordered a very traditional scottish dish: deep-fried pizza. Oh, we watched Rick&Morty and we went to bed. Or to floor. Whatever you want to call it.