European tour blog 2012, Crumbs from the table of the Gods



Crumbs from the Table of the Gods


Day 1

Amsterdam is a beautiful city . Tension seems to be mounting since the rehearsal yesterday in London. However tonight is special, we all have lots of friends who have come over for it. 

It’s a good show despite a few cock ups, it ran smooth and the sound was good on stage and great out front. After the show some of us hit the bars , i follow Geordie’s entourage to bar Chaos, appropriately named and it’s enjoyable to have a beer and a smoke inside at the same time. The mood is tempered by Paul warning me that Jaz had threatened me just before we went on stage ! Jaz was still severely jet lagged , still is, and has stopped using his nicotine patches which make’s for sudden mood swings and paranoia culminating in him telling Paul he was going to stab me over some perceived slight. He had also threatened bottling Geordie earlier….. Love at it’s most dysfunctional. This is when i usually head for the border, for some inexplicable  reason i didn’t….


Tilberg Roadburn (Stoner rock festival)

Great festival with some really cool bands i love on. Including Sleep. Om’s psychedelic drone rock drew a bigger crowd than us,  and the audience lapped up every nuance with rapt attention, beautiful. Then Sigirlya, classic Welsh hard stoner rock outfit locking into some serious riffage and White Static Demon playing ambient noise drone industrial with old black and white movies playing ….. in a church! Fantastic that the church here is liberal enough to allow people their own spiritual expression. Also Chelsea Wolfe,  kind of This Mortal Coil meets electronica/noise,  goth/metal banshees , the singer has a gorgeous voice with a face to match.The band were pretty intense very cool.

Our gig was a disaster but entertaining, the sound on stage was so bad and the all day drinking fierce. Geordie lost his rag and started kicking the monitor engineer’s mixer and then threw a full plastic bottle of water at him, the arc of its curve through the air was perfect  cinema, everything went slow motion as its load exploded in a serpentine Pollack flash, luckily it missed the guy, but he fucked off pretty quick. This pissed off some other bloke at the side of the stage who started fronting out Geordie, meanwhile some of the audience started booing and throwing water at Geordie which prompted Diamond Dave to into full Bristol Rovers football hooligan mode and defend and backup his liege from the front and rear, until security arrived in the nick of time, we raced through what was left of the set and Geordie was immediately escorted out of his own gig by security, before he got arrested!

Day 3

Paris ! I love this city, i had a long walk up to Sacre Cour Cathedral otherwise know as the martyrs chapel, as was built on the site of an ancient massacre. It is really high up on the hill and offers the reward for the steep climb with an amazing view of Paris. I was just in time to see/hear a troupe of Nun’s doing choir practice, they sounded like accapella  Sigor ros, melancholy and sublime like weeping angels . I bathed in the lightness of being in this palace of light. When i left, I felt ten years younger and i glided light and dizzy with my feet hardly touching the ground back to the boulevard, ready to take on anything that the world could throw at me. The night was fantastic, more great friends and beautiful women backstage , always helps the vibe.

Paris really is one the best gigs we have ever done.Fantastic venue, Cigale just off Montmarche. Old traditional music hall venue near the Follies .Again the Parisian crowd do not disappoint  and are super up for it .No crash barriers are at front of stage ! i am now trying to negotiate them being removed from all gigs… yes! After the show and  back stage chit chat and hospitalities I slip off for a few drinks in the artists quarter, we find a small corner bar where theres a plump woman with enormous breasts poring drinks, her arms are like milk white baby seals, i begin to relax.

Day 4

We are in Strasbourg in France near the border with Germany.

Everyone in band and crew are feeling pretty burnt out after last nights stupendous gig in Paris. Great food again ,

Tonight i almost left the stage as my bass amp blew a fuse, however i was trumped by Paul whose turn it was tonight to freak out when he smashed a bottle of beer by his kit and stormed off stage and then later threatened to leave the bus if Geordie swore at him again on stage, i understand how he feels as Jaz routinely swears at me onstage if play a note different from the record , i usually ignore him and turn up and play even more differently but sometimes the very public humiliation is too much. I miss that, when on the Pandemonium and earlier tours we had more of a psychedelic/spontaneous vibe to the performances, i think Jaz gets confused if we go off piste too much and also his classical work is very regimented and that spills into the band sometimes….If i could persuade the band, we would be doing a different set every night, but so far I had an idea last night that Geords liked, of getting a VJ in to do some psychedelic projection visuals while we play, will see how far this goes with rest of band and management.

Day 5

We limped into Lyon early in the morning .The city was not yet awake. The grey rain lashed the concrete deserted shops and Sunday streets. Behind the net curtains lay well mannered people dreaming of the terrible and the violent. What ocean of dreams ran through our good Captain’s Johnny’s sleep? 

Surfing uncharted seas and exotic ports where the nervous giggles of the pretty girls who wait for sailors are music to the ears, one on each arm and a bottle of tree rum, whilst still subtracting merchandise ratios to audience capacities, mentally filing receipts of digitised figures. Commodities and treasure and all for the pleasure. While our rolling metal cigar case of a bus glides through imagined blue-whaled ocean crests across the tarmac of emptiness. 

And what  of my compadres dreams ? Fly fishing in Circe’s ancient shallow rivers. Harems curated by bohemian Sultans, thick with Charras incense and temple whores, initiating novices into the 64 arts of ancient wisdom into the prism of the eternal now. Eunuchs banging gongs whilst softly singing castrati opera. Or is it dreams of wild horses galloping over the hills or Marriage, Divorce? Dreams of Children un-born family and kids now grown up, strong as Oak.

Or what of the blacksmith pounding out intricate paradiddle rhythms on tribal oil drums with white hot hammers. Whizzing sparks clash with the cascading colours of endless African desert savannahs, honey sand and burnt umber, vermillion crimson , purple pink, electric blue white. And the young crew runners ? Pray they are not dreaming of lottery wins and beer and onion flavoured crisps but of adventures yet to be and a life worth living.

The day was relaxed and in the evening we were taken out by Stephane to the amazing Brasserie Georgs, suggested by his lovely wife for easily the best meal of year.

Day 6

We roll through the ice and thunder of the night into Toulouse. Again great local crew and some warm hospitality. One of the security guards wife had just had a baby and the whole staff had a whip round and presented him with a juicer and other presents. Amazing community camaraderie, there is a lot to be learned from French culture. Today the soundcheck is the theatre for our drama. This time it’s my turn to flip and after discussing the Amsterdam incident, i thrust my bass at Jaz and suggest he plays it for the gig and walk out. He swiftly follows. An emotional talk follows along with apologies and hugs all round. We resume the sound check.


14 thoughts on “European tour blog 2012, Crumbs from the table of the Gods

  1. if you’d gone round to the left hand side of sacre couer cathedral you would have seen where i took the photo of the wall on mark’s album – i was wondering if they’d washed the paint off yet… and if you’re still looking for a VJ, look no further, got loads of psychodelix xx

  2. Thanks Youth for your blog. Really interesting to read ! Hope to listen to your music in Brest (not Breast !!! ) one day. Have fun !

  3. hi youth,,,,sounds like fights and feuds used to have with the old manchester suns of arqa line up..wooo 30 years ago,,,now its much more peace and love,,,when you coming to join us again,,,,wadada

  4. i was at sacre couer in 81 with art class.ya yr words tell me wot it could be like!-and i am all 4 VJ projections tho i actually have no conception of what madness has overtaken the leadsinger,what with the nicotine patches??? why not a pinch of powdered tobacco snuff out of the biological snuffbox located in ones ownleft or right flexed thumb hand area? COMPLICATIONS! i know good and well you will all work it out and i will hear and view the results right here in witchmond,virginny,AMERICA,where i have been pritty much since firstborn girl turns 17 on 4 april[20].ouch. lil sis was 15 on 5 april[rip cobain] were all aries.we know how to vibe.thx go have a smoke!

  5. Thanks Youth for sharing your thoughts, insights, fights, views (and meals!) on tour 🙂 Arms like baby seals, eh?!? Ha ha ha ha. Have been a fan since 1980, and it is interesting the internal combustion engine that is Killing Joke. Hope you make it through the rest of the tour. Please continue to write….

  6. Youth…what an amazing poetic prose writer you are! I’m so very impressed. Thanks for all the insights. I’m a hardcore gatherer since the 80’s. I too wish more of the psychedelic killing joke and the improvisation during live shows… all shows are amazing…but I too remember how trippy and trance like those pandy shows were. I was mesmerized back then…and I have the fondest memories of that tour. Please keep writing for us. You are so very talented as a writer. Thank you so much for sharing!!!! Cordially, Anthony

  7. It’s so great, the way your write down what you experience on the road through Europe! I saw your gigs in Amsterdam and Paris, nevertheless how the moods have been in Amsterdam the 2nd half of gig was excellent, first half was.good and due to some irritations sometimes funny to watch. But Paris was probably one of my best concerts ever. I hope the Festival in Dortmund works out good for you, maybe better than Tilburg. Hope to read more of you until Helsinki!

  8. I arrived in Paris (my first visit) on a sleepless flight from New York City at 6:30am, the day before the show. Leaving Gare du Nord to drop off my luggage at the hotel, I zigged when I should have zagged, and found myself in front of La Cigale, beaming. It was a beautiful morning, and the city had yet to fully awaken. Sacré-Cœur looked down upon me as I wandered the streets, more exhilarated than exhausted. The next thirty-six hours were nothing less than magical, and then…the show.

    The location, the venue, the staff, the lovely people at the merch table, The Crying Spell and The Icarus Line – perfect. I grabbed a couple of glasses of vin rouge from a sweetheart of a bartender who felt that two euros was too generous a tip, settled into my spot on the side of the floor about fifteen feet in front of Geordie, the lights went down, the intro started, and I was transported…

    I’m in the same age bracket as the band members, and have witnessed numerous performers, playing in a variety of genres, at all manner of venues, and this show rocketed into the top ten. I had to be on the Eurostar to London the next morning at 7:15, with a fourteen-hour visit to the Tate Modern scheduled, but was on such a high, I practically skipped the two miles down the boulevard de Magenta to my hotel. I found myself unable to sleep that night, and yet, the energy generated by Killing Joke’s spectacular Paris performance carried me through the next day, and continues to reverberate as I write this.

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