Continuing our exclusive look into Tired Lion’s gigantic UK and European tour, we head into week two and three of their journey. Highlights include the start of their Pokémon Go fascination, a sing-song of the theme tune to a certain cartoon series that features a yellow sponge and certainly a lot more travelling.
WEEK 2: NICK’S PERSPECTIVE
30th June – Bravalla Festival, Sweden
After a short flight from Heathrow and a disgustingly large luggage bill (always book luggage ahead guys!), we arrived in Sweden and piled into a van once more for a two-hour journey to Norrkoping. I think it’s safe to say this was the favourite stop of the tour for everyone. The town centre was beautiful and the extra several hours of sunlight in the Scandinavian summertime gave us plenty of time to explore, after which we retired to the apparently closed spa for booze and snacks.
The next day an awesome girl from America transported us to the site and imparted some interesting local knowledge to us before we arrived at the super-zen backstage area of Bravalla festival. Hammocks were plentiful, and some more top notch European catering was on offer. We then headed outside the artist area to catch some sets from August Burns Red and a band that I can only describe as a Swedish version of Cat Empire. After scoring some sweet free sunglasses and taking a peak at our stage (which was booked up with stand up comedy all day before us), Matt, Ethan and I watched a packed out set from Bring Me The Horizon and an unfortunately quietly attended set from At The Drive-In.
Some fun was then had back in our green room where we decided to record our own cover of the Spongebob SquarePants theme song to get us hyped up for our set.
Before long it was time for us to load onto our stage. The vibes were looking grim with not many people hanging out around our stage area as we set up and sound checked. It seemed as though we’d been booked on the wrong stage with café facilities, dining area and very strict noise restrictions in the tent. “Did they think we were a folk act?” was the kind of question running through our minds. But as soon as the first chord of our set rung out, bodies piled into the miniature big top tent. The crowd was happy to oblige our invite to come up and do a shoey and learn a little piece of our band tradition. We then packed up and headed back to our green room to grab some more amazing free food. Much to my disappointment we did not get to witness Rammstein’s set as our transport had to drive us 3 hours to our hotel back in Stockholm. I can imagine it would have been very intense, after seeing their incredible stage set up and the fact that they had a police escort guarding their green room at all times!
1st-2nd July – Openair Festival – Wettingen, Switzerland
After another short flight via Copenhagen, we arrived in Zurich and meet back up with our well-missed driver Matuez and drove to Wettingen. Our hotel at first glance looked like an old abandoned prison from the outside but looked pretty amazing on the inside, we then all headed out on a mission to grab a schnitzel for dinner but settled for Italian, as it was the only place still serving food. After a few cocktails, we then grabbed some shut-eye.
Our second day was rather gloomy and rainy but it was hard to let that affect anything in such an awesome looking town. After a bit of exploring we headed to the open-air festival down the road in the town centre. On first glance it looked more like a carnival for kids, which concerned us a little as we don’t really consider ourselves an extremely family friendly band. But once we checked out the place we realised that amongst all the kids rides and games, there were many bars and questionable gangster rap tunes being blasted out next door to kids stalls, this calmed our concerns considerably. Once we won some cool key chains from an air rifle game, we headed to our stage. Backstage, we were fed many ginger liqueur shots and variety of beers by the bar staff before having to set up to play our set. It was a pretty sparse crowd of mixed ages for us but we got through it with some positive encouragement side of stage from a British band who we befriended backstage after our set. It turns out they had done a tour recently through Australia with Sticky Fingers. Once we grabbed some local cuisine for dinner, we headed off back to our hotel for a good night’s sleep before the long drive to the Czech Republic.
WEEK 3: MATT’S PERSPECTIVE
4th July – Rock for People, Czech Republic
So I’d just spent a night in what would become the worst accommodation of the tour, although it was supplied compliments of the promoter. The sun rose on our side of the building, and Matues (our driver) and I slowly stared to cook as the bricks heated up. We decided to head downstairs and have a morning beer and cigarette (only because we could smoke inside at the bar). The others slowly made their way down and we had a chat about the atrocities that were inside our rooms. I couldn’t get past the ‘poo shelf’ that sat at the back of the bowl presenting whatever left your body on a podium (let’s just say I avoided that privilege). Sophie and Ethan’s room had mould in the shower, blood on the carpet but at least was on the side of the building that didn’t cop the morning sun. We quickly freshened up and went to the festival. Rock for People seemed like a huge festival run like a small block party would, everyone was in good spirits and the audience absolutely went off while we played. There was even a pool just in front of our stage for punters to cool off in. The stage crew had some ‘Czech Rum’ which they made us try, which tasted pretty nice and gave a bit of a buzz. We had one more night in what the majority of us labelled ‘the shit hole hotel’, my hard drive with all my movies broke and with lack of internet I nearly went insane.
6th July – Stroomhuis – Eindhoven, Netherlands
The Netherlands is a beautiful place, everyone is friendly, everyone is cool, everyone rides bikes. One thing we couldn’t get across was the bike paths that we thought were footpaths nearly causing us to be hit by speeding bicycles multiple times. We spent most of the time leading up to the show, checking out Pokémon Go which was just released that day. A couple of people checked out a local coffee house, while the others went for walks through the estates where mansions were surrounded by moats. Stroomhuis is easily the hardest venue in Europe to find, it took us a good hour or so to figure out where it was (we had to drive down a bike path and on some grass) but we finally got there. The outside of the venue was a bit dingy but inside was a bohemian artists fantasy. The walls were lined with knick-knacks and unusual art projects the tenants had conjured. The show itself was pretty close and intimate with only about 50 people even fitting into the venue. We met a dude called ‘Jasino’ from a local band whose personality left a lasting impression on the band, we can’t say too much about him but he was a bit of a legend. Ethan also got a good night kiss from a local girl who took a shining to him.
8th July – 2000 Trees Festival, United Kingdom
When we arrived at 2000 Trees, it became apparent that this was a small niche festival for the music lover. There were retro gaming tents and amazing looking food stalls. We accidentally arrived too early because we’d been told an earlier set time, so we got nice and drunk too early…but we managed to still play a good show. We were blown away by the number of people that came to see us in the tent stage. Kagoule a band on just after us were incredible! We met up with the Milk Teeth dudes and a few mates from Australia, which was a nice little mid-tour treat.
10th July – Joiners, Southampton
We were told to not leave valuables in our car in Southampton. I don’t know if that made us feel like this was going to be an unsafe place but on arrival we were greeted with a smile and lovely food, contrary to our expectations. We saw signs that UK Music royalty such as Radiohead had been through the venue back in the day, which gave me a little tingle inside. We had a few bands on before us who were brand new so it was cool to see some fresh faced dudes smashing it out onstage. During our set we had a small yet intimate crowd, there were a couple of drunk jerks who had hung around after the football but other than that everyone seemed to be there enjoying themselves and appreciating the music.
Tired Lion’s new EP ‘Figurine’ is now available in the UK. Get your copy from iTunes here.