Wednesday, April 19, 2006

16/04/06

Day 7 - Day Off!

Our day off was a strange one. First our van was locked in the venue forecourt and everyone we needed to contact was unreachable. So we went in search for food and found a little restaurant that served orange juice and made us gag on grease. They then grew angry because we paid half the bill in coins. Fair to say we felt unwelcome so went headed off to explore the city where strip clubs were about the extend of our riches. Finally at about 3.30 p.m. we managed to retrieve our van and headed for Amsterdam. We were only there for a few hours before we had to jump back into the van and drive over night into France. The luxuries of Amsterdam were very much appreciated for that particular trip. After traveling for a further 5 or 6 hours we found ourselves at an ETAP hotel.

15/04/06

Day 6 - Hamburg.

An extra early start again to make our way across to Hamburg. Due to it being Easter holidays, the show was at an earlier time of six o'clock. The venue was made for comfort with cushioned velvet like seats and carpeted floors. Nice. I'd like to say for certain that Goldrush were as well received as usual, but i was stuck arguing with people behind the merch table in a back room, trying desperately to explain that i did not sell badges or stickers, and for that fact alone they could not have them for free!!!!! After erecting two signs with clear statements, i resigned to the bus where i kicked trees. I entered the backstage with refreshed ambition to find Goldrush dancing on stage with Nada Surf again. Sudden flashes came flooding back and at that moment i realised just how stupid i must have looked taking part in these activities just a few days ago. The main part of the evening was built up for the aftershow party down the road. After we all sent out a handful of invitations, we expected a good turn out. And that we had. For the sake of all the younger readers, we'll have to keep the details to ourselves. But for those over 21 and share the interest a blog is soon to appear in Hustler. We stayed at a place which seemed to have been a temple for touring bands for the last century. Stained and mouldy coffee cups, broken glass on the floor, no hot water, limited power supply and a thousand unwashed beds. Ahh, what it is to tour!

14/04/06

Day 5 - Bochum.

The bus had never been so quiet since arriving. We felt terrible. There really is no other way to describe it. The fact we had to drive all the way to Bochum, and then all the way back down the same roads, past Bremen again, and into Hamburg the next day, well the task seemed unthinkable for the state of mind we had found ourselves in. Still, our doing, so we soldiered on. We finally arrived at 'The Matrix' in Bochum and unpacked with slow and cautious movements. The backstage area to this venue was possibly the most unappealing room we could never have dreamed of finding ourselves in. Renowned for its 'metal' music, the walls were plastered with posters of angry looking people who had previously played there. Frightening. We were then informed of a leather clad goth night which happens every week...and of course that particular night was tonight. Over the next hour, things had started to become fairly natural again. Recovered from our hangovers and in good spirits!!!! After another stellar show from Goldrush, the evening took a very large turn into the depths of men in latex, women sporting outfits accompanied with whips and chains and an array of very different arses. And i really do mean that in the literal sense. Half way through Nada Surf's set, half the audience were treated to some odd industrial type music from the room next door and found themselves surrounded by people fitting the description above. After the band had ended the last song, the crowd ran a fair distance for cover and the comfort of loved ones. Sorry, i exaggerate. It's just for all my efforts, i still can't understand the gothic appeal. But god bless you all!

13/04/06

Day 4 - Bremen

It was a long drive from Darmstadt to Bremen, more or less 475 km, and for the bigger part of the journey the bus was silent with sleeping bodies. Pulling in to the venue, tired eyes widened with excitement as a small fair came in to view! A big wheel, a roller coaster and a few slides. So we unpacked and soundchecked. A few went to the attractions while others carried on sleeping. The venue was more of a small stadium atmosphere compared to what we'd seen over the last few days. Instead of a large standing area, the floor space was minimal while the walls were lined with near vertical steps reaching for the ceiling. It made the gig all that bit more personal though. Things moved quick and we were close to selling out of our supply of cd's, which was supposed to last for the whole tour. Good news but bad news, as there was no way of us getting anymore till we arrived in France...in four days!! But the bars were open and we wanted to celebrate.

12/04/06


Day 3 - Darmstadt

The day kicked off with Robin, Garo and Joe performing a few songs acoustic in the living room of the student flat we had slept in. A good bit of fun for everyone, then we headed torward Darmstadt. Once we got into the city we had to drive drown narrow cobbled streets weaving in and out of passers-by, eventually ending up in a big square where the venue, 'Central Station', had an overbearing presence compared to the neighbouring buildings. This place really was huge, probably packing the best part of 1000 people overall. The must have been near enough that amount when Clovis finished their set. Goldrush followed the same routine they had since the start of the tour. In soundcheck they seemed dwarfed and miles apart from each other due to the sheer size of the stage, but come 9 o'clock they looked the exact opposite. A big stage meant more space to move, more space to shine. Their size really was quite fearful. After the set, the signing began, then a quick photoshoot backstage before taking part in a live video shoot for Nada Surf's new single. This basically involved us and several handpicked young ladies from the crowd dancing and getting the words wrong onstage as the front row scream back 'Oo Fuck it, I'm gonna have a party'. And that we did. In the early hours of the morning we made our way to the house we were staying in. Odd little place it was. Great set location for some sort of teen slasher film. As the large wooden tour creaked open we were greeted with a bright yellow poster of a band who went by the name of 'Brainless Wankers'. Enough said. Through the virtual pitch black, we bundled into a large room and set up camp for the night.

11/04/06

Day 2 - Nürnburg

The drive was an easy one, 350 km, but it was never going to take the guys long to get back into the touring mindset. With a couple of stops along the way, we arrived at the venue around 5. The venue, Hirsch, was a strange thing situated in what seemed to be an industrial estate, completely out of town. Nevertheless it was had a big capacity of 900 and the sound and lighting was very very good. The boys got onstage at 9 to a big cheer and started their set. Once again, their delivery of the songs and willingness to involve the crowd was rewarded with chants of 'more cowbell', which seems something of a new catchphrase for the band, as Joe takes us into the next song. Fuck air guitar, when the crowd see the cowbell make its last appearance towards the end of 'Everyone of us', their fists are pumping, bottles are hoisted into the air, all imitating and keeping time with Joe. Another glowing performance, and with the band agreeing to do signings of their album 'Ozona', the crowd's eagerness to meet the band is more than apparent.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Diary of a merch guy.. Freiburg 10/4/06

It was an early Monday morning start in the sleepy town of Steventon as Joe and Robin parked up in the van and we prepared to load everything in. The events of the previous night was were already beginning to take its toll on Garo and Growler, who'd been finishing some recordings for the new album. First we headed 5 miles out of our way to the train station where only hours before, Growler had stepped off the train and onto the platform with some poor foreign lady's luggage instead of his own. Luckily both bags made their lonely journeys back into the arms of their owners without much trouble. Off the to pick up G and the rush hour drive to the airport began. While Robin had previously told everyone we were flying from London, his younger brother shook his head, smiled, and without a word drove us to Stansted.
We boarded and took our flight to Basel, Switzerland, where we were met by our driver Jaime. We all went through the polite introductions and headed for Freiberg, Germany for our first show with Nada Surf. The weather was complete crap, and having been lost in the city centre for 15 or so minutes, we suddenly found ourselves outside the venue. We shared pleasantries, ran smoothly through the soundcheck and took a stroll through the drenched streets in search of food.
By the time we got back to the venue, the tour's opening act Clovis ahd already begun. Their sound is a collection of wisery vocals, keyboards and acoustic guitars. It sets a dreamy tone for the start of the evening as Goldrush make their way onto stage and belt our Wait For The Wheels. The venue has already reached its full capacity and I can't help but feel a certain sense of pride as I look out at a crowd of 800 applauding as the last note rings out.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Texas

The bloggers must apologise for the severe dearth of blogging. We are now deep in the mists of Germany but first, some comments from our recent outing to Texas, where we played 7 shows in 5 days at the popular and reknowned festival of music bizness, South by Southwest. Better to leave it to the esteemed press of America to comment.. and to follow soon, some sardonic comment on our travels with Nada Surf.

Johnny Chiba (CMJ) www.textpress.net

Cruised across street to Nuno's Upstairs to see Goldrush. I met 3 of the guys on airline stopover from NYC - Austin. Nice guys! Like most SXSW bands, the 'Rush played at least 3 or 4x, parties and showcases. Nice songs, lead singer's chops garner warranted attention; the band is a solid anchor, with a keyboard player who leans towards a noisy edge, then picks up a guitar and adds a distorted cluster of sounds. I told the guy he was the "meat and potatoes" of the band. In his english accent he asked: is that a compliment? By jove, yes mate. meat

www.mudsugar.com
 
After that day, what could Friday night’s official showcases offer to compete? Well, immediately following the first-ever public listening party for the forthcoming Bruce Springsteen album, “We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions” at Waterloo Records, tonight’s Best New Band, Goldrush, takes the stage at Nuno’s Upstairs. With traces of a Gram Parsons influence amidst power pop songs so good, and so hummable that they feel both fresh and familiar simultaneously, Goldrush has me wanting to sing along (and actually singing along) despite the fact that I’ve never heard most of the songs before. That’s good stuff there.

Austin American Statesman By V. Marc Fort | Friday, March 17, 2006, 11:34 PM

Goldrush — composed of two brothers (Robin and Joe Bennett) and three friends (Garo Nahoulakian, Hamish Tesco and G. Roby) promises the potential to be HUGE!
The perfect songwriting and the three-part harmonies are in place. They’ve got a double shimmering-guitar balanced assault, and their rhythm section has listened to enough American country and R&B to give their music a requisite dose of melancholy heart and transcendental soul. And they are just right at crafting the guitar rock that Radiohead abandoned after recording “OK Computer.”
The Bennett brothers and band appeared off-the-cuff and super warmed-up when they took the little stage at Nuno’s Upstairs. Only a few beers earlier, they finished rocking an open backyard party at Homeslice Pizza, which was thin on atmosphere, but ear-splittingly rockin’.
“Waiting For the Wheels” is Goldrush’s signature track, and the reason was obvious as they blazed through a searing version of the Brit pop, Neil Young stomp instant classic. The best tracks from their Better Looking Records, Dave Fridmann (Mercury Rev, the Flaming Lips)-produced album “Ozona” followed with equal enthusiastic rock ‘n’ roll abandon.
(Ask a friend or neighbor in Travis Heights about Goldrush’s super-secret South Austin, Sunday evening house party gig.)

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Tintenfisch

Astonishingly we are all still alive. Cold feet though....

From the wilds of Belgium into Germany and heaps of table football in Koln. Thence to Munster where we have a gig with Rogue Wave, who once kindly lent us all their gear for a gig in the US. Good to see those guys again, and revelry ensues before we part in the morning, having jump-started our van with theirs. Betsy the tour van is now making a bewildering variety of low gutteral sounds, struggling up hills, and often failing to start. We shan't speak of it.

The following night's gig is in an old cinema in Austria, nothing but mountains for miles around, and we're not sure what to expect.
Blimey. What a night..
We play for over two hours and end up having a sludge metal jam with the 'slightly-the-worse-for-wear' promoter in an adjacent building, wearing absurdly large hats. Ebensee rocks. A definite highlight.

On to Munich and a party given by German music magazine Musik Express, where we can be spotted doing Bossanova versions of some of our new songs, and, in true Bavarian style, attempting to eat our own body weight in boiled meat.

The less said about Garo's nocturnal attempts to check into every hotel in Munich the better, and we head to a gig in the Czech Republic, where the table football is nailed to the ceiling above the stage and Hamish downloads some pictures of Gary Mabbutt.

The word 'solids' has died a death every night since it's promising start in Switzerland, and a band meeting is called to discuss the possibility of replacing it with a different word, or perhaps omitting it altogether from the set. After 44 hours of intense debate, however, an alternative word can not be found and we vow to stick with it for the time being.

We arrive in Vienna early, and a happy afternoon is spent ice-skating in a beautifully lit square in the city, before playing at the B72 Club.

This one's a riot, what with G's 'Incredible Hulk' impression, the dancing pensioner repeatedly calling for 'Twist Again' (we eventually oblige), and a rider which charmingly includes 'self-made' muffins.

'Solids' is initially met with disdain but rallies itself admirably and, on second showing receives rapturous applause.

Some of the band are led from the stage in tears..

Another day, another Autobahn but Betsy the tour van is in less than tip-top shape and now sounds like a slowed down recording of a hippo going berserk in an ironmongers.

We decide to seek professional help near Linz, but the prognosis is not good. It will cost a bomb to repair and we bite the bullet at dusk and decide to abandon Betsy in Austria. Two of the band are despatched on a train to do the night's show acoustically, and the remainder go drinking in St Valentin, where the barman does a nice line in tinned pears.

Right. Now how the hell do we get to Stuttgart...?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Hock 'n' Roll

Ah, now where do we begin?....

Started off in Switzerland at the weekend and a bloody marvellous time was had by all.
First gig was groovy and second gig, weird & groovy, taking place as it was in a small crazy isolated spot, run by a
Peter Lorre lookalike with a severe cough who looked after us good & proper & even consented to an after- hours jam session.
Cheers Ibrahim! The Swiss give a inordinate amount of applause when the word 'solids' is used on stage, and we decide
to try it elsewhere in Europe..

The following morning brings hilarity when the van requires a bump start....
In icy conditions the van is pushed towards a downhill slip-road and Hamish, not yet fully awake, and without money or any form of ID, ends up visiting France and Germany, with assorted border control shenanigans, before breakfast.
If we'd known that the direction we were pushing in led to a major road out of town....

Brussels next and we are introduced to Trappist beer and an inexplicably posh hotel.
Best bed G has ever slept in apparently..

'Solids' falls flat.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Hier gehen wir wieder...


Well, with Europe in the grip of it's coldest winter for thirty years (or something..) the plucky boffins at Goldrush Mission Control have decided, in their wisdom, to despatch us on a European tour taking in Germany, Belgium, Austria, the Czech Republic and Switzerland, where the Alps, of course, go up to eleven.

Thus far, Chicago in December will take some beating as the coldest place we've ever gigged, but we're steeling ourselves for the worst, and the sled is, as we speak, being stacked with a month's supply of sealskin undergarments, tweed socks and emergency Oxtail soup.

Robin has gone on ahead , doing promo stuff, and is currently to be found walking the streets of Dortmund, phrasebook in hand, asking the way to the Garden Centre and explaining that his hovercraft is full of eels.

So then, once more unto the breach dear friends, once more!

Stay tuned...

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The long journey north


The band has clocked up well over a thousand miles, driving up and down the west coast of North America. I have tourer's arse from sitting in a tour bus too much. Numb bum. Need some exercise or a massage, or a sauna and a swim, maybe a jaccuzi with a bottle a champagne....and cake. Perhaps some home cooked food and fine wines and cheese, y'know, the good stuff. It's not too much to ask....not really.

Played Sacremento, Portland, Vancouver and tonight in Seattle, home of Mudhoney, Nirvana, Pearl Jam and of course Frazier. Oh and Starbucks coffee emporium was set up here apparently. Tonight we play a sold out show for the benefit of local radio station KEXP which should be a good night. Our last gig of the tour so we'll give it something extra, by krikey, so we will.

Flying back to Blighty tomorrow to reunite with loved ones, to drink proper beer and to bask in the cold, damp winter in Oxfordshire.

It's been a riot, met some cool people and had some great shows, so until next time America......Goodbye and thanks