It’s now been two and a half months since our last show on our Euro tour and I now write this with some perspective. We weren’t able to post much from the road outside of social media because we were having too much fun, or the wifi sucked, or I forgot and didn’t care.
In summary: the tour was amazing. We had a blast and didn’t kill each other. Swings and roundabouts etc. We read this before we left: http://beenlookingforthemagic.tumblr.com/post/1427157150/how-to-tour-in-a-band-or-whatever-by-thor-harris - live by that on the road. We broke some rules, as you do, but you bounce back and all is good. It feels so overwhelming and intense and important when you're doing it, and adrenaline moves your body even when you can't. But from a perspective, it's still a great thing but such a special and privaleged thing to do. Present your art to an audience and have it (mostly) lovingly recieved!
We learned a lot, and had a great time with our fellow Aussie post-bands, Meniscus and Dumbsaint. For a lot of people in the crew it was their first time to Europe, so the excitement levels were high. Also the apprehension of what was coming since none of us had toured so extensively, apart from Meniscus but that was years ago so it doesn’t count. :)
We had blown tyres, lost gear and a broken bus with no AC. We almost got robbed in Poland and a couple of our guys got smashed with pepper spray. We stayed up late and got up early. We partied and drank warm beer all over Europe. We squeezed in loads of touristic stuff and got loads of panos and selfies. We stood on mountains and climbed cathedrals and then played some of the best shows of our lives, starting with the amazing Dunk! festival which we almost missed due to broken tyres!
What I took away from it mostly was the reaction of our audiences and the love and honesty that came pouring out from fans of all ages. We had tears and laughs and hugs and chats. I had people come directly up to me and cry on my shoulder or thank me profusely for the DS artwork. I was giving out hugs like signing records, it was crazy. It was a lovely experience. It was fantastic, especially as our first time to Europe as a band. Departure Songs means a lot to a lot of people and it was seen first hand. We’re lucky to have these moments and connect with people, it’s not something everyone gets to experience. It justified in a lot of ways, why I do this band thing. Why we sacrifice all this time and money to do this, is to give back to people and in some way, help them through life.
Since being back, we’ve been back to real life. There’s been a new baby addition to the WLTS family. Some of the dudes have no annual leave for the rest of their lives, some are back on tour in a few weeks, it is all happening. I’ve been super inspired and motivated to be creative and get back over there. So for now, we focus on a new record so we can get back to Europe as quickly as possible.
Thanks to all our Europeans fans, you made us feel welcome and like a much bigger band than we are or deserve. Some of you travelled hours and 1000s of kms to see us. We met strangers that are now our friends and we will see again. We can never repay you for that, and are humbled. The hospitality from our promoters and the venues was also amazing. Props to the guy in Prague who went and sourced a fridge and carried it down to the basement for us. We weren’t used to getting real riders because you just don’t get that treatment when touring Australia, it’s a whole different mentality to being a musician and an artist when in Europe. You actually get respect. It’s a strange feeling.
Thanks to our tour crew, you are all legends. We wouldn't have had the same time without you guys. It's lucky we got along with you and like you. Here's to more Return of The Mack.
Anyway, we're just another band touring among 1000s and no one really wants to read a tour diary, so here’s some photos. We'll get on with the new record and see you soon.
- Matt & WLTS