Simon Hall continues his 'Edge Of Insanity Tour Diary' chronicling some interesting insights into the daily grind of a hard working band on the road. Has he reached the edge yet..? read on...
Day 5 Manchester
Today anticipations were high after a day's break as we picked up our hire transport for the remainder of the tour and although we're on a tight budget we were happy with the fact that it fits all the gear, has adequate sleeping compartments....... BUT........ It ain't got a bloody stereo and as far as vehicles goes – this will be responsible for the mental deterioration of the band and will cost us a long overdue show in Manchester!!
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Basically the accelerator pedal went "Twang!" and we were left high and dry for hours and unable to make the show in time. Needless to say morale at this juncture was a little less than buoyant!
This couldn't be helped and we promise to make this up to all those who came out to Manchester. This is just the beginning of the Edge Of Insanity!!
Day 6 Newcastle
Happy faces people, the sun's shining, we're on the road again.... what could possibly go wrong?
8am and the coppers flag us down and drag us off the motorway into the VOSA Station, taking down details whilst a fat faced little twerp went round purposefully tapping the wheels and body work with a toffee hammer, all the time looking at me like a piece of shit. Utter Cock!
But hey I'll rise above this dickhead 'cos all the paperwork is in order and this should be a breeze....
"Mr Hall we don't seem to have records of your insurance details so that'll be sxi points, a £200 fine and we'll impound the vehicle until such time.... blah.... blah.... blah..."
In all honesty I didn't hear the rest #cos I was too busy fumbling for my cigarettes and feeling like I'd just laid a rather large brown egg!! A life time of phone calls and heated debates ensue and then as it happens all was well and the insurance company were being a little more than anal in releasing details.
........"roll the shoulders, take a deep breath and relax." So that's all cleared up - let's go do a show.
Fifty miles down the road and that was the sound of PURE FUCKIN FEAR as I take the exit to Newcastle and the bloody gear stick comes off in my hand. Blind panic descended upon the band as they instantaneously turned into a Formula 1 pit crew and re-attached the gear stick whilst I swerved around all obstacles.
Bandages, Gaffer Tape, Zip Ties and Valium and we make it to Newcastle.
A new territory and a mid week show and we're not expecting a great turn out, but the fifty or So punters did themselves proud and were chomping at the bit and any previous vehicular problems were genuinely forgotten.
Day 7 Wakefield
Drove through the night and simply shrugged off the fact we'd got no dashboard lights – just because Beholder has gone into stealth mode!!! Sleeping by day and driving at night we're now like a well oiled machine or a heavy metal swat team.... but hold up a minute...
Unfortunately the sights that greeted us were way too bizarre to even consider sleeping.
For all those who turned up to the show, the following does not apply to you (or indeed the vast majority of upright walking humans) but the sights were out of this world.
All I can say is – "This year Wakefield will mostly be wearing Track Suits!!" The place is littered with baby pushing, tab smoking, attitude swaggering chavs – a prime example being the girl chugging on a can of super strength lager, smoking rolls and pushing a pram that contained a baby with an unfeasibly large head.
But that all paled into insignificance when we headed to HMV and we spotted a Grandad/Grandma (the jury is still undecided) wearing an extremely tight pair of purple spandex disco pants and a matching sparkly purple blazer, blissfully sifting through the CD's whilst hobbling around on crutches and dragging several carrier bags of shopping!!
Possibly a little difficult to paint the full picture, but it was jaw dropping stuff and kept the band amused for hours.
Before the show I hooked up with Greg Moffitt (writer for Metal Hammer/Classic Rock /Decibel etc etc) and we recorded a Beholder Podcast Special for Bloodstock Radio and it was great to choose some tunes, talk trash and spend time with a like minded chap, who's got some killer stories.
The show itself was both recorded, filmed and streamed on the net and turned out to be a real breakthrough for the band (in yet another un-chartered territory) and we had a blast with a whole bunch of new friends – good times!!
Day 8 Glasgow
We've been looking forward to returning to Glasgow after our last visit a few months back. Not only is there a strong metal scene but the Glaswegians are my kind of people. They don't suffer fools gladly and they don't talk shite. Not just that but the hospitality was second to none with a packed Ivory Blacks full of head-banging lunatics.
Prior to the show the Front man for Achren thrust a bottle of "Buckfast" in my hand and claimed "this is what all the bums in Glasgow drink for breakfast!" Well that's fuckin' charming I thought as I took my first mouthful – OMG it tastes like death!! But it had the desired effect as we stormed the stage and gave em a full on Beholder crash course in English Brutality.
Highlights of the show (of which there were many) was the crowd attempt to lift a 30 stone crowd surfer only to realise the magnitude of the task and crumple like a deck of cards and members of Attica Rage, Switchblade Scream, Achren and more join us on stage to belt out "Never Take Us Down!" Now that's POWER!!!!
Day 9 Grimsby
The drive from Glasgow through the night has left us all feeling extremely jaded and there was little to report throughout the day as we pretty much slept like hamsters in whatever position we fell.
After rising from our slumbers the band were all hyper active and in a euphoric state of play which is never a good sign 'cos it usually means trouble for someone. But what we ended up with was one of the most humorous Beholder shows for an age.
It all started with the crowd (as is always the case) cos they were in great spirits and had turned out in their droves, which always helps. When I screamed "What was the war cry of the Spartans?" some young girl screamed "achoo" - to which Martyn (quick as a flash) replied "bless you". Queue spontaneous laughter as both band and crowd burst into hysterics.
This was soon followed by tripping up over the monitors, spilling drinks, totally forgetting the lyrics to sections of certain songs and the whole thing turning into a totally impromptu heavy metal pantomime.
So why stop there....
Fungus was introduced as the villain of the piece and he was greeted with the obligatory "Boo" and "Hiss" whereas Chris was introduced as "Hattie Jacques" & "The Fattest Man in the band" – which for those who've not seen the chap the expression "more meat on a butchers pencil" sums him up a treat.
In summary whatever shit was thrown at us with regards the transport for this run it was soon forgotten as the Northern part of our tour turned out to be everything we had expected and more.
A couple of days rest and we're off darn sarf so prepare for further instalments – or even better catch us on the road and support the British Metal Resurgence.
Here's the remaining 'Edge Of Insanity' tour dates...
SEPT 15TH... RIFFS BAR SWINDON - support from Ventflow & Senturia
SEPT 16TH... WHITE RABBIT PLYMOUTH - with Breed 77 and Malefice
SEPT 17TH... CHAMPIONS BOURNEMOUTH - support from Maniacal Edge
SEPT 18TH... MAMMOTHFEST BRIGHTON - with Orange Goblin, Breed 77, Malefice & more
SEPT 19TH... FALMOUTH RFC FALMOUTH - support from Credit to Dementia, Decimation, Ded Hed, Rash Decision & Red Mist
SEPT 20TH... LONDON UNDERWORLD - support from Zocalo, Silas and more
SEPT 22ND... HOBO?S BRIDGEND - support from Darksite & Fell on Black Days
SEPT 23RD... CENTRAL STATION WREXHAM - support from Arceye
SEPT 24TH... SAWYERS KETTERING - support from Held Beneath & Korose
SEPT 25TH...THE OLD BELL DERBY - support from Susperia & Scarlets Wake