Friday, 1 May 2009

Hammerfest day 2 and the return

Day 2 was gonna be busy. Although Evile played Friday night, their press was all Saturday afternoon, and Gama Bomb were due to arrive and play Saturday too, and do their press.

From previous experience, when Gama Bomb and Evile get together, or more to the point, Mike Evile and Gama Bomb, there's an uncontrollable chaotic love fest, where interviews will then go out the window... so one of the things i knew i would have to do, like when you have 2 naughty kids is keep them seperated until the work is done. Bless 'em.

So Lucy and i took a shift on the stall when we woke up. Here's the lovely Earache stall - stuck in the arcade where you couldn't bring alcohol in... (it moved later during the day - thanks security!)

I went to pick up Gama Bomb at the gate at 1pm. They mostly travel by public transport, even when on tour. Which i think is pretty awesome. And crazy.

Stupidly i'd arranged all the press for Gama Bomb and Evile to happen at the same time with the same change overs. Actually, i'm not sure if it was stupid or clever, cause i surely wasn't going to manage to do two seperate loads and better to get it all out the way. But it meant a lot of running about, which is... normal i spose.

I left Lucy on the stall with the dudes and took care of it. Both Evile and Gama Bomb are great to work with i'm really lucky to work with bands who (sometimes) listen to what i say, work hard, have great answers, and are a whole bunch of fun. Which is exactly what happened when i tried to get them to do interviews in a kids playground, multi storey ballpark. :-O Thrash bands all over the place, ball fights, obstacle course races in between BBC rock show interviews. Great stuff. Matt Drake decided that if Evile ever make it big he's going to build a ballpark in his house. Or alternatively make it a business if Evile don't work. Ballparks for adults.

Its such a shame we didn't get some of that Evile vs. Gama Bomb in a ballpark tomfoolery on tape.

Anyway, press done with 45mins to go before Evile and Gama Bomb's signing session, we headed to the canteen (bleugh), as i hadn't eaten all day, Gama Bomb needed to eat early because they were playing that night and all of us had been working press for nearly 4 hours. Also, strangely, the signing session was inside the canteen. I didn't realise this at first and thought that the queue outside was for the greasy fish n chips. But no! It was for Sepultura and our friend the amateur photographer Derrek (just kiddin he never took any photos and we were drunk and crazy and whatever anyway...-see Day 1 - Hey Derrek!). So anyway, we got some food and tried to eat quick in time for the signings. As Sepultura fans disappeared and Evile fans started arriving people wanted Matt to sign whilst he was eating so Lucy and i had to step in (Lucy was back with me now - yes guuurl!)

Then there was some mix up with Saxon's times for signing and they wanted Gama Bomb and Evile to wait, but i'd made them work all afternoon, and GB were due to play that evening, and they hadn't had a chance to enjoy the festival at all, so i made them sign on some tables down the side of the canteen to get it done, whilst Saxon were up the back. There weren't that many Saxon fans anyway, because the times had changed no one knew - people were there for Evile and GB - lots of them! Lovely job.
So after the signing i went back to the stall for a while, fully intending to stay on the stall until later on. By this point the stall had moved to by the main stage. After an hour of selling merch, Skindred came on and i just had to run and dance for a while. Lucy! This is what your poor arse needs, come down and shake it! We met Alice and girls in the pit and i bounced around for a while. I love Skindred. I always have maximum respect for 1) Someone who can start a good-time party 2) Frontmen that control the crowd like that 3) Frontmen who can spin a yarn
And i think Benji is fucking awesome.
We'd started drinking by now, and Skindred put me in a great mood. Benji came down to the stall to hang out for a while and we had a good chat, about the time i woke him up at 5am to do an interview for Totalrock (sorry Benji), Uxfest, music in the UK, and what he thinks about Earache, and how he kept saying to me that he has huge respect for Digby for investing so much money in his talent and spotting it early on. I like it when artists stay friends with Earache and appreciate what we do, heaven knows there's enough shit talking.

I also realise that with time opinions change, and with hindsight and perspective shows reasons and actions to be valid. So big up Benji, totally straight up and awesome. And i still owe him so much for sending Uxfest out with the bang it deserved at Islington Academy in '06.
So time for Gama Bomb! Second stage about 10pm. I love Gama Bomb's attitude. I love Philly's wit. And i love the fact those dudes are so cheeky. I think they're a really great band, and even though the sound was a bit shitty on the second stage, they played a storming set, and Philly is always worth while, oh and Joe's hair, because he's worth it too. Fuckin awesome.

I think i was a few drinks in by now, time to find Wolf, who i was REALLY looking forward to, having not seen them since the Municipal Waste / The Haunted tour 2 years ago. Axeman has been a regular contributor to my radio show on Monday nights and i love the new album Ravenous, so i was suitably excited.

We watched Saxon - with Doro.... (ok, not with her at all, but by her. But all hail Doro, we love you) Then Wolf (following Saxon!!!)
Lucy and i ended up on stage dancing our (injured in Lucy's case) butts off, and singing Voooodddooooooo as loud as we could.

The rest of the night was crazy, and Wolf lived up to their partying reputation. I was going between the Wolf party and the Gama Bomb party until about 5am. It was so funny. I believe i met an aeronautical engineer called Kevin would is responsable for the skin being scraped off the back of my knuckles whilst he was trying to give me £20 for some beers i had brought to the party. They weren't mine. I was giving out Matt's beer. The Aeronautical engineer didn't understand this.

At some point after that i headed to the beach for the sunrise with the remains of some booze.

All i know is that when i got in at 8am, Lucy was asleep. I out partied Lucy. Yes. Winner.

HAMMERFEST! What an awesome fucking weekend!!

And here's Lucy and i trying to be awake enough to get home, giggling all the way. (partly because i had ruined my sneakers and went home in sandals with socks. Yes. i did that. winner.)

1st Festival of the year. Result=awesome.

1 down, 8 to go.

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