The indie rock band, War Games, is currently on their 2015 England tour. While they’re on this tour, they’ll be doing an exclusive blog for us. You can check out their second entry, after the break.
We pick up halfway through our record release tour and found ourselves in the beautiful seaside town of Brighton. Parking proved to be a tedious endeavor, but nothing we haven’t seen before. After about 20 minutes of hunting down a spot near the venue, ‘Bleach’, we loaded in our equipment and reunited with our good friend from previous tours James Collins who also happened to be the promoter for the show. We exchanged hugs, reminisced and basked in ‘Warped Tour’ memories until sound check, and then it was show time.
I found myself especially nervous at this gig because two members of my English girlfriend’s family were in the crowd and about to witness their first ever live ‘War Games’ performance. My voice is horse as we had reached the halfway mark of the tour, but the crowd was impressive and carried me through fighting! After a night of sharing air mattresses and pizza, the drive up to Lincolnshire for a day off proved tiresome and a second night of pizza was completely necessary to refuel.
The next night saw us heading for Leeds in Yorkshire. I was particularly excited on this day, as I was taking part in BBC Radio 1’s ‘Going Home Song’, a newly found obsession of mine which consisted of the lyrics ‘my name is Kyle and I’m going hooooome!’ We listened with intent on a phone on the high street in Leeds, acquiring some dubious looks from passers-by. Leeds is a beautiful city, full of interesting architecture, and as we later found out fantastic cheesy chips with proper curry sauce! Milo’s was a great, intimate venue. Every band brought a high level of energy, especially the Utoxator drummer Alistair Lusby who sang and danced enough for the whole room! Complete with a surprise guest appearance from our friend Mick Hall on a Funeral for a Friend cover, the night was full of laughs and sing-a-longs. Thank you to Phil and Rock Nation Events for setting the show-up.
Our continuous appreciation of cheesy chips was cemented the next day at ‘The Gilded Quill’ tattoo studio in Lincoln, with Christian and Glenn providing us with a permanent memory of our cheesy carb love. After exploring Nottingham Castle and riding our noble steeds around Robin Hood and the oldest tavern in England, we found the hidden gem BYOB venue ‘JT Soars’. JT’s was another intimate venue, but none the less, an honour to play and the lovely people running the place were very kind to us, providing us with cold Carlsberg upon our arrival.
On Saturday we headed to Camden, a particularly quirky and interesting part of London home to the legendary venue of ‘The Fiddlers Elbow’. Being in London gave us the complete pleasure of being reunited with an old friend and previous band member Ryan Flinn, who had moved back over the pond. After a night of questionable dancing, shots of whiskey and man crushes on The Astoria, we made our way to a hotel in Hook near to Stonehenge so we were ready to get up early and explore the next day. The night involved a collapsing of shower tiles and some interesting sounds from neighbouring hotel rooms, but left us feeling refreshed and ready to explore Stonehenge in the beautiful weather and countryside of Wiltshire.
The Southampton venue ‘The Talking Heads’ filled our ears with variety, our mouths with tequila and shot deals from the lovely barman, and introduced us to the method of melting cheese on cheesy chips with a blow torch. New friends and great people were met, and videos of certain band members dancing to Blink 182 covers were recorded on iPhone cameras. The next day saw us partaking in one of the longest drives of the tour, still a mere 3 and a half hours, to Stoke On Trent from Brighton after staying with our friend James again and leaving full on a huge breakfast cooked by chef duo Kyle and Andy. Stoke on Trent introduced me to my first ‘mountain goat’ moment of the tour, as I climbed a tall stack of speakers at the side of the stage, and draped myself over them while singing during our set.
Finally, the end date of the tour sent us to the Yorkshire ‘steel city’ of Sheffield. As the home place of Arctic Monkeys, Sheffield is renowned for its vibrant music scene and this final date did not disappoint. After eating local delicacies ‘Yorkshire puddings’ at a carvery for our last meal together, and certain band members taking a slightly improvised route to the venue due to a misunderstanding with car following arrangements, we made it to the venue ‘South Sea Live’. It was great to be reunited with our friends in The Native Braves, The Royal Ocean and They Say Fall again to give us a proper send-off. The Royal Ocean again bought an abundance of energy and humour to the stage, and They Say Fall lit the room with high energy and passion, with front man Kehn using the floor as his own personal mosh space! During our final set, one of the best of the tour, it could not have been a more heart-warming sight to see new and old friends singing along to our songs, old and new, and our final song of the set ‘The Only Debt We Bear Is Love’ saw friend/girlfriend and 2011 fellow band friend Grace Cooper-Hall join us to sing the last chorus. This capped off a truly unforgettable two weeks filled with memories, laughs, tears and most of all a love for music. Two weeks which I have no doubt will remain with us forever.