War On Women is currently on the “Failed States European Tour 2013” with Propagandhi, Comeback Kid and Shai Hulud. While they’re on this tour, they will be writing a Road Blog for us. You can check out the second update, after the break.
So on this tour we have kept expenses to a minimum, which means we have been relying on the kindness of strangers to put us up every night. In the US that can lead to some very strange and entertaining (even scary) experiences. Europe is no different.
We’ve been given a tour of Berlin and went out for drinks with Jana (from Dropout Patrol, who also has a record out on Exotic Fever) we’ve been trusted with keys when the resident of a flat in Hamburg is out of town because we share a mutual friend, CJ Boyd, who is a constantly-touring bass player.
We also worried we were left out in the cold in Amsterdam until we called our contact person, who then admitted her door bell didn’t work and we should just come on up. After Nottingham, we drove towards London to stay with an adorable English couple and their two incredibly cute young girls, aged 3 and 1, joined by the matriarch of the family and a few cats. Then after London we stayed in a squat where I got possibly the best night of sleep so far on the tour. I had a comfy bed, I had already showered at the club, and our bass player Rusty, who is notorious for snoring super loud all night long, slept in the van. It was glorious.
We’ve put up signs at the merch table, we’ve annoyed the hell out of our Twitter and Facebook followers, (big thanks to Shai Hulud – they’ve been great about retweeting our housing requests) While it might get stressful at times, it’s been necessary, and and we’ve met some super cool people because of it. Whether they are fans of the band, work at the club, or are celebrating their birthday the next day and don’t mind showing us a local cafe with vegan waffles, we haven’t been left out in the cold yet. Sometimes we are jealous of the Propagandhi bus that allows them all to sleep while they move to the next city, but I like being on team WOW. We keep the van clean, sleep on the floor when we want, and otherwise get to see some cool scenery that they don’t.
It’s no secret that Propagandhi are some politically conscious dudes. As proof, they’ve allowed representatives from local chapters of Sea Shepard, an anti-whaling non-profit, to table at all of the shows on this tour. It’s a great cause, and it really says something that they share the spotlight with this organization by hanging a Sea Shepard flag on stage, let them give a speech before Prop plays, and let them sell stuff for donation – instead of worrying about losing out on their own merch sales.
Also on this tour we’ve been joined by two dedicated “Book Dudes” from Typewriter Distro who fill up their small sedan with tons of activist/feminist/politically conscious books and zines and make it to each show. We had a lot of time to hang with Yvo & Bart from the Netherlands and they are super cool, very funny, and gave me a lot to think about by giving me my current read, “How Non-Violence Protects the State” We said goodbye to them last night. That, our recent goodbye to Comeback Kid, and only having a few shows left has really made me think about the fact that this tour will actually end, and I’m just not ready for that…though my lack of clean clothes would suggest otherwise.
As I write this we’re traveling from Zurich, Switzerland to Vienna, Austria. Everything you’ve ever heard about how beautiful it is does not compare to seeing it in person. I’ll be doing my best to soak in these last few shows so that when I’m back home in Baltimore next week, and it finally hits me how fucking awesome this was, I won’t have missed anything.
Shawna Potter is the front person of War On Women, a feminist hardcore punk band from Baltimore, MD USA. She also runs the Baltimore chapter of Hollaback!, is ordained to perform wedding ceremonies, and runs an amp and guitar repair shop with Brooks Harlan, who plays guitar in War On Women and bass in Office of Future Plans.
Did you enjoy this blog? What do you think about the experiences War On Women are having on this tour? Let us know in the comments below!