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 first update, after the break.
When Chris Hanna from Propagandhi asked me if War On Women wanted to go to Europe, I didn’t even bother waiting to ask the rest of the band. I said yes. Regardless of the expenses, details, work involved, whatever; I knew that we were all willing to make it work.
Now I find myself in the backseat of a van heading to Glasgow (my first time ever in Scotland) to play the next show. Fucking awesome.
I am a planner by nature and with no booking agent or tour manager right now, I feel like I have been working on this tour forever, and now that we are finally here, hanging out with Propagandhi, Shai Hulud, and Comeback Kid (UK dates only), I feel as humbled and excited as I am exhausted.
Our first show in Berlin was a bit overwhelming, but our rented backline and van from Fluffwheels came through perfectly, and luckily our driver Lenka is super cool. She’s a gender studies major from the Czech Republic with a similar sense of humor. The tshirts we ordered from Monkey Drive were shipped to her and brought along with no issues – huge relief! All the bands were working out some kinks that first show, but the whole night had an electric feel. We were high on coffee, Euro hospitality, and wanting to prove Prop didn’t make a huge mistake by inviting us.
In Hamburg a few of us had some old friends attend, which was super fun, and right out of the green room was a perfect balcony view of the stage. I took a big break from merch to watch the other bands, soaking it in, knowing that it really isn’t that easy to see every band every night on a big tour like this. Luckily, the Prop merch guy, David Hugill, is a fucking pro (and hilarious and sweet) and his willingness to watch over our stuff has allowed me to take some necessary breaks so I can actually enjoy the perks of being the front person of a band on a good tour: after show showers, late dinners, talking with fans, and taking walks around the club to get a feel for each city. In Hamburg, that meant getting in some bonding time with the SH guys wandering around in the Red Light District, acting like typical tourists.
We noticed in Amsterdam that everyone spoke amazing English, which made things very easy for us. My favorite memories are taking a walk around the club with a fan, her telling me a bit about the city and culture while I explained some of our songs (per her request of course!), and seeing Matt Covey (SH) and the Beav (Prop) watch us from the side of the stage while I made a cunnilingus joke.
The tour met up with Comeback Kid in Nottingham, UK, and we all had dinner together before the show. Dinner that was served by possibly the surliest bloke ever, who also looked like the Gordon’s fisherman. Lenka thought he was funny and said she had a crush on him… then asked us to confirm what crush means in English.
With a day off in London before the show, we did a quick bout of touristy stuff, walking around the London Eye pier, Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abby, etc, which was odd because the city was getting ready for Margaret Thatcher’s funeral. There were press tents and barricades in place. Very strange. After hearing us joke about stealing the Crown Jewels for a few days, Lenka suggested we steal Thatcher’s body and put it up for ransom, which became its own joke because I get the feeling we are only experiencing 10% of her true personality when she speaks in English. At the show the next day, the day of the funeral, there was some seriously good energy; we played well, had fun, and sold a lot of merch. I will leave the interpretation of that up to you. But, it was one of the best shows for getting compliments and hugs, which never gets old. Every time someone comes up to me and says they haven’t seen anything like it, or have been waiting for that, or that it was inspirational, I’m just so thankful for the opportunity to do our thing, to call out the sexist bullshit we see in the world and have fun rocking out while we do it.
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.
Joshua Weidling Owner/Founder
I'm the owner & founder of Digital Tour Bus. I started the company in my dorm room during my freshman year of college. I have a degree in Marketing from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Outside of music and going to concerts, I'm a big fan of stand-up comedy, playing board games, trying the most amazing unhealthy food, and watching really mediocre comedy tv shows.