Recuperation is (mostly) complete and since our return we've been working hard on new songs that shall wake the dead. Anyone who saw us on tour will have had a taste of whats on offer but what of the debaucherous shenanigans along the way! well...
Gettin' the wagon ready before take-off!
First up was Portrush an with everything packed (aside for a quick return visit to collect a forgotten bass amp that prompted a quiet roadside jam) ...
...we headed up the country. After a top up of LIDL's finest stumpies and Crusti Croc, JJ takes his chance to rip it up!
Joking aside, it was a really enjoyable gig and a great start to the adventure. We had the pleasure of playing alongside the sound lads from BELLOS. They have an awesome grungy sound with post-punk hooks hangin' out of 'er! Here's a few live shots of the night, courtesy of Ciara McMullen and Stephen Lockhart!
Cheers to Oonagh for putting us up in Portstweart and after our fry the next morning we set off to Sligo!
Not only can we riff but we can cook!
As we headed down to Sligo we made a couple of pit stops, paying our respects to some great Irish artists!
Sligo was a new experience for us, we'd like to extend our thanks to the bar staff who where most accommodating, however we got the distinct feeling that we were in virgin territory, so to speak. We'd like to reassure all the patrons of the Shenanigans Bar that we'll learn 'Sex on Fire' for any potential return visit.
We'd also like to reassure fan's of our music that we will not be learning 'Sex on Fire'!
It was an eventful night none the less and thanks to the Harbour House Hostel for putting us up as we had come to the conclusion that we'd be sleeping in a car park!!
We would also like to extent our gratitude and thanks to a kind stranger. Charlie! This man ushered us around town to find the closest music shop as Steve had conveniently left the stands for one of his drums in Portrush the night before. After a long hunt we came across a hardware shop and got creative with a few cheap fire pokers.
Charlie, the legend! Gaz and JJ, on the hunt!
Day 3 brings us to Athlone where we met the coolest engineer in Ireland. Jinxie and his dog 'Tuco', hosted us in Siege Studios. A gig in a studio live room with about a dozen people, it can get wilder than you'd imagine.
But before we made it that far, a stop off at Carrowkeel (the local neolithic hot spot) was much appreciated. Not all of us made it to the summit but this man felt on top of the world when he got there!
Something only Irish people would understand; climbing a mountain to look at a pile of stones!
The craic in the studio was mighty. We played a very drunken set in a very warm room, JonJoe made a new friend and air guitar madness ensued!
We also found these really cool headpieces and yes, we did try to convince the owner that they looked better on us. What do you think!? Sexy, huh!?
Thanks to Jinxie we will be releasing a free live EP, (hopefully sometime soon) which includes some previously unrecorded tracks and some soon to be released tracks. Watch this space!
Onward ho! To Cork we go, not only to rock Mr. Bradleys to its foundation on what is, quite possibly, the smallest stage we've ever played on. But also to do what all the greats do; PLAY CHESS!
As always, Tom obliterated me in the proceedings!
Onto Galway. As we rode into town we knew a stop at the local Christian cafe and a catch up on reading of a biblical proportion was much needed! The curried soup was beautiful, worth a good crucifixion!
After the load-in and dumping our gear onstage we were ready to get affiliated with our digs for the night. Unfortunately this stage was not ours and we had to shift everything upstairs, with no lift. Great craic!
However, we got sorted and a debaucherous evening ensued. The most notable act of the night for us was the tight, homegrown threesome that is KaTet. If you get a chance to see these guys, do it!
And by popular demand, we must reveal the genius behind 'Slim Boy Fat', right about HNAWH!
Belfast the following night was indeed the business for us! We got to play and headline the bill at Radar, a weekly event in our provinces capital that brings all walks of studious life in Belfast together for one thing. MUSIC!
Lovely set up and a lot of room to move about, its a treat getting to play a stage this big!
On the bill this night we're the ever ingratiating BELLOS and local rockers Dutch Schultz. An amazing performance from all the bands on this night prompted an equally impressive crowd reaction.
Here's some shots courtesy of Liam Kielt Photography
And as is tradition, there are no photos of the drummer!
Southbound yet again and we headed onto the fair city of Dublin for the penultimate date of our excursion! Thankfully there were some familiar faces playing alongside us this night in the iridescently brutal form of Nomadic Rituals. These lads have been favorites of ours on the local scene since they began and they're also a trio of swell guys to boot!
Here's to you... and your smoke machine..... and your awesome lights!
We even got the chance to do some tagging for our new buddies!
Live shots of ourselves provided by Dan Flynn from Carnage Metal Club.
The tradition has been broken! It was good while it lasted.
Lastly but not leastly we round up our journey with an early yet intimate show in The Dry Dock in sunny Magherafelt. It was quite possibly the tightest show of the tour in regards to the room size but when it filled, by fuck was it fun to play. Thanks to Stevie and Jake Lennox from Deadwing Promotions for sorting the gig and putting us up for the night!
At the end of a long, tiring and sweaty eight days trudging around our beautiful island we were happy to know we'd be in our own beds the next night. So, in good style, we had a jam and drank the night away.
Thanks to everyone and anyone that had a hand in organising the tour, put up with us hallions for a night in their homes, to anyone that took pictures for us and all you other fine folks that helped us out on the road. You know who you are.
And in case you dont, here's the list!
Ryan McCormick @ Mt. Avalanche
Andy Hasson @ Antidote Soundsystem
The Atlantic House Hostel
Jinxie and Tuco @ Siege Studios
Mr. Bradley's, Cork and Sean Doyle
The Roisin Dubh
Kyle and the lads from KaTet
Brian Coney + The Thin Air
David Roy @ The Irish News
Dan Flynn @ Carnage Metal Club
Stevie and Jake @ Deadwing Promotions
Matthew Burke, Gina Mackey, Gemma McConville and Bronagh Broderick
Another post is on its way covering what we have done since the tour and what we plan to do for the rest of the year and early 2014, keep in touch for any and all updates on our facebook (www.facebook.com/astralnautmusic) or twitter (@astralnautband).
Until then, here's a picture of Gaz's ass crack!
Thomas and Pearse.