In August 2014, two of the best dork pop bands from the South West (roughly) got some wheels and went on tour together. Because they’re such excellent people they were kind enough to share their memories with us, vomit anecdotes and all. The breathless blur of words follows, but be sure to check out the links below; the music these two bands make comes highly recommended by us.
Grace: We were asked to write a tour diary. We are doing this via google docs which is why it has such a ‘fun’ ~conversational ‘tone’.
Camille: my fav thing about going on tour was hanging out with babes for 10 days. i also enjoyed going to lots of places i’ve never been before. someone keeps anonymously typing poop where i’m trying to type, we shouldn’t be allowed to use google docs.
Grace: I mainly booked the tour, which is why it went so seamlessly well? Apart from the bit where I double booked a date. Just too efficient for my own good I guess. Chris East.
DAY 1: MANCHESTER (thursday)
Grace: Eve agreed to drive the tour for us, which we were all pretty excited about because she is the best babe ever. I think she’d pretty much never driven a van, or for ten days in a row before but???? yolo. I felt irrationally worried the whole time the others were driving up from Bristol, but… as soon as I saw her behind the wheel, I couldn’t believe the way I feel, it was such a rush just being with her, y’know?
Eve: I’d driven on the motorway maybe twice and in a regular car and the first of those times i’d just accidentally rolled onto it. the no ditching babs had told me though that van-driving is really empowering, which it totally is. i was terrified and truly powerful. c’est la vie.
Camille: I think tour woulda been unbearable if eve wasn’t there, she is a true babe, the truest babe of all the babes in babeland.
Jon: Before the van’s engine had even warmed up, Bert and Libby were off making loom band bracelets. We all supported this innocent pastime, blissfully unaware of the unspeakable horrors that would soon be birthed from the bag of bands…
Eve: we listened to the man with the red face as we rode.
Camille: i was really happy when we worked out that his face was red from playing the saxophone and not from some sort of allergic reaction.
Ellis: before the gig, most of the talk was about whether the guys from hot shorts would be able to live up to their incredibly strong twitter presence. for me, they absolutely smashed it. regardless of medium, they are simply very humourous guys and there’s nothing we can do about it. really down to earth as well, in spite of everything.
Camille: <3 hot shorts <3
Libby: Everyone got a falafel burger, I got a falafel plate. No regrets.
Camille: i had a really great conversation with mark taylor about meal deals. we agree that a fixed price meal deal is better than a 3 for 2, there’s already enough to think about in this messed up world. we all deserve to know what we’re gonna be paying before we buy a meal deal. i like meal deals so much that people call me camille deal, i need to stop this is not entertaining.
Grace: I disagree.
Anna: there were a lot of middle ones relatives at this show. hot shorts played a song called ‘sex christmas and it made my mum laugh so much she cried a bit.
Grace: At one point Ellis asked Anna if the two people I was sitting between were my parents, she looked over and said no they were HER parents. At this moment we were all laughing uproariously.
Anna: they love you.
Bert: I didn’t meet Anna’s parents because I didn’t know, I just didn’t know, no one told me.
Anna: they would have loved you.
Camille: we also played with judy and the blumes, i enjoyed them so much and they were really lovely people too! they had a song about “not all men”, it was 10/10.
Eve: this was the first time i’d seen hallie and the annies play live and the first time i’d seen the middle ones for a while, it was so exciting and i got deja vu / simply had a memory about being on tour / i was on tour.
Bert: We stayed at Matthew’s house and me and Libby got to stay on a bed made of two sofas pushed together and it was like sleeping in a giant cot which I liked.
Grace: The rest of us go to stay in the attic bedroom of our teenage dreams and some really hilarious stuff happened that I now can’t remember.
DAY 2: GLASGOW (friday)
Bert: In the morning while we were still in Manchester we went to a vegan supermarket and everyone bought loads of snacks, mine were mostly apple based, I bought my first ever Space Bar, still not sure what I think about it.
Jon: We also went to a great patisserie and I had possibly my favourite breakfast of the tour. They accidentally left the bacon out of my bacon and egg sandwich but I forgave them after they gave me a bakewell tart for free to say sorry. I then decided to switch my bakewell tart for Bert’s iced finger which was nowhere near as nice. It got hot in the van and all the icing came off on the wrapper making it just a plain old finger. Spent the rest of the day wondering what I’d done to frustrate the pastry gods.
Grace: It was MY iced finger and I’m so sorry jon. I did offer you the bakewell back right? Altho the icing on it had stuck to a napkin which was even more gross to remove.
Camille: in the morning i drank a cup of black tea which made me immediately vomit, this was (i think) the first sick of a very pukey tour.
we stopped at a service station which had lots of posters about the signs of having bladder problems, me and libby realised we had been weeing a lot more than everyone else and began to panic that we had bladder problems, still unsure if we do.
bert said it would be nice to play with all the lights on, i said “alright calvin johnson” no one laughed apart from anna. i think we’re soul mates.
Bert: I don’t remember or get this.
Grace: I don’t remember or get Bert.
Bert: I don’t remember getting Grace.
Grace: Nice comeback dickweed.
Jon: The poster for our Glasgow gig was the best thing I’ve ever seen. It had cartoon depictions of all band members and we were pirates that had taken over some ships that I think are flying or something. The more I look at the same poster that is currently on my bedroom wall the more I’m sure they forgot Libby existed until it was finished and then had to hastily turn one of the ship’s cannons into her head. Nobody tell her though. She might be upset…
Anna: also the just joans played and they are the best. after the show we were meant to go out partying but we went back to the flat we were staying in and i think talked about harry potter for a really long time and then everyone was too tired to go out.
Grace: Oh! Oh! Didn’t someone have to pretend to be Daniel Radcliffe on Mastermind, but acting as Harry Potter, and his specialist subject was Harry Potter? The questions were surprisingly difficult to answer.
Jon: The second round of Mastermind was going to be Harry Potter being asked questions about Daniel Radcliffe but I realised I didn’t know enough about Daniel Radcliffe so I gave up.
Bert: At the flat Jon made me and Libby play a monopoly card game that he had brought on tour and we both hated it. This night me and Libby slept on just one sofa, I had a bad sleep and my back hurt but I didn’t moan about it.
Libby: He did moan
Grace: THAT’S WHAT MY DATE SAID.
Jon: You guys just don’t understand the rules of Monopoly Deal. That’s literally the only possible explanation for not already having deck of your own.
Grace: On this night pop south (the promoters) seemed genuinely baffled by our choice to stay all together in one place rather than split up over two flats so we couldall sleep in beds. Scotland musthave a much higher standard of living.
Anna: Oh no this is also the night we drove the wrong way down a one way street and I got irrationally annoyed at another car who was trying to tell us it was a one way street and started repeatedly shouting ‘WE KNOW’ at them and then Grace automatically gave them the finger because she knew there must have been a good reason I was shouting (but there wasn’t).
Eve: yeah anna lost her shit, became the proverbial man with the red face.
Grace: There was nothing irrational about your anger, Anna.
DAY 3: EDINBURGH (saturday)
Ellis: we spent the morning in mono, and i ate the best burger of my life. camille couldn’t finish her burger, so i ate the best burger of her life also. i bought some poetry which i havent looked at since.
Camille: you can edit this out but i have your poetry book, i was gonna burn it but i wont
Ellis: you can burn it tbh
Camille: i bought the FKA Twigs album and it was the best decision i made on tour.
Grace: Me and Camille both got zines accepted for stocking at Good Press, and I sold some middle ones vinyl to Monorail. This isn’t particularly funny or relevant, even?
Camille: i like it because it makes us seem productive WHICH WE ARE. we played in a record shop in the afternoon, i got to use grace’s shakey egg, it was the highlight of my year.
Grace: And mine.
Jon: The record shop gig was fun but one of the most bizarre ones we’ve ever done. There was so little space that Camille had to stand in the window of the shop like the coolest mannequin
Camille: *sunglasses emoji*
Jon: and drum on the wall and stuff. A small child came in at one point to watch us
Eve: he had a plaster above his eyebrow
Jon: and left with an expression of either inspiration or sheer hatred of all music. There was a section in the record shop that just read “FEMALE”…
Camille: we went to watch anna and adam from the spook school do their comedy show ‘danny mayo’s land of giants’, it was hilarious! they got ellis to be the mayor of edinburgh, luckily he didn’t try and do an accent.
Ellis: i enjoyed being mayor of edinburgh but after the show, when i tried to pass some new byelaws, they informed me that i had only been appointed mayor of edinburgh within the confines of the fictional world of the comedy. this disappointed me. i think theatre types are often unreliable in this way.
Jon: Me, Camille and Eve stayed at Adam’s house
Camille: no i didn’t.
Jon: I did an impression that night of David Brent which seemed randomly funny and made Ellis laugh way too much. Tried to do the same impression a few minutes later to be told to consider the “law of diminishing returns”. Did noooot learn the lesson…
Grace: Again Jon, IT WAS ME, NOT CAMILLE.
Camille: later that night anna took me, bert and libby to stay at nye’s flat and google maps took us a really dark and scary way, then it looked like france (according to bert who went there recently and wont shut up about it).
Bert: The way was really spooky, and we all used the flashlight feature on our iPhones to light the way, we all have iPhones, mine’s a 5s, I had the best iPhone on tour.
Ellis: i didnt know bert had been to france? he should have posted some pictures of it
Bert: I have been to France. Got to sleep in a bed tonight.
Libby: It rained and we got a bit wet
DAY 4: SHEFFIELD (sunday)
Camille: i got a migraine because i was tired of everyone but i drank 2 pints of coke in 20 minutes and it went away. i made a badge that said “butt fund” i don’t find it funny anymore.
Libby: I’ll always find it funny.
Grace: Same. Who was it who stole Ellis’ phone to tweet this?
Jon: I will genuinely think of “Butt Fund” when I’m old and grey and smile.
Anna: it is still pretty funny though. sheffield was great because there was a vegan bbq! we all had a vegan burger. eve had two because she is the most vegan.
Eve: they forgot about the second one though and the sun went down and i missed all the bands waiting for it. totally worth it.
Bert: Went to a Tesco around the corner from the venue (The Red House) but didn’t buy anything, got cash out maybe. I think this was the night we stayed at Grace’s house, Grace’s mum was there and her sister and they’re both really lovely, the house was lovely and the view from the house was lovely. I think me and Libby stayed in Grace’s bedroom but they put Anna in there to keep an eye on us but it was nice and we’d like Anna to stay with us every night.
Anna: dream team.
Libby: Why can’t we all just get along… at the beehive jive?
DAY 5: DURHAM (monday)
Bert: Grace’s dad’s birthday
Eve: YEAH ROY!
Libby: with a birthday pineapple
Grace: Oh god I had blocked this out.
Bert: There were candles in a pineapple.
Grace: Everyone pretended it wasn’t awkward, which was very kind and I’m sure difficult for them.
Camille: i waited at least 24 hours to ask if your dad loved pineapple or you just forgot to get a cake.
Grace: But you all already knew the answer.
Anna: we got to play in empty shop and it was great! afterwards there was a very efficient disco and then we had to do a van chase across durham because JC didn’t want us to know where he lives.
Eve: i made tea with jc and loved it
Camille: at chicken cottage i accidentally let puck (the rabbit) into the room me anna and eve were sleeping in, after a tense few minutes of rabbit shepherding anna did the most amazing quick reflexed grab for it, i started to suspect she is a cyborg.
Anna: this was very exhilarating. although i really felt like i wanted to put a glass over the rabbit and then slide some paper underneath like i was taking a spider out of the room. maybe i am a cyborg.
Bert: Jon got scared of a painting of a little boy crying and then I think in the night I heard Jon crying and I wasn’t even in the same room as him.
Camille: i was gonna say something about this but thought it would be too mean
Bert: This night I stayed in a room with rats in and they were really nice about sharing their room with us.
Libby: I found the above comments for this day the funniest so far.
Jon: The painted boy was called Kurt and had the eyes of a serial killer. I told Ellis and Grace that it apparently crawled out of the painting and watched you whilst you slept
Camille: don’t try and take credit for things JC said.
Jon: OK, I repeated it, alright! Anyway, I managed to freak myself out more than the other guys and I started to wish I’d never seen that painting. It was definitely Kurt crying though, not me.
Grace: Ellis and Jon played the best trick on me which involved hiding a large troll and a penis-shaped bottle-opener in my sleeping bag. I was suitably shocked and then amused and then angry at Ellis for claiming he was ‘on the side of’ the spooky room we were sleeping in. He thought this made him safe, but no one is safe in that room.
Bert: Ellis has a sharp brain.
Jon: We called the game “ hide the large troll and the penis-shaped bottle-opener in the sleeping bag” You can only play it in very specific situations but when you can… Oh boy! We later found another doll in a cabinet and a snowglobe with a nun in it. I started regretting playing the troll prank on Grace when I thought I might wake up with the painting of Kurt at the side of the sofa I was sleeping on. I genuinely don’t know what I would have done if that was the first thing I’d seen…
Grace: Just imagining that happening was enough to make me shudder. I would never do that to another person. Except perhaps Alex Hale.
DAY 6: NOTTINGHAM (tuesday)
Ellis: in the morning i went for a walk to durham cathedral and got lost. my battery died and i had to be picked up.
Bert: Ellis is an idiot.
Ellis: we went to a big Tesco to try and find the vegan cheesy popcorn. we found it.
Jon: Whilst Ellis was busy getting lost, the rest of us (along with the members of Colour Me Wednesday) had a delicious breakfast at JC’s home and watched a lot of episodes of Judge Judy which was hilarious. We also watched an episode of Inspector Frost where ol’ Frosty nearly got thrown into an incinerator. It was a bit much.
Camille: the big tesco was the best place i’ve ever been (and in a place called DRAGONVILLE!!!), me and eve and grace all bought new outfits from the ‘back to school’ section.
Bert: The Tesco was alright, it was a Tesco. WE PLAYED AT JT SOAR, IT IS A GREAT PLACE.
Camille: i bought a bottle of blue MD 20 20 in nottingham and made the mistake of drinking half of it before we played, i don’t think i messed up though, maybe i played better?
Ellis: nah you didnt
Bert: I also bought one of these and still haven’t opened it.
Ellis: after the show everyone went out to the turf tavern, which i understand to be some kind of rock club
Camille: (tiny pub that looks very ‘rock’ but was playing regina spektor when we walked in)
Ellis: except for me and anna, who stayed with anna’s incredibly nice friend in an incredibly nice house. i tried to take a snapchat of the bathroom but i stepped backwards into some bathroom scales and they smashed into a million pieces. i woke up anna’s incredibly nice friend and she helped me clean them up. in the morning she had gone to work and i left some vegan cheesy popcorn on her pillow. in the bag, not just loose.
Anna: she later referred to you as ‘a very pleasant young chap’.
Camille: the turf tavern was great, there was lots of jaegerbombs and snogging (not me)
Grace: Yeah Nottingham was ok.
Bert: Jon got refused service at the pub for “hallucinating bar staff”, he was very drunk.
Camille: he also chased after a car shouting “we know”, this was my tour highlight.
Bert: Stayed on a sofa at JT Soar, loved it.
Camille: why are you saying where you slept every night?
Bert: That’s what Joe Public wants to hear about.
Camille: who’s joe public, i can’t find him on facebook? is he a promoter? does he run a label? a blog? PR?
Grace: Doesn’t sound like anybody I want to know.
DAY 7: LEEDS (wednesday)
Camille: in the morning we went to a FARM!
Grace: The pigs were the best bit.
Anna: yeah they were! they always are!
Bert: I walked around the farm on my own for a while but I was so used to being around 7 other people by this point that it made me extremely sad but I felt like it was necessary.
Anna: you weren’t on your own you were talking through a feeding tube to a cow like it was a telephone i saw you
Camille: i lost everyone for 20 minutes and nearly started crying because i missed you all.
Libby: The farm had a very well endowed pony.
Bert: That wasn’t a pony.
Jon: Leeds was where I realised there could be some truth in the belief that having your picture taken can steal your soul. We’d already taken at least seven ‘selfies’ at this point and each photograph seemed to make Ellis die a little inside. We ended up having to source Ellis-substitutes from our following venues just to preserve his sanity.
Anna: i think the drive to leeds was when we started listening to ‘rush hour’ by jane wiedlin on repeat forever.
Camille: really powerful!!!
Ellis: most of the journey i spent eating vegan cheesy popcorn. after soundcheck i was sick in the car park. i didnt get much sympathy because everyone said i had eaten too much vegan cheesy popcorn.
Camille: and curry. there was another song (callback to manchester) with the line “not all men” but i don’t think this one was a joke :/
Bert: it wasn’t
Camille: i was trying to be nice and subtle but yes it was obviously not a joke and i didn’t like him one bit.
Ellis: after we played i was sick again. then we went back to matts and i was sick again, then sick again, and after that i was sick again. matts house was nauseating.
Bert: Stayed on Matt’s living room floor, woke up so many times because I tried to stack up some cushions to make a pillow but it kept slipping, really bad sleep, no fault of Matt’s though, great host.
Libby: I had two breakfasts at Matt’s – toast AND cereal. Matt also had a rain shower but I didn’t use it.
Grace: Didn’t Ellis say to everyone (from his death bed) before he fell asleep: ‘just one more thing guys, what is a rain shower?’
Camille: it was p funny
DAY 8: LONDON (thursday)
Camille: we got stuck in traffic
Grace: for around three hours?
Camille: and jon did a wee at the side of the motorway, i thought it was funny until i drank the other half of my bottle of MD 20 20 and started really needing a wee.
Bert: Did you get MD 20 20 vision? It’s like beer goggles but better.
Jon: It was the manliest wee I’ve ever done.
Eve: grace chanted YOU FUCKED UP YOU FUCKED UP as he clambered off to do it. i was wholly prepared to leave him on the side of the motorway had it come to it.
Camille: this was my favourite show of tour! the whole thing was loads of fun, we played with an amazing band called merry christmas, i wish i could watch them all the time but they live in japan
Eve: they were terrific
Libby: I think this was my favourite show too, there was delicious couscous, the girls of the tour gave their debut performance of Rush Hour, Ellis’ illness really strengthened his stage ‘banter’ and Bert bought me the middle ones’ cds which have since made my life a whole lot better.
Bert: My friend Seni came to this gig and also Niall and Anna from Spook School were there and that was really nice.
Grace: Mat Riviere played and also he loved the Hallie and the Annies ‘banter’ and I loved pointing out to Anna how much he loved it. We also got to hang out with Dan and Stefano who are the greatest dweebs alive.
Bert: Slept at Ace Bushy Jeremy’s house and we all got to sleep in one room together and that made me really happy, I love that. Camille wasn’t there though.
DAY 9: BIRMINGHAM (friday)
Camille: dan took us to a pancake place in camberwell, it was maybe the second most delicious meal of tour (first was mono)
Libby: I wasn’t a big fan.
Bert: A man tried to kidnap Libby
Grace: It is not ok that this is the first we’ve all heard of this Bert.
Anna: we played in ort cafe in birmingham, it was so nice there. okinawa picture show played and they were amazing!
Eve: things were great until i had to go and pick up chris east from the place he had inexplicably got a taxi to, that was nowhere near the venue. i spotted him at the side of the roundabout, it was raining and his hair was lank and his smile was lank. wrapped him in a towel and carried him to the show.
Bert: This was one of two nights that Eve sang a song with us, I wish Eve was in Hallie and the Annies because she definitely makes us loads better.
Eve: you make me loads better
Bert: Okinawa Picture Show were really great! We stayed with them and Eve because they all live in a house together and that must be the best house to live in in the world.
Grace: Case in point: They have guinea pigs AND a cat. Oh and it’s called Vagina Monolodge. Why didn’t I say that first.
Eve: and the bills are included in the rent
DAY 10: BECCLES (saturday)
Ellis: the drive to beccles was beautiful. it felt worth getting up early. as we passed the “welcome to beccles” sign, we all agreed that there was just something in the air. that “something” was the incredibly strong smell of shit. it was “muck spreading day”, said sue (the amazing person in charge of the show). the smell was “the combination of every type of shit imaginable”, sue also said. it was overpowering.
Bert: It smelt like if you got a big pile of poo and cheese and set it on fire.
Grace: Despite the horrendous smell we managed to meet Yanny Mac by the river and go for a super-fun boat trip. Chris East was there still.
Camille: i nearly didn’t go swimming in the river but then i remembered i am the master of my own fears and stopped being a baby, it was really cold and i’m not sure if i enjoyed it but at least i don’t have any regrets, right?
Bert: I didn’t do this because I was scared there would be a shark in there and I’m not even joking.
Grace: Bert I know exactly what you mean. But I swam because I am a bougie bastard.
Bert: I wish I was a bougie bastard.
Grace: Because then I would like you?
Jon: What is a bougie bastard?
Camille: the middle ones made me cry a lot while they played (not cuz i was sad about the end of tour, they kicked me in the shins before they went on)
Anna: we played in beccles public hall and it was very glitzy. everybody was sat down at little tables and when hallie and the annies played me and grace and eve got up and danced. i felt very resistant to admitting that this was the last night of the tour.
Bert: We stayed in Sue’s ecohome bed and breakfast and it was like being celebrities or better.
Grace: I honestly have no idea how we got that lucky.
DAY 11: HOME (sunday)
Eve: me and ellis and camille sang earnestly along to the river by bruce springsteen up front in the van and i cried.
Bert: I was sad because I wasn’t going to see Libby until Thursday but now we live together so I’m over it. I am still sad that I don’t get to see Grace, Anna and Eve very much though.
Libby: I don’t think our relationship has been the same without Anna
Grace: I prefer not to see anyone at all now I can’t see you all every day.
Camille: in the end i never came home, i live in beccles forever now