Sticky Fingers Tour Diary: Part Four

15 July 2013 | 10:57 am | Sticky Fingers

"At this stage we were all pretty red faced and smiley. And necking French Pastisse from the bottle. It's fucking delicious - cheers for the tip Jerome."

Hanging with the French bikies

Hanging with the French bikies

It was our first day of rest in what felt like ages. Ironically the same break day as the Tour De France cyclists. And Dizza's four day bender finally came to an end. Looking forward to some fresh gear and a shower, he came down hard, when he realised his bag was missing. This was exaggerated by the fact that the bag contained his passport and we were about to head off to the UK. No-one knew where it had gone and there was some blame shifting, and a neat little argument ensued, complete with doors slamming and "lets take this outside" clichés. As usual we came good by morning. And had a mad time the next day smoking hashish and enjoying the delights of our mate Trucks' sound system worth $60,000… Thanks for letting us stink up your apartment for those two days Truck.

And Dizza's bag? Found in Holland (while we were in France), and picked up in one 7 hour round trip, a couple of days later.

A tour manager and a promoter. Together.

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From Hilversum, Holland, we made our way to our first ever show in Paris. It was fucking great. Solid crowd and had bunch of industry cats checking our flavours. We've since signed a contract with a French booking agent. Happy Days.

We haven't even left Europe yet and I already can't wait to get back over here and see what the big guys can do for us.

A poor attempt at a crowd shot.

Next up was Arras, France. The show was in the middle of a town square with an epic church backdrop. The square has been there since the 15th century. Apparently at one point the joint was totally covered in rubble from the Great War, which is about the state we left it by the time we were done. It was a bit of a shit fight from the word go. Cops rocked up during soundcheck and tried to close us down. The crowd booed and the awesome lady who owned the venue came out and said "I'll pay whatever fine you're threatening, but this show is going on". She coughed up a neat Eu 1,500 and we smashed out a two hour set.

Luckily the venue was really into it, and unfortunately for them, showed us their gratitude by serving us shot, after shot, after shot. The clock struck midnight and festivities ramped up even further as we began to celebrate Beaker's birthday. We gathered a crowd to sing him happy birthday in French and had a mad little crew rolling. Things got a little nasty later on with tensions rising between band members. Our tour manager Jimmy decided it was best to get us out of there before too much damage was done. This didn't stop us from having a backseat brawl on the way home in the bus. It's not worth getting into. Best to remember this is by far the longest we have been on the road together. We are blood brothers and the bullshit means nothing. We love each other very much.

Jesus channelling take 1?

Jesus channelling take 2?

Jesus needs your help.

The band woke fresh faced the next morning and Beaker's birthday celebrations continued. Our legendary French friend Phil played host. He started by giving us a rally tour around town in a converted ambulance. Sirens blazing and all. In between drives we stopped off for whisky, and Phil taught us to play two classic French games in hot spots around town. These were Toulet (French Billards) and Petanque (French Lawn bowls).

At this stage we were all pretty red faced and smiley. And necking French Pastisse from the bottle. It's fucking delicious - cheers for the tip Jerome. The group made its way to a restaurant Phil was really looking forward to showing us. When we got there the owner told us they'd closed. Phil got on the phone and made an alternate plan. "Come on I'll show you a cooler place anyway".

We ended up at a Pizza Caravan run by French bikies. And there they were.

The art of deep conversation.

All decked out in leather. Hogs lined up out the front. And a bunch of kids running around with toy AK47's shooting people. I hope you can enjoy the irony of this as much as we did. Phil approached the bikes and things got pretty heavy pretty quick. It was hard to tell what was going on as they were all yelling in French, but it was obvious Phil had said something they didn't like. The one who seemed like the leader, with a ticking time bomb inked on the back of his head got on his bike and took in a bit of a fit.

"Should we go Phil?" I asked. "No, we eat here. It's okay, I am very good in fight". The thing that made me most nervous about the situation was how hard it was to gauge what was going on. Whether we were actually in any danger or not I'm still not sure. To ease tensions I asked the gang if the band could get a photo with them and Seamus whipped out a guitar and started playing a few numbers. It all felt good from there. And the Bike Caravan cuisine was better than most pizza I've ever eaten in Australia.

Is that a water bottle in your hand?

And now here we are. In the bloody UK! We've got a few days off to regroup and then we hit The Barfly this Wednesday the 17th of July in Camden, London. And it's looking to be a sellout. Popping our UK cherry in style, and feeling pretty good about it. Gotta go now. About to go banana boating on a lake with some new friends.