Day 4/34 - Sheperds Bush Empire, London, England - 31.10.10
We're now starting to get comfortable on the road. Sleeping in a moving bus is like a breeze, and there is a well established odour inside. Apart from a midnight border control the 625km drive from Groningen to London is unnoticeable. We wake up in a coach parking lot, and slowly try to make our way through the not-so-busy streets of London, looking for tonights venue; the Sheperds Bush Empire. The long drives have started to affect our clocks, and when we finally find the place, the new timezone makes sure we're an hour too early. Fortunately killing spare time is also something you become good at on tour, and this time the nearest mall gets a visit from Leprous. Yes, men can shop (but it's absolutely exhausting).
The old theater can fit 2000 people and the large stage makes for an easy rig. Our backstage is located on the fourth floor (or third, if your british) and as the evening progresses, we get to know the elevator. My index finger also get an unwilling encounter with one of the heavy western-like slam doors. My day has begun. Our usual backstage rig of four Macs, a PC and a juice machine is up and running. We hit a brick wall: no Wi-Fi. Our world crumbles.. What now?? Our 21st century abstinences kicks in. I elegantly replace it with my guitar while all the others stare into infinity, waiting for divine intervention (top right photo). Several hours pass, but no gods seem to be present (except in the tour production office). With my smashed finger in mind, my wonderful day reminds me; I forgot my stage outfit in the bus (parked back the lot). For the first time the daily jogging routine of the others comes in handy. I get to keep on playing.
As the clock hits the 17 mark, it's time for our sound check. As usual, we're lucky to have an experienced crew and the stage sound is awesome. FOH (Front Of House, that is, the sound that hits the audience) is as usual taken care of by our young and talented, danish friend Joakim that's traveling with us on the bus. My monitors sound great and I'm only left with optimism for tonights show. We leave the stage to the Swedish fellows in Loch Vostok; the other support band for Therions Sitra Ahra tour of Europe.
The show is minutes away and I suddenly remember I forgot to hand over tonights merchandise to Therion's merch lady, Mary. I fix it at the last minute. Anyway, Lock Vostok finishes their show and we hit the stage. The crowd seems prepared for Leprous, but I find out my monitors obviously are not, and so my day continues. Technical issues prevent me from relaxing, but the crowd is awesome and we are able to keep the energy up throughout the show.
The astonishing buy-out of £7 per person gets us a meal at a shabby indian place, and all leftover pounds and pence are spent on a taxi back to the bus. The one and only show here in England is over, and we go to sleep heading south to Belgium..