As I had forgotten to take a key back to the reception, I had to return that by post in the morning. One of the things that’s so easy to forget but such a pain to sort out. Me and Neil arrived at Anarchy Brew Co first, during someone’s stag party. It made us very nervous as it seemed as if we’d have to load in through these crowds of rowdy old guys. Thankfully, they cleared off, but left the venue looking very big and empty.

This is by far the weirdest, but at the same time, most outstanding venues of the tour. Great drinks made right there, huge floor, and great staff. It definitely is one to look back on for one reason or another. 

In the morning we went to go get breakfast. This ended us up bouncing between a tonne of bad places either offering a full Sunday dinner or just cakes. Neither of which are very breakfast-y. Thankfully, we stumbled across a lovely little cafe in North Yorkshire. The Sprouted Kitchen did everything we wanted, and ended up being absolutely amazing.

When first arriving at the venue, we originally thought it was very similar to last night, being in a brewery. But upon going upstairs, we realised how amazing this venue is. Amazing lighting, sound, a lot of floor space. The best dressing room anyone could invent too! Franny got hot wings that not even his Texan pallet could handle. In the process he offered it to Dan and Chris, they got annihilated worse than Franny did. 

Before Norwich, we started the day off in a farm cafe again, quite a strange place with llamas and family’s packing it out on a Monday morning. On the way to Norwich, we hit some horrible traffic which meant we ended up being a bit late to the venue for packing in. Waterfront was a perfect place for a band like drift, with a fairly small looking room but a big cap.

The next day, we arrived at Rushden Lakes on our day off, opting to go into the Lago Lounge before checking into our hotel a few minutes away. During our time here we all split up in the day for shopping and walk around the lake, which was gorgeous. Later on, however, a few of us got food and went to watch Batman together. Kiran fell asleep midway through, and sat upright with glasses on, he resembled himself in 60 years. 

When Batman had finished, Francis said we could go to his room for some drinks and to chill out. However within the ten minutes it took for us to get back to the Travelodge, he didn’t answer his phone, leaving us to fall Alex to let us in. Francis was awake after all, and in going to his room, the lady at reception asked Dan if he was alright, to which he sunk back into the room. Almost like a child on a trip getting told off for being awake too late. After all this havoc, we managed to make it to Franny’s room where we saw his karate moves, abnormal flexibility and Dan’s headstands.

One thing I’ve not mentioned nearly enough is Neil’s operatic singing upon drives. As early as 10 he is up singing his heart out to 80’s hits. I wish we could have auctioned him off to go in the van more often. Getting through the singing in the morning, we arrived at Thekla, which is a venue inside an old boat. Neil set up his camera on a speaker attached to the roof which would give a seasick effect if anyone nudged it, I thought that was quite fitting seeing as we’re on a boat.

One of the usual hiccups that doesn’t take long to fix but is inevitable on tour is the soundcheck woes. However, some are certainly worse than others and today was not a great one. Thanks to Franny and the sound team there it was solved fairly quickly. This crowd got very rowdy, and before OD even went on, I had to get someone kicked out for being as wobbly as if the ship was sailing in a storm. 

Before heading off to the London venue Oslo, me and Neil went to look around Abbey Road. We ended up taking some of the classic tourist photos for Neil, and he took a bit of a long stride across the walk, which no doubt made the drivers mad.

This load in has to be the worst one of this tour. You have to park in front of an Iceland, move the stuff about 150m to the front door, and then up the long and winding metal staircase. This is one that I would be sad to load in again! London was a great show to end it off with, with a fantastic crowd, great performances, and fun times throughout all. At the end of the night, we packed it all up, had a few pints and said until next time. 

On the whole, this being my first time on tour, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. The nicest band in the world, the funniest situations, and the best music heard nightly. Tour is energy-draining, stressful and a lot of tough situations are put in front of you. But great memories, and funny conversations. I deeply hope I get to do this all again; it has been life-changing.