Amazing dressing rooms and backstage today and just a great venue to boot. This was the last show on the European tour with Ne Obliviscaris supporting, and the first on numerable others, though I am a little disappointed by the initial lack of a cooked breakfast (it's usually the rule here) but at least the heavy duty coffee machine is active.
A quick shower before they're infected by the masses and then a day of circumnavigating my travel belongings, catching up on emails, the usual shit.
The soundcheck is a really good one as the room is perfectly balanced and we bump into one Jamie C from Anathema who also works here as a sound engineer. Dinner is great and we listen to music, shoot a small promo video for our forthcoming show in Jakarta, meet up with Rob from Epica and prepare for the show in a relaxed and superlative manner.
At eight o'clock sharp Lindsay gets up with Moonspell during their set to sing 'Scorpion Flower' with the guys, which sounds elegant and goes down really well with the audience who might be used to seeing local girl Anneke Van Giersbergen guest. For a few minutes tonight Moonspell have taken a vampire to their werewolf fold.
The gig is sold out and is rampant enough, my first move on stage sees me bashing my head off of the low ceiling by monitor world (who'd have bloody thought!?). The sound isn't quite as good as it was during soundcheck but still it's an absolute belter and having finished with the extra FTCTE and audience photo, we proceed to a backstage area filled with people.
A little awkward when you're half undressed, wearing Spider-Man pants straight out of a shower situation, detritus ensuing. Still, everyone is friendly enough (one of Nuclear Blast's latest signings, 'Bleeding Gods' are the main protagonists) and they help partake of the Sold Out Show Cryptoriana cake we receive from the venue. Which is a nice gesture, on both accounts.
The bus doesn't leave until nine in the morning so there are friends and stragglers around the bus for a fair while once we're kicked out, Dougal, Richard and I preferring the upstairs front lounge for a lengthy chat before being out to bed in our coffins.
2nd February 2018e.h @ Haarlem, Patronaat, Holland
I wake up to a view of a very close grey ceiling through the bus corridor's skylight this morning, meaning that we are parked indoors. Or in the belly of a whale.
This venue was Dougal's first show for Cradle Of Filth back in 2012. It's very modernist, with an Arts Council typevibe about the building. Laid back, there's a
A hippy nature about the place (or Holland in general?), with the first thing we see on the walls of the stairwell being painted murals of Hieronymus Boschian quality. There's even a Cradle Of Filth one, which appears to be a small headed evil owl, with peanut men coming out of a door at its base. The picture is posted below if you think that description does nothing for you...
A good afternoon, showering, eating, repairing, practising, and although nothing especially leaps out until dinner, the day is spent busy and contented. Dinner is downstairs in the bowels of the building in a sectioned off area with fairy lights and picnic tables, which feels like someone's back garden, despite the otherwise claustrophobia nature of the place. And the chicken and noodles is amazing.
Our manager Steve shows up a few hours before showtime and regales us with tour stats and other developments, including a great show we have to turn down because of prior commitments, and it's to the fray of battle that we then head pumped-up, but not before a band picture in front of the giant painted Cradle Of Filth owl, with the club owner first.
The show is possibly the best of the tour thus far, it's one of those shows that just falls into place everywhere. The sound is stunning, the sound of the mic, monitors and in-ears is all balanced and malleable and the audience are right up for it from start to finish.
I try to make Lindsay fluff her lines in Nymphetamine by pulling some strange moves and stranger faces, to comedic effect, and the guys are either pulling classic heavy metal shapes or on the case of Richard, chewing the stage or dribbling on the audience!
We return to the backstage area to shoot the shit and all the other extravagances that come with being in a fully-fledged touring rock outfit, including pizzas, Chocomel, long hot showers, heavy metal music and funny-tasting 'special' Dutch chocolates some friends have made.
I hit the sack almost immediately I'm back on board the bus and into my cosy red nest, extolling the virtues of having a chilled-out day and a great show because of it.
3rd February 2018e.h @Hyde Park, Osnabruck, Germany
I love this venue. I won't go over its origins as I've laboured in previous blogs, suffice to say it's a little like a circus tent and it was built after the original, which was once across the street and that was more circussy.
We take the dressing room near the catering area for the first time playing here and I am surprised to find two additional rooms, including an outside Production office in a shed. A very well heated shed I hasten to add, as the cold rain that has kept me from exploring the surrounding forest soon turns to snow over the course of the afternoon.
There is a definite sense of theatre here in Hyde Park, and once the shadows lengthen, the whole place lights up like a old sideshow and coupled with the smell of indoor fast food vendors and tobacco (another German smoking venue-Eurgh!), the place is very carnival-esque.
We have a chiropractor visit today called Tobias who offers his services in return for our company and the show, for which we are only too happy to oblige, being the misshapen messes you've all come to know and love. He delivers some neck-cracking brutality all of his own and realigns everyone in the Cradle entourage's spine.
I kid you not.
The show is another killer, delivered with ferocity.
Saturday nights are always good nights for shows and this is no exception. We play our devilish little hearts out and then retreat to the dressing rooms for further chiropractic shenanigans and the after show nightclub, which is alternative, so we possibly won't get to see the prevalent German two-step at large tonight.
We go a bit crazy on the jaeger bombs, dance about like hooligans and then crash out in all our clothes in the bus come the two o'clock bus call. Well, at least I did all these things!