Over four nights in the UK, three of the most exciting underground British bands loaded up the van and headed out for a mini tour of London, Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham. Psych-doomers Ohhms were joined by Bossk and Hark on the jaunt, for what was probably one of the riffiest and sludgiest little packages of the year. But how did it go from a band’s perspective? Well, Ohhms frontman Paul Waller wrote us a little tour diary complete with little galleries) for an inside look into one of the best new heavy bands around.
Day One: Boston Music Rooms, London
This tour was the weirdest. When booking the London show for this run with Bossk we took advantage of the date and booked it on April 20 (420, geddit!). Then we would wait three weeks for Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham. Sounds easy, right? Except that all of us forgot to book the day off work as 420 fell on a Thursday, so we pretty much got to the venue with seconds to spare before jumping on stage.
Running on pure adrenaline we somehow pulled it off. No soundcheck, no messing about, we played a track from each of our releases, packed up, watched Bossk, and jumped back in the van for work the next day. Standard!
Day Two: Rebellion, Manchester
Today was the first time that we played some of the new songs from The Fool live. Playing these songs in front of an audience for the first time was proper exciting and somewhat nerve-wracking – it feels like we are a new band again. Because these songs are so green I felt we were pretty static when playing them, concentrating on getting the music right rather than letting it flow through our bodies naturally. Saying that, it was a particular relief for me that the crowd cheered loudest when we introduced the song The Hanged Man, for a 12-minute sludgy track that explores the scummy headlines of tabloid newspapers. I was proper shocked that the audience related to this song the most.
Day Three: Audio, Glasgow
We love Scotland. Another packed out and cool-looking venue, this time situated under some train tracks. Looking at all the posters on the walls I could see that loads of my favourite artists were playing here in the coming weeks and that got me pretty hyped up as soon as I walked into the place.
Today I sat behind the merch desk for a fair amount of time and the Scottish contingent turned out to be proper chatty. I found out that a couple had travelled from Falkirk and a few had made the trip over from Edinburgh, I was asked what our song The World was about and before I knew it I had been talking for 15 minutes and ignored all those wanting to buy shirts. I guess I make a crappy salesman.
The set was shorter tonight and much punchier because of that. I love it when the guys gel from the off and musically we sync, hammering down as one – tonight was one of those. The crowd was fist-pumping and headbanging. It was amazing stuff. Scotland kills it yet again.
Day Four: The Flapper, Birmingham
I’m writing this in the van going home; still two hours to go until I hit my bed, and I am going to hit it hard. Birmingham was simply incredible; it made me wish that we could have added on a few more dates with our new bestest buds in Bossk. They are proper nice lads. It’s always awkward when you end up touring with a band and you don’t really get on.
There seemed to be as many photographers in the crowd as punters tonight – the place was heaving. Lots of people turned up in our merch which was cool to see as well. That’s one of the things about being in a band that still amazes me, when people ‘get it’ they care so much about us it’s mental. So when I came off stage I spent at least five minutes shaking hands and cuddling burly men in leather jackets, which is nice. I would think about this more and how intense this long weekender has been but for now all I can think about is bed.
Ohhms new album The Fool is out now, via Holy Roar Records.