The Raven Age were recently granted the opportunity of a lifetime – to tour the UK with the one and only Anthrax! From Birmingham to Norwich, via Scotland and the north, life in the back of a van (or a broken tour bus) wasn’t going to be easy, but opening up for the thrash titans every night definitely made up for it.
To give us a glimpse on what it’s like to tour the UK supporting one of the biggest bands in metal, The Raven Age sent us over a ton of photos for a special tour diary. It’s not all glitz and glamour when you’re starting out, but when people bring you whisky it makes everything okay.
When the new tour bus isn't quite ready, you just have to work out other arrangements. Taking two vehicles, we loaded up and set out for Birmingham, driven by our very own bass playing serial vapist, Mr Matt Cox.
Arriving in good time we unloaded all our gear from the vans and had some time to chill out in the dressing room. Having met and played together on the Book Of Souls world tour, it was fantastic to be reunited with Frank and Joey of Anthrax!
Also a huge shout out to our friend and legendary guitarist of Wearing Scars, Mr Andy James. It was awesome of him to come down to support and help us out.
A successful start to the tour by all. Home show tomorrow!
We arrived at the Forum around midday, greeted by the rain and sleet that London had to offer us. Task one: load in.
Setting up the merchandise is a crucial daily activity.
The Forum in Kentish Town is an impressive venue.
After some rather severe technical issues, we managed to pull everything together with just seconds to go. We received a fantastic response from the home crowd.
George drove us to Manchester and we failed to look metal as fuck. We received good news about our tour bus – hopefully we will be reunited with it in Norwich.
Do not fall asleep, you will get mugged off. TM looks impressed. Mike's balancing skills are formidable.
Loading out duties after the show gave rise to a new exciting slogan: "Lads on taurine!"
Mike, Tony and Jai, enjoying an aftershow beer on the way to the hotel in Penrith.
We arrived in Bristol and set up shop in the space made available to us. George visits questionable internet pages, Matt and Luke talk bollocks, Max is hard at work.
The view from the first-floor balcony with the Anthrax techs hard at work.
George and our TM Luke share a totally un-improvised moment of man-love. The first rule of touring: happy TM is happy band, and happy band is happy tour.
A great snap of Matt during soundcheck, in some smoke that isn't his own.
Off we go to Nottingham in our new tour bus! It managed a whopping 27.7 miles to South Mimms service station. Power began to drop and we discovered that the bus favoured pissing diesel all over the motorway rather than feeding it to the engine.
After a somewhat eventful day, Rock City was a sight for sore eyes.
Max's life is now complete after he managed to get into Time. There are often a fair few fun and quirky things backstage, including interesting messages on toilet doors and other reminders that we are not the first band to have performed there.
Nottingham was certainly in the mood to see a show! A fantastic crowd. Fourth show completed.
We arrived at this prestigious venue with plenty of time to spare. Hearing a fan say he saw Pantera play here years ago really started the day on a high. Here is George and Jai try to look hard.
After some power issues, we managed to play a solid set. The crowd were totally rocking it. Anthrax, as usual, failed to disappoint.
When familiar faces show up at gig after gig in support of what we are doing, it's always a great feeling. When they show up with decent Scottish whisky from the Inner Hebrides and a bag full of local treats, it is even better. Cheers, Pauline McGarrigle!
Anyone who has played in a band will tell you that often food is a snatch and grab, usually rather unhealthy food too. We smashed down some breakfast before driving from the hotel in Carlisle to Newcastle.
As we approach Newcastle, TM Luke gets mugged off. George does the coolest thing he has done on the tour so far.
The Raven Age FC. A bit of a kick around in the dressing room always brightens up the day. So good of them to continue hammering the ball about throughout Mike's press interview.
During setup, we created a new form of transport. Hopefully, Jai can control this thing better than he can his car because a journey in that is a seriously hair-raising experience.
Jai spends a moment of downtime enjoying the latest edition of Metal Hammer. Thank fuck they are back, thank fuck they were not gone long!
Tony, Jai, and George celebrate with an after show beer in the SU bar. It had been a fantastic run in the UK for us. Time to leave for the rest of Europe.
The Raven Age will release their debut album
. Darkness Will Rise on March 17, via BMG
Metalcore crew The Raven Age are coming for metal’s throne