22 + Arcane Roots 13/11-17/11, England

Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield, Southampton, London – to be precise.

I am not looking forward to uploading pics for this. 71 in the facebook album.
(actually. the photos will be in the next, shorter, post)
Yeay. Also, looks like I’m writing in some kind of english? Oh, why not.
ANYWAY.
Back from procrastinating by reading this amazingly awesome blog:
http://craigernestkneale.blogspot.com/
(drummer of Twin Atlantic… who we will get back to)

So. Hungover as hell I dragged myself to the airport, slept, came to London. Decided to walk to Victoria, which was a good idea considering the weather.

Bus to Liverpool, got there late (for me) and tore through three shops trying to find some tights. Not an easy feat on a sunday evening, let me tell you.
Succeeded after all and with all the items of clothing on me that I should have on me, it was time to head for the venue. Standing outside, 10minutes after the fb-event said doors would open. Was it open?
Of course not. I need to relax more when it comes to this kind of shows.

Got in, sat on a coach drinking beer with a girl I met outside.
Suddenly a very happy looking guy turns up.
“JOSEFINE!! You made it!”
“…yes! Of course I did!”
“That’s great! Awesome! Have to go, see you later!”

Me:o_O
Girl beside me: “You KNOW him??”
Me: “er…”
“That’s the singer in ARCANE ROOTS!!”
“..OH. Right! Awesome!”

Having only written a couple of times on their fb-wall, that wasn’t the reception I expected. Nice though! (And, they are some of the nicest guys around.)

After a while it was time for the first supportband that were much better than I thought from just looking at them. Good surprise! They were not called Battleships. The other supportband was, and they were not really my thing.

Then, 22! Been looking forward to this since May, so expectations were high.
And they didn’t disappoint. The energy and the feeling and the visuals are unsurpassable. Amazing.  I was smiling like a maniac, both on that gig and the ones that followed. New songs turned out very well live, and got to hear Mind vs. Mind! They pulled that one off as well of course.
A lot of norwegians on that gig. Which was fun. Why are all the norwegians in Liverpool though?
(when I’m namedropping songs in this post, remember that I’ve no idea what songs they played on which gig. I’ve no memory for that stuff, except in general terms.)

And theeeen Arcane Roots! I knew they were good from listening to the EP, but man, did they blow me away live. Too bad I really didn’t know any of the lyrics for the whole tour except for ‘In This Town of Such Weather’ and ‘You Are’. Though of course the music wasn’t any less exceptional for that.

After the gigs there was talking, got the new ‘Kneel Estate EP’, showed off the tattoo a bit more, and then off to bed. Dumbstruck by the quality of the music and how incredibly nice all of them are, in both bands.

Birmingham the day after, got another look at the horrifying Selfridge’s building.
(Then, I went off the blog for two days, but here we go again!)
Theeen I went to the hostel, then I went to The End, said hi to the Roots, then hostel again, nothing, beans on toast, nothing, nothing GIGTIME!
Or so I thought. Had been told doors were at seven, which indeed they were.Into the venue I went. There I hung out with gearboxes and a sofa. And my iPodgames. For two hours.

Then, GIGTIME!
First out were Decades and they happened to be great. VERY Editors. So I was happy, and so was the bartender in the Editors t-shirt. Now an album would be good, thank you.

22 were on after that and you know, what am I supposed to write now?
Great! Fantastic! Amazing! YEAH!
True, but I’m running out of superlatives here so there will be no such thing as in-depth concert reviews (or even one) in this post.

I was blown away by every gig on this tour, the smile on my face during and after shows just kept growing. There is SUCH a rush in seeing a truly great live band/band live that I can’t even come close to describing it for you. It isn’t just about what songs they played and were they good or bad live. It isn’t all about the sound being amazing or the lights mindblowing. It isn’t all about the crowd going wild. It is all of that, and more.
Transcendence.

Oops. I think I actually managed to write something I really meant there.
So after the great shows I was in very high spirits (that’s what you get when someone kicks you in the head and then buys you a pint) and so spent maybe 15minutes going on and on about how Arcane Roots should totally support Twin Atlantic sometime. I’m sure Adam (bass, Roots) were quite tired of me after a while. But no matter! Made some great new acquaintances as well and then it was home to the hostel.

Oh god I haven’t even written about Sheffield yet. Where I ended up after a very uneventful bustrip, tram and walk to the hostel and then. Nothing. No one in the reception and so, no checking in. Ended up dragging the bag all the way to Corporation (30min walk, yay?) and then back again. Receptionists reaction? “Oh, sorry you had to wait. Now give us the money.” Though that might not have been his exact words. I do have a feeling it’ll be Travelodge next time though.
Even if they don’t have free toast.

Toilets at the Corporation (or just that part of the building in general) smells like a stable. Thoughts on why, anyone? Had my first pint of Strongbow for the trip, good as always.  Hung about after the gigs, as per always, and YAY got a t-shirt. Arcane Roots have a t-shirt design I’ve been drooling over since I started listening and now it is mine, my very own. Along with the EP of course. If I’m looking forward to the album? Well yeah, you could say that.

Then, while I’m standing around doing my usual nothing, I hear, suddenly, a snatch of conversation. It went like this:
“Adam! Our manager called, we’ve been offered to support Twin Atlantic!”
Adam: “Josefine! Did you hear that?!”
Me:o_O
“………..I DIDN’T MEAN ON THIS TOUR! I can’t afford going to THIS tour!”

So. Arcane Roots will be supporting Twin Atlantic on their FREE-ZE tour and I will be sitting here at home moping very much about it.
(Though it was nice to be able to say “TOLD YOU!”)

And I didn’t get a ride to Southampton, but rather dragged my bag and myself to the hostel and slept. Until 6. Then a 6hour busride, but I slept away half so thats fine. Had my very first Travelodge experience in Southampton, good one! I mean, Escape to the Country, what more can you ask for?

Went off to Joiners, no idea about doors. Came there, heard ‘Oxygen’ through the walls andof course my first and very logical reaction was to assume they had started at 6:30, all the doors had just happened to come closed and locked and I was missing out. A minute after that my brain had cought up and I was reading instead. Much better. (Yes, I know it was obvious that it was soundcheck.)
And then! Who’s there if not Anthony? Long time no see!

Got inside, had pints, talked about music (a lot of the time that consisted of me ranting about the awesomeness of Fair to Midland. But to be fair, they ARE awesome). I might have gone on about Ninetone for a length of time as well. Luckily, no one died of boredom, even though my talking increased with the beer. Also met Joe from the U.S with the amazing 22-tattoo on his back. Great guy too, glad to have met him!

After the show there was no such thing as a party, so it ended up with way too much pizza instead. Fine by me. Got into London at maybe 2 the day after and what can you do then except head off to the Ice Wharf?
Exactly. There is nothing else to do in London, so off I went.
Read ‘The Kite Runner’ and though it is one of the better books I’ve ver read, it is not one for before gigs. Emotional anyone? Almost crying? Yeah, great mindset.

Then to the Barfly! A lot of people (after a while that is, I’m sure it surprises no one that I was early) and a lot of cider! Met the great girls from Birmingham who then proceeded to buy me a pint, who cares that I just bought one myself?
Trails were supporting, wish I’d liked them better.
Got to record sound for Molecyl (opening song, 22), wonder how that turned out? Then it was enjoying the show and ducking Eduardos camera and Magnus guitar. I managed both, if I may say so myself. For Arcane Roots I got stuck behind two photographers but I’m sure they enjoyed my headbanging as much as I did.

After the show I met even MORE great people, didn’t drink nearly enough, probably spent more time outside the pub than inside and then, why, it was time to catch the bus bound to Stansted.
But I’ll be back. Soon enough.

(I know, the end’s a bit hurried, but my back is aching)

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