While in the UK and Europe for a run of festivals last year, including The Great Escape and Primavera Sound, Australian group HOLY HOLY documented their experiences while on the road and share with us their tour diary.
From driving through Europe and being regular tourists, to pre-show exercises and visiting the great John Bonham’s grave, follow the band through their travels overseas:
Matt Redlich, AKA Matt Dugred, AKA Haymount Dug Red, taking in the evening air at the Whitechapel overground station, London. Matt dressed in the same suit for the entire tour. I don’t even know if he had a change of clothes. All I saw him in was black pants, white shirt, jacket and black shoes. I hope he had a few versions of this same outfit because we spent three and a half weeks sharing the tour van together. Either way, he scrubs up pretty good.
Screen shot #1. Me licking my middle finger. Why would I lick my finger? No-body knows. This was taken from the screen of a photographer in London with whom we did some new press snaps.
Driving on to the Euro tunnel train. I didn’t realise it was as simple as paying for your ticket, and driving directly on to the train. In about half an hour, you’re in France. Only problem being: in the UK, you drive on the right hand side of the vehicle. Which isn’t the case in Europe. It was a fraught experience attempting to navigate the narrow lanes of the German Autobahn, in a vastly oversized vehicle, with SAT NAV yelling at you, on the wrong side of the road.
Screen shot #2: I really couldn’t resist this one. Tim experiencing a deep moment during the shooting of a live in-studio performance in Amsterdam.
The Cologne Cathedral, or ‘Köln Dom’, Germany. This is quite something to behold. Photos don’t really do it justice. Thankfully didn’t get destroyed in bombing raids during the war – although, that might have been because the British used it as a navigation landmark. So destroying it would have made no sense. I think they started building it in the 1200s… and finished in the 1800s. That’s quite a project to plan. It took us around 3 years to record this album, and that felt like an eternity.
Cologne Cathedral mkII. Doctored up by our sound engineer, Jono Steer. Each member of the band; stuck in a statue; forever.
The obligatory camera shack photo, taken in Berlin. The weird guy in the left hogging the frame isn’t a band member… that’s my brother, he lives there. And there’s Matt Redlich again in the middle (plus his white suit shirt).
Bruges. Have you seen In Bruges? Funny (sort of) scene involving this clock tower. We didn’t play in Bruges, we just stopped off there on the mammoth drive between Berlin and Manchester, the night before jumping back on the Euro tunnel. Drank a Belgian beer and ate expensive pasta in the square, that was nice.
Tim, being belligerent, backstage after a show in Liverpool. He has a VERY healthy set of chest hair to complement his beard. It is possible he was just being belligerent because I was following him around with a camera whilst he had his top off.
Pre show exercises before our show at London Calling, Amsterdam. a) social media exercises (Ryan Strathie), b) weird-stretches-that-probably-do-my-lower-back-more-harm-than-good (myself), c) actual proper warm-ups (Tim).
After our show in Ghent, Belgium. Just around the corner from the venue is this ominous looking black building. After some snooping around, we discovered this is actually Soulwax’s recording studio. Couldn’t get a glimpse inside, but photos online look pretty special. I didn’t realise Soulwax were from the small, unassuming town of Ghent, Belgium. But there you go.
Liverpool Sound City, Liverpool. Empty festival? No, this was before doors opened. We were lucky enough to catch The Flaming Lips in soundcheck, playing the same section of a song over and over and over again. A lot of attention to detail. Unfortunately we couldn’t stick around to actually watch them play, as we had to dash off to Bristol to play that evening.
Enjoying a Spinal Tap moment, not far outside of Birmingham, England. This is John Bonham’s grave. Our drummer, Ryan Strathie (who has more than his fair share of Bonham running through his veins) insisted that we check it out. Clearly, we aren’t the first band to have done so, given the amount of drum sticks and cymbals adorning the gravesite. He was only 32 years old when he died.
Primavera Sound #1. A moment of togetherness before the final show of the tour, at Primavera Sound, Barcelona.
Primavera Sound #2. Taken by our manager, Jess Beston, from the back of stage. It was quite an experience, playing in Spain, overlooking the Meditteranean, as the sun went down. And then watching a whole bunch of other acts play – Ariel Pink, Perfume Genius, The Church and of course The Strokes, The Black Keys, Interpol… (the list goes on)…
The Great Escape returns to Brighton next month! For more details head HERE. For more details about Liverpool Sound City, which takes place May 28th and 29th, head HERE. For more details about Primavera Sound, which takes place from June 1st to 5th, head HERE. And follow Holy Holy on their Facebook page!