Wednesday 6 May Funnel Bar, Dublin.
1998 enters into its fifth month and we manage to play our first show of the year. Well worth the wait though - from our point of view at least. A Z-man promotion, we share the bill with two great bands - Dot Creek and A-Tone. No sign of the Carrie Nations unfortunately.
Monday 25 May Brunswick Club, Belfast.
Decide to treat ourselves and let the train take the strain, which it did admirably. Arrive in Belfast on a lifeless Bank Holiday. Have a bit of trouble finding the venue, but its well worth it when we do. Its a really great place - really punk rock & a cool pizzeria on the ground floor where we get fed - and we get really well treated by the promoters and staff. We play with Backwater (from Belfast) and Come (from Boston USA). The gig itself is a lot of fun - we have some serious technical problems, but manage to acquit ourselves honourably. Backwater are cool and Come are amazing - the best rock 'n' roll band i've seen in ages. Stay in Gary's house that night - thanks a lot mate.
Tuesday 26 May Music Centre, Dublin.
Return home today to play second show in a row with Come. Spot some cool graffitti from the taxi going to the train station - in among the "Ulster Says No" slogans someone has sprayed "Bob Marley Says Yes", which is as apt as anything else. Another enjoyable show, maybe a little more subdued than the previous night if memory serves me right. Notable for the fact that Niall loses his keyboard down the side of the stage after the gig. He is forced to look for it the next day during a soundcheck by Cradle of Filth but, happily, finds it unharmed, and in possibly the strangest turn of events in a long time joins them for the rest of their European tour and has a great time.
Friday 19 June Hope & Anchor, London.
Ah, the start of the promotional tour for our debut album. A beautiful summers day, we aim for the 9.00 ferry from Dublin Port to Holyhead. One of us sleeps it out and almost misses the boat but in the end only misses loading the gear. We lose so much time in traffic in north Wales that we only get to the venue at 9pm. Play a lackluster show to a lackluster audience. London is never an easy experience for us and this was no exception. Still it was a beautiful day. Bed down in Muswell Hill for the night and watch "Murder in the Red Barn" on TV. Respect due to Stewart, Paul & Nicola for putting us up.
Saturday 20 June Leadmill, Sheffield.
Day two and we're really beginning to hit our stride. Jubilee Allstars: perhaps rock's best oiled touring machine. Start the day with an interview and session for Sean Hughes on GLR. Go back to Muswell Hill and hit Sainsburys to load up on provisions before hitting the motorway. An hour into the journey realise that we left our pot on a table in Muswell Hill - this is a major calamity but decide to say nothing and hold onto composure. Contemplate whether or not to drive to Ozzfest but decide we have a duty to the good burghers of Sheffield and stick with the original plan. Also we have to pay them back for inflicting Def Leppard on us. A beautiful summers day and the drive is fun, but when we hit Sheffield its all too easy to understand why people from the North of England would come to Ireland for their weekends. The place is absolutely lifeless. The Leadmill however is a nice exception - cool venue and staff. Gig is taped by Silk FM?. Fergus' joke about Def Leppard is greeted with absolute silence. Play with Cartoon and Drugstore: did you know their drummer uses Mick Fleetwood's old bass drum? Respect to Mia for putting us up. Cool beer on the rider too.
Sunday 21 June Attic, Edinburgh.
Are we the hardest working band in rock music today? We finally hit the home stretch of the "Wearegonnafuckinrockyou1998" tour with the Scottish expedition. The drive today is absolutely amazing - the Pennines (I think), the Angel of thr North, the Border Country and Scotland itself. Seeing Edinburgh for the first time is a total experience - a truly impressive city built out of a mountain, or so it seemed to us. Do interview with someone from a radio station who obviously thinks we're mad and cant get away from us quick enough before having possibly the worst chip shop experience ever. Nearly miss the gig as none of us can find our way back into the venue but with that obstacle overcome play probably our best gig of the three. A pity, in a way, that there wasn't anyone to see it but thats how it goes. Drink cheap chinese beer after the gig and crash with some of the Edinburgh posse before getting up at 7.00 the next morning to make the afternoon ferry from Holyhead. We make it but only by the skin of our teeth and because Paul Somers is a total fucking good guy.
Our first album and all we can muster are three dates in Britain: things can only improve from here. Console ourselves with the fact that the tour for Love's first album apparently consisted of flying from LA to NY for a record signing session and then back again. Still, From the Velvets to the Voidoids was a very worthy campanion on the road.
Saturday 8 August Mean Fiddler, Dublin.
Well after an expenditure of energy like the British campaign anyone would need a break and this is our first show since our triumphant return. The Mean Fiddler has traditionally been a bit of a bogey venue for us, but not tonight as everything goes pretty mush according to plan and we have a right laugh. Only downer is coming back earily the next morning to bring back the gear when I should really have been in bed. Rock 'n' Roll.
Friday 14 August Cleere's, Kilkenny.
Unconditionally one of the best experiences we as a band have ever had. Total rock 'n' roll mayhem and we still manage to make it home to our own beds that night. Perfect, a total skit attack.