Celebrating 30 goddamned WWW years: 1994-02-17
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JBC gets on the bus at 5am Peter Crouch is roaring drunk. Tony Foster considers bashing him. Drive and float to Paris. French tour promoter is young and practically monolingual. Tony considers belting him. JBC play four live songs and executes lengthy interview all live on Bernard Lenoir, national radio. Dooj falls asleep. JBC buy beers and rehearse in a garage until two or three in the morning, with friends who skin up. Tony considers marrying them. A long day.
16.2 Paris : Theatre L'European
Seated; 300 people, some drunks.
17.2 Bordeaux : Le Jimmy
650km. drive to Bordeaux. Wake up at the back, you're on tour. Joe Foster gets in massive ruck with everyone in the restaurant at dinner. Tony considers judging him. Le Jimmy (yes!) is a punky club with about 200 souls. We rock. Many drunks.
18.2 Nates : Floride
Tiny club, fragile heads. Lead singer buys cakes for all. What a swell guy. Pete makes the first of many doomed sexual overtures, later asks promoter for girl's address. Pat, Kathie, Joe and Dooj stay at the Holiday Inn. Tony, Nick and Pete stay in small concentration camp above the club, which was severely overloaded at 150 people.
19.2 Rennes : Ubu
Short drive today, which is fortunate as Tony succeeds in running out of petrol today. Tony considers bashing everybody. T.V. Smith of the Adverts opens, solo and acoustic. He is great. Some 150 customers, the show a little dull, but a great party afterwards.
20.2 Lorient : Le Manege Enchante
(that's the "Magic Roundabout", you Brits). Beer for breakfast. Beer for lunch. This is more like it. Joe fails to get delays moving at soundcheck. Pat considers having him sent to Siberia. Pretentious Mexican dinner. Everyone considers dropping everybody else. Dooj terrorised in dressing room by enormous dog called "The Head". Pat and Tony shamelessly collaborate with the beast, which Joe insists is a bear. Staggeringly pretentious support group. JBC deliver first really hot show of the tour. Only partially morose. 250 in the house. Some drunks, chief among them Tony and Pat.
21.2 Morlaix : Le Coatelan
Onstage at 8:00 pm on a sunday in an ART SHED near a village in French Wales. 50 punters. Brilliant. Dinner of the tour follows.
Drive back to Paris. See Pascal. Get paid.
a picDrive out of France very fast, as well have all had enough. Got to Breda in Holland. Tony wants us all to feel the same. It's carnival night in Breda. Photo, taken by Kathie, who was smart enough to figure this out, attached.

24.2 Breda : Zanetti
Nick has a snare drum and some brushes. The other three have guitars. Everyone sings as we play in a small stone bar with psychadelic lights for about 25 people. We're supposed to be in Rotterdam, but someone fucked up. This is great fun anyway. We play King Of Joy and Bad Moon Rising, but Kathie prevents us from rendering the classic Red River Dave song the California Hippy Murders.
25.2 Amsterdam : Kremlin
A hipster hangout in a scary and squalid part of town. Small and full (100?150?) and quite cheerful. French drunks. Drive back to Breda cursing the gas stations that only work on credit cards. Tony gets breath tested by The Man and comes up negative. We all applaud as we drive away from the bewildered cops.
26.2 Breda : Para and Breda : Zanetti
A double header. We were booked for Para (100 people. Loud and vicious) but we went on to Zanetti again to play in the basement, a fabulous drugs cavern where we played not-really-acoustic at-all for extra money and laffs. Many drunks. Deep joy.
27.2 Hamburg : Logo
The first of four German dates supporting Belly. Nobody in Hamburg seems to know who they are. 350 people in a smallish club. We and they are great. Quite forget about Old Belly, who come on later and are not very interested in a typically 4AD way. Many drunks. Some narcotics abuse.
28.2 Berlin : Loft
Great journey to Berlin, wherein Tony Pat and Kathie form The New Government Of Russia (policies on application - $5,799.99). Shoddy show from the JBC but Belly are more interesting tonight. We like Gail the bass player. If anyone's worried about the two singers they're being very adult about it. 400 people in the house. East German drunks.
1.3 Munich : Charterhalle
Bus refuses to start. Pete and Pat abandon rest of party in Berlin, get in German tour manager's car and play Munich Charterhalleas a duo. The "club" is the hall of Munich's only-just-disused airport. Intimate it isn't especially with only 200 people in this huge barn. We all have fun, though, and loot Belly's booze n stuff ruthlessly. Meanwhile, in Berlin, Joe fails to find the way to Cologne for four hours. Everyone, I'm told, considers stabbing him.
2.3 Cologne : Luxor
We arrive to find that Belly's van has broken down. We laugh and send Tony in The Love Bus to rescue them. 400 people, a really good show. Many drunks, some violent.
We drive to Freiburg. On the way, entirely by chance, we pull in at what must be the only vegetarian motorway restaurant in Europe. Deep joy, snow, vodka, Freiburg, pizza, bliss.
4.3 Valenza Po : Circolo Palomar
Long scary drive over the Alps to Italy. 50 people watch us play for over two hours at a wonderful club. The chap on stage doing the handstands and shit is the promoter. The hotel has llamas.
5.3 Florence : Auditorium Flog
(No, honest!). 800 in a huge discotheque and a rider that would embarrass the support group at the Rock Garden. No wonder the singer punched out the toilet doors in the dressing room. This offers the cue for the release of general mayhem, not helped by the Hotel Putana where we have been put. Great concert, insulting promoters, bloody night.
6.3 Forli : Ex Macchina
Small, communist-run club, the opposite of last night, and all the more pleasing. 150 people, many drunks, and a support group something like Bauhaus. More drunks.
7.3 Salzburg : Nonntal
Pete, acting on an internal agenda that has led him to drink solidly for 72 hours, disappears in the middle of the night to devote his time to serving drinks on British Airways. "A little twist with that?" JBC are expected in Salzburg, so we drive. It also appears that the Love Bus is ready to expire at any moment, so will fill the tank with the engine running. Somewhere on the way I am seized of a powerful idea and make a phone call. Salzburg -Nonntal. We arrive after hours of anxious bus stuff and full scale Alpine blizzard. There isn't much time for a soundcheck. I just turn up the Telecaster and hope for the best. 200 people, a nervy beginning. It ended up well. "You don't need another guitarist" says the promoter. Smiling, I make another phone call. Promoter buys us all an elaborate dinner. Tony considers sloshing him.
We have a day off in Salzburg, which is all it takes. I stay in bed till five, have a meal in the Styrian bar, pick up our secret weapon and go back to the Styrian bar, where I meet the group and introduce them to Alex Lee . Jagermeister. Drunks.
9.3 Lienz : Glocklturm
This is where it gets Really Weird. The Love Bus finally clocks out at lunchtime, and we travel the last 80km to the show on the back of a tow-truck. In the dark. Through Alps. The show is somebody's 40th birthday surprise. He has one leg. Whoooa. Lix makes his live JBC debut. Very loud. Very exciting. All drunk. The whole town.
10.3 Innsbruck : Utopia
200 people. Back in the hotel where we were previously narrowly prevented from stealing the ducks. No sign of any ducks this time. Dinner in the rudest restaurant in the world. All think about biffing the propriator, but don't because he's Turkish and it wouldn't do to be misunderstood.
11.3 Vienna : Szene Wien
300 people (more?) Opening act is one "Jac", a lone 19 year old Austrian who is brilliant. JBC follow him on and open with Girls Say Yes , which Lix has just remembered a few minutes ago. It, and all that follows it, walks a charmed route through chaos, and by the end of the night I am fairly sure that this was the best JBC show ever. Many drunks, nightclubs. Kathie, Lix and I end up in the hotel manager's apartment.
12.3 Ebensee : Kino
Ebensee is reached down a lakeside road with bizarre gothic tunnels cut through forbidding rock faces, all decorated with ancient coats of arms. "Castle? There is no castle HERE..." Dooj cracks two ribs cannoning into a p.a. stack. We seize Gerard Langley's silly mic-stand, which he left here. We still have it and taunt him with it at regular intervals. Thousands of drunks.
13.3 Dornbirn : Spielboden
We close the tour in one of our favourite venues. Two guitars and one amplifier loaded on the Love Bus in urgent need of some professional maintenance. Notable for acapella rendition of Winter Wonderland enlivened by guitar roadie's fetching alto harmony. She is not, however, yet expected to appear onstage with a lot of keyboards. Drunks.
GREAT ROAD JOURNEYS OF HISTORY: We leave Dornbirn, on the Austro/Swiss border after a lengthly lunchtime beer session, during which it is agreed the We Still Love The Old World. We arrive in Breda on the Dutch/Belgian border at midnight and go to Zanetti's to get irredeemably twisted. We even stop for a proper dinner on the way. This is not possible, but we did it anyway.
Go to Belgium, but a lot of cheap beer, miss two boats, go to the pub, get on the boat, get drunk, get paid (I got £27!), go home.
Best European tour since 1988
Not as violent or drunk, but more mental and musical. I felt that we really did a lot to remind people how good this thing can be, and the dates with Lix were Something Else. Funny how things turn out.
Tony Foster : First Driver, Justice and Security
Kathie McGinty : Relief driver, guitars and backline tech
Joe Foster : Sound tech
Nick Burson : Drums, voice
Dooj Wilkinson : Bass, guitar, voice
Pat Fish : Guitars, voice
Peter Crouch : Guitars (France, Holland, Germany, Italy)
Alex Lee : Guitars (Austria)