We leave Belgium, happy with all the shows so far, and are heading into the UK. The bus ride is interrupted early morning at the ferries by UK customs who thinks we're too slow and even heads into the bus to chase us from bed. We give 'em passports and red eyes and then go back into our bunks. Next morning we wake up in Manchester where we have a day off. The peeps at the Academy venue are kind enough to let us use the toilet and shower facilities. The venue is located in a university area and the weather is surprisingly mild so we have a little walk around and eat kebabs at excellent Abdul's. Next day is gig time. We played this venue with Paradise Lost back in November. It's a nice small place with an ok stage. The gig is great, place seems packed and the audience is enthusiastic. Some of us go to a nearby bar afterwards, but I was better off watching movies in the bus.
Next up is Nottingham, at their Rock City complex. This is also a venue we have played before, some years back. We just chill out in the backstage area before the gig and have no real expectations but once going on the (small) stage the UK audience once again proves to be more lively and cheerful than what we had seen so far in mainland Europe. The place seems to be filled and I have the feeling of doing a good gig! I really like the small sweaty clubs, it is far superior to playing large outdoor festivals where stages are huge and the audience is 20 meters away. We close the set with a couple of encore songs and then get back to the backstage where we hook up with our friend Martin Curtis-Powell (ex. My Dying Bride, Cradle of Filth) and his wife. We drink some beers with them and have a good time.
We are all very fueled up for the London show at the Garage, which turns out to be sold out. We hook up with our management and record label, having dinner and make business decisions. Sound check feels good, the monitor lady is a pro. The gig is all we hoped for and more, crowd is great and very supportive. Afterwards we chill out with a few beers and then have to take off to the next gig which is the Hammerfest festival in Wales.
- Jonas Renkse, Katatonia, 2010