Stripped Part One 

Saturday 27th January 2018.

The Yalla Yallas are playing their first show of the year. The Primrose in Leeds. We played our very first gig here in December 2007. So it’s a little over 10 years. It’s also the promoter Doc’s 50th Birthday. Doc is unique in terms of promoting. Posters design in Leeds City Library and graphics courtesy of clip art. Doc will book anyone. Absolutely anyone. He’s also really proud of all the acts he books. Most bands in Leeds would’ve played their first and possibly only shows for…

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Last night of the tour 

I woke up at De Graafse Akker with a surprising lack of hangover. I walk downstairs to shower and to make some tea. I’m the first awake and I’m eager to get to the next venue. We’re aiming to leave around midday but first our friends make us some delicious spring rolls for breakfast. We eat them outside in the beautiful sunshine with my tea. Over breakfast people are talking to us about the previous nights show and willing us to stay. I wish I could stay a little longer for the tour is coming to a close. 

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Den Bosch Party 

The journey from Aalst in Belgium to Den Bosch in The Netherlands took much longer than expected due to heavy traffic around Antwerp and Breda. The weather is so hot and I’m pretty tired. I wear my headphones on the journey and remain largely anti-social. We arrive in Den Bosch at around 3pm. We say quickly say hello at the venue before me and Will make our getaway. For we know of two incredible record stores in Den Bosch. We spend three hours chatting to the owners whilst browsing records. I make a few…

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Badminton in Belgium 

One thing I love about sleeping at a ladies house on tour is that everything is just that little bit nicer. The bed sheets smell of fabric softener and the shampoo is of a higher grade that sort of thing. Last nights host was Ina and her place was the touring equivalent of a 5 star hotel. Luxury. 

Yesterday was a longer drive than I imagined. We woke up at the ADM in Amsterdam. My ankle is in agony. It’s done ok so far on the tour but now it was hurting. I also had the joy of picking out some glass from my…

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I woke up relaxed and smelling of coconut in Antwerp. I’d slept very well. I maybe was a little too relaxed. Nikki drops me off at the bus stop and I set about my journey and rejoining the group. I take the intercity train to Amsterdam. On the journey I listen to some Brian Jonestown Massacre. I lose myself looking out of the train window. I think about the wonderful life I have. How my music and my band means I get to travel so much to wonderful places with so many lovely people. I’m very lucky. I’m…

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48 Hours 

I woke up in Nijmegen on Monday morning feeling pretty refreshed. I walk downstairs and take a shower. Afterwards I drink tea in the living room with Linda who had kindly let me have her room. Will is the next to arise. I said that I’ll make breakfast for everyone. So me and Will headed to the local store to pick up supplies. Some nice bread, Eggs, Bacon, Spring Onion, and some cheese but I forget to bring the Tomatoes. No one notices and everyone enjoys the breakfast. I nominate Joel to wash up. After…

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The Yalla Yallas + Friends 

We woke up in Emmen and had breakfast whilst listening to some uplifting EDM. Will isn’t impressed with the music while I quite enjoy listening to something fresh. After all the only music I’ve heard for the last five days is punk rock n roll. It’s quite nice to hear some epic breakdowns. We load up the van early doors and head to Nijmegen. It’s one of a few gigs I’m particularly excited about.

We arrive into the city around 1pm and it’s much busier than usual because of the summer fest. We quickly unload…

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Fuck the barbed wire 

The first words I heard this morning. “Fuck the barbed wire” You guessed it Dave has been sleep talking again. I’m laid in an old bank vault in Emmen. Last nights gig is going over and over in my head. What a night.

We picked up Lotte in Rotterdam in the afternoon and arrived in Emmen about 3pm. We loaded in and the other guys went for a walk around the city. Will and Joel find a little music festival and watch a Jazz band. Dave rummages in the free show and plays dress up. I instead opted to go for a…

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Beery Beerse 

It was the opening night of the tour and we were always going to be up for this gig. Me and Dave had spent the previous few days travelling around The Netherlands seeing friends and watching Guns n Roses. While Dempsey, Joel, and Will drove down from Leeds. We arranged to meet the guys in Antwerp City Centre on the day of the first show. Because it’s of traffic we were a little late to the venue. As we arrived the first band were already in full flow. It was going to be a loud energetic night. We set up…

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Medusa Launch Party 

Like any party the nerves are out in force in advance of the event. Will people turn up? Will everyone have a good time? Am I wearing the right clothes? Why did I decide to throw this stupid do in the first place? The self doubt is only natural as the launch party is really important to us. This is where we find out if people warm to the new songs or not. At this gig we are doing something that many bands at our level dare not do. Am I punching above my already self inflated ego? Deciding to schedule…

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Tour Rehearsals. 

It’s that time again. Tim to restart the blog. In a few days time we play the launch party for our new album ‘Medusa’ and I couldn’t be more excited. The launch is going to be some test of our stamina. We’re used to playing 45 minute shows. For this show we will play the new album in full and all our favourites from the previous albums. We’re looking at around 1hr 30mins. I’m going to need to be physically fit. In some ways I’m the fittest I’ve ever been. In other ways I’m falling apart. I’m currently…

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Recording Day 4 

Yet again me and Will arrive at the studio at 10am. Yes, Will has his trusty cafetière with him, and yet again we’re heavily armed with guitars. This will be our second session without Dempsey and Joel. Joel has recorded his drums so he doesn’t need to attend for a while. We will need him in later sessions to record some accordion and piano. Dempsey is away on holiday. So it’s a great opportunity for me and Will to work on the more acoustic type numbers on the album. I’m pleased because when it’s just us…

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Recording Day 3 

Me and Will arrive at the studio armed with guitars and Wills cafetière of course. Grant greets us and we immediately set about working on some of the drum arrangements from the previous sessions. Grant spends around 2-3 hours on some minor drum edits whilst me and Will wake up. I have breakfast from the local cafe. I also spend time talking with some guys in The Netherlands about doing an extra show on the tour. After lunch is when the good stuff usually happens. We decided to work on the more acoustic…

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Radio Mic in Hersham 

We travelled down to Hersham after a reckless night in Bradford. I was exhausted and still picking glass out of my feet on the journey down. We made it to the venue in good time. Not a piss stop in sight. On the way we admire at how posh Surrey is. I’ve never been down this part of the world before. Thatched cottages and houses with protruding east and west wings line the road leading to Hersham as we pull off the M25. I joke with the band that I must put my posh voice on for this gig. We arrived at around…

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Love, Anger, and The Underground 

I’m sat in the car with The Yalla Yallas on our way to Hersham to play the Sports and Social Club. We’ve just loaded up and made a quick visit to Morrisons for snacks for the journey. We all offer our snacks up to share except for Joel. He wants all the samosas for himself. Nobody is interested in my snacks. Coconut water, some flatbread and a selection of seeds and nuts. I’m in a lot of pain after last nights gig at The Underground in Bradford. I think the ligament in my left knee have popped again. I also…

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Wharf Chambers 

It’s our second ever gig at Wharf Chambers in Leeds. The previous one was a Sunday afternoon at Pie Race Festival a couple of years ago. I didn’t particularly enjoy that show and I wanted to make that right this time around. We load in the venue at 4pm. I set up the merch stall as Steve the promoter tries the explain the process behind the complicated beer and food tokens. It doesn’t need to be this difficult. Joel isn’t with us as he is doing a gig at The Temple of Boom with his other band Tosserlad. He…

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Recording Day Two  

I’m picked up at 9.30am by Will and Dempsey and head to Joels house to pick him up. On the way we drive past Eiger studios and notice our friends The Accused unloading. That’s dedication for you. Band rehearsals at 9.30am on a Sunday. We arrive at Loom Studios at 10am. The room is as we left it the previous day. I notice the album track listing on the table and I analyse the previous days progress. We make some tea and coffee. Will has brought his own cafetière. I jokingly accuse him of being a privileged…

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The lovely horse 

So last night we did a secret gig in Leeds. So secret in fact there was only like ten people in the room. We decided to call ourselves ‘Lovely Horse’ to pay tribute to popular TV Show Father Ted. We changed a few things around. First I left the traditional Green and Black jumper at home, I wore shoes and socks, and I also played guitar throughout. Knowing we were due in the studio Saturday morning to start work on our new album we decided to book a low-key Friday night gig in order to road test our new…

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Ride out to London 

Friday night I send Will a message. “I got funny feeling about the journey tomorrow”he responded with “Don’t worry there’s plenty of time to get there”. Saturday morning I wake up early and get ready for our first show in London for 12 months. I meet our photographer Pete at Leeds Bus Station at 8.30am. He’s just finished his night shift and plans to sleep all the way to London. We even bump into our guitarist Will who is taking the same route but via National Express. We get on the insanely full Megabus…

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Long time, no speak. I’ve not been writing these blogs for a few weeks. I started up these blog posts to focus me on the art of writing. Maybe to see me through a kind of writers block, to help me absorb my experiences of the previous twelve months, to help me remember what happens on tour. It appears to be working. Although I’ve not been writing the blogs. I have been writing songs. A lot of songs. I think in my last post I talked about finalising the track listing to the forthcoming album. You can…

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