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14th November 2017

unleash the acrhers

"Life on the road isn't easy my friend," sang Lemmy in the song 'Thunder & Lightning' and for Unleash The Archers, there is absolutely no hiding as they hit the UK for their first ever headlining tour.

Here, frontlady Brittney Slayes takes you through the band's trek so far. Part two will follow shortly and will include photos of the tour.


Hello Metal Talk readers! Welcome to the UK edition of my tour diary. Unleash The Archers just finished up the 'Gunmen Tour' through Europe with Orden Ogan and Rhapsody Of Fire, and now we are doing a week of headlining shows through the UK. This tour diary will be short and sweet, but I hope you enjoy reading about our adventures on the road.

Wednesday, November 8th:

We wake up in an AirBnB in London after having just played our last show with the 'Gunmen Tour' at O2 Academy Islington the night before. We got to bed at about 4.00am, which is pretty standard for life on the road, and had a 10.00am checkout, so of course we are exhausted and did not get near enough sleep... which I think might happen more often than not on this leg of the tour.

We wait on the sidewalk with a heaping pile of gear and suitcases for our Sprinter and driver from Ooosh! Tours to come grab us. Finally George arrives and we make our introductions and right away we know we are going to get along well; he's a Kiwi! New Zealanders and Canadians are pretty much the same people, just separated by thousands of kilometers of ocean.

Anywho, George opens the back doors to load our stuff in and immediately we realize something is wrong; Scott's drumkit should have been back there but it is disconcertingly empty. Oh, crap. Not a good start!

Luckily Ooosh is local and George sorts out another employee driving a van to meet us at a gas station on the way to our first gig in Milton Keynes. We've got lots of time before load in and a pretty short drive so we also get a chance to visit our booking agent in Camden (hi Tony!) as well as stop at a Sainsbury's to get all of the things we have run out of by now: batteries, sharpies, black duct tape, candy...

A couple hours later and we arrive at the Craufurd Arms in Milton Keynes. Right away we know the show is gonna be rad: the venue is super cool and there is a massive dressing room upstairs that doubled as a place for us to sleep that night – saving money is the best!

The opening band hits the stage and we are stoked; it's a Manowar cover band called Hanowar! They are absolutely hilarious and we are all standing in the audience singing along. Unfortunately I miss the next two bands, Reaper and Stormbringer, because I have to warm up but Grant watches and assures us that they were rad.

Finally it's our turn and the hall is about two thirds full, but when we hit the stage they all cram to the front and absolutely pack the place. What a crazy awesome show.

George was working our merch for us all night and obviously did a great job because there are tons of Unleash The Archers shirts in the audience. The stage is really big so we have a killer time running around and making as much use of the space as possible.

Unfortunately, Scott's pedals keep jamming and we have to stop for a great length of time between the songs while he tries to sort it out. Andrew plays elevator music and I chat with the crowd to pass the time. We finally play our last song, 'Tonight We Ride', but took so long with technical difficulties that we are at venue curfew and have no chance for an encore.

No worries, we head out into the crowd and chat it up with the fans instead. Quite a few of them came out to the show after having seen our shorter set in London the night before. Some also had forgone the London show knowing that we were playing closer to home tonight.

The drinking commences. I am going to be honest, we like to party. I can't really go as hard as the boys and on the 'Gunmen Tour'. I took the best care of myself I could, but now that we have only one week left I decide to be a little less strict on myself.

Immediately we gravitate towards the Hanowar boys and start getting to know them. They all have to drive home that night so unfortunately they can't get crazy with us but luckily they are playing with us the next night as well and promise to tie one on at the next show.

Somehow we still manage to hit the sheets at 4.00am but don't have to hit the road until 1.00pm the next day so we all sleep soundly amongst one another in the dressing room. The couches were massive and insanely comfortable, in case you were wondering.

unleash the acrhers

Thursday, November 9th:

We stored our gear in the venue for the night instead of leaving it in the van, just for safety reasons, so when the bar below us opens at 1.00pm the bartender also opens the venue for us so we can load out.

We hit the road south to Bournemouth. It's a quick drive through beautiful countryside, and I remark to myself that the UK looks exactly as it is portrayed in the movies; rolling green hills, quaint brick villages and tons of sheep.

We pull up to The Anvil and lament the tiny stage, but the promoter is super rad and the sound guy is super nice so we get on with soundcheck and do our best to take up as little room on stage with gear as we can. Which is actually quite easy because we don't use cabs, we all go direct in and have a rack-mount mixer that we use for in-ear monitoring. The only piece of sizeable equipment we have besides the drumkit is a rig consisting of one 6U rack case on top of an 8U rack case, and it does absolutely everything for us. It's our most precious piece of gear for sure.

There are two levels to the venue: the bar upstairs and the stage downstairs. The venue itself downstairs is not huge so it fills up super fast. Hanowar hits the stage once again and proceeds to shower everyone in confetti from their party poppers – fricken' love those guys!

The second band is Endea, and once again I can't watch their set as I have to warm up, but the crowd seems to enjoy them.

We get up there and yikes, it is tight. Nikko (bass) had thrown his back out the night before so he just stands still on the side of the stage which frees up a bit of room, but it is still pretty dangerous up there.

I hit the stage lights with my hands several times (luckily they were LED, not halogen, so I didn't get burned to a crisp) as well as windmill my hair into Andrew's headstock twice. I also get smashed in the face with that same headstock in the middle of 'Dreamcrusher' and learn my lesson; sorry Grant, sticking to your side of the stage bud!

The stage is low so I can't see the people at the back, so at one point I stand up (ok, more like huddle up) on the sub to get a view of the back. I hate not being able to see everyone. I want to make eye contact with each and every one of you; it's one of the best parts of playing smaller shows but the stage just seemed to thwart me at every turn.

No matter, we encore with 'Apex' and then head upstairs to begin the libations. This time Hanowar got a hotel, which we then proceeded to book into as well, and we soon discovered that the bar was open until 5.00am. Let the shit-show commence.

We kept pouring our pounds into the jukebox and singing along to the choicest Heavy Metal at the top of our voices until not a one of us could see straight. Shots of tequila, Jagermeister and peppermint schnapps (for Udo!) go down easier and easier.

The bartenders even start to join in. One of our fans passes out on the couch, another while sitting upright in a chair... just can't keep up with UTA.

I vaguely remember waiting in line at a Subway around 4.00am, and then proceeding to eat that Subway while standing in the middle of a roundabout in the centre of town whilst debating politics with one of our fans. Then more singing I think? Oh God, I can't remember...

At 6.00am I am pulling my bag out of the van in the parking lot of the hotel and next thing I know my alarm is going off in an unfamiliar hotel room...

To be continued!!! - Brittney

Click here for part two...
Click here for part three...


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