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19th November 2017

unleash the acrhers

Unleash The Archers had a superb first ever UK headlining tour and here's the third and final part of the tour diary, from frontlady Brittney Slayes.

Click here for part one...
Click here for part two...


Alright! As I said this one was gonna be short and sweet and this is unfortunately my last entry for the UK edition of my tour diary. I hope you guys enjoyed our debauchery and don't think we're complete alcoholics or anything horrible like that. We made the best of this short headlining jaunt and had such a kick-ass time, there is no doubt that we will be back! Gotta make some more legendary memories with all of our British friends and fans!

Sunday, November 12th:

Today we head north to Newcastle-Upon-Tyne to play a venue called Think Tank?, and yes, it has a question mark on the end of it. The place is in a pretty new-looking community centre type building with tons of shops and restaurants around, and we load through the back bay that also doubles as the garbage and recycling room; smells lovely!

We are actually early (completely unheard of for Unleash The Archers) and load right onto the stage. The venue next door is not being used for the night so we use it as the biggest dressing room ever. After soundcheck we go on the hunt for Pho.

For a Sunday night the streets are pretty busy and there are loads of people still out and about; this bodes well for the show!

After failing to find Pho we settle with a noodle shop that is kind of like Subway for wok fried noodles - pretty damn tasty! We head back and a band called Creature opens up the night; they are so young but incredibly talented. The vocalist has a kind of Kurt Cobain crossed with Billy Corgan kind of style, and the high energy 90s grunge is a welcome change of music to warm-up to.

We play our little hype track and once again when the opening to 'Awakening' starts the crowd knows exactly what's coming. The stage is a little bit strange; it takes up the back corner of the venue and then fans out in a circle, so the monitors are all pointing directly at Scott.

I can barely hear myself, Andrew can't hear himself, Nikko can't hear himself... it's a bit of a messy start, but we work through it and do our best.

I am actually used to venues where I can't hear what the heck I am doing, so I have gotten very good at knowing what notes feel like physically. I mean, for years we have done the small bar grind, sometimes without any monitors at all, so I would just listen to the FOH sound and go from that. I do the same thing at Newcastle - pull my in-ear monitor out a bit and listen to the same speakers as the crowd, and just trust that my body knows how to push through the set without me.

I have no idea how the stage sound could drown out my in-ears so badly, but turning up my mix doesn't help because that just makes everything louder, without actually having the iPad to change my vocal level. Sorry if that's confusing. One day I’ll do a video running through our rig with you guys.

Either way, the crowd doesn't seem to notice the struggle, and once again the meet and greet after is loads of fun. The venue has a strict curfew (it being Sunday and all) and we so we load out and then once again search for food.

On the road, you get into the weirdest schedule. You show up at the venue around 3.00pm and eat 'breakfast', then you soundcheck and get ready and around 7.00pm you eat 'lunch'. Then after the show around 11.00ish you hunt for 'dinner'. Not entirely nocturnal but pretty damn close to it, that being said, when we return home we might actually be perfectly lined up with regular daily life without having to try!

We decide on an early night and pull into the AirBnB around 1.00am. Of course we get there and discover they have cable television (woohoo couch time!) and we all fry our brains on 'American Dad' for an hour.

Monday, November 13th:

Today we get up bright and early (ahem, 10.00am) and hit the road in search of castles and medieval towns to see on the way to Scotland. We stop in Alnwick and wander around a bit but the castle is closed for the season (booooo). Then we head to Holy Island and wander some more but once again the castle is closed for renovating (really big boo). We still get some great shots of the monastery that was ransacked by Vikings and the beautiful old buildings that make up the rest of the town. We also stop quickly at the 'Welcome To Scotland' sign (it being our first time playing there ever!) and take a really corny Instagram photo.

We arrive at Bannerman's in Edinburgh and are super stoked - looks like it's gonna be a rad venue to play. It's pretty much an old stone tunnel with a nice-sized stage at the end of it. We soundcheck and then do a few interviews and smash some food in our faces.

I had been speaking with the guitar player from the opening band, Damaj, for over a year now so it's great to finally meet him and share the stage together. Of course, like normal, I can't actually watch them play because of my routine but they sound rad from the dressing room.

The only problem with the venue is that there is no backstage access, so I have to squeeze through the crowd to get to the stage, and squeeze is an understatement - the venue is completely packed. Wall to wall with bodies.

We start the set and immediately I am sweating. It's pouring down my face and sticking my hair to my arms and neck with every windmill. Ew. Then I also notice that I am having a lot of trouble breathing... I mean, at first I thought it was the excitement of playing to a packed house of about 200 people, our first time out to Scotland, but then I realize I CAN'T catch my breath, like, not even when I really try to.

Turns out the venue is built in these old stone catacombs that were completely sealed off and ventilation was non-existent except for the entryway...

Regardless, we powered through (I am sorry that I could not hold my phrases as long as I would have like to though...) and then had a killer time drinking with everyone afterwards. We even rallied a large group of us together when the venue closed at 1.00am and headed to a karaoke bar down the street. Luckily for us, it was Iron Maiden night.

Grant got up and did 'Number Of The Beast', and I did 'Queen Of The Reich'. We covered that track on the Japanese edition of 'Apex' but because it is in a different tuning we may never get the chance to play it live, so I figured this is the closest I may ever get.

The night ended and we said our goodbyes to our fans-turned-friends and headed to our fourth AirBnB of the tour. We lugged a box of beer all the way back from the venue with us so we cracked a couple of those when we got back. Hunger soon overcame the boys, and they hit the streets in search of food around 5am, while I hit the sheets and fell asleep IMMEDIATELY.

Tuesday, November 14th:

Ahhhhh... no alarms going off, no waiting for your turn in the shower, no rushing out the door whilst wracking your brain to make sure you didn't leave anything behind... just a nice solid sleep-in until about 2.00pm.

The tour is over and it is sad, but in two days we fly home and get to see cats, kids and girlfriends and we're ok with that. We head out for breakfast (aka supper?) and then say goodbye to George (best driver ever! Don't forget your denim, bro!) and head back to the apartment to relax a bit before heading out on a ghost tour of the city (spoooooky).

Tomorrow we vow to wake up earlier and actually see some of the sights. Let's see how that works out for us.

Big thanks to all of the fans that came out and the promoters and venues that hosted us, this tour was amazing and far better than we ever could have expected! Now we are going to take some well-deserved time off for the holidays before heading out on the road again next spring! And then of course, festival season

Hope to see you all again real soon! And thanks so much to MetalTalk for hosting my jumble of thoughts and memories, aka my tour diary!

-Brittney Slayes \m/

Click here for part one...
Click here for part two...

unleash the acrhers


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