Our on the road in the US, Dave Pybus from Cradle Of Filth has been keeping a tour diary. Parts 1 and 2 follow… part 3 to come. Sun 31 October – Quebec, Le Capitol Theatre Arrived in the city centre very early. No problem with the border and we slept through it all. Quebec was beautiful and the Hallowe’en atmosphere was in full swing with Pumpkins outside all the houses. This was a sold out show and a great venue. We had a chance to see the full stage production for the first time. We played an hour and 30 minutes set, including three new tracks from ‘Nymphetamine’. Older tracks included “Principle of Evil Made Flesh’, ‘Funeral in Carpathia’ and ‘Tortured Soul Asylum’ from Midian. The show reveals a whole new stage show which features projections and relies on more focus on the band and an incredible light show. Local support bands were Blinded By Faith and MoonLyght. Not a bad show and played an extended set to warm up for the HBB tour. James smashed his guitar on his way off-stage in a rock & roll tantrum. Hallowe’en Set List: Satyriasis (Intro) Gilded Cunt Nemesis The Principle of Evil Made Flesh Tortured Soul Asylum Mannequin Funeral in Carpathia Her Ghost in the Fog Nymphetamine The Forest Whispers my Name The Promise of Fever Cruelty Brought Three Orchids From the Cradle to Enslave Mon 1st November – Ottawa, Capital Music Hall Noon load in and we are all up bright and early ‘cos of jet lag. Quarter of yesterdays venue size, but officially still a warm up show. Support bands Necronomicon and Blood of Christ were good. Played the same long set again to get our stamina up. Low crowd size tonight due to age restriction’s but still had a great show. Managed most of stage production in a cut down version to fit the small stage. That’s something we made sure of this tour, adaptable stage design, as last year we had to compromise nearly every day and ended up only having the full production in half the venues. Wed 3rd Nov – New Haven, Toad’s Place Beautiful town (next to Yale university). Me and Dani visited the local cemetery in the afternoon which read at the gateway ‘The dead shall be Raised’. How macabre! Small warm up show before tomorrow’s HHB debut. Very loud crowd and great gig. No age restriction this time, thankfully. This was like the smallest venue of the whole tour and we still managed to put on a great show for the fans. Set list remained the long version. Visited by our Roadrunner A+R guru Mike Gitter. Watched the new version of ‘Dawn of the Dead’ on DVD for the first time and thought it was great. Thu 4th Nov – Sayreville NJ, Starland Ballroom Start of the MTV HeadBangersBall tour. Photo-shoot for Revolver mag which meant us sound-checking in our make-up. The support bands must have thought we were well gay. Unfortunately, my personally endorsed tour faves Seattle’s Himsa missed this show due to a week long of travel problems and missed it by only 20 minutes. Lorenzo and Paul from Sworn Enemy and Billy Graziadei from Biohazard visited. Dropped ‘Tortured Soul Asylum’ for early curfew. There is a new game some of the band members have picked up from our sound guy Paul Collis. This involves getting someone to look at a hand sign. If they see it, they get a punch. I can’t wait for our guitarist Paul Allender to get involved as he’s nearing his Black belt in Karate. Sarah Jezebel Deva is covered in bruises. She does give as good as she gets though. Me and Martin hung with Bleeding Through and Himsa guys later. I met Mike Amott from Arch Enemy again for the first time since 1996. It’s good to be touring again with our old sound man Dave Nuttbrown, who now works for Arch Enemy. Fri 5th Nov – Philadelphia, Electric Factory This is the same venue that Type O Negative covered us in 1,000 toilet rolls on the final show of last years ‘Blood for the Blood Gods’ tour. Amazing how time flies. Tonight all bands played for the first time. Me and Martin managed to check out them all. Great. Pretty tired as we all did MTV in NYC early in the morning. We got to go into town in the afternoon to get out of the venue/soundcheck boredom. Spent some money. Bam (of Jackass fame) came to see us. All is going good. Also visited by Jed from Strapping young Lad (who also plays that stoopid punching game). Sarah paid back our monitor guy Keith for stealing one of her CD’s by putting some used underwear under his pillow and sold all his cigarettes! What a nice group of people we are surrounded by. Set off for Worcester around 3am. Believe it or not, I’ve not visited Wal-mart or Denny’s once yet on this tour! Sat 6th Nov – Worcester, Palladium This was the venue of the first ‘Blood Gods’ tour last year. Seems like yesterday. No way as cold outside (my first mention of the weather by the way!) as last year I remember my hands were blue. Got out to a huge comic store and picked up a Glen E Friedman book called “Fuck Your Heroes”. Changed tonights set list which featured ‘Twisted Nails of Faith’ as a one off. Good solid show and had the full stage production for the first time since Hallowe’en. Had a busy night due to press commitments and meet & greet’s after the show. PART TWO Mon 8th Nov – Cincinatti, Bogarts Welcome to the second part of the HBB tour report. A strange day to open with here. We played here last year and so were familiar with the local surroundings. Not much going on, just like last time. Went for lunch with some of the Arch Enemy guys and then sound checked. The show started out good. Both Himsa and Arch Enemy did their solid sets and it was about half way through Bleeding Through’s set that things started to go weird. None of the bands knew what was going on at first. The Main hall lights come on mid song and the Police came in and shut the show down. Frontman Brandon got news and went onstage to explain to the fans it was going to be difficult for the show to continue as the Police had proclaimed the venue as a crime scene, due to an incident involving a bouncer and a group of fans. It sounded serious at first. Someone had been stabbed. We were half way getting ready and were instructed to leave the building and went and sat on the bus and waited it out. The rest of the night went slowly as we reluctantly got back to our normal selves without actually playing the show. We did go out and sign stuff for the few remaining fans that were waiting around in the cold. The rest, as they say, is history. Wed 10th Nov – Myrtle Beach, House Of Blues After an unwanted three days off, we were all dying for a show. We were parked right over the street from an Alligator park and had free entry so all took the chance to get out of the venue for an hour. The House of Blues venue’s are basically all the same layout. Thats not a bad thing though has the standard is generally pretty high. Great backstage facilities, good size stage, decent food, hard working in house crews. And the decoration is entertainment enough. Anyways, the show was the start of a roll for the tour. Bands are now starting to get into a swing and pick up some momentum. The crowd were treat to a great show, which is our first time ever here. Our set list seems to have settled for the ‘Tortured Soul Asylum’ version, which we usually alternate with ‘Funeral in Carpathia’. Thu 11th Nov – Tampa, Masquerade So, just as I previously mention some kind of tour momentum, Himsa and Bleeding Through broke down some 400 miles away and missed the show. We had to make a last minute call to a local band to open (Sister Kill Cycle). I managed to meet up with a long time hero, David Vincent (Ex-Morbid Angel) who came down to the venue to deliver a Dean Bass guitar for Derek of Himsa. David hung with us for a while and later came down to the show with Gen to witness what was our best show to date. Gen later took Sarah to the bar for a… Sprite? Sarah is currently on a no-smoking/no-drinking bet. Eric Rutan called in to see us but had to miss the show due to mixing commitments with the new Hate Eternal record. Bill of Immolation also showed up and it was good to see him again. We were pretty pumped up after this one and after a few days off we were beat. I had a friend come down and we had a chance to get off the bus, which is good ‘cos Sarah has a fever and I don’t want it. Tonight is the shortest drive of the tour, a massive 80 miles or so to Orlando. Fri 12th Nov – Orlando, House of Blues OK, another House of Blues, the second out of a total seven on this tour. It was good to see our friends in the supporting bands show up safe and sound. They obviously had something to prove after an unwanted day waiting around for a new bus, and both bands hit stage hard, raising the bar once again for us and Arch Enemy. Thats what we want! Bands to pick up the ball and run with it a little. They definately got the crowd ‘warmed up’ for us. We give as good as we get though and Dani gets into his ‘Girls, throw your bra’s onstage’ tricks again. By the end of the week we’ll have a bus the resembles some kind of second hand Lingerie shop. Sarah is still ill with a bad throat and cold but is still managing to do the show. Hung with the Himsa guys for a while before we hit the bouncy road for Atlanta. Sat 13th Nov – Atlanta, Masquerade This show was ‘unofficially’ sold out. Watched Himsa play a blinder of a gig. Vocalist Johnny spent most of the time actually IN the crowd. Spent some time chatting to the Bleeding Through guys before they hit stage for their best show so far. Tonight was hot as hell due to the packed out venue. I think it was our best performance of the tour as well, putting everyone on a high for the night. I count that three solid shows in a row. We have a personal best 13 straight ‘great shows’, set on Ozzfest 2003. We managed to make a fetish night-club to wind down afterwards, which is rare. Had a laugh though and that helped us wind down. Aarrgghh… the Bra’s are taking over the bus! Sun 14th Nov – Winston Salem, Ziggys Once again, another sold out gig. Woke up late knowing the only thing to do today is watch NFL. This is the smallest venue of the tour but we still make it happen. Our veteran lighting guy Rich Wolfgang will not admit defeat on this tour and WILL make something happen on stage anytime, anywhere! So… I catch an amazing show by Bleeding Through, who came to destroy this venue before we even get chance. It’s cold on stage though when we get out, which is an unusual sensation. The place is heaving and we play a solid set in a what I call ‘the front room’ setting, where Sarah and Martin have no risers so it’s like playing in someone’s house. I hate it but what can you do? The show rocked anyways and we survive another hair raising experience after the show to play another day. Mon 15th Nov – Pittsburgh, The World The city of the undead… it’s Pittsburgh where George Romero made his old school zombie flicks, so ‘Bub’ is on the guest list (as usual) tonight. We have a late load in and no food arrives until 5pm. It’s freezing cold too which means added misery. The show starts right on time though and it’s the first show I miss openers Himsa as I was in desperate need of some food. Bleeding Through and Arch Enemy were as good as ever and by the time we hit stage I was feeling like I was getting a cold. Great crowd didn’t seem to notice though and we had a good show. Sarah said it was her best show so far. It was like 1am when we got off stage! Cannibal Corpse guys visited us tonight. Tomorrow is a much needed day off, after 6 shows we are all pretty burnt out. Only downer is we won’t get to hang with the others until Wednesday. Bra count tonight: 3.