Earlier this month Nottingham alt rock upstarts Adelphia headed out on a short, intimate tour with Hill Valley High.
To give you an insight into life as a emerging band on the road, drummer Rik Gilbert kept a tour diary especially for Already Heard. From taking advantage of saunas to FIFA tournament to traffic jams, Adelphia’s five days on the road had its ups and downs.
Day 1 – The Scene, Swansea
We leave a sunny Nottingham with a 4 hour journey to Swansea ahead. Service stations are inevitable – the temptation of a quarter pounder was strong and shaped persuasion.
We arrive at Swansea with instant and all-consuming joy, or something like that. Sound check was great, Nick (James Crampton – vocals) got to play the drums and we all got Dominoes.
It was such a buzz to get back on the stage/road again. There were touches of opening night syndrome but overall it was fun times. But the most fun was yet to come. It took us a total of 7 hours to return to Nottingham – whose idea was that? We ended up in a service station (I genuinely have no idea where it was, not even a little bit) Con (Wade – Bass) got a free burger there and Will (Mckeown – guitar) ate it. Back on the road and woke up in Nottingham at 6:30am. Time for some sleep.
Day 2 – The Vic Inn, Derby
It was a lovely lie in to have. I think everyone was at the very least a bit tired. Will, Nick and Conor had an exceedingly good idea and that was to go to the sauna. The warmth was very dry and smelt a little bit of pine needles. It had been described by numerous sources as “heaven in a box” and “a genie in a bottle” (I love my friends). Breathing was difficult and it hurt all of our nostrils, even so, it was undoubtedly a highlight of the day. Tragically, Jordan (Wood – guitar), Rik and the rest of the crew missed out on this slice of life and I believe they weep to this day for the missed opportunity.
As we left Nottingham ,we unwittingly left Jordan behind (we are all sorry Jordan and you have our condolences). In Derby, sound check was okay but the dressing room excelled (we had one!). We got a chance to chat to the guys in Hill Valley High a bit more which was sweet because they a really nice gents.
Despite not being able to properly fit all of our members and equipment on the stage the gig was as enjoyable as brownies. The room packed out nicely and we threw parties. As we were loading the gear out, Rik nearly broke his ankle off but luckily I nursed him back to health over the course of the evening. We drove home, got lost in a car park and had more sleep.
Day 3 – The Bungalow, Paisley
Woke up and went to the sauna – aren’t we a privileged bunch of chaps? Sweat and swim and it’s off to a petrol station for brekky.
We decided it would be a good idea to play a seven hour FIFA tournament. Sweaty, nauseating, break-neck and glorious are some of the words I would choose to describe the affair; its impression is still burnt onto the back of our eyes. Punctuated by a sitting at a quaint fish eatery, the carnage continued.
We arrived at The Bungalow to a chilled can of Tennent’s lager, a sweet treat for the Scottish and none-Scottish. That night we all met a very special person who changed all of our lives for the better.
His name is David and his gold/silver sponge skin will always have a place on our hearts, despite the fact that we will never see him again. Sometimes the most ephemeral moments are the ones we wait all of our lives to enjoy. Meeting David and propping him against the chair was one of these moments. His nonchalant slouch and the listless manikin curve of his golden buttocks made for a captivating evening for the bands and audience alike. Also Scottish money is fascinating.
The show went slickly and we gained experience points in microphone technique and leg movements. We had more beers and enjoyed the HVH set bravo boys. That night we were tucked up in comfy beds in Falkirk.
Day 4 – The Leopard, Doncaster
We emerge from the Travelodge to see Scotland as sunny as we have ever seen it. It’s early and we ate breakfast brownies from a silent cafe with strange outdoor fountains in the middle of the room.
The decision was made and we took a brief rest on some moorlands. Activities included throwing of stones, taking of pictures, exploring of quarry. Conor was Legolas and Nick was Aragorn, I think Jordan was Gimli but I’m not sure. Will was on his own surveying the native flora but didn’t find anything that could potentially aid survival.
Just south of Carlisle we hit some beefy traffic. Traffic is the bane of tour in every way. Once we arrived at the venue I got lost looking for the toilets and Rik bought me a pear cider. We were on the stage sharpish. Set starts, strings snap (luckily at the end of the set) and the set is over.
For me that is something that becomes oddly clear on the road. You spend hours travelling through fields, towns and mountains for the short time you are on stage and yet every second you spend performing feels completely worth it.
That night I had booked us into the glamorous Fort Doncaster. It was the fusion of two of the three places we spend most of our time; the Travelodge and the service station (the third of which being the venue itself). We got kebabs.
Day 5 – Live Rooms, Chester
We woke up, cut Jordan’s hair and got pancakes from Burger King – but they only had 17 so we went for something else. We check out and regroup in the van.
Isn’t Chester a historic place? We had a quick stop in Nice n Naughty and went to get chips. The last night of tour was a fitting climax to the week with some of the highlights including Hill Valley High’s Phil taking to the mic for our cover of ‘A Thousand Miles’. Adelphia and their crew decided to return the favour by invading the stage during ‘When the World is Fast Asleep’.
It was then time for debauchery. But there was to be a slight delay. Now I’m not sure if other bands experience something similar or not but when we go out on tour, we have a tendency to struggle with the “out” part of “going out”. After loading the gear out of the venue it is not uncommon for us to take until 1:30 to get out of the hotel room which either is (or isn’t) held up by parking/getting lost/eating things/showering/all of the above.
Rosie’s was our destination of choice but we ended up at a mysterious red door that looked like it led to Satan’s favourite casino. There was a man standing outside who asked me for my bus pass, and seemed really confused when I gave it to him. The bar inside had loads of glasses hung from the roof and there was no one there. Rik, Nick, Will and Conor had some Midori and everybody judged them and we decided it was time to leave. We fell asleep as we agreed to get up to move the van at 8 and ended up getting a parking ticket.
We had such an incredible time on the road making new friends and gaining valuable experience. We hope to get on the move and play more shows soon so watch this space!