Scandinavian Pause

I sit in a hotel room at the airport in Stockholm. Looking out of the window, it started getting dark at about 2pm. Added to that fact, it’s arse-bitingly cold out. It’s nice to be back in Sweden, haha. Last time I was here, I got stranded in the city with The Gaslight Anthem boys for four days, and after much exploring decided I really like this place. The show last night was a blast, and I have an expensive hangover to enjoy today.

This European run of shows is going well. It’s the first headline tour I’ve done on the continent, and it’s the first full band tour as well. Amsterdam and Brussels were cool, Germany was insanely cool (sold out shows on my first headline tour..! What?). The rest of the run looks great as well – Hamburg and Paris are sold out, most of the others are close to going, and that’s a predictably good feeling. Tomorrow we fly to Helsinki for a show (ferry schedules didn’t work out, long story), and on Wednesday I’m flying to Manchester for the XFM Christmas bash, which is a tiny bit insane, but what the hell.

We had a band meeting yesterday to discuss the next year or so of our lives. I won’t bore you with the details (yes, we are coming to a town near you soon, basically), but it was a thought-provoking evening. First of all, it really hammered home to me how far things have come along in the last few years. I regularly have discussions about international full-band touring, to the extent that after the next album is released (early 2011 hopefully) we’re basically looking at a bona fide world tour. That’s crazy. It also made me think about the band and crew – the family – I have around me. It’s a little daunting, sometimes, asking these people to come with me on my jaunts around the world. It’s fine when it’s just me booking insane tour schedules, but when there’s 7 other people involved, I feel a bit more… responsible, I suppose. But it also made me realize what a great bunch they are, and how lucky I am to tour with them. I try to give them a shout out onstage every night, and I know some people think it’s overly long, but fuck that. They’re hugely important to what I do. A toast, then, to Matt, Ben, Nigel, Tarrant, Barbs, Graham and Sarah.

I finished a new song yesterday, an overtly political number that is sure to piss a whole bunch of people off. But to hell with it; it’s good to stand up for something you believe in every now and again. Watch this space.

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