Moats Belgium Tour Diary: Day 1 - 12th April 2014

It was an early start to a long day ahead. I got myself up at 5 am after falling asleep the night before at 11 pm or so. However, despite the time I felt completely functional and healthy, this was probably due to the fact that I was just dead excited to get out of the UK. I got myself to London Victoria coach station and met the rest of the boys who all looked surprisingly fresh. We jumped on the coach and set off. The coach left Victoria at 9 am and was due to arrive in Brussels at 4.30 pm. The coach journey itself was surprisingly comfortable and we were all falling in and out of sleep throughout despite the fact there was a screaming kid right in front of us.

Nathan, James and Will on the coach.

There was a sense of relief when we saw ourselves arriving into the vibrant city of Brussels on the Coach, we couldn’t wait to get a breath of fresh air because by now the coach smelt like moldy hamburgers and sweat. It weren’t too tasty to the nose. We met our good friend Fien (Lead singer of band, “I Will, I Swear”) as we got off the coach and she directed us to the train station in order to get ourselves to Ghent where we’d be staying for the rest of our tour. After a 30-minute train Journey from Brussels we finally made it to Ghent. We got picked up by more friends, Flore and Thomas, who then took all our gear and us to the flat we’d be staying in. We had a quick look around the beautiful city of Ghent and bought ourselves some beers.

Some graff on a train at Brussels Station.

A lovely piece of architecture in Ghent.

We got the beers.

After a nice chill and dropping off all our gear at the apartment we were staying in for the rest of the tour we got dressed and started preparing for the gig we were playing on that night. After meeting another one of our friends Pieter we decided to set off at around 7.45 pm. We got to the Venue at around 8.30 or so and brought in our equipment. We were all welcomed very politely by everybody and were given free beers for the night, which was beautiful as we had a very large selection of tasty Belgian beers to choose from. We also even got two massive, juicy pizzas to eat before playing. The first band that played were called, “Simple Pigeons” and they were a fun band to watch with the guitarist switching between playing guitar and hitting a tom drum along with them doing an impressive cover of Miles Kane – “Come Closer”. I wrote our set-list on the back of beer mats and then we were welcomed to the stage by the front man despite the fact we still had to set up all of our equipment and have a quick line check.

The set-list.

It was quite a nice turn out with some familiar faces in the crowd from the last time we visited Belgium, we were also all a little bit tipsy from the free beers. We got on the stage and had a quick line check before I introduced us to the Belgian crowd. We opened with an unreleased track called “Rough” in order to give them an insight in to the new material we were working with and the show went on from there featuring sweatiness and my blabbering drunk mouth, the crowd seemed to enjoy it though. We finished the set without playing “Absorb” for some reason but were asked to play a few more tracks; we then played “Absorb” and “Fortnight” which included a improvised jam at the end which was actually surprisingly impressive and we were all chuffed with it after playing. We came off the stage sweating with a belly full of beer and pizza and were now ready to party our socks off. Some tunes were put through the PA system on I Phones and we all had a jam including us playing some deep house dance tunes, we enjoyed ourselves. Considering it was free beer we all got pretty steaming and had a great time dancing about with Belgian friends.

The stage.

Us playing.

Party time.

After the gig it was decided that we would go out in the centre of Ghent. We were already drunky wunky as heck. On the journey to Ghent Will needed a wee wee so bad that we had to pull over for him. We got to Ghent and stumbled out of the car, I paid 5.60 for a beautiful Hamburger and Fries and then went to meet the boys at a bar where we were buying more drinks. Pyrah and Nathan overdid it a little bit and needed to head back to the apartment before the rest, me and Will then followed an hour or so later to get into our beds where we’d sleep for the night. The next day was Sunday and nothing was planned. Considering we had a pretty hefty day we were pretty excited to have a nice lay in. The first day in Belgium was a big success and we were excited for the rest of the trip.