H A R K & KEN Mode Tour Diary: Part 3

By on 24 October 2014

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Welsh progressive sludge rockers H A R K have just finished their European tour with Canadian noise rock heroes KEN Mode, leaving a trail of devastated ear drums in their wake. If you’re wondering what the bands got up to on the UK leg of the tour, you’re in luck, as H A R K frontman Jimbob Isaac checks in with the final part of our exclusive tour diary…

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Oct 12/13/14 – Liege, Brighton, London
ORDO AB CHAO!

After Leipzig’s Saturday night party-punk crowd, La Zone in Liege was another booze fuelled affair. People were in the mood for a few looseners and gave us a rowdy response. As per, KEN Mode slayed it and H A R K fought through stage gremlins for a triumphant set. One stupid-o-clock Ferry later and we descend upon Brighton for the first UK show. Old friends Grey Widow and Art Of Burning Water open the show, and chaos flows once again. AOBW crush with their noisy complexities, and frontman Geith surrendering himself to gravity and the drum kit, falling at the end of the set. God I love this man. Celebrating my 37th birthday in Brighton was rewarded with a group-signed Birthday card, uttering some of the most twisted B’day wishes I could imagine. Not for the narrow-minded. The UK is treating us well so far. Camden’s Black Heart is healthily full and buzzing, with strong sets delivered from the H A R K/KEN Mode tour-monster. More chaos during H A R K’s set, with on stage phantoms and a bizarre lack of soundcheck encouraging what @digitaldanhouse tweeted as: “@HarkbandHark incendiary, vitriolic performance tonight! Loved it, especially the finger picking…” Yes, I dropped some plectrums. After the ‘Mode wiped the floor with London, drummer Shane attained new levels of night terror by sleep-walking and breaking a door, after some après show beers. Good work Shane.

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Oct – 15/16/17 Nottingham, Bournemouth, Glasgow
SICK NOTES!

Over the past week or so, van-lurgy has spread. It’s like travelling in a mobile old persons home. Various coughs, splutters, nasal whistles and opportune phlegm discharges are du rigeur from here on out. I blame Shane. Bournemouth old-schooler Choff welcomed us at The Anvil. He booked Taint’s first show out of Wales, back in ’96 and here we are today. Full circle. The show rocked and Choff and co’s hospitality was wholesome. Nottingham’s Chameleon was another home-from-home to me, with the Viral Age crew hosting us. Beast As God opened with some blistering thrash-crust and H A R K/Mode delivered to another responsive punk/metal crowd. Garrett‘s stand up set tested his meddle, with mischievous punk heckling taking place. He triumphed nonetheless, and his new Pistorius joke is already proving a hit. Sunny Glasgow greets us, and the blissfully slick load-in at Audio makes this 3rd from last show a breeze. Promoter Joe is a real gent and all bands deliver as intended. Smokey whiskey and a few IPAs after, with Kev from Black Sun, and we’re catching Zs at the hostel before you can say…”Wheezy-old-bastards!”.

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Oct 18/19/20 – Sheffield and Swansea
MAMA I’M COMING HOME..

Sheffield’s South Sea venue welcomed us with it’s social club charm and rustic PA system. The crowd in attendance were enthusiastic and pleasantly generous in numbers. Dean from Bedford Audio came along to lend a hand, with his pedal board sorcery and general good nature. Another old friend is the guy whom Taint caused to simultaneously pass out, along with his other friend, during Taint’s Sheffield show with Knut in 2006 (?). A glutton for brown note punishment, he came back for more. Taking a night drive from Sheffield to the coastal climes of Swansea, afforded us a lie in, before loading into Swansea’s Garage venue. It feels great to be home. Wrapping this long haul tour up in the hometown, is a welcome and triumphant end to the gruelling schedule we imposed on ourselves. Swansea turned out en masse, and gave us an awesome crowd to finish with. KEN Mode slayed the Welsh contingent, before H A R K took the rotating headline slot and put in our all. Garrett also crushed, with plenty of hoots and guffaws greeting his onslaught of comedy. We will miss this guy, until next time. On our off-day before the Candians flew home, the H A R K/KEN Mode touring machine took in a trip to Worm’s Head in Rhossili, Gower. This has to be one of many jewels in Swansea’s crown, and was a welcome way to blow the cobwebs out of our collective skulls. Herds of punk-sheep, with their colourfully sprayed fleeces, trotted about the headland, while we skipped and japed around them accordingly. Jars of Gower Power Ale, and a classic Swansea curry were consumed in celebration, to bring the day to a close. One more night drive and dropping the Canadians at Cardiff airport ensued, before my last van-sleep and the final returning of our trusty van to it’s home. This tour has been a crusher in many ways, but a successful one no doubt. We can safely say that many, many laughs were had, in between some gruelling night (and day) drives, brutal load-ins/outs and uncompromising live performances. This is why we do it. H A R K hearts KEN Mode.

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You can keep up to date with H A R K, KEN Mode and Garret Jaimeson via the following links:

H A R K:
KEN Mode:
Garret Jaimeson

About Kez Whelan

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