Whoever says that Cradle are going down-hill are a bunch of hillbilly fucking morons who sit all day behind their fake IDs slagging all and sundry off because they actually have no life to speak of. But then, to be fair, they haven't heard the awesome new album tracks that are now at the halfway stage to recording (start date for the album is the end of November).
Anyhoo, on a more pleasant bend, we had a brilliant couple of days last week, firstly playing the Trutnoff festival in the Czech Republic and then at our intended warm-up show for the cancelled Alt-fest, at the Kasbah Niteclub in Coventry. And that was following an amazing show in Belgium the week before, performing alongside Lacuna Coil, Life Of Agony and Marilyn Manson to shame but a few, with a huge signing session prior to stage time and me getting dressed up as a zombie to play.
There was also a strange incident whereupon watching Mr.Manson from the side of the stage, I was ushered on by said gangly fellow, cuddled and then kissed on the forehead; a strange sort of apology for an incident betwixt the two of us that happened nigh on ten years previous. Still, at least he remembered...
The festivities for the second weekend in question started with a delayed flight (obviously spent in the bar) that saw us arrive in Prague late, then it was a lengthy trip to the ski resort where our hotel was situated, so much so, that it was around 3.30 am in the morning when we eventually stumbled into our very eclectic and modern rooms with their see-through bathrooms and forest vista views. And disconcertingly, vice-versa.
The next day had us devouring more than our fair share of rich, heavy meals, as every time we went to sit down it seemed a four-course feast was laid before us. To burn this off, some of us decided to hitch a ride up the adjacent mountain in the lofty cable cars to walk about the summit, all before a storm rolled in and we were trapped inside a thundercloud spitting hail and more worryingly, lightning. Still, we made it back down the mountain just in time for another sumptuous feast before heading out to the festival itself. But not before taking photos with the hotel staff who'd lavished so much meat and cake on us!
The show itself was akin to the Czech version of Woodstock, with a massive array of very different styles of music being present; from Patti Smith to Blue Grass and Oompah, aside from the thrash legends Kreator, who were unfortunately playing the following evening.
Backstage was exceedingly hippy-ish and very Bedouin, but as headliners we were given a large room adjoining the production office with access to mirrors and a bathroom. Which was nice and filled with a bar and pictures of cats.
The concert was one of my favourite of the year, as we played like whirling dervishes to an auditorium enclosed within a forest and subsequently, the trees were all lit up with roaming lights, lending the show an ethereal dream-like quality.
Quite what the majority of the audience thought of us I can only hazard to guess, as although we had many fans present, one could not help but think that a festival of this ilk, with only two metal bands playing, would mostly be populated by curious hippy folk.
Still, we went down a treat and although our set had to be cut to finish on the stroke of Midnight, we still went back on to play a nine minute epic, leaving a brass band to follow, slightly peeved in their matching suit and ties. A wickedly brilliant show indeed, though unfortunately we had to leave within the hour as we were heading to another hotel closer to the airport.
Absolutely zero sleep for me this evening as we arrived at 3.30 am and lobby call was 4.45 am so we could be at the airport for our early flight back to the Angel Isle. I pity our poor guitarist Richard who was driving from where we parked at Heathrow to the show in Coventry, but arrive we did, and with the whole afternoon to wile away as we saw fit.
The afternoon was spent within the confines of the club, mainly backstage chilling until friends arrived after a filling home-cooked Moroccan meal at the venue.
There was a brief photoshoot prior to stage time and then it was to great elation that we hit the stage to perform before the 800+ rabid COF fans that had travelled from all over the UK to see us.
A great show overseen as it was by a crucified horned skeleton and lurid projections, with plenty of crowd-surfing to fire the band through the set. Not quite as much room here as on the massive stage in the Czech Republic, so subsequently there are a few collisions, but that's half the fun! Anyhoo, quite a fucking show indeed and alongside the Trutnoff extravaganza, one to certainly cherish in one's ample bosom!
Next stop on the agenda, a full scale invasion of Russia! But only after having finished writing the new album, which promises to blow the last few COF albums -as much as I really enjoyed making and listening to them- collectively out of the proverbial water!
It's going to tear you a new one!
Brest, Dani Xxx