In the latest edition of our “Tour Tales” feature, Irish doom-punk band Hornets talk us through their recent UK tour.

The quartet were over in the UK in support of their recent ‘No Faith’ EP. It’s a riff-filled release that is drenched in darkness and despair.

Whilst they were in the UK, Hornets played 8 gigs in 7 days covering a total of 1350 miles. Here’s what the band got up to…

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Sunday 23rd March – Sheffield
First date of the tour, we played in a really cool DIY punk venue called the Lug Hole. The venue is run by a collective of people who are big into the punk scene within Sheffield. Its great to see people getting together like this and taking the initiative to promote and run their own shows. It was a pleasure to be part of their DIY ethos and share a stage with like-minded individuals.

Max, the promoter, and his girlfriend Judy were kind enough to offer us a bed for the evening. When we got back to theirs after the show they had cooked us up some seriously tasty potato soup and dumplings!

Monday 24th March – Milton Keynes
Day 2 of tour and we found ourselves in Wolverton, Milton Keynes. The venue was called the Craufurd Arms, a rock/metal bar owned and run by another dude called Max. We had plenty of time to kill after arriving as the drive from Sheffield was pretty short, we found a skate park and did our best to lay down some hammers before the park was invaded by the army of local scooter fucks.

After the show that night we had time to unwind and chill in the bar after hours with owner Max and the bar staff. After a few beers and games of pool, one thing led to another and before we knew it we were all straw-pedoing bottles of Smirnoff ice haha. Rock and Roll baby.

No Faith by Hornets

The next morning before we left for Eastbourne we stopped off at a Tesco to stock up on supplies for the journey. Whilst standing at the deli counter at the back of Tesco some guy walks round the corner with blood all over his hand, then 10 seconds later some other dude with a busted nose and blood all over his face comes staggering round the corner. After much speculation on our behalf, it turns out that they got into a fight over the head of the last pizza on offer. Some dudes just fucking love a bargain.

Tuesday 25th March – Eastbourne
Our long time best buddy (full time heavy metal maniac) Adam McConville organised the Eastbourne show for us in a Venue called Buskers. He works with some other dudes from Brighton and Eastbourne who book and run shows under the title “PromoterHead” This is officially the best name for a promotion company. EVER.

The other bands on the bill were awesome. Mr Lizard opened up the show and Howls were main support. After the show we drove to Brighton as we were very kindly offered a place to stay with Lauren and Leander, they run a PR company called Inception Press that we are currently working with.

The next morning we all got up and headed for breakfast in Brighton. After a monster of a fry up we headed to Brighton Pier with Lauren, Leander and their dog Zuul. It was great getting the chance to spend time in the city and a welcome break to the routine of navigating our way across the UK.

Wednesday 26th March – Bristol
After a lengthy drive across the country we arrived Bristol. The venue for tonight’s antics would be Stag and Hounds. The band on before us pulled out a screamo / extensive use of double kick cover of Christopher’s River by Biffy Clyro, definitely an interesting spectacle! The owners of the bar also run another venue across town, which has a hostel above the venue for touring bands. I haven’t seen anything like this in either the north or south of Ireland, if more venues could help out bands like this it would be fantastic. It makes touring much more practical on a financial basis and helps to takes the sting out of long drives when you can get a good nights rest.

Thursday 27th March – Swansea
This was the only date outside of England that we played on the Tour. The show was in a relatively new venue called “Static Rock Bar,” it seemed to be the local go-to spot for anyone into their alternative music. The venue was situated opposite “Simply Pleasure,” Swansea’s largest licensed adult centre. You find some strange things on tour when you have time to kill.
The gig had a fairly substantial line-up with 6 bands on the bill. We were main support to a band from Brighton called Fathoms. After the show, with nowhere to stay in Swansea, we set off for London. We stopped at a motorway services about an hour outside London and piled into the back of the van for what can only be described as a tight squeeze in terms of sleeping arrangements.

Friday 28th March – London
The London date was in Camden, our good friend Michael Patterson who is originally from Northern Ireland but now lives in London was putting on the show. The venue was “The Black Heart,” situated right in the middle of Camden. The venue had an extensive selection of seriously good tasting beers. The afternoon began with a few pints of DNA, a trip round Camden Lock for some grub in the street stalls, then back the venue and onto the pints of Paulander, it’s a hard life right?! After the show we realised that our buddy Dave from Lafaro was in town playing Camden Barfly with his other band – Little Matador. As this was only a 10-minute walk from The Black Heart we headed over to catch their set.

Upon returning to our van after the show disaster stuck. The ignition key snapped off in the back door of the fucker. Thankfully we had spare keys to lock all the doors, but you exclusively need the ignition key to get the engine started. The main problem here was that the ignition key was in my hand in two separate pieces. We crashed back at Michael’s on the outskirts of London that evening, alarms set for 6:30AM the next morning we got up and began ringing every auto locksmith company in London.

After about 30 phonecalls (no joke) we finally managed to find a guy who was willing to call out and look at the van. When he arrived it turns out he didn’t have the correct parts to cut a new key so he disappeared for another couple of hours, finally upon his return he was able to cut us a new key on the spot and get us back on the road! Thank you Damien you saved the day big time!

Saturday 29th March – Selby (daytime show)
Due to the unfortunate sequence of events that left us with a snapped van key in London the night before, we were leaving for Selby with about 3 and a half hours til our stage time. According to google / satnav it takes 3 and a half hours to get from London to Selby. It was going to be a tight one! We just about made it to Selby in time to play, the gig was part of an all day festival and we were on about half way through the festival.

We honestly can’t have been in Selby any longer than an hour (including load-in, playing and load-out). After our set we were back on the road immediately to make in to Manchester in time for our last show of the tour. It worked out when booking the tour that we could squeeze two gigs into one day so we though fuck it, lets go for it.

Saturday 29th March – Manchester (evening show)
The final show of the tour was in a venue called Wahlbar. Much like the first show of tour (Sheffield), the gig was organised and promoted by a collective of people within the punk / hardcore scene. We rolled into Manchester about 30 minutes before our stage time. We were all buzzing due to the fact that we had overcome our mishap with the van key and managed to turn up in time for both shows against all odds.

March 30th
We made it home after an epic 8 hour ferry back to Ireland, just in time for our new EP ‘No Faith’ to be release on the 31st!

More photos from Hornets can be viewed on our Facebook page.

‘No Faith’ by Hornets is out now on Guys With Beards Records.

Hornets links: Facebook|Twitter|Tumblr|Bandcamp

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