So the tour was done and all we had to do now was drop the van and gear back off at the hire place and get to the airport. The warehouse reminded me of the final scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark where they hide the ark away. It’s a huge room filled with every kind of musical equipment you could imagine, each box or shelf with a sticker bearing the name of the last or next band to use it. I spotted a couple of mate’s names, and also a few legends (NAPALM DEATH on one big meaty bass cab). One final time I got the sense of being on a path that so many others who love music have followed around the continent. After that, the bloke from the hire place drove us to the airport and we said our emotional goodbyes and that was that, back to reality. (Though while sitting around waiting for my flight I got a message from the band to say that because their first flight was delayed they missed their connecting flight and had to spend an extra night in Switzerland. Europe wasn’t gonna let em go just yet, but they did make it home in one piece eventually.)
It was an incredible experience and I can’t thank Mike, Marissa and Jarrett enough for inviting me along. Truly three of the nicest, funniest and most talented people you could ever hope to meet and three of the best weeks of my life. I don’t know what’s gonna happen with Brexit. Shortly after I got back they voted to extend the deadline six months because literally no-one knows what’s gonna happen with it, least of all the people in charge who are actually at the negotiating table, but it was lovely to travel around the continent and see so many like-minded people motivated by their love of music, to be reminded of the smaller differences and the larger similarities, to see the dedication and influence of one band, and to follow in the footsteps of countless others, making our own mark. I’m sure by the next time they come back this side of the pond there will be scores more bands dotted around places like Ravenna and Munich who had been inspired by seeing the Screamales giving it their all on the stage, that there will be people proudly sporting their 2019 Screaming Females tour shirts, taking their friends along to see the best live rock and roll band on the planet, who they just have not stopped talking about since the last time they took that stage apart.
Oh, and two months later I got a message from Marissa to say that Cyprian, in addition to holding a benefit show to raise money for her replacement pedals, had tracked down her pedalbox in apawn shop in Krakow and was shipping them back to her. What a fucking legend! Oi! Oi! Punk, rock and roll and DIY forever. Go start your own fucking band, anyone can do it!