Hey Europeans! You should know something – a slight invasion is going to happen. There’s a reason bags are being packed and laundry done. There’s a reason a new set list is being drawn up, passports gathered and tickets double (no triple) checked. There’s a reason a backline is being arranged; extra guitar strings, drumsticks, and throat lozenges purchased. You’ll know it when it hits – a blast of hardcore punk delivered at high velocity; a rhythmic pounding like water-torture on 78 RPM and an ungodly tirade of Seinfeld references and dystopic predictions. Night Birds are coming to a town near you.
After nearly two years of molting stateside - which saw a new EP on Fat Records, an LP on Grave Mistake, a baby being born, and a slew of domestic jaunts – their sites are set on the old world once again. Brian – the guy that screams in your face, says “I love getting to travel with Night Birds because we all have full-time jobs and this is the closest thing to a vacation we’re going to get. It’s a perfect way to travel around to places we’ve never been before. Getting to play shows every night with some of my best friends is just an added bonus.” And this tour sees them hitting new lands for the first time – Czech Republic, Slovenia, Hungary, Italy, Switzerland, Finland.
Not to get all literary, but John Steinbeck referred to this travel bug as an incurable disease. He explains, “all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.” I think this well-trodden quote rings familiar for touring punks constantly on the move - meeting new friends each night, playing their hearts out or seeing the bands they love, and crashing on the hardwoods before moving on to the next town.
That being said, what will begin in Amsterdam, will end just a dozen short days later in Helsinki. It’s a flash that arrives and departs as quickly as one of the band’s own songs and with as much ferocity. 11 countries in 12 insane days. The Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, France, the U.K., Belgium, Finland. The net is cast wide and by not dwelling long in any one town, they hope to reach as many punks as possible. Short, fast, and fucking loud.
Though the ink on a deal with Fat is still drying, though they’ve released one of the best hardcore punk LPs of the times , the band is no less approachable. How you reach them is still simply when they roll through your town (er, that and Facebook…and this blog!). Accolades and achievements are nice, but it’s sweating it out in a venue that leaves an impression. Sing along, stage dive, mosh, go bonkers. If you can’t make a show or you want to follow along, I’ll be posting exploits, embarrassments, successes, failures and flat-out lies as long as wifi is attainable and this laptop doesn’t shit the bed. So please subscribe to this blog by entering your email at the top of the page (no bullshit!) or just look for a Facebook heads up! Go Start Your Own Band is excited and a little terrified to be riding along with Night Birds for the duration.
The hardcore punk scene is an international community of locales. Set on a circuit - bands, punks, kids, moshers and jerks flow from point to point. It doesn’t sustain on the back-ass-end of a modem or via revolutions on your turntable. It’s the seeing and living and moving that keeps this shit vital. To turn back to Steinbeck’s own reflections on persistent travel, “once a bum, always a bum.”