Thursday, July 23, 2009


We were very excited to go to Spain, because as wonderful as Germany, Holland and the UK were, Spain seemed like the first place we would go where the culture was genuinely different from ours. Our last German gig was in Kassel. We stayed at our promoter's place. Heis name was Armin, and he was a sort of wiry little mustachoied german dude in his mid-30s who kept saying "This is a great honour... the DREADNOUGHTS are in MY HOUSE!". He had procured 24 Guinness, 24 Newcastle and a bottle of expensive whiskey. We disappointed him by collapsing into bed and passing out.

And yes, I know, those of you who have actually gone to bed with a Dreadnought understand entirely what Armin's experience was like.

However, I awoke the next morning and said to Armin: "Hey, let's get pissed!" So we did. Instead of, you know, beginning the 23-hour journey to Galicia, we sat in Armin's basement, listened to obscure European folkpunk and drank all of his booze. I somewhat regretted this move later, as I lay mostly comatose on a hill in France, completely in the middle of nowhere. Everyone else slept in the van, and when I heard wild dogs howling in the distance, I decided to cozy up into the driver's seat and pass out on the steering wheel.

We sleep in the van a lot.

The next day, somehow, we made it to Spain. To Galicia, where Cider (or "Sidra") is EVERYWHERE, almost as ubiquitous as in Bristol. However, there is a seriously terrible tradition, one which we broke many times, something for which we were almost murdered several times. In Galicia, you pour a bottle of Cider OVER YOUR HEAD into a cup that you sort of hold down by your bollocks. This results in half of the cider going on to the ground. The remaining amount, you're supposed to chug.

We enjoyed this tradition once or twice, but when we started paying for our own bottles, and when people started coming up to us and demanding that we pour half of it on the fucking ground, we had had enough. "Fuck OFF," we said, but they kept coming. Fuck. Idiots. CIDER. Fuck.

Speaking of Cider, we changed the "Cider" song to "Sidra" in order to impress the Spaniards. All over Spain, we've been singing "SIDRAAA, SIDRAAA, SIDRAAA, SIADRAA....". Someone has just informed us that our pronunciation is bad and it sounds like we're saying "SIDA". Which, in case you didn't know, is Spanish for "AIDS".

Spain: 1, Canada: 0.

Anyway, it would be difficult to summarize this wonderful place, but our booking agent has luckily provided us with a decent quote:

"In Spain," he said, "we don't give a fuck about anything."

He is basically right about that. Their Siesta is legendary: three hours a day where everyone fucks off from work and goes to sleep. Alcohol is UNBELIEVABLY cheap, and it's not uncommon to walk past a cafe at 10 in the morning and see hordes of old Spanish men drinking Cerveza on the patio. Usually they look at you like you're completely retarded and they hate you. Every building here looks like it's going to collapse in ten minutes. It's awesome.

At one festival we were playing, a man challenged Squid Vicious to a punching competition. There was a machine that registered the power of your punch. The guy wound up and pounded the bag... we waited for a minute, and his score came up: 1140. Squid nodded, stepped up to the bag, and ploughed into it. We waited for a minute, and Squid's score came up: 9908.

Spain:1, Canada:1.

Tonight, we play our final Spanish gig and head back towards a festival in Switzerland where, if you can believe this, we have 4-star hotel rooms, a shuttle bus to the hotel rooms, and a room full of cider waiting at the festival. As wonderful and enticing as this is, we will be sad to leave Spain. It is a beautiful, wonderful, squalid, noisy, fucked-up place, where sometimes, if you're drunk enough and the lighting is right, you can imagine that you're back on East Hastings.


  1. It was not Galicia where you poured sidra over your head, it was Asturias! ASTURIAS YOU FUCKERS! You say Galicia in the face of an Asturian and he'll definitely murder you, specially if you don't pour the sidra as you are supposed to do when in Asturias!

    Anyway it was a great gig you played here in Gijón. Hadn't had so much fun in months, and then bought 3 copies of Victory Square. Now I only have to see Siobhan play (does Siobhan still live by the way?) and I'll die a happy guy. Not that I want to die, but I'd love to see you touring some day!

  2. Calling all Dreadnoughts fans! Please vote for the Dreadnoughts on the Georgia Strait's "Best of Vancouver 2009" as best band (Culture tab) Voting ends Wed. July 29. CLICK to VOTE!
    ou'll need to fill out 25 'bests' throughout the survey to send in your votes)