|Sneeze Tour Diary|
Chapter One: Spinal TapasIn late August 2002 the Sydney band Sneeze met up in Spain to begin their UK/Europe tour in support of the Fire Records release of Lost The Spirit To Rock And Roll...
After two rehearsals in the outskirts of St Quirze del Valles, the suburb of Barcelona where Marti and Leticia from 120 mins reside, the Sneeze show was ready to go on the road. 21 shows in 30 days. Because the fans in Europe and UK have never seen Godstar and Smudge (except for a handful of Smudge shows in '94) we thought it would be good to do a short Godstar and Smudge (under the name "The Smudge Show" as Alison Galloway IS Smudge!) sets, along with a set by 120 mins before the main show by Sneeze. So there was a lot of bands to rehearse. "The Smudge Show" includes Tom (the only original Smudge member) with ring-ins Nic on guitar, Marti on bass and Simon on drums. Godstar with Nic, Tom, Simon on drums and Sweden's very own Tom "Tomas" Van Heesh (ex-Half Miler, Whopping Big Naughty, currently Muzak) on bass. 120 mins includes Marti and Leticia (both guitar and vocals) with Simon's brother Adam on bass and Simon on drums. You better be match fit Simon if you're drumming in four bands! For this tour Sneeze will be joined by Marti (bass, acoustic guitar), Leticia (bass, acoustic guitar, vocals) and Tomas on bass for the 'rock' part of the set. With Lucy selling the merch and Adam filming it all that makes eight of us all together.
Sneeze are also borrowing gear from 120 mins and their fellow Spanish friends and apart from the long-serving casio (as seen on the covers of Manilow and Lost The Spirit), Simon's cymbals and drumstool, it is all new gear we have to get used to. Marti and Leticia use a much lighter gauge of string than Nic and Tom so the three of four strings that Tom broke at rehearsal were only a taste of what was to come. We went and picked up a bass amp that Leti's bro Sebas' fellow bandmate was lending us and a trip to the local music stores supplied us with a cymbal stand, leads, strings, picks and a wah wah pedal.
On the morning of our first show we went to pick up the van from Hertz. Sneeze were going to travel in style in their dark blue Mercedes diesel van. No need for the folks back home to worry. But there was one problem. There's eight of us and the van can only fit six with all the band gear and luggage. There was a bit of a panic in the Hertz office as there were no bigger vans, mini buses, trailers and hiring another car was out of the question as there weren' t enough drivers and petrol money to cover two vehicles. What to do? It was decided that two of us would take turns travelling around by train for the next month, following the tour route. Expensive, a logistical nightmare and inconvenient, we didn't have a choice. There was one positive side to it - we'd all get to have a break from the van which is important on a long tour.
The first show in Barcelona coming up...
All words by Sneeze, September 2002. Please ask before reusing.