Stockholm - 8th & 9th July 2016

Ferry from Turku to Stockholm^^

We eventually arrived in Stockholm in the evening, rolling off the ferry into the last of the sunshine.

^^ view from the top deck in the sunshine

I sat in the front cab chatting with Don the driver in the short drive to the hotel, where we jumbled off the bus quickly to get our stuff inside and get ready for Scott and Pete’s Facebook live. When we arrived, there was a parcel waiting at reception for the boys, a box of new boots from Jeffery West that included a special pair we’d ordered to give as a gift to Ozzy. (You may remember if you read the blog that Scott visited Ozzy in Zurich and he remarked on how much he loved Scott’s boots).

Getting the parcel ^^

We didn’t have much time to hang about and sort out the boots as we were already late for the Facebook Live chat and everyone was starving hungry. Our friend Danny from Carlings was waiting for us at the hotel to go with the guys to dinner at one of their favourite Indian food places in Stockholm.  But first, the Facebook Live.
Its difficult scheduling the Facebook Live’s regularly as you’re never 100% sure about the wifi and timings, or level of exhaustion from travel. However, the guys were really into doing these different pairings on camera and showing off members of the Rival Sons team behind the scenes that normally don’t get asked fan questions and giving them some recognition as a huge part of the Rival Sons touring engine.
The hotel in Stockholm was very hot, but the wifi connection wasn’t bad. I ran around trying to get stuff sorted ready for the Facebook Live, then rearranging furniture in Scott’s room so that both Scott and Pete were visible. Ending up with Scott looking twice as tall as Pete – but hey, we were in a rush.
You can check out the Facebook Live here: 


Pete, Scott, Todd and I then grabbed a cab from the hotel out to the restaurant to catch up with everyone else and get some food.

^^ the Dinner crew

I might mention that the hotel was so hot and I couldn’t sleep that later that night I thought I’d go and get my own pillow off the bus and some melatonin. Well, that was a disaster and my scary highlight of the tour. The bus door opened, then I accidentally shut it, then the bus power went out, so I was locked on the bus at 2.30am in the dark with no phone and no way of getting off. After a 30minute panic I did get off the bus, but that’s another story… anyway….

The next morning the guys and I headed out to the “Mall of Scandinavia” to visit the Carlings store. Carlings are a chain of Scandinavian stores who have supported the guys since early on in their careers. Now and again they’re lucky enough to visit to get some new clothes. So we headed over there to get them some new threads.

Clothes and fashion have been part of the Rival Sons brand since early on. When I first met the guys before the Barfly show in Camden one I already loved their style and Jay’s white boots. They do it in a way that seems to me without cliché in a world where the “rock” look is so overplayed – even the words “rock fashion” sound totally faux and gross. I’m bias of course, but I can understand why designers want to work with Rival Sons, - as one of my favourite style blogs “StyleLikeU” always says, “its not the clothes you wear, it’s what’s underneath”. (Check out this article from a couple of years about the guys ago http://www.menstylefashion.com/rival-sons-reinvigorating-rocknrolls-roguish-charm/)

The problem with new clothes when you’re on the road is that you have to get them back home – and Stockholm was also packing day. The tourbus was due to drop us at the airport after the show that evening and everything that you wanted to keep had to be off the bus in your case or packed in the trailer for shipping. 

When we arrived at the venue later that afternoon the tourbus was parked up down one of the arena’s tunnels surrounded by suitcases, boxes and bags.
The time until the show was a whirlwind of documentary crew, interviews, trying to eat, and then getting to stage.  As it was a Monsters of Rock show there were other bands playing apart from Black Sabbath and Rival Sons -  like Volbeat for example. There wasn’t any time to see them though, partly because the backstage was so big I seemed to continuously be running from one tunnel to another looking for something or someone to get the next item ticked off the list – for example photoshoot (tick) - In new Jeffery West boots (tick)…

Anyway, the Stockholm crowd were very welcoming. Scandinavia has always been very appreciative of Rival Sons.

The GoPro was up behind the drums again, partly because I think this spot gives overall, the best pics, but also because Volbeat’s drumtech was nice enough to let me put it on their drum riser.

A video posted by Rival Sons (@rivalsons) on Jul 9, 2016 at 10:55am PDT

After the show I ran to get some catering then prepared for Scott and I to deliver the Jeffery West boots to Ozzy. (We had to deliver them before the Black Sabbath show as we were leaving early to get out of the tourbus etc.)
So Scott and I sauntered over to Ozzy’s room about 8pm with the boots…

^^ these boots
You may have seen Scott wearing these boots many times on stage, they have a skunk stripe down the middle and are pretty loud…

Anyway, we went into see Ozzy and deliver him the boots (they were a surprise) and he was over the moon! Really surprised and touched and excited. He sat on the sofa and pulled his trainers off and put the boots on straight away (I’d made sure we had the right size) – they fitted and looked so awesome, totally suited him. He was so pleased with them he was hopping around on one leg with Scott showing them off. The two of them didn’t stop hopping about when I tried to get a photo – so this is all I have to show you, but its good enough. 

Anyway, he was delighted with them and Scott and I left feeling really good about it.

After that I tried to find a good enough wifi signal to see if we could do another Facebook Live. We were due to leave at 9pm, which didn’t give us a lot of time, but the guys wanted driver Don to meet the fans. Unfortunately no wifi link at the venue was strong enough, so we had to just get on with the business of packing up then getting to the airport.

^^Don waiting to do his Facebook Live (and waiting to leave), whilst eating a slice of post-gig pizza

I don’t know how it happens, but the guys have travelled with way more stuff than me, yet manage to glide off the bus carrying two or three pieces of luggage serenely, whilst I have plastic bags with wellies tumbling out on to the pavement, a case I can’t lift and a genuine expression of grit as I try to make it off the bus, dragging stuff towards the airport hotel with grim determination.

^^ Scott at the airport the next morning

We waved goodbye to Don our driver and the bus. Don has been Rival Sons driver in Europe for many years now. It would have been an experience doing a Facebook live with him as he’s quite a character, well-loved and loud - although we would have had to issue a parental guidance with the live stream. Anyway, we rolled on into the hotel, me trailing afterwards with my wellie boots and Rainbow Brite bedsheets and into our hotel rooms…
Next stop, Moscow.


The Trailer Park Boys announce a secret Southern Ontario music festival they will be hosting 27-29 June…




Rival Sons | Roundhouse, London | 01.04.15

Rival Sons were absolutely amazing at the Roundhouse last week. Such a great band with tons of energy. The lighting was pretty awesome too. More photos and my accompanying review are up on AltSounds.

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I know there are so many things but a great part of creativity comes from necessity. If you put yourself on a schedule and force yourself to create something you’ll find you are actually creating something at a much higher level than if you just tell yourself you’ll get around to writing that song eventually. Once you chain yourself to that desk and write, when you peel back the layers, you will find something that’s been floating around in your skull or in your heart. You’ll find that it’s a never-ending mental cornucopia that you can never exhaust.
—  Jay Buchanan of Rival Sons, via Pancakes and Whiskey