Patrick Sickles eating his beard
Getting dropped off at Newark Airport. We packed so lightly, we didn't even bring a backup guitar—fortunately no one broke a string at the two shows!
Ian looking fabulous in a Big Pink tank top in the Merok office.
Eric loading up our tiny Ford at the ETAP motel outside of Leeds. We had such an early festival slot that we needed to drive up from London the night before in order to arrive on time at 11am for load in.
Ian did all of the driving, and wasn't fazed by driving stick-shift on the wrong side of the road while navigating with a Tom Tom GPS. Titus is still very much a DIY band! No tour managers for us. Though we are looking to get Ian a "tour manager," Kangol hat so he can assert his authority more effectively with venues on the upcoming US leg and make sure we get our meal buy-outs!
The GPS led us astray on the way to the Leeds festival grounds and we nearly ran into some horses.
Parking for bands on the Leeds Festival Republic Stage was pretty far from the actual tent. The main stage structure is in the background.
The staff forgot to tell us that we were allowed to drive up to behind the Festival Republic Stage for load in, so we ended up lugging our gear from the parking lot through a quarter-mile-long labyrinth of backstage pathways to get there. Spinal Tap moment!
An empty tent at 11:30 AM, 90 minutes before we are scheduled to play. Will anyone show up??
Patrick in front of our backstage trailer at Leeds. We were only able to stay in it for the half of the day, unfortunately.
Eric discusses the drum hardware situation with a festival roadie who bears a strong resemblance to Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson. The roadies at Leeds were hilariously stereotypical. Too bad Del Preston wasn't there!
Onstage shot of Dylan from Bear Hands, who played directly before us. It was nice to see some familiar folks from Brooklyn. And nice to see that the tent had filled up with "punters," so quickly.
Patrick Stickles (vocals, guitar, harmonica) dancing to the tunes of those "other," Jersey punks, Gaslight Anthem, at the Hertz rental lot at Heathrow Airport in London. Patrick and Ian Graetzer (bass guitar) were especially curious to check out our "competition," at the festival—though Gaslight Anthem was ultimately a bit of a let down.
Eric and Patrick on the backstage loading ramp at Leeds. This contraption was useless to any band that wasn't arriving with their gear in a tractor trailer truck.
Patrick and Ian onstage packing up right after our set ended at Leeds. Patrick has a sweet homemade Black Flag shirt on! With 30 minute sets and 15 minute change-over time, it felt more hurried than a six-band Joe Ahearn show at Silent Barn! The power converter situation for our pedals was a bit nerve-wracking too, as my voltage converter wasn't working when we practiced at Milo's house. Fortunately the crew provided us with American voltage converters and all was well.
Patrick finishing off his Extreme Pringles. Our XL labelmates The XX can be seen hanging out in the background. I had encountered them a few weeks earlier in Brooklyn at Bruar Falls.
Ian in the catering tent, with Nick Zinner from the Yeah Yeah Yeah's in the background. The catering tent was the only place where performers from the various different stages had any interaction—though we didn't actually talk to Zinner at all. I had some mediocre Lamb Rogan Josh for lunch.
Ian and I are heading to the BBC Radio 1 Tent to see Crystal Castles.
Punters urinating on the perimeter wall. Not enough port-a-johns?
Loading out from Milo's house the next day, about to leave for Reading. Since Dalston is a bit sketchy, we didn't want to leave any visible gear in the car overnight.
Our car was about the size of Honda Civic. Since Ian is under 25, Hertz wouldn't rent him a bigger car. We toughed it out.
Ian in our trailer at Reading. After we got booted from our trailer, we bagged up all our extra beverages and brought them back to London. My roadcase has a Dinowalrus tusk/tooth done in yellow electric tape. The duffel bag is filled with unsold Titus shirts. Despite playing for nearly 2,000 people over the course of our two festival appearances, we only sold one measly t-shirt!
Yours truly in our trailer at Reading with Patrick and Eric.
Patrick showing off his new Crass tattoo. He spent most of the tour reading their biography!
The backstage toiler trailer at Reading had ritzy wood veneer flooring—but it still had smelly blue ice in the toilet like a standard port-a-john!
The crowd in the Festival Republic tent at Reading right after we finished our set.
Blowup doll during Vampire Weekend's set at Reading
Insanely tall PA speaker towers at Reading. Note Karen O on the video screen in the bottom left corner.
Patrick and Dylan from Bear Hands chilling in the Festival Republic Stage lounge. Radiohead was playing then, but we were too tired to go out and deal with being in a crowd of 70,000 people in cold and clammy weather.
Back from Reading, partying late at Milo's house with Florence Welch of UK pop sensations Florence and the Machine (who were apparently #2 on the UK album charts this past July). We are playing a drinking game that involves blowing a deck of cards off the top off a wine bottle. Patrick is finishing one of the many extra Tuborg beers that we nabbed from our trailer!
Patrick and Jack Penate, another XL lablemate. Jack also lives at Milo's house.
Jack Penate is taking my picture with his new Polaroid camera.
Patrick and Florence are jamming out. I also "wrote," a song with Florence earlier—I think Eric Patrick recorded it on Ian's iPhone. At this point it was 7am and my camera ran out of batteries so I tried to go to sleep, since our flight back to Newark was the next day.
Arriving at Milo's compound in Dalston, East London, our lodging for the weekend. A veritable hub of activity, it is also the headquarters of Merok Records, Titus' UK label. Milo is also in the band The Big Pink. Dalston could be thought of as the Bushwick of London, located about two miles north of trendy Shoreditch—The London equivalent of Williamsburg. We mainly subsisted on hummus and Turkish anise-flavored bread from a nearby market.
Patrick with Milo's demented English bull terrier Biz. That dog bit me on three separate occasions without any provocation!
Eric Harm (drums, vocals) and Patrick in the courtyard at Milo's house.
Assorted Merok 7,"s in the courtyard window. Note the first ever Crystal Castles single on the right. They played a few hours after us and put on the best show at the festival by far!
Plugged in and ready to play in the Big Pink's practice space (also our sleeping quarters). The Fender amps and the drum kit are actually owned by Titus Andronicus Inc. and stored at the Merok office in London to preclude the need to rent a backline when in Europe.
Patrick and Chris from Merok at Nando's, a Portuguese rotisserie chicken chain in Dalston. I was bummed out that we didn't get to go to a Balti house for curry instead!