My best friend and long time brother Jarrad had bought me a sweet ticket to see Cancer Bats live in Manchester. I was fucking stoked, having seen the Bats live twice before i could almost imagine them razing Manchester Academy to it's foundations.
We got into the city centre and met up, (Jarrad being from Lancaster) and headed off. Usually when in Manchester we crash at my cousin Shauns place but seeing as it was Bank Holiday weekend he had skipped off for some time away with family. BOLLOCKS, we were left without anywhere to stay, so first i suggested doing an all nighter round the fabled streets of picadilly to which Jarrad pointed out how unbelievably cold and vulnerable we would be. My answer to this was that we could keep ourselves warm 'using the fire thats in our hearts'.. this did not sit well with Jarrad.
After laughing in the face of Travelodge who demanded £62 for the priviledge of staying in their grey hell hole, we trotted off to find me some 'boat shoes' from town (i'm wearing them now and they're fucking sweet)
The Gig itself was as intense as i had thought it was going to be, the support acts SSS and The Plight came on and gutted the place raw. The vocalist from SSS even took a few cheeky pot shots at the Manchester crowd - with him being from neighbouring Liverpool. Cancer Bats ignited seconds into their opener and proceeded to rattle through a mind-blowing set, French Immersion, Sorceress, 100 Grand Canyon, Deathsmarch, even new track Engine Skull. Jarrad & I both crowd surfed our way to glory, I fell over the stage backwards and Jarrad took over the pit like an absolute maniac decimating teenagers like a rampant idiot.
Haha at one point Jarrad spotted a pasty looking kid wearing a sleeveless Minor Threat shirt, 'nice one' we both thought and i proceeded in asking him what his favourite MT track was, the response we got was 'Oh, erm to tell the truth i just bought the shirt i don't really know any songs' Dear God in Heaven, is that what it's got to nowadays? Posing as Punk?
Before the gig Jarrad had got talking to the Cancer Bats drum tech, Ben was his name & he wanted to know if J had any green, so after the gig i went up to him and asked if he was going to be partying with everyone at Big Hands (amazing little bar in Manchester) after the gig, he said yes and so off we went like little groupies. Ready to get smashed 'cos lets face it we had nowhere else to be and nothing else to do.
A few drinks in with inhibitions lowered i notice the amazing Katie P outside chatting with Bats and The Plight. So, as soon as she came in I grabbed her for a quick hello and went on to tell her i followed her on Twitter. She asked what we were both drinking and i replied with whatever Lager it was i was supping on, JARRAD on the other hand was drinking a raspberry beer from a ridiculously queer shaped glass and no sooner had he spoke these words he batted the empty bottle of beer across the bar and onto the floor for no real reason at all, i couldn't stop laughing.
Coming back from the HORRENDOUS bathroom i ran into drum tech guy, got talking and then invited Jarrad down to the other end of the bar with me and as a result of conversation with drum tech guy we were introduced to Scott Middleton the guitarist and furthermore Liam Cormier & Jay the bassist - who by the way was wearing the SWEETEST denim jacket with an embroidered Entombed patch. The night progressed with us talking to German folk, Jarrad got entangled in conversation with various members of The Plight and me and Jay huddled in the corner talking about Whisky, Ireland and the quality of British Crowds.
This was all going amazingly, until some time in the wee hours everyone slowly filtered out and left, leaving me and my bro to fend for ourselves on the harsh forgiving terrain of Manchester. Jesus i'm making it sound like an arctic tundra. After regretably stumbling into a questionable fast-food outlet we scurried off to the only apartment block stairwell we knew we could get into.
From my perspective things went fairly blurry from then on. I can remember laying down on a balcony and also violently throwing up down the stairs as if poisoned by the shit pizza i bought with shrapnel from my back pocket, i awoke on the ground floor oddly enough with my head on Jarrad's camera bag. I looked up to see him sitting on the stairs keeping watch in his words 'for rapists' like a giant Doberman.
The walk to Picadilly train station at 5 o'clock in the morning was one of the best walks ever. Everyone and everything was still asleep, it was still dark and me and Jarrad walked round at peace with life. I was still fairly drunk but to hell with that, after a brief stop for Jarrad to show me where he had been to a Bike meet we headed into the train station, slept for an hour on a chair, said our goodbyes and put this weekend into our own little history books. Fucking brilliant!
Jarrad took all these photo's, i love him for it. Check out his blog here. His account of events is better put together than mine.