As regular blog readers will know, when one of our esteemed bands spread their wings and do something even vaguely exciting overseas, we loan thema biro and an old school jotter to keepa note of their exploits. This time we have a doozy. Not only is it And So I Watch You From Afar one of the finest live bands in Ireland providing your blog contents, they happen to be on tour at the request of Them Crooked Vultures, who boast Dave Grohl of Nirvana and Foo Fighters, Josh Homme from QOTSA and John Paul Jones from flippin' Led Zeppelin!

Tony Wright from ASIWYFA reveals all...

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So, we got home from a mammoth 8 week tour on the 17th of May that took in, Toronto, New York, a few dates in Austin, Derry, Dublin, plus the Majority of the UK (with the towering Riff Inferno LaFaro) and France, Hungary, Poland, Italy, Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Denmark and a host of other places (you get the general idea).

We were looking forward to some writing and rehearsing time when outta nowhere we get asked if we wanna hit the road again on short notice. It's only three dates over ten days we were told to soften the "blow". The "blow" was more like a warm embracing hug from an estranged friend if anything else as we were asked to be the main and only support for a new little beat combo that goes by the name of Them Crooked Vultures. Comprising of Dave Grohl, John Paul Jones, Josh Homme and Alain Johannes. Needless to say we mulled over it for a while before giving it the go ahead.

That last sentence is a barefaced lie. It was an instantaneous YES, of course! We didn't have much time to get ready for the tour but we're that used to it by now it all seems like second nature.

We hit the road with a slighly larger crew than usual as the difference between our normal 250 capacity club shows in Europe and the arena sized ones we'd be doing with the Vultures is a tad larger. So we brought on board our good friends Niall Kennedy of Panama Kings, Simon Crowe of Team Fresh and the legendary Dermot McBride of Glasgowbury fame along with our trusty TM Graham Smith and our bearded sound wizard Andy Coles. TEAM ASSEMBLED!

Tuesday morning at 6am we disembarked from Rory's place outside Portrush. It was a short jaunt to Vienna. 44 hours later we arrived, in various forms of discomfort. Poor ol' Graham Smith had the back of a 90 year old war veteran, but he's a trooper and never complained once, which merely encouraged us to laugh at his velociraptor like stance and posture, sorry Graham.

When we got to the outdoor Vienna Arena the Vultures were still on a transatlantic flight (on a plane, they're not actual Vultures... I think...) so their crew had set up everything and were soundchecking the gear, they played some TCV tunes, and a couple of Zeppelin riffs were blasted out. The crew are the world's finest TCV cover band, honestly, these guys were so tight, and a great group of fellas to boot.

We kicked about the backstage eagerly waiting to soundcheck, shortly thereafter we got the go ahead to set up our stuff. We set up in front of the guys' gear, something we'd done on support tours before but this was by far the most illustrious gear we'd ever set up in front of.

Sound check went great, with alot of TCV's crew coming up and saying they loved our sound and were looking forward to the set, always nice to hear. We went back up to our room and talked our usual round of guff, then from out of nowhere Josh (or Joshua as he would later introduce himself to me) walked by our room, stuck his head in and said, "Hi, I'm Dave Grohl", then 5 seconds later stuck his head in again and said, "Hi, I'm John Paul Jones". Big ginger liar.

We chatted briefly with the band and they were super cool and thanked us for coming out on such short notice, then... showtime.

Our set had to be half an hour sharp, and we adhered to it. During the first song, my guitar decided to be an idiot but after some serious guitar butchery it came back to life and we were fully in business. More and more people filtered down to watch us and by the end of the set the place was pretty much capacity, just shy of 2500, and they were going nuts. Job done.

A seriously quick load out followed and we went back upstairs, where Dave Grohl met us in the communal dining room and grabbed me by the hand, shook, thanked us again and said (and I quote) ,"You guys rocked, thanks for warming 'em up, that was one big roar from the crowd!". Nice way to finish a gig, huh?

Vultures were amazing, the musicianship on display was second to none, obviously! Needless to say we enjoyed a few post gig beers. Roll on the next gig...

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