Photos by Emma Cleveland, David Combs, Sandy Fulton, Helen Messenger, Katie Park and Daoud Tyler-Ameen
Welcome to the first installment of our brand new series, On the Road With, where some of our favorite bands share their tour diaries with us. Kicking things off is D.C. quartet Bad Moves, who recently went on a trip to the UK. Make sure to catch them tonight at our next Luce Unplugged concert at the Smithsonian American Art Museum–it’s a free show!
MAY 12: EXETER QUEER PUNK FEST @ The Bike Shed Theater
After having all flown into the UK separately, we met up in Exeter and greeted our tour partners, The Spook School, with the traditional offering of vegan ice cream on a stick.
Our first gig was Exeter Queer Punk Fest, an event organized in coordination with Exeter Pride.
May 13: BRISTOL @ The Stag and Hounds
Not only did our tour manager/hero Jimmy Cleveland take care of us, drive us around, smash and replace the mirrors of parked cars, and memorize the location of every Wetherspoons in the UK, but he also roused us in the morning with story time. The Bristol gig was our second of two with the amazing Jesus and his Judgmental Father.
MAY 14: OXFORD @ The Library
Our day in Oxford was filled with tours of ancient libraries, hedge mazes, and all the important landmarks from The Golden Compass.
Then we rocked the tiny basement of a pub called The Library, which was well documented by Helen Messenger.
Post-show ice cream party? Check.
MAY 15: LEEDS @ The Brudenell Social Club
After a day of visiting Emma’s grandfather in Scunthorpe, we popped up to Leeds, where Jeremy Corbyn, the Labor candidate for Prime Minister happened to be giving a stump speech in the parking lot of the venue we were playing.
Our tour was coincidentally in the same venue as another tour featuring Crywank, Chrissy Barnacle, and a friend from the U.S., Loone
On our side of the venue, openers Nanna killed it and then as we were becoming accustomed to, The Spook School offered a lesson in the pure euphoria of Queer Indie Pop.
MAY 16: MANCHESTER @ Retro Bar
We started our day off in Manchester with a visit to the People’s History Museum’s LGBTQ exhibit.
The openers at Retro Bar had to drop off the gig at the last minute, but luckily we had a world class musician driving our van, so Jimmy gave a solo performance of Martha songs.
MAY 17: EDINBURGH @ The Banshee Labyrinth
We made a day of walking around Edinburgh, appreciating its beautiful architecture, ancient cemeteries and cat cafes.
We were privileged to be performing at Scotland’s most haunted venue, The Banshee Labyrinth, and even more privileged to share the stage with Durham’s legendary acoustic duo ONSIND.
MAY 18: GLASGOW @ The 13th Note
Before tearing it up at Glasgow’s 13th Note, we walked around the city and found a park to practice our acoustic set in. It was a fully Glaswegian experience, complete with a friendly drunk man, deep into a bottle of Buckfast, who wouldn’t leave us alone.
MAY 19: TRAFFIC
We were meant to play a sold out gig in Nottingham, but a huge accident blocked off several major highways and we ended up stuck in standstill traffic for the ENTIRE day. Unfortunately, the show had to be canceled. It was a pretty big blow to morale, but on the upside we did get friendly with some sheep on the side of the road.
MAY 20: DURHAM @ Durham University Student Union
Since we couldn’t make it to Nottingham, we spent the night in Jimmy’s hometown of Durham, which gave us the whole next day to mess around and record an acoustic cover of our tour anthem “Hey QT” by QT with The Spook School and ONSIND.
The show that night was destined to be a rager. Not only did our tour collide with our friends from the States, Jeff Rosenstock’s tour, but also our personal heroes, Martha, opened with a secret set.
THE SPOOK SCHOOL
Post show, things devolved further into a blur of whiskey and spaghetti hoops.
Sadly, it was our last gig with The Spook School. Goodbyes are never easy. Van tears were shed.
MAY 21: LONDON @ Montague Arms
The next morning we waved off the Spooks and headed down to London for a stacked bill with Just Blankets, Wolf Girl + Dear Everyone.
As all things do, our trip had come to an end and it was back to the airport with Bad Moves.