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Eye of the Enemy Tour Diary – Part 3 – South Korea and China

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We arrived in Busan around midday and were taken out to a typical Korean lunch, followed by an insanely good Korean shaved frozen milk dessert that we’re still not entirely sure what it was.

The next night we played to an energetic crowd at Club Realize and then went out to traditional Korean BBQ with the promoter and local band End These Days, which ended in an eating challenge with Simon eating six cloves of garlic and waking up the next morning still tasting garlic.

The next day we caught the train from Busan to Seoul, checked into our hotel and then went straight to the gig at Thunderhorse. The crowd was insanely energetic with a ferocious pit, knocking over people and tables with a good 10 or 15 beer glasses being taken down with them.

We went to back to the hotel after the gig, set our alarms for three hours time and got up to fly to Guangzhou, China. We were taken out to awesome Chinese dim sum for lunch, which included the classic chicken feet, then headed off to the gig. The venue, Fei Livehouse, was like a huge aeroplane hanger in a cool little arts precinct with tree lined streets that practically feels like you’re in a rainforest.

We weren’t sure what to expect in Guangzhou, especially after we were told that there are really only two metal bands in Guangzhou, but the turnout far exceeded anything we could have ever imagined. The crowd was probably one of the most enthusiastic and energetic crowds of the tour and were especially excited after Mitch climbed the lighting rig onto the speaker stack.

The next day we jumped on a train to Wuhan, China for the last show of the tour at Vox Livehouse. Again, we were blown away by the turnout and the enthusiasm of the crowd. As with the gigs in Busan, Seoul and Guangzhou, the crowd demanded an encore only instead of the “one more song” that was requested in the other three cities, Wuhan wanted “ten more songs”.

We played in 8 different cities in 5 different countries over a span of less than two weeks. It was definitely one of the most exhausting, but also one of the most rewarding experiences we’ve ever had. The reception we received, along with the incredible hospitality, far exceeded anything we ever expected and we’d like to thank all of the promoters for making the tour possible, but most importantly we want to thank everyone that came to the shows and supported us!

Here’s a word from our singer, Mitch, which aptly summarises how we all feel:

“What a f**king fortnight that was. It feels like I haven’t slept in a month, and it feels like I never left home.

I’ve never accrued so many unforgettable memories while also doing so much mundane and uneventful crap – sweating enough in Singapore to count as a successful show; hours of soundchecks; hearing someone from another hemisphere request a song; hundreds of signatures, photos and selfies; being humbled nightly by one of the best death metal bands in the world; flights, trains, taxis and hotel rooms; language barriers lost in a moshpit; elevators, escalators and stairwells; three shows across three countries in three days with six hours sleep; customs and immigration and customs and immigration; people appreciating my band just as much as I appreciate them for being there; being nicknamed “Bitchface” by Steveo, the owner of Hidden Agenda, within two minutes of meeting, and it sticking; mic checks; circle pits; wet socks; the goddamn local bands in Korea and China forcing me to perform when I didn’t think I could; drum and bass clubs in Japan; mild non-impact concussion; water bottles; Busan’s smell; humidity; MERS and sticky masks; fish in f**king everything; wet singlets; an American soldier in a Canadian’s bar in Korea’s capital starting a chant for Melbourne, almost bringing a tear to my eye; currency conversion; every headline show being fun enough for an encore; carrying road cases; 70+ crazy motherfuckers in Guangzhou linking arms and headbanging like a well drilled militia; Pocari Sweat; local food and McDonald’s breakfasts; never wanting to leave China; street food and 80c beer at 1am; Chinese road rules merely being suggestive; a bus driver not adverse to asking for directions by stopping in the middle of the road and jumping out; about 300 Chinese people coming to shows that had my dumb face on the advertising; showers that are the whole bathroom; just Guanzhou; connecting flights; music; beer; buses.

There are way too many people to thank without being confident I wouldn’t miss anyone – but if you supported my band or had mine support yours, if you got us to or from a venue or hotel or restaurant, made us feel welcome, helped me get my phrasing right (only to hear it mangled onstage anyway), or were in any way responsible in helping me literally live my childhood dream for the last 14 days, I want to sincerely thank you. If you were in the crowd and losing your mind, screaming and dancing and slamming, if you came up to me later and said something nice, bought some merch and asked for my signature, shook my hand or said something positive about the gigs online, I cannot express my gratitude. Without you we’re just jamming in a room, and as fun as that is, it’s not the same. You are the only reason I can do this, and I am quickly understanding how genuine it is when bands say they love their fans. If I could hug you all for hours I would. I met so many f**king amazing people this trip, and I hope you all know who you are. I’m sure most of you do. Thank you.

In particular though, I want to thank Amanda Mason, who became the unsung and invaluable 6th member of Eye of the Enemy. Without you, we would’ve been f**ked. Thank you for being an extra pair of eyes, ears and arms, and at least one functioning brain. And for being chill as f**k to travel across Asia with.

And to Simon Headley, Justin Macdonald, Ben Hunt and Chris Kane for bringing me into what is undoubtedly the greatest and worst band in the world. I simply couldn’t have found four cooler dudes to share stages, trains, planes, taxis and hotel rooms with. We fucking crushed it, even when we didn’t.

The best part is that this isn’t a once-in-a-lifetime experience – this was just the first run, and I don’t want to do a single other f**king thing with the rest of my life.”

 

 

 

 

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