By Rob van Alstyne
By Zach McCormick
By Emily Eveland
By Jack Spencer
By Michael Madden
By Reed Fischer
By Emily Weiss
By Emily Weiss
Our buddy Sean Tyler, from Rough Trade, who booked the tour, was like, "Well, I'll tell you, this kid had e-mailed us for two years saying, 'You gotta come play Scotland.'" And [the kid] had thrown out crazy shit, like, "I'll fly you here."
You just kind of write it off because you get weird e-mails like that, anyway. But apparently he had tracked down Tyler, and he had thrown out some amount that he would pay us, and Sean was like, "Look, there's just no way we can fit it in. They're not here for that long."
And every time Tyler would e-mail him and tell him "no," the guy would write back with some higher number. It eventually reached this amount of money that was just stupid. Like, I wouldn't pay it to see tomorrow.
So Tyler was just like, "I went ahead and took it. It's doable."
So we ended up having this thing where we played Brighton. We literally had an hour to hang out with people and then we had to jump in this van and drive all night. And we got into Haddington at noon the next day or whatever.
What we found out was, this kid--he's not really a kid, he's probably 23--wasn't a promoter at all. Which is fine; we're used to that. But what he had done is that Scotland has this thing where it's a kind of "youth help" deal. You can apply to get money to do things that are supposedly going to help youth. So he applied for money saying he wanted to promote a show that would get kids to play musical instruments, to get them off the street. So they gave him all this crazy money. It was at this community center. And he'd built this stage. We told him he didn't have to do all that, and he's like, in his Scottish accent: "That doesn't matter, I've got the money!"
We showed up and it was a Scottish village, it wasn't a city by any means. But the posters were everywhere. And people knew who we were before we got there, because everybody knew about him applying for the money and getting the money. So we showed up. Man, his dad drove up in a hatchback filled to the roof with beer. There were like three moms who had made the craziest spread ever. It was seriously like an Old Country Buffet in this community center. We were on tour with our friends the Tone from England and they were like, "God, I've never seen anything like this in my life." And then newspapers showed up to take pictures of us with him.
So we do the show, and it was great. It was weird, everyone [had come], from these punks that had come down from Edinburgh, [to] these little kids in Korn shirts. And then there'd be these 60- or 70-year-old people who came just because it's this event in this town.
Afterwards we hung out and had a great time walking around and drinking with all these lunatics from the town. And later on, we found out the thing was such a big success that they chose this guy as the example of what the youth of Scotland should be: You know, get things done, apply for money. He got invited to go to this castle and meet the royal family from England. It's totally funny.
I made a joke to him at one point. We were there and I was like, "Man, this place rules. Everybody's funny, everybody's cool, everybody's nice. I ought to come and live here."
And his dad totally took it literally, and he e-mailed me maybe three months ago. His dad, who works at a brewery there, was like, "You know, if you need a job, we can get you one."