Crazy nights with punk-folk combo
PREMIER Plymouth punk folksters Crazy Arm return from their tour of Europe for a free final fling at the White Rabbit tonight.
As well as some new songs, they'll be playing tracks from their brilliant album, Union City Breath, the follow up to acclaimed offering Born to Ruin.
Their second offering, which continues in the punk-folk vein, retains the gritty protest lyrics while if anything turning more accessible musically, with beefier hooks and even more massive sing-along choruses.
'Gruelling' is a word often used to describe the hardships of bands on tour, but in the case of their recent continental outing, in which Crazy Arm shared headline duties with Apologies I Have None, it seems truly justified.
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"This is our sixth tour of Europe, it's our biggest yet and it has been absolutely awesome," says irrepressible front man Darren Johns, "especially in Croatia and Austria where we have never headlined before.
"We hadn't even been to Croatia before, but the crowds were among the most receptive and enthusiastic we've ever had.
"However I think this time we really took on too much. In five weeks of touring we've only had three days off.
"The weather has been really cold. I've had a bad cough for the past couple of weeks which I can't shake off."
Glamorous as a jaunt around Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Austria, France and Switzerland may sound, the reality is that at this level affordable accommodation is never ideal.
"Some nights we are put up by the promoters of the show, but when that's not possible we ask from the stage if anyone has any floor space.
"There's only one time when we didn't manage to secure a room – and that was in Carmarthen.
"Actually, we were offered accommodation but we'd all had over the limit to drink and weren't able to drive there."
So all six ended up sharing their tour van.
"The van has four beds but we managed to get six of us in there.
"It's doesn't really matter going to sleep when you've had a few drinks, but it's a different story in the morning!"
Still it's all part and parcel of the rock'n'roll lifestyle and on the continent provisions are generally much better than here.
"You do get treated pretty well in Europe because a lot of the alternative venues have government funding.
"Some provide bunks and bedding and they often throw copious amounts of food at you.
"You're lucky in the UK sometimes to get a couple of bottles of water!"
It's a different story when they're supporting a bigger band and that's what Crazy Arm will be looking to do again in the future.
Meanwhile they've been working on their acoustic album which is due out early next year.
Their show at the White Rabbit tonight is completely free and also features The Cut Ups from Exeter and Plymouth bands As We Sink and The Jerks.
And you can check out their three-song download single on Xtra Mile, featuring Bandalito, All Butchers Are Men and Fossils.