4 last shows of the tour…

Written by Your Favorite Enemies. Posted in From Upper Room To Higher Sky Tour

St. Patrick’s Day. A day that is celebrated all around the world… It was our first time spending it in the UK however, and I must say I have never seen so many people dressed in green, with hats, and over excited! We couldn’t doubt for a second it was St. Patrick’s. Even if it was only 3:00pm, the mood was really, really festive already!

The stage was small, the room was cold, but we knew we would enjoy it to a maximum! All that without saying that we were joined by Mary, from the YFE HQ, who, in connivance with Alex, decided to surprise us all and join us at the gig that night! Yes, we were in for a memorable night!

Many longtime friends also made is at the gig, making it a memorable one! Alex found a way to climb high, very high, and to jump on the drums from behind it! A crazy, crazy night, I am telling you!

And then we were off to Sheffield, a city in which we had previously been to during the Coffee House Sessions tour. We had heard of the venue by many people and were looking forward to playing there! The guys were more than happy about the stage the very first minute they saw it… It was high, it was large, it was deep, meaning enough place to jump around and do head banging without fearing to hit one another. And once again, they got better, giving us all a gig like we had never seen before!

And then off to London, for what was the last gig of our tour “From Upper Room To Higher Sky”. At least, the last one that was announced… 🙂 And for the occasion, people joined us from France, Switzerland, Germany & Japan, as well as from all over England. That last gig was at the Barfly, a very cool venue in Camden, London, one where we have played before, and we were really looking forward to going there! We arrived at the venue a little late for the sound checks, only to realize that some people were already gathered at the venue, waiting for us to arrive…! We all got in, really excited by what was going on. Especially since we had decided to broadcast the soundcheck live on the SFCC community club, for everyone around the world to be able to join the moment! I was so looking forward to it, and I was more than ready. I went backstage, made sure our wi-fi worked properly, got the Digital Date ustream channel ready for the live broadcast, and then went back downstairs to the venue. Only to realize wi-fi doesn’t work in here. Thick walls didn’t allow wi-fi in, something very common in venues around the world. But I wasn’t ready for this. After trying different options, with my iPhone & with Jeff’s one, I had to come to the conclusion it wouldn’t work… But I just couldn’t accept it. We were all so excited to welcome you all to that sound check, it just had to work. I asked a friend her phone. To realize it wouldn’t work either, even while using 3G. Then asked another friend his, a iPhone this time. And then it worked. IT WORKED! I couldn’t have been happier. I knew so many of you were looking forward to this, and we also were. So it’s all thanks to him you guys managed to see the live broadcast… And following your reactions, we also decided to broadcast a part of the concert, the last few songs the band would play… And what a show it has been!!! The venue was full, the energy was high, the band has been completely incredible. And I mean mindblowingly incredible! It was a “moment”. In everything a moment should be. A moment we will all remember for a very long time… that we will never forget, actually. A moment that has become a meaningful one for all of us. Not only us in the venue, but also for every one who watched it being broadcasted live… And the show ended as Alex sent Sandrine crowdsurfing… a magic moment!

We then spent a few hours outside with friends and family, talking about the gig, but basically just being very happy to see one another again, or for the first time, sharing that special moment. But then at one point, exhausted and freezing, we decided it was time to go. Not back home, no. But at Starbucks, open 24 hours, so we could just keep talking longer without all risking a pneumonia. We didn’t want this moment to end, and found the perfect way to make it last!

We came back home around 4 in the morning, after very long and difficult goodbyes… And after a short night of sleep, we left for another gig, a secret end of tour party at The Enterprise, in Camden again. The venue was pretty cool, very punk rock, but with a stage that was a little on the small side… So we decided to “extend” it, using some of our travel cases… (Sef didn’t want to part with any of his flashing toys, he said!)

And what a night! You can’t describe it better than an “end of tour party”. The place was on fire! It was hot, too hot, we all sweat too much, you could see water dripping from all of us, on and off stage, there were people dancing & headbanging all while singing the lyrics of the song. And yet another amazing night. They do get better and better with every gig… There is absolutely no doubt about this!

We are flying back home tomorrow… Sad to leave, but knowing that every moment we shared has become eternal!


Past 3 shows – York, Wakefield & Keighley!

Written by Your Favorite Enemies. Posted in From Upper Room To Higher Sky Tour

We left Scotland early in the morning. We left early in the morning… It was 10. Because yes, that’s very early for us! Especially after a night as intense as yesterday… The gig, the conversations, and going to bed at 4am are never elements that make you happy to wake up at 8 in the morning for your check-out!

The drive to York has been a long one. Not so long according to our Canadian standards, as it’s only 5 hours away from Glasgow, but it felt very long as we were all so tired. First stop was at Starbucks, as everybody longed for a hot coffee on this cold morning! Because yes, we’re back to the usual England weather; cold, humid, windy and gray. Goodbye blue skies and summer weather, we already miss you!

We checked in at our hotel, picked up everything we needed, and then headed to the venue, that we found after a very long time driving around it. We needed to find the backdoor in order to park the van and bring all the equipment inside, but this was no easy thing. York is a very beautiful city, even when you’re in a rush and late on your time frame! Unable to find the road, Matt just decided to do it his way. He entered a one-way street the wrong direction, driving on the sidewalk “so as not to take too much space on the street”. It didn’t please the taxi drivers too much, but Matt just decided to keep going the wrong way. We were so close to it… 😉

We stayed at the venue after the soundcheck, our hotel being too far to go there and back before the show. The cool thing is we had a very large dressing room, where we were comfortable enough with the members (2) of the band playing right before us. We listened to the band before us before we went back, time for a last stretch-up for Jeff and Ben (in a very unique style, let me tell you!), and for a last check-up at the set list for the night!

The concert has been an amazing one… Several people have been following us on tour, watching almost every gig, and they said that they just keep getting better and better every time they see the band on stage. And I must agree with them. Every time the band members get on stage, it’s a special moment… But last night was very special. Especially for Alex. I think it’s the time I’ve seen him be the most intense on stage so far. And it’s very particular in this that he really didn’t feel good before the show…

But here’s how Alex was during the show, a pure bomb of energy, jumping from the stage to the fence, to the crowd, back on the bass amp, & on the drum…!

On March 15, we played at The Hop in Wakefield. It was a city we had never heard of, and that is not really impressive in itself either. However, we fell in love with the venue at first sight. It somehow felt like home, warm and welcoming. Not only the venue, but the pub that was downstairs as well. Only this was enough to excite us for the gig that would happen a little later…! Then came time for the soundcheck, which got us even more excited – that place sounds good! We even finished the soundcheck on a stunning sunset…

We went back to the hotel before it was our time to get on stage, time to eat and rehearse a little bit! We arrived at the venue on what had become a crime scene – something went wrong in the pub, doormen had to intervene, and it got out of control. Don’t worry, the crime scene was maybe a bit too much, I guess they just didn’t want to take any chance 😉

And the show has been completely amazing! The guys went completely mad on stage – I don’t know how they do it, but despite being more and more tired day after day, they just keep getting more and more intense every day! They brought the stage in the crowd that night again, and then started something completely mad – the guys were jumping around like I have never seen them jump before, and you could feel that something unique was going on between them, as they were sharing this very unique moment!

And then today, we were playing in Keighley, a little city that not a lot of people seems to know (nor how to pronounce the name of). We decided to create a playlist including songs that we like and that are meaningful to us. Not only today, but since we’ve started listening music. Basically, songs with which we share a love story. So we have been listening to this on our car ride to Keighley! Here are a few of the songs that played… Try & guess in whose playlist they appear! 🙂

– The Who – My Generation
– Weezer – Island In The Sun
– Tracy Chapman – The Promise
– Bob Dylan – Like A Rolling Stone
– Pixies – La La Love You
– REM – Drive
– Smashing Pumpkins – An Ode To No One
– Paolo Nutini – Candy
– PJ Harvey – This Is Love

The show has been completely amazing. They really get better and better absolutely every day! It’s mind-blowing! They had a wonderful intensity on stage, there’s been a lot of jumping around, a lot of hair flowing all over faces (and others’ faces as well), and a lot of those mad faces they make all the time! “Tonight, I knew that we only had to be ourselves, and nothing else”. And this, they have been!

We also had the opportunity to meet old friends, friends we had talked to for such a long time but never had the opportunity of meeting before, as well as seeing some new friends again. A night to remember, definitely.

Unforgettable first time in Scotland

Written by Your Favorite Enemies. Posted in From Upper Room To Higher Sky Tour

The night before our gig in Edinburgh, first of 2 gigs in Scotland, we were all gathered in the lobby of our hotel, a cool and quiet mezzanine just above the bar, where nobody else was ever coming, so much that it made us feel like it was our own private place. After celebrating Sef’s birthday for a second time by having a chat on the SFCC community club, in which Sef has been grandiosely Sef. There’s no one but him to tell you important sentences like “So guys!! really important to remember… you have to buy my T-shirt to embrace this deep dimension of rock… see you in the next Galaxay guys!! http://yfestore.com/main/items/product-category/be-rock-or-be-rolled/”. From Star Wars to Costco cakes to Sef’s own universe, this live chat sure was a unique moment!

Followed a great discussion between us, until almost 5am. A discussion about the stretch of gigs to come, but especially about us. Because in this present stretch of shows, there are 9 individuals, with their own challenges, with their own successes, with their own joy, and sadness. Being on the road like we are is such an incredible blessing, one that we need to count over and over again every day. It was a simple yet very intense moment, that would become a pure example of how intense the night to come would be.

I think we were all a bit nervous before the gig in Edinburgh, but it went wonderfully well! Here is what Alex said after it, that I think describes well what we mean when we say that it’s beyond music for us!

I had such an inspiring time with Your Favorite Enemies (YFE) tonight in the wonderful city of Edinburgh… thankfully an intimate concert… because it wouldn’t have been that fulfilling for me personally if there would have been more people to commune with tonight… I always give everything on stage, always, even when I don’t feel like I have anything to give at all… but tonight, I received more than I could have prayed for… it was simply touching and moving for me, as again, the most intense part of a YFE concert (as if it was possible to be more intense as it actually is right now lol) can be a conversation after the sounds and noises faded away… tonight is eternal!!!

And then we had the gig at King Tuts in Glasgow, a venue where a lot of famous bands played, and known for being the venue where Oasis really started as a band. There’s always a hint of stress before a gig, but somehow, it seemed to a little higher today… So we collectively decided to let go fully and enjoy the moment for what it would be, for a gig that became one of the best of the tour – everybody we’ve talked to told us they had never seen a gig like this before! We have met incredible people, old and new friends, had inspiring discussions, and we’re really thankful for this. You guys have all made this gig an unforgettable one! And once again, you have proved us that YOU, and those unique relationships we have with each and every one of you, are the most incredible blessings we could have wished for!

Scotland, we will miss you!

– Stephanie

Back to the Punk-Rock Era!

Written by Your Favorite Enemies. Posted in From Upper Room To Higher Sky Tour

We are now in Edinburgh, a little sad to have left Nottingham, a city that is so meaningful to us, as it is the first place where we’ve played outside Canada as Your Favorite Enemies, but very excited to be back in Scotland! We have been here only 1 day, as part of the acoustic Coffee House Sessions tour, 2 weeks ago. Yes, already 2 weeks ago! Time has been going by so fast ever since we left home for that crazy journey that “From Upper Room To Higher Sky” is.

The last 2 nights we have shared all together have been particularly special… On Saturday night, we played at The Thekla, in Bristol, an old boat refurbished and turned into a theater/cabaret/exhibition room/venue, by a couple of dreamers in the early eighties. We were really excited at the idea of playing there! It was on a boat, after all, the original vision of those who built The Thekla was not without any similarities to Your Favorite Enemies… You may not know it, but we have often compared the band to a boat, each and everyone of its “crew member” having a very specific role that needs to be fulfilled with a special care. That specific role? It begins with being who we are, so that we can bring the best of us to the whole family. And this is also something that you do wonderfully, as you have most definitely embarked on that crazy boat journey with us all!

Of course, playing on a boat was not without reminding us of the Queen Jubilee incident in ’77, when the Sex Pistols played on a boat!

And we knew we would meet old friends as well. And this is what made the night so special… Meeting friends we hadn’t met since 2007…! Way beyond the venue itself, what made the night an incredible and unforgettable one was the people who joined us! Different people, different backgrounds, but all united within music.

The night itself has been very punk rock! The stage was small, not to say too small, and if we can really call this a stage at all, but the guys rocked it anyway! They infused the boat with an energy that has rarely been seen before! Despite their inability to move whatsoever, it was a show filled with moments that will never be forgotten!

Midnight’s Crashing has been particularly powerful that night. Seeing everyone singing the lyrics of that song, a song that made us travel to different countries, to different worlds, within its own private universe, universe to which we’ve given our own colors, worlds that unite us and make us one despite the differences we think sometimes keep us apart…

And on Sunday night, we played in Nottingham, which was just as meaningful! This city is the first that welcomed us outside Canada. We played in a different venue this time, The Rescue Rooms, but it was located just beside the Rock City where we played back in 2007… And when we entered the Rescue Rooms, though it has changed, we recognized the same place where we hung out after our gig in 2007. It did remind us of many great memories and moments shared with friends and family. And remembering those moments, we couldn’t help but notice how much things have changed… Here are some “back in the days” pictures for you!

Let’s just say that we really aren’t who we were back then. Simply because we have decided to live the moment fully and for what it is… And because we have also decided to embrace who we are, the good sides and the bad ones.

Those 2 days have been completely insane, days we will never forget… We are now in Edinburgh, where we will play for the very first time on March 12th, today! After 2 days off, we’re really looking forward to our first rock gig on Scottish grounds 🙂

– Stephanie

Live in Bedford!

Written by Your Favorite Enemies. Posted in From Upper Room To Higher Sky Tour

We arrived in Bedford a little early on our schedule today, so we had the chance to stop at the hotel and get some (much needed) rest before we headed to The Esquires for the soundcheck!

The venue is not all that easy to find, being far from the sidewalk itself and located in between 2 other big buildings. We arrived and entered the place, started setting up the stage and finished up pretty quick. Remember the waiting game? That’s when it started. The guy with the PA encountered problems and got to the venue late – 2 hours late. We thus started doing the soundcheck at 6:30pm, and doors were opening at 8:00pm… Didn’t leave us much time, but we managed to make sure everything sounded great for a night we would all remember!

And we were totally right!!! Once again, it’s been pure madness when the guys embarked on stage! Not only on the stage, but in the crowd as well, as quite a few people made their way to the front row in order to do head banging with Sef & Ben. Alex also managed to climb somewhere and jumped into the crowd… But he did scare us, as from the way he jumped, it looked like he would jump past the lot of people awaiting him – which hopefully didn’t happen. And the whole show once more ended in the crowd, with Alex on the bass drum… A true moment!

After the show, when I asked Alex if he was happy about the show, he answered me those simple words… “I gave everything I had, and I felt liberated”… and this is what the essence of music is all about… Here are some pictures from the moment we’ve lived on stage… Enjoy!