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IRON KINGDOM / Blog

Europe Tour 2014 - Part 1

Greetings from France! Or I guess I should say Bonjour!

We landed in Amsterdam Friday and after a long and sleepless plane ride we had made it! The Netherlands were very good to us. The people were very warm and friendly and quite helpful and we hope to see you all again soon! The two days of the Very 'Eavy festival were incredible and it was an honour to share the stage with so many incredible old school bands!

From Stadskanaal we headed south to Paris where we played at Warm Up Fest on Sunday. I have to give a big shout out and huge thanks to Doro who not only booked us for the show but put up with our smelly feet and gave us a place to crash! The show had some minor technical difficulties but otherwise was really fun and gave us a chance to watch some really killer bands..

Today is one of few days off we are getting here in Europe and we used it to tour around Metz, France and see some old ass churches and Fortified town gates. Metz has been around since the 13th century and has been home to both French and German people for a long time so it was very interesting to learn about the local history here. The hotel room here looks a lot like what you would find in a cruise cabin with the shower pretty much including the toilet so it is kind of a tight fit for all our gear and ourselves. But still staying in hotels is kind of a step up from McDonalds parking lots haha

Keep the Faith, Leighton Holmes (Bass Guitar) www.facebook.com/ironkingdom

Blog #12: The Final Chapter: Canada Tour 2013

That had to be the craziest 35 days of my life. In just over a month we have seen a lot of what Canada has to offer and went to a number of new places none of us have ever been to before. The Northern Kingdom Tour was undeniably an unforgettable and awesome endeavor, a dream come true and a step in the right direction. As some may have noticed we have been home for just over a week now and it's been a little while since te last blog post so I'll fill you in as to how the last couple shows went. Winnipeg was a fun show to play and the area around the Zoo did not match up to what we had heard it was like (thankfully!) it was a small crowd but the few people who were there were rocking! Right after the gig we gassed up and hit the road. We had to make it all the way to Calgary to play Dickens pub for our 3rd Calgary show of the tour. The drive was uneventful for the most part and only delayed while we waited for a gas station to open. We easily finished the drive and got to Dickens. The last Calgary show started off really well and we were all getting really good feelings about it going off without a hitch but when it came time for us to play Kenny's amp wasn't working! Jeff from Gatekeeper was nice enough to lend us an amp so we could play, (Thank You Jeff) but the show wasn't near as smooth as we were thinking it was going to be. The next day was our last show of the tour at DV8 in Edmonton. We got to Edmonton early and went straight to a Long and Mcquade to get Kenny's amp sorted out, we ended up picking some spare fuses for the rest of us but the problem with his amp lay in the tubes so it just kept blowing fuses like they were nothing. The show in Edmonton was great non the less with a couple familiar faces in the crowd, it was a wicked way to end the tour. On the way home our problem with fuses continued as we kept blowing the fuse for the dashboard lights and the clearance lights on the trailer. We drove from just outside of Kamloops all the way home with the hazards going because the longest a fuse would last was 40minutes. Overall our Van carried us the 13,000+ km with very little trouble and few issues. We had a lot of fun and it wasn't nearly as rough as I thought it might be doing 27 shows in 35 days across 6 provinces and 1 territory. Definitely one of the craziest trips of my life and I can't wait to do it again! Now we are settling in for writing and preparing for Europe and more touring next year!!

Keep the Faith! Leighton Holmes (Bass Guitar) www.facebook.com/ironkingdom

Blog #11: Can 2013 Tour (Regina - Toronto)

Its been a little while since we posted an update and since the last one we have done shows in Regina Sask., and Kitchener Ont., where we met some great people and wicked bands. On Thursday we played in a little town outside of Montreal called Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu in a small bar named Labarock. It was a fun show and our first in Quebec. It was also the first time we got to meet our superfan Josie and that was really cool! No one has ever been star struck meeting us before haha. It was strange for us to only understand about 10% of what was said but the people we met were really nice and quite understanding about our lack of French haha. Friday night we tore up Toronto at the Bovine Sex Club and had an absolute blast. I got to see two of my brothers and a friend that’s been a brother since back in grade 1 so it was a really wicked night for me. The crowd was really supportive and I really can’t go on how awesome it was!! Today we are heading to tear up Montreal at Cooperative Café Chaos. Come Rock with us Montreal, show us what you got!!

Keep the Faith,

Leighton Holmes (Bass Guitar)

Blog #10: Canada Tour 2013 (Medicine Hat / Saskatoon)

Thursday we tore up Medicine Hat with our brothers Naraka and Expain, what a good time! The nightclub we played in came complete with a cage on one corner of the stage and both Expain and us incorporated it at least once in our sets haha! The crowd was really responsive and we had a wicked time playing. Last night we continued on with Naraka and rolled into Saskatoon set to slay. The stage was a nice size and offered plenty of room to move around and rock out. The sound was wicked and the crowd was really into it. All in all the tour has been a real success and we are meeting and playing with really cool people! Tonight we move onto Regina where Vanan (Naraka) is going to be hit with some steel chairs, should be real fun!

Keep the Faith, Leighton Holmes (Bass Guitar)

Blog #9: Can Tour 2013 (Lethbridge)

Hell yeah Lethbridge! Thanks for rocking with us last night at the Moose Hall we had a blast! We had never heard of the Loyal Order of Moose before but it turns out they know to build a hall. The acoustics were wicked and the bands were all deadly. It was awesome playing with Expain, another band from Vancouver, as we've never had a chance to share a stage before and reuniting with Medicine Hat's Neraka. We're playing with them again tonight at Liquid in Medicine Hat so come out and rock!

Keep the Faith, Leighton Holmes (Bass Guitar)

Blog #8: Canada Tour 2013 (Whitehorse TO Calgary)

A lot has happened since the last update we posted, so much I almost don't know where to start! On Tuesday we played in Whitehorse again at Epic Pizza, and for being booked less that 12 hours before we got a stellar turn out. A big shout out to Josh from Epic Pizza for letting us play again and for the wicked pizza! If you ever find yourself in Whitehorse I highly recommend going into Epic Pizza, seriously probably the best pizza I've ever had! After the show we packed up the trailer, jumped in the van and started the drive to Fort St. John. A piece of advice if you are traveling up north, don't always believe your GPS when it says there is a gas station because it may no longer exist! With enough gas to go maybe another 40-50 km we pulled into one such non existent station at like 3:30 in the morning. We were in a bit of a quandary as the GPS claimed the nearest gas station was another 120 km down the road. After debating what to do for a little while and being eaten alive by mosquitos Chris and I left the van and asked a hitchhiker waiting by the side of the road if he might know if there was a gas station closer. He wasn't sure so we started looking around for something that might help when a random dude appeared out of no where and told us of two just up the road, the furtherest being about 30 km away. Unsure as to if they would be open we went back to the hitchhiker and he confirmed that there were 2 gas stations and the farther was probably open. We thanked him and offered him a ride for his help and so we picked up our first hitchhiker! After we found the gas station and filled up the journey was largely uneventful until about 100km from Fort St. John the ride became rough and we figured out we had a separated tire. We changed the tire and barely made it to the venue where we joined an open mic night and rocked the crowd with some heavy metal thunder! From Fort St. John we trekked to Edmonton and spent the night before hitting up the West Edmonton Mall and heading to Calgary to play with Holy Grail. It was an absolutely wicked show with all the bands on top of their game. Unfortunately A preamp tube in Holy Grail's bass head gave out but I was more than happy to let them use my rig. You know, the show must go on! Holy Grail slayed it and it was a real honor to play with them! Last night was back to Edmonton for a show at DV8. It was our first time playing in Edmonton and we had a lot of fun in a new city. The owner was incredibly nice and would like to return at some point in the future thats for sure! Until next time,

Keep the Faith!

Leighton Holmes (Bass Guitar)

Blog # 7 - Leaving Dawson and Hitting Whitehorse

Leaving Dawson City was kind of bitter sweet in a way. It was wicked to get back on the road but at the same time after staying in such a beautiful town for 4 days it was kinda hard to leave. It was cool to be able to take it easy and actually get to know some people instead of driving right after the show and moving to a new town. I have to say one of the weirdest parts of the whole experience was not having to set up and tear down each night. Being the first time we have been that stationary it seemed to fly in the face of everything we are used to, and add to the sense of uneasiness at not having to do that much work. The staff at the Midnight Sun Hotel were really nice and we have to give a huge thanks to Will and his crew for being so helpful and easy going with us. Also a huge thanks to the Downtown Hotel for bending the rules for us so we could do the Sourtoe cocktail before we left. We heard all over town that it was the thing to do when visiting Dawson but the one thing everyone failed to mention is that it is only available from 9-11pm. Lucky for us the bartender had seen a couple of our sets and convinced his boss to let us do it! So suffice it to say I have kissed the dismembered toe of some person. It was kinda gross but really cool and we met the ex wife of the guy who started the tradition 30 years ago. All in all the tour is off to a really good start and our time up north has been incredible. I’m not really sure why it has taken me so long to see the Yukon but I will definitely be back!! Tonight we are playing Epic Pizza again before heading to Fort St. John after that we head to Unleash the East… of Canada!

Keep the Faith

Leighton Holmes (Bass Guitar)

Blog #6: Can Tour 2013, the Dawson City Experience

The North of Canada has been in need for a metal meltdown for quite sometime now, according to the locals, Iron Kingdom is the first metal band to play Dawson City in 2 years! We're honoured to have had the chance to come up here and rock out with all the crazy crowd surfing metalheads! To be honest I cannot believe we had survived 3 nights in a row playing these crazy long sets, and it is weird to think that tonight is our final show. We hate saying goodbye to Dawson City, but this is really just the beginning of this epic adventure we set out on just over one week ago. The future holds so many more stories and experiences, lets just hope that damn van holds itself together!! hahaha

Keep the Faith, Chris Osterman (Lead Guitar/Lead Vocals) www.facebook.com/ironkingdom

Blog #5: Can 2013 Tour: Whitehorse, YT

It's nuts up here! Whitehorse is a crazy town and the two shows we played last night were two of the most entertaining. This city is filled with a whole lot of interesting characters and it seemed most of them were at the show. Last night marked the first time we played 2 shows back to back in two different venues in on night and it was a good warm up for the upcoming Dawson City shows. This whole sunset at midnight and sunrise at 2 am thing is really screwing with our sleep schedule. I have to say it is really hard to sleep up here when after you finish a gig it looks like its the early morning. This has definitely been a trip of a lifetime and it's just getting started. Next up is Dawson City, YT!

Keep the Faith,

Leighton Holmes (Bass Guitar) www.facebook.com/ironkingdom

Blog #4: The long road to Whitehorse!

The events of the last few days leave a lot to tell. The show in Prince George was wicked and we had a really good time. The crowd was awesome, and we met some really cool people. They were moshing so hard for Egypt that someone knocked Chris’ mic into his face and cut his lip. It was awesome!! Directly following the show we loaded up our gear and drove on thru the night. Considering we got up at 6:45 am Sunday I went for a span of about 36 hours without sleep. It was such a beautiful drive that I didn’t want to sleep and miss anything. Still being cooped up in the van for long periods of time can affect the mind and there were times where I was going crazy. Definitely worth it! The “highways” up here do not in any way resemble the highways of the rest of Canada and there were long stretches they were not even paved. Winding through the mountains of Northern B.C. was a very long and beautiful trip with lots to see and a ridiculous amount of bugs! Many of the sneaky little bastard mosquitos made their way into the van as we slept.. when I say many I mean like for every 3 I killed, 10 more came in. All in all this has been one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever been a part of. The drive has been incredible and I’m on the road with people I consider family. The tour is off to a wicked start and it’s just the first bit. Tonight we are playing two shows in Whitehorse, something we have never done before. The first is at Epic Pizza, starting at 7PM and going until 10PM, the second show is at Paddy’s Place from 11PM – 1AM.

Keep the Faith,

Leighton Holmes, (Bass Guitar) www.facebook.com/ironkingdom

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