Andrew Cream and Don Blake recently embarked on their first joint European tour, also known as the ACDB tour. Hailing from the UK, both bands loaded up the van and crossed the channel to play some select European places of the continental persuasion. We at RMP Magazine welcomed them at their last show of the tour in Belgium for a small chat on the tour, the new Don Blake record “Pocket Universe” and how Andrew Cream is now a full band thanks to Don Blake.
- Welcome to Belgium, can you please introduce yourselves?
Nige : I'm Nige, I play drums.
Joe: I'm Joe, guitar for Don Blake
Kieron: I'm Kieron, I play bass in Don Blake and Andrew Cream.
Rob: I play guitar in Don Blake
Andrew: I'm Andrew and I play guitar as Andrew Cream
- So this is the first European tour for Don Blake and you're joined by Euro-veteran Andrew Cream. How has it been?
Joe: It's been really cool. We've been in a few different countries in a short period of time. It's been cool to play lots of different kinds of show in such a short period. When we get to a venue you never quite know how the show will go down. Some shows you thought were going to be okay turn out amazing and then other show that might be amazing turn out to just be okay.
- You've played France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and many other countries. Have you noticed any cultural differences?
Rob: We ate more pasta when we were in Italy.
Andrew: There's a trend amongst every time I've been to Europe about how well the hospitality and how we get treated is ten times better than in the UK. We get fed so well, we always get a good place to sleep. That is a trend that runs through every country that we played.
Rob: I think that's been the main difference. Playing new places is cool anyway but the main difference has been the hospitality and everyone who helped us out on these shows.
- Andrew, Don Blake plays a pop punk sound, your work is more folk punk. How does the crowd react to the different styles?
Andrew: I think a lot of the time people that are into punk music will listen to anything from acoustic singer-songwriter to punk up until hardcore. A lot of the crowds just enjoyed that punky sound. I think some of the gigs had people that were more inclined, like in Italy they have quite a big pop punk scene so Don Blake went down really well on those shows. As on some of the other gigs we played with some more acoustic folk punk artists in Germany. People are more inclined to like that sound. But then both sides appreciated each other.
Rob: I think with the two bands, there is a difference but it's not a world apart.
Andrew: A lot of my songs are just pop punk with an acoustic guitar to it.
- Today you’ve played in Belgium which is the final show of the tour, but you’ve got big plans ahead: you're playing with Masked Intruder in the UK soon. Are you psyched about playing with them?
Nige: We played with them on a big festival at Manchester. There were ten bands on at the time and we were the first one on. We also played with The Murderburgers, they're friends of ours.
- Congratulations with the new Don Blake album “Pocket Universe”. It has already been released a month ago. How has the response been so far?
Rob: It's been pretty good. There's a lot more focus in writing an album for the first time. On the whole, people take it well and seem to like it.
- “Pocket Universe” was released on Round Dog Records which is run by Fraser of The Murderburgers. How did this come by?
Kieron: We put on gigs in Manchester ever too often and met Fraser and The Murderburgers through that. We went on tour with them. He mentioned he had a distro but then turned into a record label.
Rob: We pretty much asked him to be on.
Andrew: I heard it involved a gun.
- There might be a vinyl release this summer, any updates on that front?
Joe: That's partially to be done by Round Dog Records and the US release is being done by Bloated Kat. We're looking forward to getting the record out but part of me is just so excited to be associated with the other bands on the label like The Kimberly Steaks and so on.
- Last year Andrew Cream and Don Blake released a split EP together, now the split tour and Nige and Kieron play as Andrew's full band on the tour. What's the attraction between both bands?
Kieron: I really struggle to understand…
Nige: Andrew doubles up as a tour manager/tour organiser so you know…
Andrew: I've known these guys for like coming up to ten years. Rob and Joe especially and I met Keiron and Nige like two years later. I don't really know where the conversation started but I wanted to start playing my songs with a band and Nige and Keiron seemed to be the obvious people to ask. And they were more than happy to do it. Deciding to do the split seemed quite natural. I really wanted to do a European tour with a full band and the only I'm getting to do it with a full band is getting them along. It's been really fun.
Joe: Andrew has always been active playing shows and we've been in bands before Don Blake where we weren't doing anything. In Don Blake we've been all more active.
- Andrew, both you and Don Blake both played The Fest 13 this year. How was that experience? And are there any plans on returning soon?
Joe: It's been amazing. This tour is really great. That and The Fest show, that's been the highlight of us being in the band. I'd love to go back and play. I'm going to go next time. I don't know the rest of the band can do it this year.
Rob: It was really cool and an awesome experience. In a way it's been a learning curve in terms of knowing what to do. Most of the foreign bands go without taking any of the gear with them. It's a learning experience. Next time we will be more prepared. Still, it was an amazing experience.
- Andrew, you're from Leeds and Don Blake is based around Manchester, how is the scene over there in the UK?
Kieron: I think in Manchester it’s very varied. We've got a lot of promoters like Under The Bridge who put on more acoustic punk stuff. They're getting big bands now like The Flatliners. He's putting up The Masked Intruder show.
Andrew: I find Leeds a little bit more of a hit and miss than Manchester. Sometimes we can have really great turnouts and other days not so good. Manchester feels more of a community. I think Leeds has the potential to become a community. It had a really great community about five or ten years ago but all those people are getting older. There's not really young blood coming in, it's about creating something new again. I've only lived there for 18 months and I want to try and help that happen.
Rob: We're not in the band for that long, just since 2012 so we're quite lucky getting to play in the Manchester scene in a time with shows like Masked Intruder. We also played with Chumped some time ago.
- So what's next with Don Blake and Andrew Cream? New joint ventures or releases planned?
Rob: We've got a new album and we want to put on shows in the UK this year and promote that.
Joe: We got a new record that we worked pretty hard on to get so now it's about getting it out there.
- Any last words for our readers?
Andrew: This tour has been fantastic. It's been really great for me to be able to play my songs with a band. I feel like every place that we played we took some positives from every gig. It was really great fun.
Rob: It's our first European tour. The hospitality’s been amazing. Just as the shows themselves. Having people listen to us, like last night when we played in France, it's so cool to play a new place. We saw some crowd surfing and human pyramids. It's been great fun.
– David Marote