Tour Diary: Gen & The Degenerates Party Their Way Across America

UK alt-punks Gen & The Degenerates laid waste to the US recently and have revealed all that went on as they partied across the Nation…



Gen & The Degenerates, press photo

What happens on tour stays on tour, right? Well, not quite. Liverpool alt-punk party animals Gen & The Degenerates recently headed out to the States for three weeks of partying, casinos, tattoos, and err… pickleball.

Weaving their way across the States with their friends in Flogging Molly and Amigo The Devil, vocalist Genevieve Glynn-Reeves gave us almost every gory, alcohol-fueled detail from their three-week jaunt. So, from over-sensitive security guards to blue cocktails, vintage clothes shopping, hardcore fans and finding somewhere to celebrate the release of their Anti-Fun Propaganda debut album, read this exclusive tour diary right here.

Gen & The Degenerates Tour Diary

February 14th

Today was a long long long travel day. We flew from Manchester to NYC. The trip was mostly uneventful. There was a whole palava on the plane where Sean thought he’d lost his passport but it was actually in Ev’s bag for some reason. We arrived in the evening and got picked up from the airport by our tour driver Joey who seems pretty chill and down to earth. We had to drive through NYC to pick up some amps for the tour and got to see Time Square out of the window which was pretty incredible.

February 15th

Today we drove to Mashantucket to the casino we’ll be playing tomorrow. We didn’t have anything else planned for today so we spent the evening exploring the casino, none of us had ever been to a casino before, it was a truly bizarre experience walking through it and seeing the scale of it and all of the lights. It’s like its own small town in one building complex. We found a sports bar to hang out in that was showing something like 18 different games from different sports all at once on one massive IMAX-size screen above the bar.

“We spent the evening exploring the casino, none of us had ever been to a casino before, it was a truly bizarre experience walking through it and seeing the scale of it…”

February 16th

We had a long wait today before soundcheck, so we spent some of the afternoon in the arcade in our hotel. We played a bunch of different games, there was some very intense and competitive air hockey. We put all our tokens together in the end to get a prize, a cuddly
pineapple we named Piona Apple. The set went really well however the audience was mostly seated – not what we’re used to – so it was a different energy. It was the first time we got to watch Flogging Molly from the side of the stage. Also, the casino brought us pizza after our set.

February 17th

When we woke up today there was snow all around our hotel. Ev and Joey had to go and scrape the van before we could set off to Montclair, New Jersey where our next show was. Luckily when we arrived there was still enough snow there for a snowball fight. It was a really cool town with good places to eat and a dispensary where we could buy weed pens. I don’t really drink so it was great to be able to hit my pen after shows instead. I think we were all sad to part with them when we got to states where weed isn’t legal. The Wellmont Theater where we were playing was a great venue and the set was a lot of fun.

February 18th

Today we were back at a Casino but this time in Atlantic City. We were actually staying the night at the Casino with everyone else this time so we got the chance to hang out and party with Amigo the Devil. We’d chatted a bit before but it was great to spend some proper time with them and get to know them. The crew at this venue were also incredible. They were so slick and knew exactly what they were doing. Since it was a Hard Rock Casino there were cool bits of music memorabilia everywhere which was amazing. While we were having fun after the show we also found out we’d got a 4-star review in Kerrang which was a childhood dream come true.

February 20th

Today we played the Norva in Norfolk, VA. The backstage space was so sick. It had a ping pong table, table football, pool and a pinball machine. We taught Amigo the Devil the English rules to Pool which they said was much harder than the American way (but they still beat us). Later Nathan from Flogging Molly came in to say hi and we ended up sending a video message to Frank Turner because I made the mistake of telling him I once tried to summon Frank through a seance (it’s a long story).

Gen & The Degenerates Tour Diary

February 21st

I did an interview with Billboard Magazine today on about 5 hours of sleep and felt very delirious. I think it still went okay though! We played in Richmond today and it was such a great crowd. We sold out of basically all our merch which is crazy! We weren’t expecting to sell nearly this much so we’ve had to order a restock.

February 22nd

Today was our day off and also the day our album came out. We celebrated by doing some laundry, eating vegan Mexican food and then going to Applebee’s. They have a big blue cocktail with sharks in at Applebee’s which matches our album cover! Unfortunately, we were kind of in the middle of nowhere so there weren’t many options for going out to celebrate but we made the most of it by taking some drinks back to our hotel room and listening to the album together. It was the first time our driver Joey had heard it so it was fun seeing his reaction in real time. Amigo the Devil just put out a new album too so we listened to theirs as well.

“Today was our day off and also the day our album came out. We celebrated by doing some laundry, eating vegan Mexican food and then going to Applebee’s.”

February 23rd

Today we’re in Charlestown, West Virginia. When we arrived at the venue we took a wrong turn and ended up driving around where the casino kept all the horses. One of the venue staff IDed me and Ev because she didn’t believe we were over 21. The venue crew were arguing non-stop through sound check and the casino felt like somewhere the mystery gang might split up and look for clues. Despite this, the set ended up really great! A couple of girls travelled 3 hours to see us which was amazing and made my week. After the set, we watched the other acts from the side of the stage and me and Sean invented a game where we zip down the loading ramp on a wheeled trolley for moving gear.

February 24th

Today we played a really remote venue on top of a mountain in a place called Penn’s Peak. It was an absolutely gorgeous performance space which I had lots of fun climbing all over. A friend of Flogging Molly’s who is a chiropractor was set up in our dressing room and clicked all of our backs while we were waiting to perform. The show was sold out and the crowd had such great energy. I jumped off stage so I could have fun with the audience but there was a security guard who wanted to keep track of me and was following me around with a torch. I made an impulsive decision to run away because I thought it would be funny and they actually chased me through the crowd. The drive down the mountain at night afterwards was a bit sketchy but we made it to our hotel in one piece.

February 25th

Today we were in Huntingdon, New York. It was a little bit quieter than some of the other shows in terms of turn out but the venue was really cool. It had a few different bars and performance spaces all linked together and each one had a different vibe. Nobody had told us that the bar at the bottom was a 1920s speakeasy and it was such a weird experience walking down from our dressing room and feeling like we’d stepped back in time.

February 27th

We played in Winston-Salem today. There was a brewery around the corner with amazing tacos so most of us ate there before the set and it was so delicious. It was quite an emotional set for me as well. Last year my friend passed away and I saw a message from her mum just before we went on stage. We have been playing her favourite song (“Push the Button” by The Sugababes) every night of the tour as we leave the stage but tonight I decided to take it a step further and got everyone in the crowd to chant her name as well. It was a really special moment and I filmed it to send to her family. When we got back to our dressing room I found an Uno card under my bag. My friend used to carry Uno cards with her wherever she travelled (which was often) so she could make new friends wherever she went. I don’t really believe in any spiritual afterlife stuff but it was a nice reminder.

Gen & The Degenerates ‘Anti-Fun Propaganda’ Album Artwork

February 28th

We played Chattanooga tonight and the crowd was amazing. Apparently, it’s a real party city and you could tell. It’s a shame we didn’t have the chance to explore more because we had to hit the road straight after the show ended because we would have loved to explore more. Jay, Jay and Ev did manage to squeeze in a game of Pickleball with the security guards while the other bands were playing though. It isn’t a game they’d played before but I think they’ve converted to the cult of Pickleball now.

February 29th

Today we got to explore Nashville. We’re not actually playing here but it’s on our route so we took the opportunity to visit. Unfortunately, we arrived in the afternoon and a lot of time was taken up sorting out some gear bits that needed replacing. The boys did have a lot of fun trying out pedals in this really cool music shop and I found a new lime green jacket at a vintage shop around the corner. By the time we were free to explore it was evening so we went for food and then headed to Broadway where there are lots of famous bars. We also found Jay a cowboy hat at a caravan on the way.

March 1st

Today we played in the other Nashville; Nashville, Indiana. It was another seated venue but they gave me a radio mic so I could get off stage and run around the whole auditorium. We still gave it loads of energy even though it was seated and the audience was so responsive. I could barely get through the crowd to the merch stall afterwards because so many people wanted to take a photo with me. When I finally made it to the stall Joey was run off his feet. The queue for merch kept up continuously for an hour and a half after we played. It was crazy.

March 2nd – March 5th

I got a horrible tummy bug. Let’s not talk about it. (I still managed all the shows though! We just
kept a bin side of the stage just in case).

March 6th

We got falafel wraps today which was nice.

March 7th

Another big long drive day. We stopped in this tiny place which was officially a city but had a population lower than the venue capacity we were playing the next day. Lamoni, Iowa the town was called. It’s an old Amish town with literally no bars or pubs or anything. The only things there were one small supermarket, one pizza place, and an ice cream stand where people seemed to hang out (assumedly because of the lack of bars). There were quite a few Amish people out and about, using horse and cart which was so interesting (our van got stuck behind a horse and cart at one point). It was definitely surreal, especially because it was rainy and misty and these people on horsecarts were emerging out of mist in the evening as it was getting dark.

Gen & The Degenerates Tour Diary

March 8th

Today we played a really fun set. Someone resold one of our signed vinyl in the crowd for $150 (assumedly to someone drunk). I’m still kind of reeling from my few days of illness. Me and Sean went for pho in the morning from this Vietnamese restaurant which was delicious. The set went great, and afterwards, the boys all went to this Chinese restaurant across the road which had been there for decades and seemed to be a local institution. It was run by a grumpy older Chinese lady who seemed to be slightly (and rightly) annoyed by all the people coming in and trying to get food in the last twenty minutes before they were meant to close.

March 9th

Today was a great day. We were at the Kansas Star casino and horse racing track. We arrived early in the afternoon and Amigo the Devil were already sitting out in the sun in the car park in camp chairs, Danny smoking a cigar and playing banjo. We went straight out to pick up beers and tequila for everybody from the nearby town. The gig was okay, the venue was impressively huge but there weren’t a whole lot of people down early for our set today. After the gig, though everyone went out to the casino to drink and gamble, Nathan from Flogging Molly and Danny from Amigo taught me and Jake how to play blackjack at one of the tables. I didn’t win anything but Jake managed to walk away 120 dollars up, from starting with just ten.

March 11th

Day off in Ogallala, Nebraska. It’s been uneventful, however, the boys somehow managed to find vegan-friendly Mexican food in this town in the middle of nowhere, which was nice. Then in the evening, I enjoyed some peace and quiet and some me time in the hotel while the boys went out for drinks at a trucker bar that was showing rodeo sports on the television. Excited though to be out of the Midwest tomorrow and into Colorado.

March 12th

Beautiful drive today, we saw the edge of the Rocky Mountains as we hit the last hour before Boulder. It was pretty astonishing. Arriving in Boulder was really nice as well, seeing pride flags and vegan-friendly restaurants and legal dispensaries everywhere was some beautiful relief after more than a week in the wilderness. The show was really fun, I got handed a joint onstage by a very friendly woman in the front row. During the pack down the house crew was really lovely, they said they loved the set and said they hoped to have us back at their other venues in the area.

March 13th

Another beautiful drive. Feel like that’s going to be a recurring theme over the course of this next week. The landscape today was pure Western cinema, dry brushland hills dusted with snow. Jay insisted we listen to the Red Dead Redemption soundtrack as we drove through. The show was in Albuquerque tonight. So everyone was excited to be in the world of Breaking Bad. We left early after our set as we’d heard from our driver that Albuquerque isn’t the best place for bands to leave their vans unattended, and Flogging Molly’s TM Casey had warned us that the area around the venue wasn’t the best part of town. Better safe than sorry, we’ve had our gear stolen before so we’re always very careful.

Gen & The Degenerates Tour Diary

March 14th

Day off again. Yet more stunning landscape, we’re really getting into the desert now. We took a break from our drive to stop in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Mainly just because of the name, but the town itself was also really cute. Me and Sean got iced coffees and BBQ (I had salad) and we wandered around the town and down towards the river. Some of the town was closed off for shooting the new Ari Aster film, so that was pretty cool.

March 15th

WE GOT TATTOOS TODAY. Someone was kind enough to tattoo us all matching sharks on just an hour’s notice (even though we had to go soundcheck in between). Tucson is a cool fucking city. Slightly emotional one today, it’s the last proper date of the tour, before the two festivals. Unfortunately, we had to leave straight after we played because we’ve got such an enormous drive to do to California tomorrow, we had to do four hours of it tonight.

March 16th

We got up after about three hours of sleep to finish the drive to Silverado. I fell asleep in the van like a smart person but I’ve been reliably informed the drive was beautiful, we went through Joshua Tree National Park, and the Coachella Valley/Palm Springs area. The festival grounds were in such a stunning location in the Californian hills. Luckily for us, we were on first so we got our set out of the way early before we crashed from sleep deprivation.

March 17th

Vegas today baby, and the final day. Jay’s parent flew out to surprise him at the show today. They’d collaborated with Evan to organise it all; Ev had kept it a secret from all of us the whole tour. After our set King from Flogging Molly had just got back from ringing the bell at the hockey game. I had a great chat with him and Frank Turner about the fact they brought Frank to the US for the first time too, 14 years ago.

We had such a great day watching the other bands and partying with the friends we’d made on the tour. Watching Amigo’s set for the last time was really emotional; they were having so many technical difficulties that at first Danny just had to go out by himself to play acoustic, and everyone was really bummed out, but a couple of songs in he just said fuck it and brought the whole band up. They were up against the odds, no one had anything in their monitors at all but they still pulled it together, made the best of it and made the set incredibly fun. I ran onstage to put my sunglasses on Carson’s face while he was drumming, and we were throwing his drumsticks back and forth to each other across the stage. It was silly and beautiful and ramshackle and perfect. Over the course of the day, we gave thank you cards to everyone, the bands and the crew, to thank them for such a wonderful experience, and for everyone being so welcoming and kind.

Gen & The Degenerates Tour Diary

As the day went on everyone got increasingly drunk. We lost Sean and Ev for a while in the evening because they were drinking tequila on Frank Turner’s bus. Flogging Molly were amazing, as always. Eventually, after the show, everyone went out to a bar around the corner for the sort of our-afterparty. I’m very smart though and I didn’t drink too much, so in the morning, I was able to get up and go for a swim alongside the sharks in the hotel’s aquarium pool.

It also turned out Jake had stayed out so late, gotten locked out of his hotel room and lost his phone, so it took a while to find him in the morning, and then we had to hunt for his phone. I found it by some miracle at the casino’s lost property. All in all a suitably shambolic end to the tour.

To order your copy of Anti-Fun Propaganda, head over to the official Gen & The Degenerates website here.


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