ColumnsPaul Stokes

Guest column - On the road with the Red Hot Chili Peppers by Fool's Gold

ColumnsPaul Stokes

Of all the bands who have entertained thousands in a packed arena, Fool's Gold are probably one of the more unlikely, as they trade in experimental afrobeat and sing in Hebrew. However for the last few weeks the Los Angeles five-piece have traded the sweatboxes they usually play after been invited by the Red Hot Chili Peppers to support them at a series of hanger-sized venues. Guitarist Lewis Pesacov lifts the lid on life on the road with the Anthony Kiedis and co, pub lock-ins with The Fall and being the first indie band to sing in Hebrew at London's O2 Arena... Touring with Red Hot Chili Peppers has been the best experience. I grew up listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers - those first four albums, I grew up on them. I've known and loved their music for more than 20 years so it's such an honour. It really means a lot.

We're used to doing tiny club shows where it's pretty easy to connect with people, so we were a little nervous about making the leap to arenas. We didn't know what songs to play or what to expect from the audience. But the first show in Dublin, the audience were great - we kind of thought, We can do this, and started to feel really good about it. It's probably more of a mainstream audience than we'd otherwise be playing to - Luke Top, our bassist and vocalist, actually turned to me onstage and said: How crazy is this? We're playing to all these people and singing in Hebrew! We've gotta be the first band to play the O2 Arena in London singing in Hebrew. How cool is that?

Today is our first day off in a week. We've just played seven shows in a row which does kind of push you to your limits. It's intense, you know? Because we've been on tour for so long - this is our sixth tour in a row, pretty much - we tend to take it easy after shows because we want to keep the energy up when we perform.

There's always hanging out and chilling with the Chilis and their crew after gigs but we want to keep our vibe and keep focused on playing great shows for all the people watching us. That said, there's been some crazy nights. We stayed out in Manchester till 5am. I had never been to a 'lock-in' before - there we were in this random pub and all of a sudden they were locking the doors, pouring more drinks and two of the guys from The Fall came to hang out. We were all like, Well I guess we're staying then!

The craziest experience has actually been going right to the back of each venue every night, to the point furthest away from the stage, to watch the Chili Peppers play. It's nuts to see the amount of people. It's like a sea of people with their hands in the air, all into the music. It makes me feel really encouraged.

It really is such an honour just to watch them because I love that band. At high school I was crazy about them. A lot of the songs I don't know - I got into other things after Blood Sugar Sex Magik and kind of lost track a little - so I've been falling in love with all these new songs while out on the road. It's surprising how many of them you unconsciously know. Then they play Under The Bridge and it's amazing. It's a song about Los Angeles and we're really proud to from that city so it has a special place in our hearts.

We've really struck up a friendship with The Chilis too. They're from LA like us, so there's that connection and they're also big Lakers fans. Flea and Anthony come out to hang out with us quite a lot. Josh Klinghoffer, the lead guitarist, has even been playing with us on stage, just jamming over our songs. It's been awesome. Lewis Pesacov was talking to Al Horner