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Letters from the Smiling Bag Tour Dion Agius’ European jaunt pushes the limits of fun

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Frame Grab: Dion Agius

Copenhagen, Denmark: 

“I am so fucking hungover and we haven’t even started yet” —Agius. D. 2016. 

I am writing this at Seat 2B. 36000ft, somewhere over Denmark. €500 lighter from a rookie ticket error. Dion’s luggage might be in LA but we think it’s in Iceland and we’ve been kicked out of our hotels, and everyone is experiencing critical levels of hangovers. It’s safe to say the past 48 have been a well-orchestrated Shit show.

It’s Copenhagen fashion week, the CPH Pro week and everything is off the scale. Babes, crowds, skaters, drinks but mainly hotel prices. We have blown every budget we ever had on not sleeping on the streets. This is a good start.

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Saturday at the Deadbeat Club booth B07 3 p.m.

Dion arrived in CPH with no bags, having not eaten nor slept since LA. He was here to premiere his new film The Smiling Bag across Europe. He’s recently announced that it won’t be going on sale, so this is your chance to see it. It’s more a personal project than an economic one. Needless to say the natural choice was to rally for the party we threw in Christiana. Christiana is it’s own province in the middle of Copenhagen with it’s own laws (and the selling and consumption of weed is highly encouraged). It’s a crazy place with totally different agenda and we are still slightly confused/honored as to how exactly we came to throw a party here. You know you’re in Christiania when you see a watermelon bong floating around the crowd. You’re high by osmosis in a place like this. The fire was fueled by chairs and a shopping trolley meeting their end. To enter the bowl’s best viewing area one has to shimmy up a wall then land on a mini vert and slide down and in the smokiest room I’ve seen. Everyone stacked it. Dion bumped into old pal Austyn Gilette. Then smoke bombed.

22.29 iMessage from Dion Agius.

Hey brother I’ve gone home, soooo tired I almost fell asleep, hit you in the AM!

This is the warm up evening. Dion comes home at 5.30 am. Sometimes it’s better not to ask. The next day brings confusion, forced checkouts, badly timed jokes, headaches strong enough to make grown men cry.  We do nothing. We are perpetually fucked. Engaging with people, connecting and documenting is great on paper but I can’t remember my own name and sometimes you have to look after number one.

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The evening lights of Copenhagen twinkle and we roll our first premiere at Oh Dawn Store. The CPH rail contest is happening on the same street and people are hyped. We have a lil technical issue but it’s all gravy. Skaters come in and are blown away by technical surfing, really, seriously, genuinely impressed. This is nice. Worlds collide over ice cold Heinekens and things are looking up.

Dion is playing a great host, we give away tees and What Youth mags, people are smiling and we are doing our jobs, beers are clinking, we are drunk again, no one has died, this is good, this is normal. Everything for once is going to plan. We drink the night away safe in the knowledge we have a lunchtime flight to Amsterdam and that should be makeable.

10.04am iMessage from Blake Myers:

You all good for Amsterdam or amateur hour?

24 hours in Amsterdam

We are perpetually hungover by now. Sleep is a memory and the only things we consume are juice until the sun begins to dip and then copious amounts of booze of any and many descriptions. This is quite possibly surfing’s answer to Withnail and I. We land in Amsterdam. We drink delicious beers with friends by a canal in the sunshine and for a moment life is good. We throw a premiere. This is a noise we are worryingly too familiar with. We are drunk again, this is not ideal but is the most effective hangover cure we have found and we are sticking with it .We meet people who have driven for hours to be there. They are stoked. We are stoked. The Dutch are in all honesty the nicest people under the sun.

We split and delve into the winding alleyways of Amsterdam. We are a mob, a motley crew of post-premiere kids down to rage. It is decided a visit to Amsterdam is not complete with out going to the Red Light District. Girls stare out of windows. Some smoke, others adjust make up. We watch men enter glass doors where curtains close and minutes later shuffle out looking ashen faced. Bets are made as to how many minutes this will take. We are on a boat. I don’t know why, it’s not our boat. Owner of boat turns up on his second boat to see a mob of youths drinking and cavorting on his boat. He insists it’s fine we stay as long as we leave it tidy. The Dutch are in all honesty the nicest people under the sun. We are in a bar. Whisky Sours. Dark and Stormies. Moscow Mules. This is happening again. We hit a euro trash club. Nineties music. Smoking inside. It’s all going on.  We are loosing it. Dion disappears. It’s 8.30am and we have to fly to London at noon. Oh oh.

Wake up. 11ish. Not sure if that counted as sleep. Check phone. Nothing. Taunts from the office of  “You guys are fucking idiots.” Head is exploding and legs feel peculiar. Shower. Consider sitting down in shower but find last shred of self dignity. Dion appears at apartment on back of Scooter. More La Dolce Vita then withnail and I. Things are looking up.

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A weekend in London.

We land in London. Hangovers of bibilicial proportions. Shouted at in immigration. Hottest day of the year. Being British I have a strange sense of nostalgic patriotism. This is quickly displaced by being baffled as to a country that founded a considerable proportion of the modern world how the fuck we haven’t figured out to put air con on Tube (Metro). We arrive at the premiere late, hungover and incredibility hot. Premiere rolls. Business as normal. Beers. Groms. Clink. Talk. Beers. Talk. Clink. Cigarettes. Screen. Beers. Chicks. Talk. Clink. Hangover wears off as another one looms. We separate into the night, cocktails are drank in Soho mainly of a whisky sour variety.

Morning. Sunday. The Sabbath. I spend 4 hours at the Tate Britain pondering over the romanticist works of J. M W. Turner and this is strangely therapeutic. I feel alive again.

France / San Sebastian

A day later we touch down in Hossegor. It’s summer and hot and flat and girls and crowds and no parking and beers and back to french food and it’s hot but there’s wine and everyone is beautiful.

We screen outside. We are smarter than we look and have conned Globe into buying just under 1000 beers. We have bath tubs full of ice. The wheels start spinning. Groms, so many groms. Some of them over 20. Beers. Clink. Exactly 3 packs of cigarettes smoked per person, sorry it’s the law.  The beers are drunk quicker than we thought, the last 100 are warm. Sorry we are not as clever as we look.

Premiere ends and a convoy of Audis take us to bars of varying descriptions but there is always booze. Our intern gives Dion her phone then has her collarbone broken by our other Intern on a bicycle. This is confusing. There are ambulances and lost phones, girls crying and drama. Memory fades. Morning comes. I am George Orwell but not down and out in London or Paris but completely broken in Hossegor. I am exactly 4 hours late to help clear the venue the next day. I am popular beyond belief.

We drive to San Seb. We are so done with flying it hurts. Arrive to Pinchos and the customary Vodka Limon by the church. We screen at PUKAS and they are the most unbelievably nice family I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Dion is chatting to everyone. He is unbelievably good at this and I stand around and get drunk. Life is good and we are drunk in the streets of San Sebastian and this is a familiar but warm feeling and I love it. We dissipate into cobbled alleys fuelled by equal parts Vodka and Limon.

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Barcelona

Barcelona. August in Barcelona. It’s beyond busy, street carnival weekend but we have a premiere to attend and we must do our best to keep this well oiled shitshow on the road. We check into the best hotel we can afford. There is a rooftop pool. By this stage money is no issue as we need all the help we can get.  We recharge. Sleep. Room service. Sleep. Room service. Pool. Sleep. Oru friend tells us of a Moët sponorsed pool party, our names are on the list. We decide it’s rude not to go. We go. We drink. It is everything a Moët endorsed pool party would be your head but more gauche. We make no friends but get lit. Taxi to premiere. We screen beachside at a store near the W Hotel. It’s a helluva set up. A shop staffed exclusivity by Iberian mega babes on the beachfront of Barcelona and we drink beers and smile on our good fortune. How we keep pulling this off with an air of nonchalance is beyond me but we do and the wheels keep spinning. We clatter down cobbled alleyways into a Euro themed club for a touch of what Dion calls “Spread betting.” You’ll have to ask him in person. We wake. Room service. Pool. Sleep. Airport. Portugal.

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Ericeira

We in a Police Station with 3 bemused but all things considered very polite policeman. Their English is poor, our Portuguese is worse. They do have quite smart white boots and we both note this on our trend forecasts. The matching polo shirts are less desirable but you can’t have it all and this is the Portuguese law enforcement and not Milan. We have made a parking misdemanour and we must pay. We wake hungover and the car is gone. We call Portuguese friends, they call the police, we go to the police and here we are. They offer us a lift (so friendly! take note American police!) and we are happily in the back of a tiny police car with 3 policeman. Unfortunately it’s summer in a busy fishing village, we drive slowly through crowded whitewashed streets and we look like the local criminals. We don’t care.  We are beyond caring about anything. We are cooked beyond comprehension. I left my dignity in Amsterdam and Dion in France. We are done. Roasted. Toasted. Poached. Sauté. Sizzled. Torched.Positively percolated. We’ve been put the Euro oven for 9 days on gas level 9000 and have come out the other side positively thoroughly over cooked. The last premiere is fun, cold beers,  a solid turnout and we are out of there. We gouge on sushi in celebration. We part ways. Dion to a northern Portguese rehab centre and myself to the Priory in London. It’s been real.—Alexei Obolensky

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Huge thanks to Globe, Epøkhe and Octopus for letting us do ridiculous things.

Above all thanks to Oh Dawn, Seasick, Pukas, Wasted Talent Boutique, Finisterre London, Box Barcelona and Magic Quiver for hosting us on our pan European Lizard tour.

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