15 October 2007 ~ Comments Off on tourreport transatlantic tour part II

tourreport transatlantic tour part II

Tour report Transatlantic Tour part 2:
Antillectual & Static Radio do Europe

please, check the pictures of this tour on our picasa web picasaweb.google.com/antillectual

This is the tour report of the second part of the Transatlantic tour taking the dutch band Antillectual and the New Jersey based Static Radio across Europe. Part 1 of the Transatlantic Tour took place in the U.S.A. from July 6-21 across the American east coast. In the Europe both bands played 15 shows in 16 days in Holland, France, Italy, Austria and Germany. Below you find the report bass player Yvo wrote from day to day.

Day 1: Nijmegen, Holland
Venue: Merleyn
Other bands: Gascoigne
The first show of this tour was in Nijmegen, Holland. Our hometown, sort of… We haven’t played in Nijmegen since De Zomerfeesten 2006 (over a year ago) and it had to be a good kick-off for the tour. De Static Radio guys defenitely liked the backstage room, the free drinks and food… defenitely not the American standards. Fifteen minutes before the first band Gascoinge was supposed to play there was hardly anyone, I was stressed out and hoping for a miracle. Slowly people started walking in and the place was crowded when Gascoinge started playing. It was the last show of our friend Peter, who sings in Gascoigne. It was probably the best show that I’ve ever seen of this band, they played quite a lot of new songs and I was really blown away! We played second and there were even more people inside. A lot of people knew the songs and sang along, and the new songs were going steadily. I played well I guess. There was something wrong with the sound for a couple songs, but luckily it didn’t last for too long. Static Radio NJ (SRNJ) was the last band of the evening and they were headlining properly. With two covers and fast hardcore they had the dutch audience on their hands. Before the show the kids were a bit nervous (it was there first show in Europe!) because they didn’t know what to expect. On stage they were everything but nervous: the set was solid as a rock! So the show was awesome! A lot of friends showed up, all bands played great and the atmosphere was cool…. and after the show we all went to the local punkpub De Bijstand! The SRNJ felt at home…

Day 2: Paris, France
Venue: Le Rocher
Other bands: Toad Flanders, Burst One’s Side
Before we headed to the City of Romance we had to wait for Chris, the drummer of SRNJ. He made good friends with a nice young lady. After she dropped him off at our sleepingplace, we rushed to the supermarket and than to Paris. As soon as I cross the border, I have the feeling to be on tour. A different language, extra strong coffee, people who look weird at you because you can’t say ‘merci beaucoup’ decently. Brilliant! The show was typically french: the venue was behind the local pub where the local middle aged french men are getting drunk at the bar. There were already quite a lot of people when we arrived and all the bands had a very good crowd. I got into this insane coversation with two sisters who escaped from a mental institution. A bunch of nutcases! It wasn’t even funny. Quite scary actually… Anyway, Toad Flanders was the first band and played an awesome cover of 88 Fingers Louie. Burst One’s Side completely suprised me with a solid set of melodic hardcore. Really good! Unfortunately I didn’t watch one second of the SRNJ set because I was doing merch and had an interesting talk with a guy about copyright, copyleft and creative comments. We stayed at the promoter’s house. We had a nice room for ourselves and the next morning coffee and vegan croissants waited for us. What a way to start a day…

Day 3: Le Havre
Venue: Mc Daids
Other bands: Chomage Riders
I love short rides! We could avoid all the toll highways which took us thorugh the real countryside of France. All really nice small villages you can only see in France. Le Havre was a real industrial town: a bit depressive. We arrived at the venue and everything was perfectly arranged. The show wasn’t very spectacular. The audience had a good time but there wasn’t a real connection or interaction between the bands and the audience. I played pretty well I think. Not too bad, for an amateur… After the show we got a lot of great responses so that was great. The after-party was awesome! We stayed at the promoter’s place and he had invited all his friends to stop by. There was a lot of alcohol involved so within a couple of hours vic and Chris of SRNJ were getting ‘tour-haircuts’, we watched the dirtiest porn ever made, the concept of a no pants party was introduced, the cops came by, people puked… it was like an out of control sweetsixteen party. Sweet!

Day 4: La Rochelle, France
Venue: World Breich Center
Other bands: –
In the meantime we had troubles with the van ever since we drove into Paris. Our driver Etjen is on the phone with teh insurance the whole time and local garages for the van to have a check up. There’s something wrong with the gearbox, it takes at least two days to fix it and we simply don’t have the time for that. The weirdest thing is that the van drives fine, only when we drive backward it’s acting funny. But the idea is to rent another van with a trailer. Our driver Etjen will look at more possibilities in La Rochelle. We’ve played in La Rochelle in January. That was on a saturdaynight and the small place as packed that time. Now we’re playing there on a monday and normally those are not the shows to write home about. This show was really aweosme! There were quite a lot of people, and there wasn’t even a local band to draw a crowd. There were a lot of people who came because they head from the last time we played there. Shows like these are always the best, because it’s sort of a nice surprise. You try not to expect too much and all of a sudden the place is packed with excited people. On top of that was that everything was really well arranged: Steve (the promoter) knows how to take care of touring bands. Great food, good sound, quiet sleepingplace. Awesome. Steve asked if we wanted to go to the bar after the show and I explained him what happened the night before. He completely understood why everybody wanted some sleep. Fucking cowards we are indeed…

Day 5: Bordeaux, France
Venue: El Inca
Other Bands: Nowadayz
I woke up and wondered what’s up with the van. Etjen got up early to check at a garage so they could tell him exactly that ewas wrong. He came back when I was brushing my teeth and he didn’t very happy. After hours of broken English and uninterested mechanics they could tell him it was the gearbox. We already fuckin’ knew that. could they fix it? No. Fuck. The next plan was to drive to Bordeaux and try to buy a trailer there. In the meanwhile we heard from the insurance we could pick up a van that was somewhere in between Toulouse and Montpellier, we would play there later. Anyway, back to interesting stuff. The venue in Bordeaux is in a tiny basement in a tiny bar. The venue itself isn’t even that small, but the stairs could fit right in a scary scene of Harry Potter. And the most interesting thing was to get the whole backline downstairs… But after some cursing, sweating and pulling it paid off. Same as yesterday: tuesday is a weekdate. It can be okay, it can suck big time. And again I was amazed how many people showed up. The first band rocked like hell, playing a style in between Propagandhi and I Farm. I could notice from SRNJ they slept well. They had a lot of fun on stage and the set was solid as rock. I played a nice set too. If you walk off the stage with bruises and a headache, it was probably a good show. Or you got beaten up by some local nazi-skinheads… luckily that wasn’
t the case this time. The crowd screamed for an encore and we had ten minutes before the curfew. We decided to play Propagandhi. Good choice. People went nuts.
After the show we went to a bar called New Amsterdam. It happened to be a dutch Café with all the typical dutch mumbojumbo. It was so weird to be in a place like this, in fucking Bordeaux! Oh well, they played AC/DC, there was a pants-off-party, people were yelling. It was fun. We finally got kicked out because the owner wanted to get some sleep too, and we had one of the best falafel on our way back to the sleepingplace. Good night!

Day 6: Toulouse, france
Venue: Fairfield Café
Other bands: Ici Vous Etes Une Touriste
Etjen got up early (again!) to go trialer-hunting. I decided to join him. We found out pretty quickly that trialers are at least triple the price as in Holland. And those trailers are made in Holland! There’s no way we would buy an insanely expensive trailer, which is gonna be in a country where the same fucking trailer is so much cheaper. But in meantime, there wasn’t a solution… We drove to Toulouse without any problems. First we went to a good recordstore where everybody loaded in the vinyl they always wanted to have. Next stop was the venue where we met up with our friend PierrO. He did a show for us before and is simply one of the best people I’ve ever met. The last we played in Toulouse, the place exploded. In a positive way that is… This time was no different. A lot of people sang along the songs, danced, screamed and were having fun. We met up with friends and the whole night was heartwarming. We drove to the sleepingplace and the gearbox started making really funny noises…

Day 7: Montpellier, France
Venue: Mojomatic Bar
Other bands: Otake
Today was the day. It went wrong. Today was the nightmare that was waiting for us. we are touring since 2004 and it always went well. It had to happen sometime. I realize that. However that doesn’t make the situation any easier. We drove away from Toulouse and we had to get gas. Etjen filled up the tank and wanted to drive off and couldn’t get the stick out of third gear. After driving around on the parkinglot of the local supermarché for twenty minutes, trying to get the stick out of the gear, after swearing to god and satan at the same time. It didn’t work, we were fucked. I had the urge to throw a television of a thirty story building. Or shove a applepie in my own face. Or drink a bottle of scotch by myself and see what happens. Etjen reacted quick. He phoned the insurance and told them what to do. Yep, he did. more than ever i was so happy he was there, being the person who he is. The venue was called we weren’t gonna be on time. Those who couldn’t do anything, didn’t talk. For the better. Those who could arrange something, did what they had to do. It made it bearable. The solution: the van went to a garage in Toulouse. With cold sweat on their foreheads Willem and Etjen (the only two with drivers licenses AND experience with European traffic) drove like hell to pick up a car and a van in Perpignan, two hundred kilometres away. They drove back, we loaded the van and car, and risked our lives to get to Montpellier. We arrived six hours late, but we still could play a short set. I think we played the shortest and most aggressive set ever. What a day…

Day 8: Ciriè (Turin), Italy
Venue: Taurus
Other bands: Notfound, Formistake
After the chaotic day we had to get up pretty early, Italy was waiting for us. The drive was pretty long and we wanted to take some time because our singer/ guitarist Willem had to drive everything, and play at night. So some good, long stops in between wasn’t even a luxury, it was needed. I know what you’re thinking: those Static Radio guys must have driver’s licenses, why don’t they drive parts of it? Answer: yep, they all can drive. But I want to live longer than this day which means they’re not driving one mile in Italy. Driving in Italy is real life Carmageddon and it is hard to surive, even if you have your driver’s license for 20 years. After the long, but beuatiful drives through the mountains we arrived in Ciriè, a small town next to Torino. We started loading and had a big backstage room for ourselves to relax a bit. The venue was big, professional and really well arranged. This was the first night in Italy, and of course we had pizza for diner. Things couldn’t be better! Playing in Italy also means playing late. We didn’t start after midnight, and Static Radio was even headlining the show. But everybody’s used to it so people stayed. There was quite a big crowd who seemed to enjoy it a lot. I had a good time too, with an amazing sound. After the show we slept in a squad a couple of miles away from the venue, where there was a metalshow going on. We arrived at 4:30 in the morning and there were still black metal bands playing. Some were better than others. I didn’t care, I just wanted to sleep. I unwrapped my sleepingbag and fell asleep in a dusty corner.

Day 9: Lucinico (Gorizia), Italy
Venue: pieffe factory
Other bands: The Usured
Today was yet another long drive. We had a show in Bologna, two hours away from Ciriè. Unfortunately the show got cancelled and the promoter managed to book another show in Gorizia. That’s really awesome, but Gorizia was on the other side of Italy, close to hte Sloveian border. it was all last minute and we heard nothing but great stories about the venue so why not? All the stories about the Pieffe Factory were more than true. I haven’t seen such a beautiful venue in my life. It’s sort of a big bar, with a nice stage. And the owners are a punkrock couple. It looked absolutely amazing and htey really know how to take care of bands. We had our own backstage with beds, the fridge was completely filled and some of the best pasta I’ve ever tasted. it was a saturdaynight and I was wondering if people would show up. And again the place was packed when the first band started playing. We played and there were quuite some people singing along and having a good time. On the sidenote: Vic (bassplayer of Static Radio) was afraid of the phenomenon ‘hole-toilets’ in Italy. The word is pretty much self-explaining, the toilet is nothing more than a hole in the ground. They have those toilets sometimes in Southern European countries. Don’t ask me why, it just is. I’m not a big fan as well, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. And this time we (the bands) didn’t even have to take a dump in the hole-toilet because there was a normal toilet and shower for the bands in the backstage. Everybody knew that. Well, everybody exept Vic. We told him the next day when we drove off. He took it like a man.

Day 10: Milano, Italy
Venue: Leoncavallo
Other bands: Imodium, Fratelli Calafuria
We played in Milano two years ago, in the same huge squad. Several groups are active there and also the concert collective who organized the show. There are also people living there, there’s a big sort of a soup-kitchen where everybody in the neighbourhood can have a cheap, very good vegetarian meal. The place is really inspiring! Tadzio (the promoter of the show) took good care of us; good food, enough drinks, good promotion. We had a very good time seeing a lot of old friends again and had fun playing. We also met up with Ste and Dami from No Reason Records to talk about the upcoming release. They were really interested, and we had a good talk. Both parties were excited!

Day 11: Florence, Italy
Venue: Next Emerson
Other bands: My Vain Therapy
Unfortunately we didn’t have time to hang out in Milano because there was a long drive to Florence, again. Sometimes I find it frustrating, being on tour means playing at the most beautiful places all over the world. But in practice you hardly
have time to actually hang out and see the cities you are playing. Most of the times you either sitting in the van or waiting at the venue. On the other hand, you get to meet tons of awesome people, and see great places. Tonight was another typical Italian night. The show was on a mondaynight and it started after midnight. If you would do that in Holland, there wouldn’t be any crowd. But here in Florence people start showing up at the show around midnight. The PA wasn’t very good, but we had fun. The people made it fun. We met up with the kids of Stolen Bikes Ride Faster, a cool band from Italy.

Day 12: Innsbrück, Austria
Venue: PMK Club
Other bands: Blackout Problems
After four long and awesome days in Italy, I was also looking forward to go to Austria where the shows start on time. We’ve never played in Innsbrück but heard really good stories about the city. And Andy from 7 Years Bab Luck was doing the show and I was looking forward to see him again. We arrived at the venue and it reminded me of De Goudvishal in my hometown Arnhem. It wasn’t a really big place, but everything was really well arranged. And finally we had some time to walk around in the city. For me it was the first since the van broke down that we could relax a little and take a breath. And to check our email! What a luxury! I had a really good feeling when we played. It felt like everything fit and fell into place. The audience was excited and there was a great interaction. I know it sounds cliché, but I felt at home. It was like some frustration had to come out, and there’s no better place to unleash that on stage. Andy told that they had some problems with nazi-boneheads in the last two weeks. It made me so fucking angry that those morons even have the nerve to try and attack such a great place like the PMK club. This place is completely runned by volunteers, there are aorund fifteen collectives who all do different kinds of music. it’s crazy some dumb fucks want to try and destroy this place. I certainly hope this stays with a single incident and doesn’t escalate. This is a perfect example: not now. Not ever Fascism ever again!

Day 13: Vienna, Austria
Venue: Tüwi
Other bands: Rentokill
Before we drove to the other side of Austria, we were treated with a delicious Austrian breakfast. Coffee, warm bread, vegan spreads, juice… there was too much! Andy insisted we took all the food we couldn’t eat so we wouldn’t starve on the road. What a sweetheart! Another long, but beautiful drive to Vienna. I’ve been to Vienna several times now and I always find it really impressive. Big, classical buildings, a lot of parcs. We played in Tüwi. It was told it’s the university canteen, but it’s there illegal. It’s basically squatted. But it’s there for years and years. People can eat there of course, but there are also shows and info evenings. Perfect! Each year it’s scary if they can stay or not, I wish them all the best in the upcoming years and it can stay there for many more years. What a place… Oh, and we played there too of course. The show was with our good friends from Rentokill, and organized by Zock from Astpai. There were so many friends, it was heartwarming. But when we started with the soundcheck, the place didn’t look like a venue at all. People were sitting at tables, enjoying their herbal tea or whatever. When the first band started, everything changed and it was completely packed. Rentokill played a killershow and we had to play after that. I was blown away by their set, and I wasn’t the only one. How in hell can we ever come close to that? We started and people were singing along to every single word. It was amazing.

Day 14: DAY OFF!
It doesn’t hurt to have a day off on a three week tour. But I’d rather play a show of course. I mean, it’s just weird to drive and than do nothing. There’s nothing in the day you work to. Besides, day-offs are simply expensive. Fortunately we could sleep in the JUZ in Mannheim. We met up with Litty. We couldn’t play that night, but Litty cooked us diner, made us breakfast. What a guy! There’s no better way to spend a day off!

Day 15: Köln, Germany
Venue: Bauwagenplatz
Other bands: Nein Nein Nein
It was a short ride from Mannheim to Köln which gave us a chance to do some recordshopping. The best place to go is The Underdog, people old us. We arrived there and everybody was almost depressed from all the good records they had there. They had pretty everything I was looking for for a long time. Eventually I walked out of the store with three nice records under my arm, but I could’ve spend another 300 euro’s easily. After a cup of coffee in a nice bar we went to the venue, the Bauwagenplatz. It was a squatted terrain with busses and trailers on it where people lived in. All really nice and cousy. In the middle they build a wooden bar where we played. The place was small, but really awesome. And on top of that, everything was perfectly arranged. Again the place was packed when the bands started playing. I could’nt believe how many people showed up for all the shows. On tour there are always some shows that are shitty. No people show up at all. But that wasn’t the case this tour. We didn’t play for less than 75 people a night. I was really impressed with the band we played with: Nein Nein Nein. Great people, and a great show! it was sort of raw punkrock in between Hot Water Music and Osker. All the lyrics were in German and it suited perfectly with the music. I think I played a good show. The audience was interested and we played on the ground, that always makes it much more intense. And again there were people who sang along to all the songs, pretty cool! After the show there was some sort of part. Everybody basically hung out, there was a fire where people sat around (bunch of punk hippies!) and I got my ass kicked with tablesocker…

Day 16: Caudry, France
Venue: Le Baron
Other bands: Cashbox
It was a short night in Köln, but the next started great. I woke up from the smell of scrambled tofu (vegan version of scrambled eggs. so you know…). I walked downstairs and ran into Alex who was our host. We slept in his house and promissed to make us breakfast. And so he did indeed. He was busy preparing all sorts of spreads, there was fresh bread, coffee. What a treat! After everybody completely stuffed themselves, we said goodbye to the people of Deny Everything and Cobretti (they did the show) and we took off for the last show in Cuadry, France. We played two times before in this small village in the north of France. Both times were amazing and the audience went nuts. Therefor I was a little nervous. What if it’s a disappoitment this time? What if no one shows up this time? We arrived and it was like coming home. We shook hands with Frank (owner of the bar) and his wife Daphne. More and more groups of young punkkids gathered around the venue. Static Radio played first and people went nuts. The venue was packed and everybody enjoyed themselves. When we started I could really feel it was the llast day of tour. I was exhausted from the night before, and the whole tour. Through the set somehow I got omre and more energy from the audience, and from the idea this was the last day. We played two encores and the audience loved it. After the shows I had long talks with the local punkkids. My French is horrible but I tried the best I can. Their English wasn’t too good either… it was the best ending of a very successful tour!

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