27 March 2008 ~ Comments Off on Tour report March 2008

Tour report March 2008

Pictures of the tour

Day 1: Paris, FranceVenue: Palais Bar
Other bands: Burst One’s Side + Nothing More

The tour really started at a gestation in Belgium. Riekus noticed some boxes of chips next to the gas pump. We checked it out, suspicious as we are. No one was around. This must be a trap to put punk bands in prison. The cops must know that every touring punk band lives on chips. But we simply couldn’t stand the temptation of taking a few bags… Yes, we are indeed weak. I checked them again. Yes, they are vegan approved. No, nobody was looking. I grabbed two bags and put them in the van. Rebel me!
A guy came up to us and ruined our criminal adventure when he told we could take as many bags as we wanted: the date was expired. We ended up driving off with a huge box of chips.

This was the third time we played in Paris and it was the third time Chris from Bad Bear organized the show. It was good to see him again. It was also good to see the people of Burst One’s Side again. Even for a Wednesday night, it was a good show.
Nothing More played first and they reminded me of the Descendents. They had a really good sound and they were a three-piece, which’s always a plus. Burst One’s Side play sort of modern hardcore/ punk. An awesome 88 Fingers Louis cover made their set perfect!
It was the first show of the tour and I could really feel it. I mean, I played well, and it was nice to see a lot of people sang along with the songs. But it wasn’t completely fluently. On the other side, we had a lot of fun.

We stayed at Chris’ house again, right outside of Paris. We could use a good sleep, because the next day would be a long drive.

Day 2: Toulouse, France
Venue: Cave De La Notte
Other bands: Owngame

The drive was long indeed. I had a good chance to read in my book I brought along, “De Eeuw Van Mijn Vader” by Geert Mak. Some Dutch history lessons are learned here. And I was looking forward to play in Toulouse again. The other times we played there were simply amazing. The city is beautiful; it has a great D.I.Y. scene. This time it wasn’t our friend PierrO who organized the show, but Remi from HardcoreShows Toulouse. A nice vegan meal was made, and it tasted damn good after a long trip from Paris!
The show was in a small basement in the middle of Toulouse. Parking was almost impossible, but luckily we had Etjen from Just Like You Mom Toursupport as our driver. He can squeeze the van in every possible small parking spot available, he even likes doing it.
The show was really nice. Quite some people showed up, and really enjoyed our set. We played a lot of songs from the new album, and some were already singing along. That’s a good thing I guess.

Before the show we did an interview for a local zine. We were asked several questions about the new album of course. One of the questions was what events inspired us to write the album. And that question really made me realize I write mainly about events or subjects that bother me, that make me angry. I don’t feel the urge to write about happy subjects at all. Does that make me a cynical, grumpy asshole? I don’t know…

Day 3: La rochelle
Venue: WBC
Other Bands: LHF, Borderline, Nil Novi

I don’t know what to write about this show. We played with a noise rock band, a young punk band that had their first show ever, and an old rock band. We had nothing to do here. Completely nothing. The promoter of the show was the nicest guy ever, but also had no idea what to do with us. He already booked the show and because somebody else’s mistake, he was stuck with some Dutch punk band who don’t eat meat (not even cheese!) and keep asking questions about sleeping places, time schedules and backlines. The poor guy. I’ve never felt so out of place and uncomfortable.
We played last, and there were ten people remaining to watch us. We dedicated a song to Steve though…

Day 4: Angouleme
Venue: Le Mars Attack
Other bands: Penalty, Primal Age, None Shall Be Saved

We woke up in the venue in La Rochelle, got some breakfast and headed out to Angouleme. This show was also really last minute and we didn’t know what to expect. When we arrived we were overwhelmed by the venue. Everything was really well arranged, the venue itself was quite big, the backstage was filled with food and drinks. But nobody knew that we were playing… We were put on this show very last minute (the day before) and we could play a short set. Again, the promoters of the show were the nicest people, and I felt very uncomfortable and not in place. We played on a metalcore-show… We got food and a place to sleep, but no money. Better than nothing, that’s true. But it’s pretty fucked up to arrive in such a nice place in this way. I’d love to play there a decent show, not come and spoil somebody’s metalcore-party.
The set we played was short and fast. And I liked it. I watched the other bands and it was nice to see that Primal Age had this nineties vegan straight edge message. I can imagine it’s pretty hard to be vegan in France. The other bands were really not my thing, but they were definitely nice people. Thanks to Niko for taking care of us!

Day 5: Day Off

We woke up pretty late because we really could use a good sleep. We checked on the internet all the cheap Formula 1 Hotels on the way to Portugal. The tour booker of the tour text messaged us we could stay at his mom’s house for the days off. That was two hours out of the right direction. Besides, later he let us know we could stay there for only one day. Thanks, but no thanks. We’ll take it from here. Good luck, all the best, and have fun with the rest of your life. Bye!
So finally we weren’t dependent of somebody else, and it felt damn good. The next stop would be Bayonne, than Valladolid (Spain), than Faro, Portugal.
The ride to Bayonne was around five hours and we didn’t take any toll highways because we had all the time in the world. We passed through some really beautiful French landscapes. It was like we were on a holiday, but without the pouring rain.
We had great pizza though.

Day 6 Day off, again

We drove today. A lot. It sucked. Especially because we’re in Spain right now, without even playing one single show in the country. We made it to Valladolid safely and we had falafel. Hooray!

Day 7 Day off, again

We drove a long fucking way to get to Faro. We met up with Rafael, the promoter of the show tomorrow. We could stay at a little beach house right outside of Faro. The weather was simply beautiful and we could jump in the ocean from the porch outside of the beach house. This definitely made up for a lot of driving. It was really like a different world! Two days ago I was walking around in my winter jacket. Now I had my shorts on, thinking whether or not to plunge in the ocean. Being in a band has his advantages for sure.
We met the people of Partime Killer as well, we were playing two songs with them. Nice Finish guys who like to drink a lot.

Day 8: Faro, Portugal
Venue: Arcadia Rock Bar
Other bands: Partime Killer, Punk Mantega, Pee Jamma

Sometimes you play at bars or venues that are simply impossible to find. They seem to be hidden somewhere in between different dimensions, far out of reach from every GPS-system. Arcadia was one of those bars. It was in the middle of the city center of Faro, and we couldn’t find it. No street signs, no names of the bars at all. We just waited at the point where we thought it would be, basically next to the headquarters of the Hell’s Angels. We parked the van in the small alley and hoped we were at the right address.
Luckily a small young lady came w
alking towards us and asked us if we were the band: she was the owner of the bar. And within 30 minutes other bands, promoters, food and PA systems arrived. Everywhere in the alley doors opened and bars and cafés appeared, a completely different sight from when we arrived.
It was a Wednesday, it was our very first show in Portugal. We didn’t know what to expect at all. The bar had the perfect size for a weekday show: not too big, not too small. When the first band started playing, the place was pretty crowded already.
I didn’t play the best show ever. I mean, we had so many off days that I was completely out of the routine of touring. It was nice to see people enjoyed the set though.

Day 9: Guia (Albufeira), Portugal
Venue: FNAC Store
Other bands: –

This is without a single doubt nominated for the ‘Weirdest Show Ever’-award. The show took place in a Fnac-store, it can compared to a Virgin Mega Store. It was in a fancy shopping mall. In the back of the store there was sort of a small diner where we would play. I had no idea what I was doing here (it’s sort of the anthem of this tour by the way…). On the opposite of the stage I could see the children’s books section. People were buying the new Jack Johnson dvd, as it was playing on big flatscreen tv’s in the store. What a fucking douche bag is that Jack Johnson guy by the way!
Back to business: the show was hilarious and depressing at the same time. I really played a good, solid set. But here we were, in the belly of the beast. This was everything that capitalism represented. So it was kind of ironic to play songs like ‘Sponsorship For Life’ or ‘Another Guide…’. I guess this is what selling out feels like…

Day 10: Cascais, Portugal
Venue: Lotus Bar
Other bands: Mr Shrink, Breakloose, Partime Killer

We said goodbye to our small beach house where we stayed the last couple of days and we headed out to Cascais. I was really looking forward to this show because Joao from Infected Records would be at the show. He released our album in Portugal, booked the shows in Portugal, and was working his ass off for us. And as soon as we met, we were friends. I guess that happens sometimes…
We were also playing with Partime Killer and it was good to hang out with them as well. It was the same with Joao; you know immediately you’re friends. When you talk about favorite bands, about touring, about recordings, about daily life in general. They certainly played a good show and I enjoyed their set a lot.
When we started playing, the venue was pretty crowded. I had the time of my life on stage, it felt good to play the show. I had the idea the crowd liked it as well.
Now I have to mention the great pasta we had for diner. All the credits go to Joao’s mom for making an incredible vegan dish!

Day 11: Entroncamento, Portugal
Venue: lareira bar
Other bands: Just Under

It was the last day of tour and I was excited to play the show. I had a really good feeling about the last couple of shows so I couldn’t wait to hit the stage again. There was some confusion before we left since we found out there are two towns in Portugal with the name Entroncamento. But after some text messaging we headed out for the right one.
We arrived at a nice bar, a nice venue. Again the diner was fantastic! And the coffee was perfect as well. Strong, but great indeed. These people knew how to treat a band. All these ingredients have result in a blasting show…
A great show it was. The place was pretty crowded (again!) and everybody seemed to love it (again!).
Before the show we had nice talks about Portugal. Some history lessons were taught, and I found that Portugal was under a fascist regime until 1974. Now I’ve learned about fascist leader in Germany, Italy, and Spain. But I don’t really know anything about Portugal… it was very interesting to hear more about it.

After the show we packed everything and we drove back home. It sounds so easy; drive home. But we head over 2200 km ahead of us. Etjen packed the van so we had a small bed in the back of the van so some one could sleep there. Another person could sleep on the backseat and two were sitting in front. All credits to Willem and Etjen for driving. And Riekus for his farts that smell like a sewer.

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