19 February 2009 ~ 1 Comment

Tour report Jan/Feb 2009: NL, Fr, Swi, Ita

Tourreport January/February 2009

This is the tour report for our first tour of 2009. Taking us to Eindhoven, France, Switzerland, Italy, and back to Switzerland, France and Raalte. Besides the band Etjen from Just like your mom, toursupport was helping us out on this trip. It was for the first time since May he was coming along with us.

January 28, 2009
Venue: Effenaar
City + Country: Eindhoven, Holland
Other bands: Only Crime, No Use For A Name

First day of the tour is in Holland. And what a show to start the tour… We’re supporting Only Crime and No Use For A Name. Now I have to be honest; NUFAN is one of those bands I’d listen to everyday ten years ago. And it’s fun to play with your youth heroes.
The show itself wasn’t too good. We played on one of the biggest stages we’ve ever played and we all had the feeling it wasn’t going too well. But on the other hand, we were having a blast because so many friends came out to see us. Especially some old friends who we hadn’t seen in ages. It’s always great to catch up!

January 29, 2009
Venue: The Soap Box Club
City + Country: Laxou, France
Other bands: Expect Anything

I got up early because I had to stop by the garage and put winter-tires on the van. I kissed Suzette, Jippe and Raaf goodbye and off I went. After the pitstop at the garage, I picked up Willem and Riekus in Nijmegen. Next stop was Luik where our friend Etjen was waiting to hop in the van.
Etjen is a good friend of us who has been with us on trillions of tours. He has his own toursupport company (Just Like Your Mom Toursupport) and is on the road pretty much all the time. We both have busy schedules so this was the first time he would come along again. We were all really looking forward to it!
The drive to Laxou wasn’t too long, but I was tired because of all the stops. We arrived at the Soap Box Club and it was the perfect venue. A small stage, food and drinks waiting for us, beds upstairs. Ah, those beds… I was so happy to lay down for a minute before playing.
Alex (Youthway Records, The Twisted Minds) organized the show and he did a great job. Unfortunately there weren’t too many people, but some have traveled for an hour just to come and see us. It was flathering to hear. We had a good time.

January 30, 2009
City + Country: Cirié, Italy
Other bands: Notfound

Again we had to get up early; a long drive to Italy was waiting for us. A good seven hours in the van, yay!! We had some breakfast, loaded the van and headed to the country of pizza, strong coffee and insane driving.
The drive was long, but beautiful. Coming from (probably) the flattest country in the world, I’m always excited to see mountains. And I just love to stare at the landscapes passing by, with some music on the background.
We met up with an old friend; Fabio from Notfound did a show for us two years go. The venue was a cultural place where a lot of things were happening. They had meetings, theatre-plays, kids playing tablesoccer and random punkshows. It was nice. It was the first day in Italy so we had to eat some good pasta. And good pasta was served!
I never understand how they make it. I try my very best to make the pasta like that and it seems so simple. But somehow the Italians have some secret I can’t discover. The pasta is so tasteful with only a few ingredients. I figured I might never discover their pasta-secret so I just decided to enjoy the jolly good pasta for what it is. I finished my plate and went for a refill.
It was a free show and the best thing was that there were all sorts of people at the show. Not only the average punk-kids, but also some hiphop dudes checking out the loud noise and the average people who just were interested in what was going on. 
The show was really nice. A lot of people were interested, some already knew our music but also a lot of the people had no clue who we were. No one was walking away, so I guess that’s a good thing. We played loud and fast, I liked it.
The show ended at a reasonable time, which is not always the case in Italy. Shows tend to start really late, and when you’re playing last it’s no exeption to play at 02:00 a.m… but not this show. Thank you very much!

January 31, 2009
Venue: Kirchgemeindehaus
City + Country: Davos, Switzerland
Other bands: endless speeches and long talks… and a violin player.

I’ve been to Davos once to protest against the World Ecomic Forum (WEF). It’s a forum where all the worldleaders come together how they can exploit the world in the most effective way. The protest was a pity because at the day of action the cops at the foot of the mountain blocked all activists. We arrived in Davos the day before, but it was frustrating that our ‘comrades’ were getting their asses kicked while we were surrounded by military police, snipers on rooftops and more muscles from the state. What a democracy…
In the last few years there weren’t a lot of protests against the WEF. One of the reasons is because what I’ve just explained: it’s pretty much impossible to get close to the bastards. So I was kinda excited to hear some people are organizing something in Davos again. We were asked to play after the demonstration and it sounded like a great plan.

As we were getting closer to Davos, more and more police cars were at the side of the road. More men and women in uniforms with guns. More mustaches. And eventually we were stopped. What a surprise…
They asked us for our pasports and they wanted to check what’s inside of the van. When they saw the instruments, their response was: “Oh, you’re the band that’s playing. No problem, go ahead. Have a nice show.”


By then we were suspicious. Maybe the cops were shooting us in the back as soon as we drove off and would make it assume we wanted to run. Or we were playing at a party-politician gathering. It was the latter.
We arrived at a church where all the protestors where. Some punk-kids, mainly “normal” people. We went inside and met up with Jurge who set up the show. He explained what was going on. They just had a good demonstration with around two hundred people. And there were speeches and discussions. At the end of all that we would play.
We went inside and there was a guy in his fourties with a beard talking about something in German. People were silent and listening.

Four hours later…

There was another guy in his fourties with a beard talking about something in German. This time he had the lamest powerpoint presentation ever. People were still listening. One old lady was asleep. Ugh.
I had the feeling we weren’t in place. I thought this would be a powerful and inspiring day to show the leaders high up in their ivory towers that there are people who actually give a shit about life on this planet rather than number on a bankaccount. But this was a bit sad. It was called an action day, but I didn’t see any action apart from the amazing diner that was prepared in the kitchen.
Now let’s be clear about this. I do think it’s good they organized this day. I mean, there were the average people listening to what was being said. So that’s a whole lot better than do nothing at all. It’s just not my approach. And I doubted if we were in place.
Finally we set up everything. It was a relief to see the chairs in front of the stage were removed. It was a relief to see quite a lot of young people came from everywhere all of a sudden. And it was a relief quite some people stayed. We played and we had fun. People were dancing and singing along to our songs. It was good. Very good indeed!
Now for those who don’t know it, we also have a political bookdistro
at our shows. And it was nice to see so many people interested in the anarchist literature we brought. Obviously there were some frowned eyebrows, but overall the reaction was very good. Thanks to Jurge for this adventure!

February 1, 2009
Venue: Happy Hour Rock Bar
City + Country: Lodi, Italy
Other bands: Los Fuocos

I forgot to say the trip to Davos was absolutely breathtaking. The landscape was completely covered in snow, wonderful. And as we drove to Italy again, we could enjoy the view once more.
Lodi was a last minute show. The owner of the club where the show originally would take place was arrested. Incredible. So we were happy to hop on this show. And again the show was starting quite early for Italian standards. And again the show was free entrance.
We met up with our good friends Ste, Dami, Dani and Sarah. Ste and Dami are from No Reason Records who released our record in Italy. And Sarah is taking care of us. She cooked the best meal… sort of quich and pizza as a side dish. As a desert she made chocolate cake and cherry pie. Holy shit!!
We played first and that was probably a good idea. After the show I collapsed. If we would’ve played later on the evening, it would’ve killed me to death. There was this noise band playing after us with a drummer, a guitarist, a saxophone and a whole lotta screaming. Not my thing.
The last band was a sort of a snotty Hellacopters. Quite nice actually.

February 2, 2009
Venue: Lazzaretto
City + Country: Bologna, Italy
Other bands: Linterno

We stayed at Dami’s place after the show in Lodi and after a good espresso we headed to Bologna. A city where we hadn’t played in a couple of years. A city where the shows were very good at the times we did play there. A beautiful old city. A city with towers that are about to tumble and fall…
We got there early because Claudio wanted to show us the city. We walked around and enjoyed the city, the food and the coffee. Claudio was really friendly and very talkative. A bit too talkative for his own good so to say… He managed to insult an English woman in a bar, and get away with it. What can I say? “Italian style…”
I was looking forward to play in Bologna, but it was a mondaynight. Like always, the shows can be rough on weekdays… but not in Bologna. We were having a good pasta at the squat where we were playing. We were having a good time with the guys from Linterno. I didn’t notice the venue was already open and when I walked in, the place was full. Wonderful. I was getting more and more excited to play, especially when I ran into Enrico, our friend who organized the first shows in Bologna. Linterno played special cover just for us: 7 Years by Undeclinable. A song we all grew up with.
The show was amazing. The place was packed; people enjoyed the set and were asking for more. There was this one guy with a Face To Face tattoo so we couldn’t resist playing Ordinary. People were singing along, perfect!

February 3, 2009
Venue: Lio Bar
City + Country: Brescia, Italy
Other bands:

I woke up from working people drilling and pounding as if they had to remove the Berlin Wall. Good morning to you too! We headed off to Brescia on an easy drive, stopping by Ikea. Ikea is really the new hype among us. Let me explain.
Ikea is always next to the highway. I don’t give a shit about all the nice house lighting or the latest sofa-design. It’s all about the cheap restaurant Ikea has. Always organic, always with vegetarian/ vegan options. And best of all; always with free refill coffee. Dandy.
We arrived quite early in Lio Bar. It was next to the railway. Nothing much around. Tuesday. Would this be a good show? I honestly had no idea…
Lion (the owner) opened up and offered us cup of coffee. A real sweet guy. He explained how they are doing live-music since a couple of years now and it’s going really well. The venue looked amazing and Lion made us feel at home.
We had all the time in the world to sort out the merch, do some emailing and reading in the books we brought. It was good to relax a bit. This tour I’m reading From Dusk Till Dawn by Keith Mann. No, it’s not from the Quintin Tarrantino film. This book is about the Animal Liberation movement, mainly in the UK. It’s inspiring and easy to read. I recommend this to anyone, vegan or not.
I was doing the merch and more people were coming in. Nothing spectacular. Then Etjen came rushing to me with excited eyes. “You really should take a look outside”. So I stumbled to the door, opened the door and there were around two hundred people outside. Holy molar…
We started playing and I don’t think any more people could get inside the venue. It was hot. It was fantastic. People went nuts. And again we played the Face To Face cover ‘cause people were asking for it. This time I played half of the song crawling on the audience. Insane. It’s a Tuesday! Don’t people have to work/ study/ eat garbage from their neighbours trashcan the next day? Not in Brescia I suppose…

February 4, 2009
Venue: Tiki’s Bar
City + Country: Geneva, Switzerland
Other bands: none

I was really impressed as I walked in the Tiki Bar. I’m not trying to sound like Quentin Tarantino, but it reminded me of that scene in Pulp Fiction where John Travolta and Uma Thurman are going to this diner. She orders this five-dollar milkshake and such and such… Anyway, I was impressed. Everything was really clean and it had a perfect sixties feel. Peg welcomed us and I was already looking forward to the show. Luc (owner of the bar) came in after some time and ten minutes later we got probably the most interesting meal ever… it was sort a vegan happy meal! It was a small pink Cadillac with French fries and a vegan burger in it. Served with ketchup and vegan (non-) alcoholic beer. Fantastic! It made the whole scenery complete!
We were the only band playing that night. No local support. On a Wednesday. Hmmm… but more and more people started coming in and by the time we started playing, it was quite crowded.
The show was fun. We heard from our friends of Smash The Statues the police shut down the show when they were playing in the Tiki Bar a week before we were there. I’m glad the bastards left us alone.

February 5, 2009

We decided to drive to Etjen’s place, Oostende (Belgium). It was a long 11 hours drive, but it was definitely nice to sleep in Etjen’s comfortable house. Especially the vegan chocolate Maureen (Etjen’s girlfriend) brought from her work! Not to mention the incredible English breakfast the next morning. Oh, just like your mom…

February 6, 2009
Venue: Les 4 Dames
City + Country: Valenciennes, France
Other bands: Midway Home

It was time to say goodbye to our good friend Etjen. Again it was good to have him on board, Just Like Your Mom did his job more than great!
We have some good memories in the north of France. However, we’ve never played in Valenciennes before. We arrived in the city and it was nice. We decided to walk around a bit and found out most city centres are the same with the same fucking H&M, FNAC and Bodyshop. Ugh…
When we came back, Rom (promoter) also arrived. Rom is also playing in Midway Home and I was looking forward to see them live. The venue was really small and cosy. When the first band started playing, it was already crowded. I got more and more pumped up for the show.
By the time we started playing, the place was packed and everyone started dancing, some were singing a long. All and all a jolly good time!
But by the third song the owner of the bar laid down a piece of paper in front of us, saying the neighbors would call the cops if we continued to play after the song. Bummer. We were having a
good time; the audience was going nuts. It was simply impossible to stop! So we just kept on playing until the owner came and really apologized. The guy was really nice to us and we didn’t want to get him in trouble. It was a short set, but good. Hopefully we can come back soon and playing a longer set.

February 7, 2009
Venue: Pedro Pico Pop (festival
City + Country: Raalte, Holland
Other bands: Midnight Menace, Striking Justice, Mala Vita, Kudra Mata and more…

What a day. We had to drop off vans, pick up merch, drop off merch, get to Nijmegen and such and such… It ended up driving for six hours. But when we arrived at the festival, it was all worth it. This festival was really well organized.
It started six years ago by some punk kids who just wanted to organize something for themselves. It grew to this festival with the capacity of 1500 people. And those same people are still involved. Amazing… they really know how to take care of the bands, of the volunteers, of the audience. They keep the entrance low (only five euros) so everybody can come. And it seemed that everybody was involved; whole families!
We were in somewhat of a rush because we really wanted to see our friends from Midnight Menace. I’ve never seen them before (it was only their fourth show) and they were playing in the afternoon. We ran and were just in time. They played a good solid set!
We played in Raalte years ago, in a squatted farm. Now (years later) I saw quite a few familiar faces that were also at that show. A lot of those people are still involved with the punk/ DIY/ squatting/ activist movement, doing amazing things. This proves that not only good things have to start in bigger cities.
The show was a bit chaotic for me. Before we knew we started playing and I had the idea the sound wasn’t very good. Willem had the time of his life, so that was nice to see. I looked at Riekus and he was hitting as if his life depended on it. Or so it seemed. That motivated me more and more. I stared into the audience. People were moving. Familiar faces staring back at me. It got me more and more excited. By the end of the show, I was having the time of my life!
I guess this was an amazing end of and incredible tour. The day before we played in a small bar, completely packed. The next day we played in front of a thousand people. I was exhausted but more than satisfied.

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