18 June 2009 ~ 2 Comments

Tour report May 2009: Ger, Pl, Cz, A

Wednesday May 20
Eindhoven (Holland)
w/ Never Say Never, Redemption Falls, All For Nothing

We started off the tour in Eindhoven, just like the tour in January. Tonight was in Aloys and we’ve also played there some time ago. There’s a very good Wok-To-Go sort of restaturant which means a lot of food for not a lot of money. Sweet!
Eindhoven is always good for shows and has a good punkrock-scene. However, tonight we were the only punkrock band. The whole evening was pretty divers, and I like that. Never Say Never was a mixture of Old and New School Hardcore with a girl on vocals. Redemption Falls reminded me of nineties hardcore bands with metal influences. And they were playing an old Poison The Well cover on top of that! Awesome!
I wanted to check All for Nothing for quite some time, but I’ve always missed them when they played in my hometown. I was looking forward to see them live. From the first to the last song they were energenic like hell. The girl on vocals had some interesting things to say about ‘the scene’ which I always like.
Our set was okay. I had a good time on stage. People were singing along and were having a good time.
We also met up with Teun in Eindhoven. He would be our driver/ merch-guy for this tour. He had a last minute appointment at the dentist, and I was afraid it was something pretty bad (why else would you go to the dentist in the evening!?). It turned out he had some infection under his teeth, but with some anti-biotica he’d be fine. The dentist adviced him not to go on tour, but Teun wouldn’t be Teun if he didn’t go anyway. Good to have him on board!

Thursday May 21
Göttingen (Germany)
w/ Les Aligned, Malt Liquor Riot

The drive to Göttingen was a bit longer than I thought. But than again, we took it really easy. And I always love driving through the German countryside. We played in the Autonomous Zentrum (AZ) of Göttingen and I guess you can spot all these AZ’s from miles away. You don’t really need GPS or route-description, just look for building completely covered in graffiti.
And this AZ was not any different. Beautiful building, great people, lovely food (homemade falafel!) and a table soccer table. Teun and I are both obsessed with the game, so the only thing we did the whole evening was playing that game. And screaming and yelling at each other of course.
We met up with Les Aligned from Köln, they were on tour with Malt Liquor Riot from the USA. It was good to meet up with our friends again. This was their first tour and everybody was looking a bit tired. They were on the road for almost two weeks and it was a bit hard for them.
I decided I wanted to learn German language (actually, pick from where I left it during the tour in January) so I was trying my best to explain myself in German. I found people just started talking back, in English…
I think I played pretty well this night, and the crowd seemed to enjoy it. After the show Riekus was completely overwhelmed by a girl who had her eyes on dutch drummers. I couldn’t find him the rest of the evening. And by the time we had to pack our stuff and leave for the sleepingplace, he stumbled in the door. Drunk. “I’m going with you guyzzz”, he said with a double tongue. He earned so much respect that night for sleeping next to our sweating, stinking bodies.
We slept in two rooms which both were something in between a dirty laundry room and a room to grow weed. They actually had weedplants. And decoration with ganja/ weed on it. And they had puzzles of weird psychedelic illustrations. Oh, and I was sleeping next to the cat litter. I slept fantastic!

Friday May 22
Erfurt (Germany)

Only a short drive to the pretty city Erfurt. We walked around the small allies and found a Bio-Laden (healthfood-store) where they had great vegan spreads. It’s sort of a weird city because everything looks old, but it’s new. I’m not sure, but I think Erfurt was bombed pretty badly in WO2…
We met up with Ace, the promoter of the show. He and his girlfriend made delicious burgers for us, we ate them while we were sitting in a patio in the setting sun. Some of us were drinking beer, others Bionade. Life on tour can be so good.
We rushed to the local punkrock-radio station to give a small interview about life on the raod and we played a couple acoustic songs. It was really nice to do this because the guy who did the radio-show just walked in and asked us if we could come around after we had diner.
The show was not very busy, we were the only band playing and there was a free outdoorfestival in the same city. But still there were some people enjoying the set. Even the local bikers came down to check us out. It was also nice to have time and play a longer set. And there was a tablesoccer, so Teun got his ass beaten again. Ha!

Saturday May 23
Trzebiel (Poland)
w/ Prestissimo208

From Erfurt to Poland, our very first time! Trzebiel was a small village just across the border of Germany. I walked around in the small town and I was impressed by how different the whole atmosphere is.
Our friends Vincent and Sophie traveled all the way from Berlin to see us play. We’d be sleeping at hteir appartment the other days as wel, to spend the days-off in Berlin.
There was one house where they were doing shows and everything was really well arranged. We played with the local punkband and there weren’t too many people at the show. Really too bad because the promoter did his very best to mkae everything comfortable for us. When we started playing everybody was dancing like crazy and one drunken guy couldn’t stop screaming in the microphone. It was a bit odd.
I had the feeling people just go there every saturday to hang out with their friends, they don’t seem to mind that much who or what is playing. I had fun for what it was, but I was also a bit disappointed. We wanted to play in Poland for so long and now the only Polish show is a bit of a bummer… This has nothing to do with promoter, I guess my expectations were a bit too high.

Sunday May 24

So we spend our days-off in Berlin, not the worst place to han out I guess… We arrived in the evening so we decided to eat at Yoyo’s (vegan fastfood restaurant). Everybody was so hungry, the meal was so good. I had a bacon-double-cheeseburger with salad and potatoes. Others had a wrap, pizza and such… check out the place if you’re in Berlin!

Monday May 25

This day was all about sightseeing. We stopped by Checkpoint-Charly: it was the controlpost when Berlin was divided by the West and East Berlin. It was impressive to see, if not all the tourists who were scrabbling among themselves. Of course, we were part of the same horde, in denial that is. At least we weren’t any fake communist fur hats…
Next stop was the Yellow Sunshine, another very tasty vegan/ vegetarian organic restaurant. After we stuffed our bellies, we wandered around in Kreuzberg, visiting some cool recordstores, the M99 (a revolutionairy supermarket! for all your riot-gear…), the anti-fascist store, and much more.
What really made me think… there’s an actual store to buy all the gear you need for direct actions, riots, demonstrations and such. The whole store was filled with backpacks, hoodies, gloves, black masks, books, magazines and so on. It’s like an organized mess. The owner of the store has been doing this for over 20 years now. He’s in a wheelchair and has all these friends helping him out. It’s an inspiring anarchist shop.
Now ten metres away from there is the anti-fascist shop. Really clean (almost like a tattoo-shop), cleancut kids hanging, fancy tshirt designs and posters. It’s the complete opposite of the M99, and so close to each other. Amazing.
Diner was again at the Yoyo’s. Teun didn’t come along with our sight seeing adventure so we met him there. I ate a pizza + a burger + fries. I’m a fat kid trapped in a skinny body…

Tuesday May 26
Finsterwalde (Germany)

Before we left to Finsterwalde, we stopped by the Stasi Museum. It’s a huge building where the Stasi used to operate from. The complex is enormous and the museum is only one part of it. The “Ministerium für Staatssicherheit” (Stasi in short) was the intelligence bureau for the DDR and one of the biggest and most important one all over the world. The museum shows how it worked, how it was set up, who was working for who, their enemies and so on. The place is impressive, overwhelming and scary at some points.
The Stasi is ‘famous’ for their influence on basically every aspect of living in the DDR. It was known the Stasi was always everywhere, everytime. With informants, with telephone-bugs and so on they tried to clear every person who was a political thread (in their eyes). 1984, anyone?

After the history lesson we took off to Finsterwalde. We were suppose to play in Dresden but unfortunately it got cancelled. And just a few days ago we got an offer to play at the Volksküche in the AZ in Finsterwalde, which is perfect on the way to Prague. It had to be an acoustic set since they can have loud music during the day.
Finsterwalde is a small town, nothing much going on at first sight. The AZ is a place where the punks and activists can get together and there’s a squat/ punkhouse where we stayed. For a small town like that, it’s pretty impressive! We had very good spicy pasta and after some people were in we started our acoustic set. It was a bit strange but I really enjoyed. Luckily I was not the only one, everybody was listening, interested in our music, asking for more songs as soon as we finished. It was a great experience. Funny to see all these crusty punk kids with patches, tattoos and piercings everywhere enjoying an acoustic set!

Wednesday May 27
Prague (Czech Republic)
w/ Criminal Damage, Germ Attack

Friends told me about how great Criminal Damage is. To be honest, I didn’t know the band. When I heard people from Tragedy and His Hero Is Gone (two of my favorite bands) were in it I was immediately interested. When I heard they were playing punkrock I couldn’t wait to see them! So that was one reason I was stoked for this show.
Second reason was because it’s in Prague, Czech Republic. I’ve met so many amazing people from that country, I’ve heard so many good stories about the shows, there’s such a great festival (Fluff Fest) happening… and I’ve never been there. So I was looking forward to play a country I’ve never been to, it’s always exciting!
Third reason is because I got the chance to meet up with friends of friends of mine. I know some of them through email or I’ve met them briefly years ago. This time it was a chance to really meet up and hang out.
We were playing in the 007 club, probably the best club to have a show in Prague. Again, that’s what I’ve been told. I think it’s true. The club is in the middle of a student district in the basement of building 7 (guess where the name comes from smarty pants!?) of student flats. I believe it’s the old Olympic village, with all these basketball courts, a huge stadion, and students everywhere you look. I’ve seen three people who were older than 40 years…
We met up with Milan (promoter) and Pavel (who I was in contact with) and they took such good care of us. I could see these people have been booking shows, taking care of bands for ages. The pasta was delicious, with some potatoe dish to the side. A nice backstage room, a good cup of coffee. It doesn’t take much to make me the happiest touring person on earth… sweet!
We were playing first so we were doing soundcheck. I don’t think we’ve ever done soundcheck that quickly! The soundguy was some Speedy Gonzales, but at the same time completely relaxed. If we ever come to a point where cloning people is politically correct, I vote for cloning this sound guy and put him in every venue over the world. This is not making much sense.
Anyway, I had the feeling we might fall a bit out of place because we were the most melodic band of tonight. Not very punky, not very crusty. I was just hoping some people would be there to check us out. We started playing and actually quite a lot of people came to check out our music. It was nice.
Germ Attack from Canada was second to play. It’s really not my cup of tea. Afterwards we talked about Propagandhi, being Canadian and what not. That was really fun.
Criminal Damage played last and it reminded me a bit of Antidote from Holland and Leatherface. It was tight. But again, it’s not my thing. They were really friendly dudes though, with a father in the band as well. I don’t come across too many people in touring bands who have kids at home as well. It was refreshing to talk to someone who actually understands a little bit of how it is…

Thursday May 28
Wiener Neustadt (Austria)
w/ Second Effort, Somerregen

Oh, Wiener Neustadt. It’s sort of our home away from home. It’s always cool to play there, it’s always great to meet up with our friends there. This time we played a rehearsal room show. Really small, people stuffed in. Sweaty. Smelly. I played with no shoes on. People were screaming along, having a good time. We were also playing with Second Effort, the local Fall Out Boy. Young kids playing very tight and invited their parents over. It was cool. Somerregen was awesome. Check that band out if you have the chance! I’m not gonna say more about because you have make up your own mind about it. But just check it out!
That night we slept at Bertl (Renotkill)  his place. We had fun with a latex mask. And the next morning we did the dishes from Bratpack who left it there.

Friday May 29
Zwiesel (Germany)
It seems that every tour we have at least one day of insanely amounts of rain coming from the sky to challenge our driving skills. Sweet Motherfucker From Hell, this was the day! It rained so hard! Sometimes a bit scary, most of the time just annoying…
We’ve played in Zwiesel before and that was a great show. This time we were the only band playing, I was hoping some people would show up. Luckily, quite some people did come to the show. And some cops too. (there’s was a NPD festival going on a few miles away from Zwiesel. Last times anti-fascists organized from the venue where we played. The cops came to check out if there was any anti-fascist action going on…)
From the moment we started playing, people were singing along every sinlge word. Some even knew the lyrics better than I did! It was so much fun… We’re playing there again in August and I already can’t wait!
They had a ping-pong table there. After the show Teun completely kicked my ass. first thing we did after we woke up the next day, we started playing again. Again, Teun kicked my ass. I think from the billion games we played, I won two.

Saturday May 30
Chemnitz (Germany)
w/ a lot of bands!!!

There are some of those places that you hardly can comprehend they actually exist. Talshock in Chemnitz is one of them. It’s an AZ. It’s been there for twenty years. It’s huge. It’s run completely autonomously by people who realize it’s important that creative free spaces should exist in a capitalist society like this. It has a big hall, a small show-space, different rooms upstairs for bands to sleep, a gigantic backstage room, an anarchist youthcentre AND a socialist youth centre (they get along better than during The Internationale I assume….), they have a skatepark…. Unbelievable. This is what we strife for, this is about creating an alternative. This is a place where you can feel at home.
We were playing on a festival with around fifteen bands. It was an anti-fascist festival. We were playing on the big stage. Like the nights before, I was hoping people would come and check us out. And again, people did that. They were having a good time indeed.
Most bands didn’t seem to pay too much attention by the fact it was an anti-fascist festival. So both Willem and I felt we had to talk about certain subjects on stage. We talked about the NPD propaganda we saw on the streets, we talked about the importance of collectives like this, we talked about political aspects of the scene. I guess a lot of people appreciated our talks. And our music.
I just hope bands would speak out more. This is what I’ve always foud so important in this music. Those small talks; sometimes personal, sometimes political. Sometimes filled with fury and anger. Sometimes with a wide smile on everyone’s face.

I saw Trainwreck right after we finished. The singer was talking in between songs. I fell in love with that band. Right there, that moment.

2 Responses to “Tour report May 2009: Ger, Pl, Cz, A”

  1. 13 July 2009 at 9:21 am Permalink

    Aloys was cool
    en jullie tour reports lezen altijd lekker weg !
    gaaf ! keep it up


Your Cart