02 July 2009 ~ 1 Comment

Tour w/ After The Fall!

We’re going on another European tour with our buddies from overseas After The Fall (usa). If they didn’t blow your socks off  already, check their music here. We can’t wait!

The tour is from October 2 till 11. get in touch if you’d like to do a show. Thanks!

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01 July 2009 ~ Comments Off on Acoustic tastes/ sounds like more…

Acoustic tastes/ sounds like more…

We played a small, intimite show in The Move in Arnhem last sunday. It was a hot afternoon. Acoustic guitars and subtle drums. My kids were there as well. I really enjoyed it. Playing our songs acoustic force (in a very gentle, yet fierce way) us to relearn those very same songs. I like the vulnerable aspect of it. Gosh, I almost sound like a pacifist…

Check out the show section for the acoustic (and non-acoustic) shows, I hope to see you at one of them.

Take care, Yvo

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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.

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18 June 2009 ~ 1 Comment

Tour report Feb/March 2009: Germany

Tour report Germany February/ March 2009

Our journey will take us through Germany. Home of the ausfart, biergarten and best humor ever. I was looking forward to this tour a lot. We would meet up with a lot of old friends, and there were so many places we haven’t been as well. But we started off almost in our backyard…

Friday February 27
City + country: Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany
Venue: AZ Mülheim
Other bands: Possible Suspect

The drive to Mülheim was a little longer than an hour, a good short dirve to start the tour. I was looking forward to see Robert again. I’ve met him years ago at the Ieper Festival in Belgium. A cool thrash vegan straight edge kid who always says he’s depressed but in the meantime wears an endless smile on his face.
I have good memories of the JUZ, and this show was not different. It started with meeting up with the people of Possible Suspect. Possible Suspect is from Utreg (Holland) and I already knew Dick and Esther from working at the ACU (DIY venue in Utreg). I haven’t seen in ages so it was one big get-together in the AZ. At the same time Robert served the food. It was very good, nothing wrong about that. But what it made special was the warm vanilla pudding as dessert. In Holland we call it ‘warme vla’. Awesome! Incredible! I had two desserts! In retrospect I don’t know if that was such a good idea.
I was almost exploding when Robert started his story what he called: ‘the most punk-thing I‘ve ever done’. I was already looking forward to hear it… This goes way too far to actually tell the whole story because to tell you the truth: it can’t come close to the way Robert told it. The story had something to do with ‘taking a shit real bad’ and ‘no fucking toilet in sight’. You do the math.
Anyway, it was all good fun in Mülheim. We played a very decent show, people seem to have liked it. Esther and I kicked ass at tablesoccer and we did an interesting interview for get addicted. One of the questions was: ‘you put an bulletin on your website to visit a protest against the attacks on Palestina. So you’re pro-Palestina?’ I like questions like these. These are the ‘not-so-easy-to-answer-questions’. And I explained why put it on the website.
You see, it’s hard for me to be pro-Palestia or pro-Israël. The conflict is so complex and difficult that I don’t have the feeling I can say anything about it (if people have suggestions on books about the subject, please send me an email). All I know that the attacks on Gaza are killing hundreds of people. All I know is that innocent people are suffering from these attacks. On both sides, Palestian and Jewish. Innocent people put in terrible sitautions. And the tragic part is that those people who are responsible for these attacks are in suit and tie, sitting on their leather sofa at home watching the news. These people are making money from these attacks. Let’s not forget there’s a lot of money being made by any war. That’s what pisses me off. That’s the reason I put the bulletin on the website. It’s about time we stop waging wars amongst each other and start bringing those who are responsible out of power.


Saturday February 28
City + country: Bausendorf, Germany
Venue: Riez Rock Bar
Other bands: Another Day, Society Off

We had breakfast at the AZ and there was a Lady Fest going on as well. Since we were with (mostly) male people, we were asked to have breakfast in a different room. I respect that. Of course. I understand it can be a relief for female people to have something like a Lady Fest. It’s a place where women can do their thing their way, and not be bothered by this male-dominated society. Especially when women have bad experiences with men it can be a place where they feel understood, at home, safe.
We headed off to Bausendorf which was in the middle of nowhere. Hills, trees, birds. And a bar where they did live-shows. Amazing. I walked out in the fields and somewhere in the distance I could hear cars driving. Apart from that; absolute silence. I stumbled across a hunting-cabin and it really made me think how humans have to ruin everything. Why would you want to shoot animals who are just minding their own business?
There was a fireplace in the venue to keep everybody warm. Where are those vegan marsh-mellows when you need them the most? More and more people started coming in and there was a nice saturday evening atmosphere.
The show was a bit weird because I had the idea the kids were there to hang out and they didn’t care too much what band was playing. Not very motivating. But we did our very best and made the best out of it.
We met up with the nice people from Another Day and I really enjoyed watching how they had fun on stage. Especially the singer had this endless smile on his face. Good times. We could stay at their place for the night, so that was amazing.

Sunday March 1
City + country: Cologne, Germany
Venue: Lamäng
Other bands: Les Alignes

The drive to Cologne was really short. We arrived at the venue early and I think everybody was thinking the same thing: “a show, here?!?” It was sort of a brown café. Only locals at the bar who stared at us when we came in, nodded their heads and turned back to the bar. I looked around and I could see people sitting at dark-brown tables. There were also some Anti-Fascist Action posters hanging around. Weird, but nice. Not the typical punk-bar, yet I started feeling more and more at home. There was one punk-kid waiting for us, saying the others should arrive every moment. So that meant we were definitely in the right place.
We played in the basement on a skittle-alley (bowling alley, but than different…). Amazing. We played on so many different, weird, funny, awkward locations. And a skittle-alley was not on the list yet. Check!
The place was very small, very cosy and very cool. I liked it a lot. We played and it was crowded. Not too many people, but it already looked as if it was packed. People were singing a long. A nice, comfortable Sunday-evening show. Very good indeed.

Monday March 2
City + country: Würzburg, Germany
Venue: Immerhin
Other bands: –

We slept at Sandi’s place and he took us around town for some time. Willem wanted to stop by this huge music store to try some new guitars. I just walked around, amazed by all these pricey instruments. It appeared the ugliest guitars are the most expensive. That’s what I’ve learned that day.
We were drewling in front of the Underdog Store because it was closed. The Underdog is probably in my ‘best record store’ – top 5. When you’re in Cologne, stop by and find all the records you were searching for. By the time it did open, we had around ten minutes to peek in. I had my hands on a Pg. 99 split, but decided not to buy because I don’t have the money for it. I guess it’s a good choice to spend my money on food instead on vinyl, right?
On our way to Würzburg! We arrived and heard the local support was cancelled. I had this scenario in my head where we would be playing in front of zero point zero people. Luckily Pölle (promoter) took really good care of us. He and his girlfriend cooked great food for us, had the coffee ready when we arrived, all good.
By the time the doors opened, nobody. An hour later, nobody. I said to myself: “fuck it, it’s a Monday night. We’ll survive. We’re having a good time anyway”. I decided to play some guitar in the backstage, take it easy. When I walked out, there were actually quite some people. And when we started playing, it was actually quite crowded. Nice!
I really enjoyed this show because the vibe was good and the venue was very cool. It was wasn’t very big at all but you could really see it was run by the kids who cared about their scene.
It was actually owned by the local church so we were a bit afraid we were dealing with convinced christians, ready to convert some punks from Holland. Pölle explained the situation and it appears that the Immerhin can do whatever they like. They are completely autonomous and don’t have to deal with the church. The downside was that the building is on a list to be torn down. They are looking for a new building, although this building is in perfect shape. Throwing money away, anyone?

Tuesday March 3
City + country    : Nürnberg, Germany
Venue: Kunstverein
Other bands: Deny Everything, Cutting Class

The drive to Nürnberg was a piece of cake. Nürnberg is known for it’s beautiful old city. But above that it’s known for it’s “ehemaliges Reichsparteitagsgelände”: Former Nazi Party Rally Grounds. Now this is not something to be taken lightly, these nazi’s had their shit together in the thirties. They were building huge buildings for different reasons. A lot of these buildings were destroyed in WOII, but some are still there to see.
We couldn’t wait to do some sightseeing. One the this day we wondered through the city-centre of Nürnberg because the Rally Grounds are very close to the venue we were playing. So we had a busy schedule for the other day too!
After eating one of the best falafel I’ve ever had, we headed to the Kunstverein. It is a venue in a huge building, which belonged to the SS in WOII. The Kunstverein have tons of shows, Patrick (promoter) is doing shows for over ten years already. So also for punk-history it’s a good place to be.
We played with Cutting Class (UK) and Deny Evertyhing (Germany). I was looking to see Björn from Deny Everything again and finally see his band live for the first time. I have their record for some time now but somehow I always missed them when they played in my hometown. They sound like Kid Dynamite, they sound pissed off, they play fast and have short songs. Lovely.
The show was pretty crowded (especially for a tuesdaynight) and it was good to finally see Deny Everything. I got my ass kicked with tablesoccer by Patrick and his friends. Damnit, those guys were good! I think we played a decent set. I also had a lot of fun, feeling at home in places like the Kunstverein. On top of that there were some familiair faces who came out to the show. Good to see them again!  

Wednesday March 4
City + country: Regensburg, Germany
Venue: Alte Mälzerei
Other bands: Deny Everything, Cutting Class
After breakfast and checking email, it was time to head to the documentation centre of the Reichsparteitagsgelände. The documentation centre of the nazi party rally grounds is located in the unfinished structure of the congress hall. It’s build like te Colesium in Rome, only twice as big. It was build for the capacity of 50.000 people. The documentation centre gives very detailed information about the history of the part rallies and exposes them as manipulative rituals of nazi propaganda. It was intense. We walked through museum and it took us a good three hours. With open mouth I looked at the photo’s, the old news papers, the (unfinished) plans of the buildings. I was completely overwhelmed by the perfectly planned ideas of the nazi’s. This is immense. In a very, very bad way.
It showed how the people were manipulated, how young kids were brainwashed by the national-socialists, young married couples got Mein Kampf as a wedding present: everything was planned. Above all: it showed something like this must never happen again. Ever.

And the scary part is this: right now governments are claiming every single form of privacy has to be exchanged for safety, for the war against terrorism. Look at all the camera’s, ID-pasports, DNA scans and all that shit. Very often it is stated: “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear”. Fair enough. Not! Just imagine if some lunatic like Hitler gets in power again with all this private information on all citizens. I can already see some frowned eyebrows from you reading this and thinking: “this won’t happen”. But that’s simply naive to think that. I surely hope it doesn’t happen (and we all should do our frickin’ best not to ever let it happen again!), but I can’t think what would happen if it happens….

Oh well, some band had some song called: “speculative fiction”. Let’s hope for the best. Let’s act for it.

After this intermission, Regensburg was next to be conquered. Flo is a good friend of us and he was setting up the show. We’ve played in Regensburg a few times and there’s a good scene with awesome people. I couldn’t wait to meet up with those lads again, hug, shake hands and such.
The venue was really clean and organized. Funny, because it was almost the opposit from the Kunstverein in Nürnberg. But both places I really liked. Pasta was for diner and I came to the conclusion this was really a pasta-tour. And I love pasta so I can’t complain. The only problem with pasta is that I always eat too much of it.
The show was cool, a lot of people came out to see us. Too bad we had some problems with the microphones, but we didn’t get boo’ed or dirty thrown at our faces. So it wasn’t that bad. I guess.

Thursday March 5
City + country: Berlin, Germany
Venue: Ballast Der Republik
Other bands: Alert, Aggronauts

First long drive of the tour. It didn’t even take that long, but we couldn’t see any of Berlin, which was a bit sad. I’ve been there once with my girlfriend and that’s it. I’ve read so much about it, so much has happened and is happening in this city, I wanted to see some more than just the venue. Oh well, good excuse to go back soon…
The squat we played at was dark, dirty, huge, filled with tons of people. Somebody said there were around 35 people living in the squat. When we arrived, we met with our friend Vincent. He was not very amused. Well, I’m pretty sure he did like to see us, but it was his first time to do a show in this building and apparently everything was going wrong. During the evening I understood what he was saying.
I mean, from Vincent’s side everything was more than perfectly arranged. He did good promotion, found good other bands, he made amazing food (vegan cupcakes ladies and gentlemen!), what more could you ask for? It turned out that we (as bands) were just not very in place in the squat. A lot of people drinking, doing drugs, fighting… We’ve been touring quite some time now and we’ve been in various locations. A lot of squats, some cleaner and more organized than others. No problem. But this was just something different. I didn’t feel safe here, which is weird because I always think I should be able to feel somewhat at home in a squatted punk-house. I guess that’s naive of me to think. Lesson learned.
Jan from Yo Yo Records stopped by to say hi and drop off some records. We went for some coffee and when we came back to the squat it appeared there already had been two fights. So we decided together to make the best out of it. We’d play the show, have fun with the people who came out for us. And as soon as the show was over; pack up and run for our lives!

At the end of the night no one of us got hurt, everybody still lives. So long to Berlin. Take care, see you next time.

Friday March 6
City + country: Bergkamen, Germany
Venue: JZ Yellowstone
Other bands: a lot…

The breakfast was amazing. Vincent even went out to buy coffee for those who drank it, because he didn’t have any coffee in his house. The apartment was really nice, somewhere in a cheap neighborhood in Berlin. It wasn’t expensive at all to rent, something I didn’t expect in a city like Berlin. It was just Vincent and his girlfriend living there, amazing. It was too bad we didn’t have much time to hang out because we had a long drive ahead of us.
Another long drive. And we were in a traffic jam for two fucking hours. Normally I really don’t mind long drives, but I hate traffic jams. They are the ultimate waste of time: everybody is his vehicle which suppose to take from A to B very fast, but you’re not moving. You’re behind each other, just polluting the air. It fucking sucks! There…

We arrived and apologized to Dave (promoter) for being late. He understood, Dave has been doing shows for ages and there are simply a lot of traffic jams around that area. Still we were in time for sound check and within an half hour, pasta for diner was served. Nice.

It was a weird show. The other bands playing were local bands. One of them played their 50th show. Other bands were starting. The audience weren’t really paying too much attention to all the bands, although the first band definitely brought some crowd; it was their demo-release party. What surprised me was the young age of the audience. I remember I went to my first punk-show when I was twelve years old and some of these kids were around that age as well. This was the new generation, starting to go to shows at their local youth centre. And I guess that’s exactly the cool thing about these places.
We played last and I was a bit afraid all the young kids would be in their beds already. When we started there were still a lot of people to check us out. It was nice to see that a lot of young punk kids were dancing, while in the back the older audience was knodding their heads to our tunes as well. It was a weird, but nice atmosphere.

So all in all this tour through the rough lands of Germany have brought us to the deepest dungeons, we slayed the toughest crowds, shared drinks mystical punk-knights and generous hardcore-heroes. It was a jolly good time indeed.

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27 April 2009 ~ Comments Off on Good times

Good times

We played two shows this weekend. On friday there was a last minute show in Menen, Belgium. Not a lot of people, but we had a great time with Bert from The Ignored. We slept at his appartment in Ieper. If people are interested in the WO1, they probably know the city Ieper. The Germans fought an endless battle against the French and English troops in 1914. It was impressive to see all the names of the 130.000 soldiers who lost their lives on the walls.
We played for the very first time in Lille (France) on Saturday. Gollygee, what a show! A small venue with shows on a daily basis. I think 80 people could be stashed in it. By the time we started playing, almost 100 people crammed their way in, dancing, having a blast. And boy, it was hot as hell! Definitely one of those shows I’ll remember for a long time. Thanks to Stan who put up the show!

In the meantime, we’re working on new songs. New album? Indeed. Soon? Uhm… There’s so much to come before we at that chapter. But I can tell there are some breaks in the new songs I don’t understand yet…
If you want to hear some new tunes, come to our shows! We’ll play some live. Just for you. Not really, but still…

Tata! Yvo

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