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01 February 2008 ~ Comments Off on Tour report January 2008 United Kingdom, Germany and Belgium

Tour report January 2008 United Kingdom, Germany and Belgium

Pictures of the tour

Day 1: Thursday January 3
Venue: K2
City, Country: Oostende, Belgium
Other bands: Paleface, Take It Down, Brat pack

The first day of tour and we already had some problems with the traffic. We arrived in time, but still it took forever to get there. The show was in sort of a youth club in Oostende. Oostende is a typical harbor city, which is always a bit depressing in a beautiful way. I don’t what it is, but I find it a bit romantic.
It was good to meet up with Stijn from Take It Down again, he was the promoter of the show. He did a great job organizing the show, and quite some people showed up. Paleface was the first band playing that night. They reminded me a bit of old Satanic Surfers, they had a great guitarist!
Take It Down was up next. The energy of Stijn on stage was great, and the talks in between were inspiring. It’s always great to see bands care about DIY ethics. Our friends from Brat pack played a great show. Every time I see them, I’m overwhelmed. Especially how the singer Ken is walking around on stage, hitting the mic on his big afro… punkrock!
I played okay, but a little sloppy. A lot of kids really liked it and some of them sang along, which is always great.
This is also Jonne is coming along with us to do the merch, and he already had a busy night. We sold a lot of books too, and I had a good talk with somebody who was amazed we brought radical literature to the shows. For us it’s nothing more than normal, and why not bring books if you also bring merch and other distros?
Our driver Etjen now lives in Oostende so we could sleep at his place. I must say he moved to a great apartment, very black and white!

Day 2: Friday January 4
Venue: Cowley Club
City, Country: Brighton, UK
Other bands: PJ & Gaby, Imadethismistake, The Fair Fight

I woke up with the smell of sausages coming out of the kitchen. We weren’t even in the UK but Etjen and Maureen (his girlfriend) already treated us on a delicious vegan UK breakfast: coffee, sausages, toast, baked mushrooms and onions… yummy!
(for those who never read my tour reports: I can only talk about the vegan stuff we ate and the record stores we went to. I’m sorry, I’m a sucker for vegan treats!) Before we hit the ferry, we also made a quick stop at the local supermarket to buy vegan chocolate chip cookies, beer and non alcoholic white beer. And ten cans of vegan ravioli. Why? Because we’re going to the UK! That means no food and no drinks at the shows. At least at most of the shows.
Not the first show though, that was at the almighty Cowley Club. This amazing place is heaven on earth. It’s a collectively run social centre with a info shop, a café and what not. And they have the best shows ever! The atmosphere is really nice. It was great to be back and meet up with old friends and meet new people.
We arrived early and had some time to walk around. We stopped at the Punkerbunker of course, and we ate a chiliburger at Red Veg. Brighton is a simply one of the best places to play on tour, there’s a lot going on!
Anyway, we also had an amazing diner at the Cowley Club, right before the first band started playing. PJ and Gaby played acoustic folky punk songs. They explained the lyrics of the songs and they interesting things to say. He was on tour with Imadethismistake from the states. He also played acoustic punk, but it was really not my thing.
The Fair Fight was up next and they blew me away! Please check them out, they are super nice kids and the music is awesome! If you’re into heavy, intense hardcore, this might be your thing.
It was awesome for me to play in this place again. I was really excited and I loved the set we played. It was one of those shows you get so much energy from, you have to careful you don’t hurt yourself. We played the Propagandhi and that was appreciated. A lot.
We could sleep at Mikey’s place, he also did the show. And again we had a great breakfast with beans and sausages and coffee!

Two days before we left for tour, 2 shows in the UK got cancelled. We were doing everything to fill the gaps and we got so much help from so many great people. This day we got an email we could play in London on the 8th of January. And the news spread really fast ‘cause we heard from people they were coming to the show in London… incredible!

Day 3: Saturday January 5
Venue: Rocker’s Live
City, Country: Taunton. UK
No other bands

Tom contacted us a few weeks ago, saying he wanted to come to the show in Taunton. He said he’s from that town and he offered us a place to sleep. He also said he wanted to promote the show and print flyers and so on. It was awesome to hear this kid comes out of nowhere and just helps us out so much. And this show would have sucked big time if it wasn’t for him. The venue was okay, but we didn’t get paid, no drinks, no food, no sleeping place. Welcome to the UK!
But Tom ad his friends came to hang out, and right after we played (not a show to write home about…) we went to his house. We had a great time meeting up with all the friends of Tom.

We also got an email from somebody who could do a show the next day in South Wales. it was very last minute, but a show is a show! We wrote back to contact us the next morning about the details. We would’ve gone back to Brighton where we could stay and have a nice diner with friends. But again: it’s better to play show.

Day 4: Sunday January 6
Day off, kinda…

I’m sitting in the van, typing the tour report. We were about to head to South Wales after having an amazing breakfast made by our friend Tom. But we’re driving to Brighton, not Wales…
The guy of the show called us, saying he booked the venue, he had a place to sleep and there was another band playing. It all sounded good.  We called our friends in Brighton, saying we couldn’t come to the diner. We explained the situation and they understood.
We said goodbye to Tom and drove off. I got a phone call after ten minutes in the van, Willem took it. Willem looked serious, than surprised. And than he hung up with the most cynical face I’ve ever seen in my life. The show was cancelled… The guy said the venue didn’t want to do it, nobody wanted to help him and so on…. Silence in the van… than everybody just started laughing.
We pulled over, called our friends saying we were going to come for the diner. They laughed at us. I couldn’t blame them. What a country….

Day 5: Monday January 7
Again, a day off

We hung out in Brighton all day with our friend Mikey, and there are worse places on earth to spend you off day. We took a nice long walk to the beach and checked out the millions of great tiny shops Brighton has. Of course we had to stop by Red Veg to grap a cruelty free hamburger. A cup of coffee in some hipster café made this day off perfect.
We slept all these days at Mikey’s place, which is simply awesome! We had great after diner talks about subjects that mean a lot to us. For example, we talked about the (ab)use of alcohol within the activist scene. It’s sort of a taboo, which made the discussion really interesting.

Day 6: Tuesday January 8
Venue: Cross Kings
City, Country: London, UK
Other bands: PJ & Gaby
We went to London quite early to do some sightseeing. I’ve never been to London myself and I was excited to go there. Again, Mikey was our punk tour guide. He lived in London for a long time and knew all the good places.
First we went to the Natu
ral History Museum. The entrance is free so that was an extra reason to take a look there. I was overwhelmed by basically everything in that museum. The building itself is beautiful and huge. There are all these animals carved in the ornaments. The collection of Dinosaurs is insane, I felt like a little kid. I wanted to run around and roar and pretend I was a T Rex.
We went to this all-you-can-eat-all-vegan thai restaurant, it was heaven on earth. You pay five pounds and stuff yourself with delicious food. Yay!
The show was really last minute set up by Lucas and his friends. There wasn’t any support band so we called PJ & Gaby (we played with them in Brighton) if they wanted to stop by and play some songs. I thought they were even better than the first time I saw them.
We played a very intense show to my opinion. The show was in a great venue, there was no stage. Around twenty people showed up, and everybody stood really close to us when we played. People sang along to some songs, we said what was on our mind and that was really appreciated. It was one of those shows where I get a lot of energy from.

Day 7: Wednesday January 9
Venue: Bridge House Inn
Citty, Country: Copsale, UK
Other bands: Kelly,
The English countryside, driving over small roads, through the hills. Johnny Cash is playing on the radio. I’m wondering how the show will be like. Normally the shows in the small towns are the best. And this time was no different….
When we arrived the nice lady behind the bar offered us a cup of coffee right away (something that doesn’t happen very often in the UK. Than her husband came out of the kitchen, greeting us with the thickest Irish accent I’ve ever heard. In the first sentence he quoted Henry Rollins, these were awesome people.
I looked around and it looked like a typical English pub, some old folks having a beer. Brian (our new Irish friend) explained how this pub will be transformed in a small venue as soon as he moved the furniture. “But you gotta play loud lad”, he said. “Promise me to play loud, hard and fast!” Indeed we will.
Jay, the promoter, arrived with good food and a smile on his face. We already met him at the Brighton show and he simply has this positive attitude you can’t get around without noticing it. Kids started walking in, everybody was having a good time. To me this was already a great show.
The weirdest thing happened when we started playing. I really thought I was out of tune… I checked and nothing was wrong. So we continued and I still heard it…. I thought I was going insane. Maybe there was something in the pizza I ate. And after that particular song it also was gone. No more heroin for me.
Anyway, after all the bands played Brian decided to play some Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash covers on his acoustic guitar, together with his roar voice and Irish accent. I loved it, especially his version of I Walk The Line!

Day 8: January 10
Venue: Den Drempel
City, Country: Antwerp, Belgium
Other bands: Richie Don’t Die
We got up early to catch the ferry which would bring us back to the main land. We (well, Etjen did…) made reservations for a ferry later in the day, but we had to catch one ferry earlier to make it on time to the show. And normally you have to pay 50 euro’s more to get an earlier ferry. We just played dumb, got at the ferry-incheck-place early, the woman gave us the pass, we got on the early ferry without a problem. Fuck paying! But the ferry gods immediately punished because it was, well… a bumpy ride.
First we had to pick up Stijn. Stijn did the first show of this tour in Oostende and will be our merch guy for the rest of the tour. It’s good to have him with us. Thanks to our friend Jonne who did a great merch-job in the UK.
It was good to be back on the mainland. We hooked up with Kim, the promoter of the show and we went to grap something to eat. Kim is also a father and right away we started talking about being a punkrock dad… I won’t bore you with these stories. A very nice soup and pasta was prepared and I think everybody really needed it.
The show was in a big pub in the middle of Antwerp. It reminded me of the Vrankrijk, a squat in Amsterdam. Too bad the place we played will be closed within three months… Although it was a very last minute show, there was quite a crowd. Richie Don’t Die play their style of melodic punk, and they really get away with it. I enjoyed seeing them play.
I had a good time on stage, especially since last night. I mean, I had a great time in Copsale, but playing-wise… I really sucked. Tonight was a good interested crowd and that’s always really motivating.

Day 9: January 11
Venue: Sonic Ballroom
City, Country: Köln, Germany
Other bands: Sunset Down
The drive from Antwerp to Köln wasn’t too long so we had all the time in the world to hang out in the city of Köln. We went to one of the bigger music stores of in Germany and we all started drewling as soon as we got in. I mean, I’m really happy with the stack I have, but it can always be better. We hung out there for a while, everybody bought what they needed (strings, drumsticks and so on) and we moved on. It’s no use to torture yourself too long when you know you don’t have the money to buy that new bass guitar you’ve always wanted…
We arrived at the venue and I was really happy to be in Germany: everything is so well arranged. The Sonic Ballroom is a small venue where a lot of great bands have played. And now I know why they all play there: the place is perfect! Above the venue they have sleeping places for the touring bands including a private bathroom, and a washing machine to do the laundry. Let me tell you, we really needed to do some laundry after a week of touring! Everywhere I looked I saw stickers of bands that have played there, and I was amazed how many dicks in all shapes and sizes were drawn on the walls. Apparently musicians are not always talented and creative artists…
But back to the awesomeness of this venue: the kitchen is next to the sleeping room and a delicious vegan curry was made for the bands. And there would be breakfast the next morning. Now you can say this is nothing more than normal, to have a place like this with these facilities. But we’ve played in so many venues and there’s a difference when the place is run by people who know what it’s like to be on tour. And the Sonic Ballroom is definitely one of these places!
I always get a bit nervous with shows like this. Will enough people show up? Will the people enjoy our set? I took a little nap and when the first band started playing I went down to see their show. There I saw the venue was completely packed! I thought all these people were there for the local band, because they played a nice solid set….
But when we were setting up our gear, the place was even more packed, sweatier, with a lack of oxygen. The audience already stood in front of the stage, we hadn’t played one tune. We asked to move upfront and so they did indeed. We counted ‘till four, I took a deep breath and we started…
It was like the place exploded. People were dancing, singing along, stagediving, crowdsurfing. Amazing… It was one of those shows that give you wings. We played two encores and after that I was close to death. I gave everything, and more. My body was shaking of excitement. This is what we all needed, after a tough week in the UK.

Day 10: January 12
Venue: Café Monopol
City, Country: Hannover, Germany
Other bands: Couch Divers, One Strike Left
Before we said goodbye to Köln, we went to one of the best record stores I’ve ever been: The Underdog. For five minutes though because we were in quite hurry to make it to the show in Hannover. And that’s basically torturing yourself… I mean you want to go through all the boxes of records, yo
u want to make a list in your head of all the records you’re still looking for. You want to listen to those bands you’ve always been curious about. Bottomline: it’s easy to spend a whole day there. To do all that in five minutes is impossible. To go there anyway makes no sense when I come to think about it…. Whatever.
We’ve never played in Hannover before and I was excited to go there for the first time. We arrived at the venue which was on the first floor of the building. My back already hurt when I thought about getting all the equipment upstairs….
The venue was amazing. It’s completely run by the local youth. They get a really small symbolic amount of money from the local government, and for the rest they depend on themselves. It was quite small and at times like that I’m always happy we’re only a three-piece. It doesn’t matter how small the stage is, there’s always room for a three-piece. Everything was really arranged: nice snacks and drinks, good pasta for diner. And quite a lot of people showed up.
The show was nice, both The Couch Divers and Obe Strike Left played a solid set. Halfway our set people started dancing and after the show we got a lot of great responses. Everybody was asking about the record and when we would come back to play in Hannover again. All we could say is: hopefully soon!

Day 11: January 13
Venue: Lemuria
City, Country: Eutin, Germany
Other bands: Alert
The show in Eutin was one of the few matinee shows we ever played on tour. And I have to say it’s nice. You have a lot of energy during the show because it’s in the afternoon. And afterwards you have enough time to talk to everybody, have a good diner and go to band early for once.
We arrived in Eutin quite early, even for a matinee show. We played in a collective house where several punkkids lived. It felt like a typical Italian or American show. I always love to play at places where people also live, it feels kind of special. People invite you to their homes to play. People cook for you in their own kitchen. It’s fantastic.
The house was beautiful. It was really big and in the basement they had a small venue. Everywhere I looked there were posters, flyers and stickers of anti-fascist actions, anti-capitalist protests and anarchist propaganda. It didn’t take very long the first talks and discussions started about all these subjects. And they would continue for a long time…
The people of alert organized the show and also were playing. I was really impressed by their show. They play melodic punkrock in the style of Anti-flag and had very interesting things to say in between the songs. It was one of the best bands I’ve seen on tour!
After seeing Alert play, I couldn’t wait to play myself. And the show was great indeed. Like I said, it was really a small place. So people were standing close to us, enjoying the set.

Day 12: January 14, 2008
Venue: Fährstrasse 105
City, Country, Hamburg, Germany
Other bands: Fuzzbeer
I’m writing this down now because I can’t sleep. I’m sitting in bed, in a huge room in an even bigger house where we just played. We played in the basement of this building. It’s rented by punkkids who are living here and doing amazing things. Like I said, the place is huge! And it’s really beautiful too. The whole house is very clean, wooden floors everywhere, a big kitchen (where we had an amazing pasta!). The building is not in the city centre, but closer to the harbors of Hamburg. And close to the famous St. Pauli district too.
I’m still really excited about the show. Not only because I had the feeling I played well, not only because this house is so inpsiring. Not only because there a lot of people in the small basement where we played. It’s all a combination of those things. It’s a monday night, and normally those shows aren’t very good. But this show, this night is definitely an exception. Again, the place was packed when we played. And there was a great atmosphere. Some people were dancing (or at least trying, because there wasn’t much room…) and I could feel everybody was comfortable. Incredible. And I think that’s exactly the reason why I can’t sleep! I’m deadtired, but I’m still too excited!!
After the show I had a talk with one of the people who’s living in this house. She read the lyrics of our song Raisedfistfuckyou and she explained how she liked them. Normally she’s more into hardcore and crusty punk music, she said. But she was overwhelmed by our show and could really feel we mean what we are singing about. It was my to respond. I didn’t know what to say. I mean, what do you say to such a big compliment like that? All I could come up with was ‘thank you very much’… but I wanted to say so much more. So I took a sip of my Bionade and continued. I said that the song means a lot to me, just like every song we’re playing. And we started talking about how we, as a band, try just make the music we love and sing about subjects that are important to us. We talked about how the band, as a whole, is important to us. And I realized now that a conversation like that is also part of it.

Day 13: January 15
Venue: Black Fleck
City, country: Potsdam, Germany
Other bands: Another Taste Of Chaos
The drive to Potsdam wasn’t too long and still a bit boring. It felt like we were through the Veluwe, a natural area (i have no idea how to describe it otherwise…) for hours. But as soon as we drove into Potsdam, we were overwhelmed by huge historical buildings. I noticed a lot of the buildings are abandoned and I was wondering why people don’t squat these beautiful soon-to-be free spaces. But apparently squatting in Germany is really difficult and most of these houses were bought by investors to speculate. That makes it all even more depressing.
But it was good to arrive at the Black Fleck, which is a venue in an even bigger complex/ building where people live, and do whatever they want.
The Black Fleck itself is a small, dark venue: perfect for a weekday show. We played together with Another Taste Of Chaos and it was their very first show. From the first second they started playing, I completely forgot it was their first time on stage. They really blew me away with the typical Eastern German metalcore.
We set up and pretty much stayed to check us out as well. The sound wasn’t too good and I played like shit. Despite that I got very good responses and we had a great time.
We also met up with Joe of Fond Of Life Records again. Fond Of Life release our new record in Germany and the UK. It was nice to talk to him again. He said to be at the last show of the tour as well and we can’t wait to meet up again!

Day 14: January 16
Venue: Zoro
City, country: Leipzig, Germany
Other bands: Unkind, All Or Nothing HC
Again it was a short drive to Leipzig (I love touring in Germany!!) and again I was completely amazed by the enormous buildings! The Zoro was quite a big venue, also very dark. It reminded me a bit of the Leoncavallo in Milano because you could get lost there quite easy. Three stories up there was the kitchen… and it smelled incredibly good. I peeked inside the kitchen and they were making lasagna! A second later I saw this gigantic chocolate cake in the corner of the kitchen, still warm. As I wiped away the drewl from the corners of my mouth, I realized this couldn’t be for the bands.
I walked further and met up with the people of Unkind and All Or Nothing HC. We were all touring bands so we decided to share the same backline. We were playing first so we did the soundcheck and when we came up, my dream (well, for that day…) became true. The lasagna and the cake were indeed for the bands!! I don’t believe we’ve had such a good diner on tour, ever.
On contrary to the day before, I play
ed a really nice set and I had the time of my life on stage. Too bad it was in front of a crowd that couldn’t care less. Or at least that’s how it felt. There wasn’t a real reaction at all….
All Or Nothing HC was up next. They’re really friendly people from the states (yup, overseas) with a woman on the vocals. They play hardcore. Not really my kinda thing, but I really liked how they were on stage (and before and after the show we also had a great time). Renée (the name of the singer) explained on a very personal way the songs and it was definitely impressive. One song she explained was about how she was raped. Heavy, I know. But she pointed out it wasn’t a sad song, rather than a strong song because she survived and can deal with it. I had a talk to her about it after the show and it was really nice to hear her story.

Day 15: January 17
Venue: JUZ Mannheim
City, country: Mannheim, Germany
Other bands: Smash the Statues
I woke up with the most terrible pain in back I’ve ever had. I slept on two pieces of cotton that used to be a mattress…. And today was the longest ride of the whole tour, to Mannheim. It wasn’t too bad though, I slept a couple of hours and I woke up when we already arrived. I stepped out of the van and our friends of Smash the Statues welcomed me. We were playing together six hours away from Holland, but it felt just like any other show we played with this awesome band.
Litty (promoter of the show) welcomed us inside and within minutes we were playing Kicker again! I’m really addicted to this game! And the best thing of touring in Germany is that there’s a kickertable at every single venue. Germans take this game really serious. Just like I do…
There weren’t a lot of people at the show but I always love to see Smash The Statues. It was a solid set with a great I Spy cover. Our set was okay, but my back hurt a lot. I couldn’t really move and I couldn’t really concentrate on my vocals. Maybe it was good there weren’t too many people haha…

Day 16: January 18Venue: Pfarrheim St. MichaelCity, country: Völklingen, Germany
Other bands: New Noise Project, Sock Dolager, Captains Dinner
The breakfast Litty made for us was amazing. Fried tofu, pancakes, fresh breads, spreads and so on. We had to leave a bit early because the last show of the tour, we had to be there in time for the load in.
We arrived and saw that the venue was directly next to the church. And the venue was quite big, a hall for schoolplays and what not. I was wondering how it would sound if a punkband plays in this place, and how in hell this place could be filled. Ten minutes later the PA company arrived with enough equipment to blast a hole in the earth. So that was settled. Than I found out we were playing with old time local heroes New Noise Project. THey split up a few years ago, but this was one of their reunion gigs.
Even before the first band started it was already pretty filled. Someone came up to Willem, mentioning he saw us this summer in ABC No Rio in New York City. And I remembered there was a German couple at that show. What a coincidence!
The crowd was kinda weird. Most of them stood in the back at the bar, almost piled up on each other, while there was plenty of room in front of the stage. It wasn’t that the bands were terrible, the audience just didn’t care.
And the same happened when we played our set. Sure there were a lot of people interested and liked our music, but most of them were in the back. Oh well, shit happens. It was good to see some movement in the crowd when New Noise Project started playing. They played a perfect Gorilla Biscuits cover and that definitely made my night.

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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

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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18 September 2007 ~ Comments Off on tourreport USA with static radio NJ

tourreport USA with static radio NJ

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This is the tour report of the first part of the Transatlantic tour taking the dutch band Antillectual and the New Jersey based Static Radio across the American East Coast. For Antillectual it is the second time since the summer of 2004 they visit the USA. Part 2 of the Transatlantic Tour takes place in Europe from September 28 to October 13 going to The Netherlands, France, Italy, Austria and Germany. In the USA both bands played 16 shows in 16 days between New York and Florida. Below you find the report bass player Yvo wrote from day to day.

Day 0: Thursday July 5

The tour actually starts a day earlier, on Schiphol airport. Right before we were about to check in, our friend Gijs came running up to us with 50 packages of coloring pencils… Gijs made the design for the tour 7 inches and he made four different designs. One of the designs is a coloring picture of a cowboy and the kids can color the front cover themselves. Speaking of diy!!
Of course we were way too early because they told us to be early. As good citizens we do as we are told and we arrived when the counter was not yet open…
We flew from Amsterdam via Madrid to New York JFK airport. On the way I saw the two most horrible movies ever made in human history. The Librarian was a terrible Indiana Jones rip-off with no logical story or anything and bad special effects. Then I saw a 90 minutes commercial of Adidas dressed up as a movie. It was about a football player who transfers to a big, famous team. Of course he cannot take the pressure, of course he can’t handle the fortune and the fame. Of course he almost breaks up with his girlfriend, but in the end everything turns out right… Hey, come one! What else is there to do when you’re on a plane for eight hours?
As soon as we arrived on American ground, we had to go through the fascist customs. Lucky for us, it was not a problem. We could borrow all the instruments for Static Radio so we just looked like plain European tourists.
(For those who don’t know: when you’re a non-American band and touring in the states, you cannot look like a band when you’re going through customs. Otherwise they’ll send you back right away. You need a work permit to tour the states (apparently they think we’re making money…) and they will never give it to you. It’s a shitty reason, just like the whole idea of fucking customs is shitty, but you have to deal with it.)
Anyway, we met up with Vic from Static Radio for the first time and it was good to see him. It was kinda funny to finally meet up in person with somebody who I’ve been in contact with for such a long time already. It wasn’t hard to recognize him: there are not too many punkrock kids with tattoos and a Bouncing Souls t-shirt.
Vic took us to Chris’ (drummer of SRNJ) house for some food and to be introduced to a million people. Parents wanted to meet us, while I was tired as hell…

Day 1: Friday July 6

New Brunswick, New Jersey @ Southern Thunder
There was a lot to do the next day; folding t-shirts and packing the merch, printing set lists, printing pricelists, buying strings and picks. Before I knew it we were at the venue to play our first show of the tour. And there were a lot of people! Like a lot of diy shows in the states, the show was in a basement of a house where punk kids lived. First there were a couple of local bands and then it was up to us. I was psyched to play and a bit nervous if people would be interested in us. The basement was packed when we started. When we finished the set, there were even more people. I was overwhelmed by the reaction of the crowd. After the set Willem walked with a sweat dripping face to the merch table and I walked outside to catch some air and hang out with friends I hadn’t seen in a while. They came out to sing and dance with us, it was heartwarming!
That night was the first time we got to see Static Radio. From the first chord they hit, I knew it was going to be a good tour. Man, they blew me away!

Day 2: Saturday July 7

New York City, New York @ ABC No Rio
I woke up the next morning, walked downstairs, and made some coffee. I sat down in the back porch and than it struck me: we were playing ABC No Rio that day! Holyfuckingshit! ABC No Rio is the oldest squat in the U.S.A., and it’s in the middle of New York City. It’s a voluntary collective and it’s awesome a place like this still exists. I couldn’t wait to play there again!
We got lost in the city and we’ve seen everything New York City has to offer four times or more. We finally arrived at ABC No Rio and we didn’t really have to hurry: the other band also got lost… There were quite some people and I played pretty well, despite my bass breaking down. The audience wasn’t going nuts but I guess that’s with every bigger city. It’s too bad, but it’s true… Apparently they could appreciate our tunes ‘cause we did well selling merch. And I was pretty amazed with that. I mean, sometimes I’d wonder what in hell we (being another overseas punkrock band) are doing in a country where there are a million bands at least as good as us. What do we have to offer? Are people waiting for a band with bad accents?
It took us forever to leave ‘cause some asshole blocked our van. The best excuse to walk to Kate’s Diner: a vegan diner close to ABC No Rio. I walked in and realized I was in hipster-NYC. People were eating their meals inside with sunglasses on, talking about art and new dresses. I loved it!

Day 3: Sunday July 8
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania @ U.U.C. Church
Before we go any further, I have to tell you about the house we were staying at from the day we arrived. We were staying at the same house for the first couple of nights because all the shows were within an hour drive so it was easy to drive back. Our new friend John offered to stay at his house. His parents were away for the weekend, which meant we all had a room for ourselves, a filled fridge and airco. Fuck the Hilton Hotel!
Back to the show: today’s show was at a church (yup, so stop fucking swearing okay?). There were tons of old friends waiting for us, armed with hugs and lovely words. We felt at home, being on the other side of the ocean. Chris of Square Of Opposition came to hug us to death and show us all the tour 7 inches. It was great playing in front of so many familiar faces and they all went nuts. They wouldn’t let us go until we played two encores. Amazing! Jordan (singer of the almighty Yo Man Go!, go check ‘em out!) brought vegan desserts from Vegan Treats where he works. It was the 7 inch release show of Yo Man Go!, and it was one big party.
After the show we had a big bbq at a trailer park. Riekus and Little Mike of Static Radio got completely wasted from the whiskey shots. I felt like a man for the first time, behind a grill the size of a boat. And Willem watched how Riekus and I got our tour-haircuts. A beautiful night it was.

Day 4: Monday July 9
Braddock, Pennsylvania @ Fossil Free Fuel Garage
This was the first day we had a six-hour drive ahead of us, it was the last day at our private hotel. We said goodbye to John and took off to Braddock, a small town close to Pittsburgh. Our friend Dave organized the show in his ga
rage. Dave is one of the most talented musicians I’ve ever met. We met him when he was drumming in Hypatia (the band we toured with in 2004). At that time he played in at least four other bands. From guitar, to vocals, to drumming: he’s a master at all. He quit all his bands to work on his new project, his garage. He converts diesel cars to vegetable oil cars (in 2004 we toured in a vegetable oil driven van he converted). Greenpeace: eat your heart out!
That night we played above his garage. There weren’t too many people at the show but there was a friendly atmosphere. Everyone was interested in all the bands, which is very motivating. I’d rather play in front of ten people who are interested than a hundred who couldn’t care less.
After the show we went to a typical American style Mexican restaurant. It was the best Mexican restaurant to get vegan food according to Dave, so it had to be good. And good it was! I had vegan tortillas. When they served it, a pile of tortillas the size of the Mount Everest was put in front of me! It took me hours and a lot of help from my friends to finish

Day 5: Tuesday July 10
Riverdale, Maryland @ The Tree Swing
After we said goodbye to Dave with tears in our eyes, we headed to Riverdale, Maryland. Shortly we had this plan of stopping by an amusement park with a thousand roller coasters. But since we had a six hours drive ahead of us, we had fake hotdogs for breakfast and took off.
Again, a friend organized this show: Katy Otto. Katy is a busy busy bee from the DC scene that knows everybody and everybody knows her. I couldn’t wait to see her, but i was a bit afraid of the show. It was a Tuesday night and the show was arranged very last minute.
Like I thought, it was great to see Katy again. The show itself wasn’t too good, but we had a lot of fun. It was in the tiny basement of Katy’s house. There weren’t a lot of people, but there was this young girl who brought her mom to the show. Later Katy told me that the brother of the girl always was very active in the Dc scene, and now she’s also into it.
After the show everybody went to Washington DC to do touristy things. I stayed with Katy ‘cause we had a lot of catching up to do.

Day 6: Wednesday July 11
Athens, Georgia @ Transmetropolitan pizza
This was the longest drive of tour for sure. After 12 hours in the van, I’ve seen that thing enough from the inside. But we had a TV and DVD’s to kill the time with. Dawn Of The Dead was collectively a favorite movie. For those who don’t know the movie, first off: keep it that way! The movie seriously has no storyline at all (which is pretty hard when you’re making a 90 minute movie…). It’s about this girl who wakes up next to her boyfriend. Boyfriend gets bitten by a mini-zombie. Boyfriend turns into a zombie. Girl runs away and finds out the whole world is taken over by zombies…. What a movie!! To make things even worse, they put in the worst movie in human history: The 40 year old Virgin. So after watching that one, I was close to being brain-dead.
After several serious thoughts of killing myself by throwing myself out of the van, we arrived in Athens. I’ve never been there, I’ve never heard of Athens before this tour (editorial note: we played Athens in 2004 as well). But apparently Athens is an awesome town with great kids living there. The show was at a pizzeria. I’ve never played a pizzeria before. Did you? I had no idea what to expect, but everything was extremely well arranged. Every band got a whole pizza and free drinks. The show was above the pizzeria where there was a small, intimate and very nice venue.
I had the best coffee of tour in Athens before the show. Brian (who was playing with his band that night too) took us to a nice café and I had a medium coffee with a shot of espresso in it, which made it a bit stronger. Perfect! We talked about activism and anarchism. Even better!
That night we stayed at Joe’s place, the promoter of the show. It was a punk house: Descendents-poster on the wall, a dvd collection with horror classics, a nice record collection and nothing in the house was really clean. I felt at home. Vic wasn’t too amused with the cockroach and slept in the van. Oh well, I guess he never slept in dusty old squats in Italy on a European tour…. (editorial note again: he will though).

Day 7: Thursday July 12
St. Augustine, Florida @ The Fraternal Order Of The Oriels (aka Backstreets)
Again, a long drive ahead of us. Next stop was St. Augustine where we played a great show on our last tour. I was looking forward to play in the same town again. It was a bit of a disappointment when we arrived at the venue. It turned out that the owner of the venue just heard that day there was going to be a show that night so they couldn’t do too much on promotion. It was a 21+ club so a lot of younger punk kids couldn’t even get in, if they wanted to. After a long drive, I was pretty bummed…
We decided to load out and head into town. I kinda knew where we played last time. It was at a cool store called Loose Screws. They sell all sorts of nice things, from cult movies to records and clothing. We bought some records and I got a hold of a inspiring zine called Give Me Back.
We went back to the venue and there were quite some people. It was the last day of work for the bartender and he invited his friends over. All the people of the venue were really supportive and friendly to us which completely made my day again.
Static Radio played first that night and the people seemed to like it a lot. We still didn’t have a place to sleep for that night so Big Mike asked the audience if they knew a place to fit 8 smelly punk kids for the night. And like always, it worked. A guy came up to us, telling us he got the key of a house his boss built. It was a completely furnished villa, ready to be sold. It wasn’t sold yet, so we could stay there for the night. I couldn’t believe it when I heard it. And I was sure I was dreaming when we arrived at the villa. It was a castle. There was a mini-bar (we could drink all the booze we wanted), there was an elevator in the house, and several Jacuzzi’s. So when everybody was getting drunk on the balcony, I took a nice long bath. Life doesn’t get any better than

Day 8: Friday July 13

Delray Beach, Florida @ Backbone Music
I woke up in a huge bed with a smile on my face from ear to ear. I crawled out of bed and looked around if more people were awake. I found Riekus passed out on four chairs, while he has the same villa for his use as we all did. Weird people, those drummers. Anyway, we all know he had a rough night, with a lot of alcohol. And later that night he strangely disappeared with a girl from the Loose Screws store who happened to join us to the villa. They were last seen, going to the toilet, together. They didn’t come out when I went to bed… (and Riekus still isn’t clear about what exactly happened in that bathroom. We don’t know if he doesn’t want to tell us, or if he can’t tell us…)
It was time to pack our stuff and head out. Like more groups of people (and especially when those ‘people’ happen to be punkrock bands) it takes forever to gather everyone and leave. One has to shave, the other one has find his sock, some don’t want to wake up, some simply disappear. And by the time we finally got everyone in the van and take off, it starts to rain like hell in sunny Florida. Within seconds streets are flooded and I feel moist and dirty.
Anyway, Delray Beach was next on the schedule. Delray Beach happened to be a nice cozy beach village for rich middle-upper class folks to
spend their summer. That town happens to be the home of an awesome record store: Backbone Music. And that’s where we played. We arrived and I felt at home right away. There were punk kids hanging out, the first band was setting up the backline inside while some of the audience was going across the records in the store.
We found out that the window in the roof of the trailer was still open. The merch was pretty bad flooded including the flyers and stickers and all the paper material (somehow the 7 inches were saved). In situations like this I tend to lose my patience and simply throw all the shit in the thrash and spit on it. Luckily I’m in a band with Willem who has the patience of a Buddhist monk and was peeling off all the flyers and everything that stuck to each other.
After a quick bite at a great Caribbean restaurant we played a nice set. The heat wasn’t killing us and there were kids who sang along to some of the songs. It was one of those shows that keep sticking in your mind and leave you with a great feeling. It was perfect after the show in St. Augustine.

Day 9: Saturday July 14

Jacksonville, Florida @ The Pitt
Sometimes you have that kinda show. You know what I’m talking about, those shows where you have a strange feeling even before you arrive there. This was one of those shows. We played in The Pitt, and the name says it all… The venue was next to the highway in a row of restaurants and liquor stores. The bar next to the venue was of the same owner and was a typical American bar.
It reminded me of the movie Roadhouse (yep, with that eighties hero-hot stud from Dirty Dancing): neon light, college-football on big screens, and waitresses in hot pants.
The venue was way too big for the bands that were playing that night and there was a fence (!?!?) in front of the stage. First there was a local band that played too long. Up next was the band that would change the tour forever: Baker Act! Three girls and a guy who seriously had a song called ‘Psycho Chick’. I rest my case.
We (Static Radio and Antillectual) both played a short set and after that was the last band, The Explicits. There was no audience. The promoter felt bad for us and gave us 20 bucks extra for gasmoney. He was an awesome dude.
There was no sleeping place so we decided to drive overnight to the next stop Tampa, Florida. And somehow Big Mike got his hands on the Baker Act demo. It became the soundtrack of the tour.

Day 10: Sunday July 15
Tampa, Florida @ Transitions Art Gallery
Waking up in the city or town you’re playing that same night is probably the best thing on tour. It doesn’t happen very often so when it does, you want to get everything out of it! First an easy, relaxing breakfast and than doing stupid touristy things. We didn’t have a chance to swim all tour long so it was about time. And there’s no better place to swim than Florida. Not that the beaches are marvelous, it’s just fucking hot. So six pale punk kids (Big Mike from SRNJ wasn’t coming ‘cause he doesn’t like swimming. Idiot…) are walking over the beach, heading to the water. We jumped in the water and I expected a cold refreshment. It turned out that the water was as warm as a warm shower you take in the winter! What a bummer…
Anyway, you get hungry from swimming and we knew just the right place to go to: Cici’s! It’s an all-you-can-eat pizza place for three-ninety-nine. Heaven on earth. The pizza is disgusting, but I’m not complaining. More for less, that’s the deal! I think we were in there for less than sixty minutes and everyone came out rolling and green. And we still had to play that night…
On the way I saw a lot of shoes, tied together, hanging over the electricity cables. It was told that’s how you know you can buy crack in that street. Maybe it’s bullshit, maybe not. But good to know, for after the show.
So the show was at Tampa Skatepark. Well, in a venue next to it. We had to drive through a lot of streets with shoes hanging there. But fuck it, it was one of the best places we’ve played. Everything was really well arranged. The venue was beautiful. The people were awesome, all bands were great. My mouth fell open when I saw it. This was good after a show like Jacksonville.
We slept in the same house where we slept the other night and people were coming over, having a BBQ, we’re singing drunken campfire songs nobody really knew the words to. And as the night evolved, people were getting more wasted, singing turned into screaming, the lyrics didn’t matter much anymore. Good times. Awesome times.

Day 11: Monday July 16
Gainesville, Florida @ 1982 bar
Do you remember how you would wake when it’s your birthday? How you wake up way too early, how you can’t wait get dressed and run to downstairs? That’s how I felt when I woke up this morning. I just wanted to hop in the van and drive as fast as we could to Gainesville. But of course we were stuck in traffic for over two hours. I’ve never seen it rain that hard. And yes, the window in the ceiling of the trailer was closed this time….
Those who don’t know: Gainesville is the Mecca of the punkrock I love so much. It seems every single band that comes from that fucking village seems to rule in their own way. What Sweden is for Europe, is Gainesville for the USA.
We arrived in Gainesville on time to make a quick stop at the collective info-shop Wayward Council and after that it was time for pizza again. Unfortunately the vegan-pizza was finished so I settled for a nice pasta. Walking to the pizza-place, I noticed that all the people we crossed were attractively sweet and punk. I think you can’t just live in this village. I think you have to pass a test when you want to live in Gainesville. The mayor has 10 questions about Black Flag and Reagan Youth. After that some tough questions concerning Hot Water Music, Radon and Kid Dynamite. Last but not least they’ll test your d.i.y. ethics. If you pass, you can pick up a nice punk suit on your way out and have a nice stay. If you fail, all good. But please settle in the town further down the road ….
When I figured that out, my plate of pasta was finished. I got up to get some coffee and I ran into Christie. I met Christie on the West Coast when I was traveling and now she’s living in Gainesville. Small world, those United States!
We played that night with Dirty Money and Arm The Poor. Both awesome bands! Even more important: awesome kids! I had the feeling I knew these kids forever when we just met up with them.
It was a Monday night but still there were quite some people. Static Radio played their best set I’ve ever seen them play. It gave me goose bumps. After we played, Cam came to the merch stand and bought basically everything we had for sale. He was doing an internship at No Idea records as it turned out . We talked about No Idea of course and he would do a good word for us. Fingers crossed…
We slept at the house most of the guys of Dirty Money were living. Everybody sat down and turned on Saturday night Live. Really not my thing. I fell asleep on a nice bed I just conquered.

Day 12: Tuesday July 17
Lawrenceville, Georgia @ The Treehouse!
Before we left Gainesville, we had to stop by the No Idea (wear-) house. Nice dudes over there and it was cool to see Cam before we left. I really had to do my best not to spend $500,- on records. Everything I was looking for, they had in stock…
Next stop was Lawrenceville. I wasn’t familiar with Lawrenceville. It turned out no one was familiar with Lawrenceville. It was right outside Atlanta and my experience is that shows in small towns can be surprisingly great. Not too many tou
ring bands are stopping by and the scene is really tight and supportive. And the Treehouse was like that. There were a couple of punk kids who just decided to run a venue the way they like it. The venue was open seven days a week and there were shows pretty much everyday. It was too bad for us that the day before there was a big show (with Fucked Up, Verse and Down To Nothing), but nevertheless there were some kids at the show. And they all seemed to have good time and actually sang along to our songs. The people who organized the show were really friendly and we could stay at one of the promoters’ house. He turned out to be a huge Transformers fan. So the rest of the night people had talks and discussions about Transformers, Star Wars, comics, horror-movies and more geek-talk. I always find it amusing and fascinating that there are so many kids in the punk/hardcore-scene who seem to be in to that kinda stuff. Interesting…

Day 13: Wednesday July 18
Greenwood, South Carolina @ 2nd floor east
Again a small town was on our schedule for today, and i was excited to go there. On the trip to Greenwood I realized we were doing really well on this tour. I noticed that kids could really appreciate what we are doing. We had interesting talks and awesome comments on our music and politics. And we were selling a lot of merch. With only a few shows left, there were only a few t-shirts, one full length left and the 7 inches were going fast too. I’m not complaining, i’m not complaining.
Greenwood was an awesome small venue, with a quarter pipe in the back! Ken (the promoter of the show) was typical skatepunk: briljant tattoos, really friendly and everything about the show was well arranged. Ken was calm and relaxed, and was really committed to make his contribution to the diy scene.
When the first band started there were a lot of young kids who were excited to see them play. There was no airco in the little venue and within seconds the heat was almost unbearable. I was wondering if I was going to pass out or puke while playing. Luckily, none of those options happened. The show was intense and fun. And
When we packed everything after the show, Ken told us there was a karaoke-bar. I don’t think I’ve seen everybody hop in the van so fast. Five minutes later we walked into a fancy hotel where in the hotel-bar the karaoke-session was going on. We walked in and knew right away that this was going to be legendary. A couple of forty year olds looked at us a bit strange, there were a couple of thirty year olds who were slowly getting wasted and hitting on twenty year olds. And there was an old guy who took the whole karaoke thing really serious. Really serious. Just like us.
Nights like these are the best. Everybody in the bar will know it from the moment we walk in, kids running and screaming all over the place within a few minutes. We know nobody is pleased with our company, so we have nothing to lose. In those situations, a strange feeling of shamelessness gets a hold of me. I can’t help it. I’m not a bad guy!
Riekus and I decided to do summer of ’69 by Bryan Adams to keep traditions alive. Ken already subscribed us before we knew it, so Riekus started drinking like crazy. I didn’t know the lyrics. I can’t sing. Riekus was getting drunk fast. The night could start. It was going to be a disaster, a tragedy, and an embarrassing performance. Fuck it, it’s not about putting up a good show anyway. What it is about, I don’t know either. Perhaps it’s this urging need to embarrass myself in front of random people. It has something of beauty in it, something self-destructive. Maybe it’s my compensation behavior for not drinking. Who fucking cares…
So after a couple of songs and a lot of drinks, our company turned into this yelling, screaming drunk punk kids who were singing too loud and swearing too much. Some of us did (or something like it) Rod Stewart, Neil Young and we ended the night with the rock-opera of all times: Bohemian Rhapsody by the almighty Queen. There was shouting, spitting, cursing, screaming and dancing. It was the last song of the night, so we muffled to our van, drove to Ken’s place and fell asleep.

Day 14: Thursday July 19
We supposed to have show in Durham, North Carolina. But the house where the show would happen had problems with the neighborhood or something. Anyway, we didn’t have a show and decided to drive to the next destination, to the next show. It was a boring day; we’ve seen a lot of the road, ate at a bad Mexican restaurant and had to pay for a motel. It sucked.

Day 15: Friday July 20
Martinsburg, West Virginia @ Boys And Girls Club.
We knew the promoter of this show from our last tour. Matt was famous for his laugh, the sound of his laugh to be precise. Matt looks like the younger brother of Jim Carry. As soon we saw him again and he started laughing, he made my day. Matt is one of the most friendly and helpful people i’ve met on tour. He doesn’t give a shit about fashion or scene points. He is all about the music and is determined to put on great shows. Inspiring as hell for me! Seeing him back again was awesome.
The show itself was fucking great! There were a lot of young kids who came out and just when we were about to play, the cops showed up. Neighbors were complaining or something like that. The cops threatened to shut the show down. I loved it. The whole audience was obviously against the cops and wanted to see us play. As soon as the cops left we started playing and we would continue until they would pull the plug. Everybody was upfront, dancing and singing. We played a short set so Static Radio could play a few tunes too. Eventually the cops never came back but they left some kind of atmosphere. These kids were ready to defend their show, ‘fuck the police’ was written on walls and sang to each other. We felt really punk that day.
After the show we went to Andy’s place, a friend of the Static Radio guys. Bbq was the plan, on the front porch. Some other people came over and it was a great night. There were talks about the phenomenon ‘front porch’, tattoos, (European) beer, Germany, throwing bricks to the cops, riots and armed struggle. i felt at home. These were some of the most hospitable people I’ve met. To give you an example: they had no vegan food in the house. They ordered for me a big pizza without cheese. I insisted to pay for it, but I didn’t get the chance. I really tried, but they wouldn’t let me. Because i was their guest. Incredible.

Day 16: Saturday July 21
Afternoon: Tom's River, New Jersey @ Tom's River Shed.
Evening: New Brunswick, New Jersey @ Court Tavern

Last day of tour. Everybody’s tired. Everybody smells. A perfect day to end the tour with two shows on one day. The afternoon show was in a shed in the backyard of Dan, the singer of One Win Choice. He built the shed with a bunch of his friends to do shows. I’m a fan of Dan for that itself. Unfortunately everything was a bit in a hurry since we had another show in New Brunswick that same night, and we were first on the bill. So that put some pressure on everything.
Static Radio and we played a short set right after each other to make ends meet. The show in the shed was amazing. There were quite some people and it was hot and I played well. After the show we sold the last t-shirts we had. The night before we sold the last copy of the full length. Nice. It was too bad we had to run because I really wanted to hang out with Dan and his friends. But you gotta do what you gotta do… of to New Brunswick.
The evening show was a bit weird. It was a benefit show for someone who was killed in a car accident, right before we went on
tour. It was someone involved in the New Brunswick punk-scene, and the Static Radio guys also knew him pretty well. The money that was raised would go to the family of the person, and the show was a tribute to him. Static Radio was asked to play and the promoter wanted us to play as well.
I didn’t really know what to expect, to be honest. It’s a sad reason to do a show, but I also thought it was a beautiful last goodbye to somebody who was so involved with the music. The place was packed when we arrived. There was a calm and very nice atmosphere. We were about to play first. Before the show I sat down with Willem and we were talking about what to say. We both felt like we wanted to express our respect to the family and friends, and we were honored to play on an occasion like this. We’ve never met the guy, but he was 27 years old when he died. And that’s too young. I mean, here we are, all making plans for the future and what not. His life is over. It’s Sad.
The show was as perfect as it could be. The atmosphere was awesome. Static Radio played so good it gave me goose bumps. I was thrilled to have a last show of tour like this.

Day 17: Sunday July 22
New Brunswick/ JFK Airport (NYC)
The end of tour was there, and it left us with satisfied feeling and a smile on our faces from ear to ear. On the day of departure we took a dip in a pool which was in Melissa’s (singer Mike’s girlfriend) backyard and we had all the time to pack everything.
The tour was awesome. The reactions of the audiences were incredible, the sale of the merch was too much. We’ve met up with so many old friends, and we’ve made so many new friends. We got a new hero by the name of Louis CK. We’ve learned Americans are not too good in estimating the time it takes to get from point A to point B. We listened to so many new, great bands. All reasons to go back as soon as possible!

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