Monday, December 28, 2009

Punk Rock Stories: Somewhere in Germany...

I'm gonna recount some old stories from the last 11 years of playing in bands. Most of them, I imagine, are a little hard to believe. I even find myself looking back after all these years, wondering if I have the details right. These tales have been told and re-told by myself and others involved, on many occasions, over many a pint throughout the years though, so I'm pretty sure most of it actually happened.

Somewhere in Germany... We were out on tour with Speedhorn a hell of a lot in the early days. I think we played something like 200 odd shows in our first year as a touring band. In the early autumn of 2000 we embarked on our first European tour. We were going out for seven weeks supporting Biohazard. I didn't really think at the time that that was such a long tour, I just looked at all the cities on the tour schedule we would be going to. It was all over Europe and we were excited as hell! We'd been playing shows solely in the UK for about a year and a half. Every toilet in the UK you've ever heard of, and many you probably haven't, I can almost guarantee you I've played there with Speedhorn.

Going out to the mainland to tour was my biggest ambition at that time, looking at all those cities and knowing I was going to them to play music, was a dream about to be fulfilled. The icing on the cake was that we were also going out on a tour bus for the first time. I couldn't wait to get on that boat at Dover and fuck off for a couple of months! As it turned out, we would end up going straight on another European tour for four weeks, supporting Amen, right after we finished with Biohazard, and after that to Ireland, to play some more shows of our own. I left for the Biohazard tour at the start of September. I finally came home to Corby three days before Christmas, somewhat a changed man...

A lot of strange and funny things happened in those three months.

This particular occasion we were travelling through the night, somewhere in Germany. I can't remember exactly where we had played that night or where we going to, but we were following Biohazards tour bus in convoy, to our next destination. We were a few weeks into the tour. We'd been up, pretty much every night, getting drunk after shows and partying on that bus. Our tour bus was pretty old and knackered but we all had a bed, there were a couple of lounges to hang out in, a stereo and a tv. For us it was heaven. Being that it wasn't the fanciest looking thing, we felt we had a little bit of license to do what we wanted to it. In addition, the driver was this guy called Bob, who was this grumpy old boy that looked like he could have be our drummer Gordon's dad. Although he obviously thought we a bunch of tits, he seemed to like us. Luckily for us he put up with a lot of nonsense. We loved him.

So we're driving through the night, everyone in very high spirits. The music is blasting and we're dancing down the autobahn. After a while I feel the bus pulling over into a service station, most likely to fill up the tank. When we pull up we all hop off and head into the shop. The Biohazard guys are in there too. It must have been around 3am. The only staff at work is this one little lady stood behind the counter. We all stumble in. A pack of about 20 guys, half Brit, half NYC, all very drunk, very hungry, very dirty. Probably very loud. The old lady must have been terrified! A bunch of us head straight over to the porn mag section of course, some others to the toilet and the others to see what food they can steal. Shoplifting at service stations in the middle of the night had become the norm, especially for the likes of our singer Frank. I don't know why this felt like it was ok at the time, it just did. When you're young and drunk and on tour, you allow yourself the impression that you're above the law. And the serivce stations were always faceless chain companies. Although we were travelling around on a tour bus and we were getting a meal at each show, we didn't have much money of our own. The record label and tour support was paying for the bus, but we didn't have any money in our pockets. Any spare money we did manage to get our hands on was normally spent on booze.

Anyway, we're in this service station just milling around. Although Frank is checking out the food section whilst everyone else is flicking through magazines, he hasn't actually put anything in his pockets. I think maybe he'd noticed the old lady on her own behind the counter and got an attack of bad conscience.

I'd probably been in the shop no longer than a minute before the night took a very weird turn.

The old lady, completely out of nowhere, starts shouting and screaming at us. To my knowledge, none of our guys had done anything in particular to cause her to get so upset. We didn't look too great and we were as said, in high spirts, but even Frank had seemingly changed his mind about causing any mischief. I'm not sure that the Biohazard guys, who had enetered a few minutes before us, had done anything wrong either, they were just relieving themselves in the toilets. This woman is screaming at us in German and obviously we're a bit confused by it. I guess she wants us to get out and I can't be bothered with the drama so I go to leave and head back to the bus. Wrong. When I get to the sliding glass doors I find that they won't open. The woman is still shouting and screaming and I think she's going on about the police. I try the doors again but it's obvious by now that she has triggered something behind the counter that has locked the doors. We're all now trapped inside. And nobody has actually done anything wrong. I try to communicate with her and find out what she is doing. It's not easy. I'm pretty fucking drunk, she's very German and by now, completely hysterical!

Just as I'm thinking about how weird the whole situation is, Billy, the Biohazard singer/guitarist, comes out from the toilet. He asks what the fuck is going on and is told that the crazy old lady behind the counter has locked us in and is most likely calling the police. Without any hesitation, he walks up to the sliding doors and pulls out this huge fucking Rambo knife! What. The. Fuck? I stand there in shock and before I can even ask him what the fuck he is up to, he jams the knife between the doors and starts forcing them open. He manages to get them open a slither and then jam himself in between. He motions to everyone to go climb through the gap. We all squeeze through whilst Billy is laughing his his ass off. The lady is still screaming. By the time the last of us get out we're all laughing at the madness of the situation. We run back to the bus and start shouting to Bob that we should probably leave pretty rapidly!

We head off back down the autobahn somewhat in a state of shock. The music is off and nobody is in the mood for dancing anymore. Where the fuck did Billy pull that knife from? What turned the lady in the shop that crazy? We're about ten minutes down the autobahn, discussing the events, when I decide to look out of the back window just to check that there aren't actually any police cars following us. Hmm. There actually is a police car behind the bus. It's not flashing its lights or sounding its siren but it is behind us. "Ha ha Gaz" is the general reaction when I tell the rest of the guys. I tell them I'm serious and for them to check themselves if they don't believe me. Someone else looks and after staring through the window for a few seconds, sits back down pale faced. There isn't one police car following the bus, there are around TEN! I look again and fuck me! There is indeed a whole fucking squadron of police cars now following the bus. And now they ARE flashing their lights and sirens! I instinctivley look at our tour manager and he looks like he's seen a ghost...

I hear Bob at the front cursing and shouting back down the bus at us, asking us what the fuck we've been up to now?! He tells us he's gonna have to pull over and tells our tour manager to get ready to do some talking. Without saying a word, our tour manager gets down on his knees and starts rooting around in his rucksack. He pulls out a couple of suspicious looking plastic bags. You can't be serious?.. He then starts emptying a rather large amount of cocaine on to the lounge table. "If any of you lot does this stuff, has done it in the past, or has thought about doing it in the future, get down here with me and start fucking snorting!" I sit there in a state of shock. I don't really know much about coke, in fact I've always generally hated the idea of it. It's been offered to me a few times, but I've never been interested.  It seems to me that most people who are into coke are wankers! Anyway, as I looked at the scene before me I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. It was pretty comical to be fair. I feel Bob slowing the bus down. He shouts to us that he's pulling over along with Biohazards bus in front of us.

Our tour manager is on his knees throwing white powder on to the glass table on the back lounge of the tour bus. A few of the guys in the band have come to his aid and our on their knees too, circling the round table, scrambling for money notes or any other pieces of paper they can roll into a tube to hoover up the mess. They all start snorting like hungry, terrified vultures. It's pretty chaotic! The people who aren't snorting, myself included, are cheering them on as if we're watching some kind of sport. At one point our tour manager takes a huge snort. So big in fact, that when he lifts his head up, still holding the 10 Euro note to his nose,  coke just spills out the other end and back onto the table! I actually think this is hillarious. It looks fucking ridiculous! There is no way they are getting rid of it all, even though they give it a good go. The bus comes to a standstill. Our tour manager gathers himself, tells us to give him our passports and shut up. He heads down the stairs to the back door of the bus and we sit there in silence.

Around twenty minutes pass...

I hear the door downstairs open and I prepare for the worst. The police are gonna come upstairs, see this mess and throw us in jail.

To my amazement it's our tour manager. "We can go". We're all stunned. What? We drive off. Our tour manager, who looks like he's about to be sick, tells us that he simply handed over our passports, explained the situation to the cops, that we on tour, explained what had happened at the service station, how the lady had locked us in, and that was that. The Biohazard TM backed up the story. He said the police sounded very interested when he explained how she had locked us in...

We all sit up for around another hour, in stunned silence, small piles of coke still on the table. I'm too stunned to even think about how idiotic it is to travel on the bus with stupid shit like that in your bag. I check the back window another couple of times, and when I'm convinced that there really are no cop cars behind us in the dark, go to my bed. Stone cold sober.

At the venue the next day John, our other singer, finds me somewhere, and tells me whilst laughing like fuck, that he's just spoken to the Biohazard tour manager. Apparently the police had phoned him that day. They called to let him know that after they had talked to us the night before and listened to our version of events, they had headed back to the service station and arrested the old lady on a charge of unlawful imprisonment! Apparently it's against the law to lock people into a building and hold them against their will.  I found the rest of the guys in both bands rolling around laughing at the old lady's expense, I just felt really sorry for her and thought about what a bunch of cunts we all are.

I also thought about how much I loved being in that band.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Trondheim - punk rock and coffee...and moonshine

This last weekend we travelled up to Trondheim to play a show with Mörkt Kapitel, at a great punk rock space they are lucky enough to have there, called UFFA.

By the time I got home, late on Sunday night, it had felt like a very long weekend for just one show, but as is often the case, more than worth the trip.

I was up before the sun rose on Saturday morning. We were flying out of Stockholm at 10.30 with a three hour stop-over in Oslo, before flying onwards to Trondheim. By the time we got to Trondheim at 4.30pm I had been on the move for almost 10 hours, all for the sake of 90 minutes flying time.

Anyway, we got to the airport and met up with Atle from Mörkt Kapitel, who was organising the show. We headed straight to the club from there. It was a cool, dingy little place, with a general hang out room up front and a gig room in the back, which was big enough for about 100 people to fill. The place had a good stage and it sounded great in sound check.

We quickly ate some food, drank a few cups of coffee and then went to hang out at Atle's place with the rest of the guys in his band. They were a good bunch of guys. We hung out at his place drinking some beer and talking about records. Atle has a distro that he runs from his home, so he had lp's all over the place. His own personal collection, which was probably 95% Swedish punk, was also pretty fucking impressive. He had loads of rare stuff that was fun to look at. Whilst flicking through, Jon found around 10 copies of a certain Totalitär 7". We started joking with him that his collection wasn't actually that broad, that he just had loads of doubles. Atle promptly showed us that the 10 copies were all in fact various copies of the same record. Different coloured vinyls, test pressings, test covers etc. We soon realised there were quite a few similar examples in his collection. In short, Atle is a bit of a record nerd! A bit like our drummer Andy. Over a few more beers we shot the punk rock breeze, Andy and Atle playing a sort of Punk Rock Trivial Pursuit with other, and then headed back to the venue. I've often thought of Andy as a kind of punk rock encyclopedia, but Atle was pretty impressive himself.

The first thing that hit me when we got back to the club was how young everybody was there. I mean, we had the idea earlier on that the crowd would be kind of young, since it's an all ages set up, but shit, I felt fucking old! The average age of the kids there must have been around 15. And the booze seemed to be flowing out of the bar...I wasn't sure how this was gonna work out. I was assured though that the older crowd always come later on, which proved to be true.

Anyway, Mörkt Kapitel played and I thought they were great. I didn't really know what to expect from them but was really put in the mood to play whilst watching them. They sounded a bit like earlier His Hero Is Gone, but a little bit darker and more epic sounding. Me and Jon were really into it.

So, as I had expected, by the time we were ready to go on and play, the young, young audience were generally fucking steaming!! When did I get so old really? I know 31 isn't really that old, but most of the kids in that place probably though we were ancient...

Well we had a really good show anyway, and there were still plenty of people watching us, a lot of the older crowd had by now turned up. Obviously some "real" punk fans too, because about half way through the set, just as I brought my head up, I got cracked square in the forehead with a full can of beer. Fucking bulls eye! I played on, wondering what had hit me, trying to show whoever threw the thing at me that I wasn't bothered, making it through until the end of the song to see if there was any blood around. There wasn't, but I could already feel tomorrow's headache..

What the fuck is that about really? I know it's been going on since punk rock started, fans spitting at bands, trying to beat them up, throwing bottles at them, whilst seemingly loving the show! It's like, "Yeah I love this band, fuck ya!" I don't know, I guess these people think they are real punks, but it's not where I'm coming from. Maybe my ethics are different to some other peoples. To some, it still seems to be about having a stupid fucking mohawk and wearing the right clothes, and performing the right party pieces. Whatever, fuck it.

After the gig we hung out at the place for a while, by the merch table, meeting and talking to some friendly Trondheim punks. The merch was set up in a little side room that had some record and book stands. All punk and anarcho stuff. At some point, our friend Atle, brought me a cup of the apparently infamous "Trondheim Special". A mixture of black coffee and 96% proof moonshine! I trepidly supped a couple of times at it. At first it tasted ok, coffee with a bit of a kick to it, but as the cup emptied the drink's original black coffee colour, became more and more transparent. By the bottom of the cup, the thing was completely undrinkable. At least as far as this poncy Englishman was concerned. The Norwegians seemed to be happily chucking it down there throats though! Atle just gave me a wry smile and I thought to myself, no more of that thank you very much. Until I attempted another cup about a half hour later, but with much the same results..

One young girl in particular, must have had a few cups. We found her lying outside the back door, sleeping in the freezing cold. We pulled her inside. She was completely out of it. We got her in and she seemed to shake herself around. She scurried off. Five minutes later we found her in the same spot again! This routine repeated itself another two times before she was finally taken care of by Alte, who I think got her some real help. She was probably no more than 15. I guess I've been there myself a few times. I guess most of us have.

After hanging out some more with the local punk people, and then a failed attempt at an after party in Trondheim's apparent equivalent to Kristiania, we found ourselves back at Atle's place, at 4am, drinking some more beers and listening to some more punk rock records. The conversation went from talking about punk rock to deeper subjects, as it normally does at that time of the morning and with all that booze in your system. It was pretty cosy though. He has a really nice place with a view over the bay. When the bottles of Fernet and Jägermeister came out I hastily bade farewell for the night and went to bed. Jon and Andy stayed up with Atle to what I assume was long into the approaching morning..

The next day we spent walking around the beautiful city of Trondheim. I was here last year touring with Mary Gauthier and I remember from that occasion how amazing the cathedral was. I was as taken aback by it this time around. The sight of the of the outer western wall with all the carvings and scultptures adorning it is spectacular.

And it's as impressive inside, which is dominated by the huge, circular stained glass windown that sits in the centre of the western wall, as well as the two gigantic pipe organs. It's a real must see for anyone visiting this part of the world.

Anyway, from there we walked around for a while, taking refuge from the cold in the form of an english pub and it's pool table. After that and then an extraordinarily expensive pizza we headed back to the club and then on to the airport.

So that was our last show with Victims for 2009. Our next shows will be with Municipal Waste for 3 weeks on a european tour, starting January 18th. Until then we'll be back to writing the new record and getting on with our normal jobs.

Next up for me is some recording with my other band Battle of Santiago. I'll be putting down some guitar tracks for a joint recording with playwrite/poet Stig Larsson. Not to be confused with the dead guy who wrote the books that became the films, but a legend in his own circles and indeed in our eyes. He wrote the script to the newly released film, Metropia. Check it out! Anwyway, we've recorded some instrumental tracks that will accompany four of his readings. We'll be releasing this sometime next year as a prelude to our first full length album. We should be out performing live with Stig at some point too.

Also, Oystein from Mörkt Kapitel has a great indie record label that is releasing some awesome bands. Check it out at:

And Atle's distro website is currently down, but when it's back up I will put a link on here to it. He's got a lot of great punk records there.

P.S. I've still got a fucking purple mark on my forehead...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fuck the police!

I just got home after what turned out to be a pretty interesting weekend with Victims and our friends Regimes, culminating in what turned out to be a very fucked up gig last night at Utkanten in Malmö...

We started off on Thursday at Kafe 44 in Stockholm. We had a pretty good show and the turn out was ok. Regimes played a set of mostly new stuff and the new songs were really great! They've changed their sound quite a bit since we last played with them in the UK and Mad John was then on guitar. The sound is quite a bit looser with some nice d-beat parts thrown in here and there. They played hard and most of the crust crowd seemed to be into them. We had a pretty good show too, considering it was the first show in a while. A normal night at Kafe 44 with a bunch of friends in the crowd. Good start.

We played the next night at a wonderful punk rock collective space called Truckstop Alaska. We were shown amazing hospitality and we also had the pleasure of playing with We Live in Trenches. Regimes were great again and after watching Trenches I was completely buzzing and ready to play a great show. I go up onstage to sort some stuff out only to find David Sandström on stage and a bunch of other guys. I quickly figure out the rumour I heard earlier that AC4 were gonna come down after their show at Sticky Fingers and play an impromptu set had turned out to be true.

Unfortunately, they fucking sucked! It becomes quickly apparent that they are pretty fucked up, except for Dennis of course, who doesn't drink. They start off by announcing that they are Sweden's best band, which although I'm sure is meant to be tongue in cheek arrogance, only makes most of the crowd cringe. And it just gets worse with what follows. The first three songs just seem to fall apart about half way through. The guitarist is particularly drunk. Dennis and David try their best to talk/joke/dance their way around the situation. It just doesn't get any better. They painfully attempt to get through another couple of songs and eventually Dennis gets of stage. What really starts to piss me off though is that the rest of the band, instead of quickly following Dennis off, hang around on stage playing a really crap, one riff jam. Bloody Kev is, by this point, filled with rage and shouting the word "cunts" in their direction, wanting to get up on stage and kick off. The crowd seem to be thinning out and yet still they carry on. It's just pretty disrespectful and their rock star attitude doesn't go down too well at the Truckstop Alaska. Seems to me like they could have showed everyone a little more respect..I'm so grateful to our drummer Andy after the show when Sandström hugs him and tells him he thought our gig was awesome, to which Andy replies that he wished he could say the same to him, but he can't. Sandström looked a bit taken aback by that. I guess he's used to people kissing his ass because he used to play in Refused.

Anyway, thankfully the rest of AC4 eventually leave the stage and we get up there and the crowd haven't gone too far. Jon starts the show by announcing to the crowd that the venue we are playing in is the best thing that has happened to Göteborg since Union Carbide Productions and thanks everyone for having us, and the warm atmosphere that was there during the Trenches set returns.

The gig is great and the crowd gets in to it in a big way. It's pretty packed and we have a good time. Apart from Jon breaking a string in the first song, me snapping a tuning head off my guitar on my leg during the second song and one over excited guy down the front who keeps trying to play my guitar for me and then eventually looks at me and presses down on my tuning pedal, causing my guitar sound to turn off and causing me to kick him in the chest, the gig goes really well! And we have a great time after the show and stay up late into the night.

The guy who I kicked comes up to me later on and apologises, saying he thought he was only turning my distortion pedal off! What? He turns out to be a big Speedhorn fan, surprise surfuckingprise! I eventually forgive him when he tells me that he thought our last album, "Before the Sea Was Built" was by far our best album..I shouldn't have kicked him I guess, I was just a bit annoyed with my guitar being broke and he just fucked around at the wrong time. Luckily for me he didn't retaliate as he could no doubt have kicked the fuck out of me if he so wished too.

Anyway, after a great night, we wake up at the Truckstop Alaska, grab some coffee, load the van and head to Malmö to play the show at Utkanten...

Thanks to the fucking pigs we never to get to play the show.

I've seriously never seen such a pathetic and embarrassing show of of police intimidation tactics in my life! The club is a closed membership collective, ran by anti-racist, anti-sexist left wing punks. When you have a membership-only gathering, there is absolutely nothing illegal about some bands playing and people purchasing beer whilst doing it. As far I understand anyway.

That doesn't stop the police battering the door in around 30 minutes after the club opens. We are literally around 30 people inside (including band members and club helpers), drinking coffee and having a chat. Suddenly the music turns off and around 10 or so cops come barging into the building shouting and kicking. I think at first that it's a joke and some punk has dressed up in a police riot uniform. After a couple of minutes we realise it's the actual pigs! We're sitting there quietly waiting for an explanation on what's going on. More and more cops enter the building. Whilst everyone is still quiet and sitting down a gang of around 10 of these idiots come in running in, in tight formation with full riot gear, shields, batons, the lot. They're screaming really loud at what turns out to be pretty much nobody and they pull up, looking almost embarrassed.

So we're still waiting to find out exactly what is going on and there are yet more cops coming in through the doors. They seem to take positions around the building, blocking off exits and trapping us in. Not that anyone has attempted to go anywhere. Eventually, after one of them receives some sort of signal on his radio, they start taking off their helmets, although they leave there masks on.

At this point we just get back on with our conversation. Kev's telling us about the different times he has seen this sort of thing down the years and we're all and recounting old tour stories, doing our best to act completely oblivious to the cop presence. We actually have a laugh at them. I mean for fuck sake, by this point they have one of their idiots walking round the building with a video camera filming people. Another one of them is randomly taking pictures of people on a small digital camera. It's just ridiculously over the top. And not once do they offer an explanation. They eventually start interrogating everyone in the place and offering the reason that they are there on alcohol law authorities. It just doesn't quite fit. They've got sniffer dogs running round, they're taking computers out of the building, they have the fire brigade there checking regulations. It just wreaks of bullshit!

It turns out they even have an undercover cop there who keeps his mask on the whole time, long after the rest have started showing their faces, since he's obviously been hanging out at the club before. I mean that's pretty heavy stuff surely!

After telling one of the nice, friendly, older lady cops they've since brought in to interview people, what I'm doing there, the name of my band and bollocks, bollocks, bollocks, they allow me to leave. Although they can't tell me whether I'm allowed to take my equipment or other personal stuff. I just have to go outside and stand in the cold with the others who have finished being interrogated.

When I get out I see they have around 9 police riot vans outside. There are a bunch of punk kids hanging out who would have obviously been coming to the show. We're all just waiting around to find out what's going on. What's sure by this point is that there will be no gig.

I meet Andy our drummer outside and we stand there having a chat. One of the cops asks us where we're from, just trying to create some small talk it seems, only to then act suspicious of us when we tell him we're from Stockholm and in Malmö "just to play a gig". He can't seem to get his head around that. What planet are these guys from really?

The rest of the band and club members eventually come out and we get in the van and head off to meet up with Jona, the Fy Fan singer, who's place we're gonna stay at. We drop our stuff off at his place and head to Sista Sekunden Dempe's tattoo studio and have a few beers with those guys and a few others from Utkanten who have straggled down there.

We discuss the nights somewhat dramatic events and come to the logical conclusion that the main reason behind this shit has to be tied in with the planned protests for the G20 summit in Copenhagen next week.

Looking back I'm glad that the cops chose to turn up so early and not later on during the night when the club would have been full up with drunk anarcho punks. I'm sure then the cops would have gotten to put their fucking riot gear to use and would not have been as disappointed as they so obviously were, when all they were confronted with was a handful of people drinking coffee and eating cinnamon buns...

I'm not personally big on Police Hate, or any other kind of hate to be honest. I just love the music I play and have a great respect for the people that are involved in the scene, without whom places like Kafe 44, Truckstop Alaska and Utkanten wouldn't exist.

This particular night the cops may have just made a big enough effort to sway me a little more towards the active anarchist ethic. Or maybe not. But as I looked at one particular cop during the raid, who was blocking the doorway to the toilet as we sat there wondering what the fuck was going on, I happened to notice an old punk rock poster on the wall behind him. The slogan at the bottom of the poster read in big bold letters "FUCK THE POLICE".

Too fucking right!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Interesting people you meet working in a bar...

I work in a really small bar on Södermalm. It's in the "so called" Sofo area although that title really isn't working for anyone...

...anyway. It's a cosy little bar. Very music orientated, lp's on the wall, record player behind the bar, that kind of thing. I normally work during the week and the clientele on those days are pretty much our regular customers, with whom many an interesting conversation is often struck up.

A great example of this occured on Monday night just gone. There is this older guy who started coming in to the bar about a month ago. He always comes on his own, stands at the bar and reads his newspaper. As time goes by the routine becomes that he'll come in, give you a nod, order a beer and then quietly get in to his daily read. He has a friendly face and it gets to the point where, after a few weeks, you feel like you have to strike up some small talk. Especially on a quiet night like Monday just passed.

So that's what I did. And people sometimes turn out to have the most fascinating lives. Tor Björn, the guy who's name I now know to be, had recently quit his job as a consultant, working for some faceless company just outside of Stockholm. He'd grown tired of it and felt like he needed a break from it. I asked him what he wanted to do after he'd had sufficient time off and he told me he'd like to get back to doing what he did for years previously. That turned out to be that he toured with a vocal choir all over the world. I understand it that he was some kind of production guy for it as well as being part of the choir. Kinda the last thing I was expecting!

From there we got to talking about and sharing experiences of touring the States, about Russia where he did a production in Murmansk for 4 weeks one time. I'm really fascinated with Russia and I'm desperate to go there one day, either playing or travelling as a tourist. He told me all about his journey on the Trans Siberian Railway and other places he'd been too, like Africa and China..a whole load of places. My normally dull last couple of hours waiting to close on a Monday night flew by over cups of coffee and chat with Tor Björn. I just found the whole thing really interesting. I see people come and go out of the bar all the time, and the ones who normally keep to themselves I often find myself wondering about who they are and what their lives are like. I'm glad I asked Tor Björn about his..

On the flip side. Tonight two younger guys came into the bar who obviously thought they were very interesting and probably a bit arty, when in fact they were a pair of wankers!

In hindsight they seemed to be performing some sort of social experiment. They were both dressed in long trench coats, panama hats and sunglasses. My friend Linus, who was working in the bar with me, wanted them to take their shades off so he could see their eyes and judge whether they were sober. They weren't. Well one of them wasn't, the other was just plain fucked up. He had these huge goofy teeth which made us wonder if he was handicapped. We couldn't understand a word he was saying. On top of this, now and then he had drool dripping down from his mouth on to the bar. The four of us stood there staring at each other in silence whilst the rest of the customers looked on. For a moment I did think he was disabled, but there was something not quite adding up. The other guy started whispering to Goofy and cuddling him, telling him it was alright. We were in a bit of a shit situation because it was like, fuck, is this guy disabled or just really drunk or drugged up. You don't want to get into that...anyway, it all got too weird, they got asked to leave and then Serious Guy gets all threatening with Linus saying he'll be back. Whatever. We seen them later wondering about the other bars on the street and getting kicked out from each one.

Later on I looked up to see them heading back through the door and just happened to notice Goofy putting fake teeth back into his mouth.

I wonder if they were making some sort of film study...I think Serious Guy mentioned something about a camera at one point...will be interesting to see if they turn up on Youtube I guess.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

For a start...

Victims are playing three shows in Sweden next weekend with our good friends from the UK, Regimes. As well as Axe in Stockholm, We Live in Trenches in Göteborg and Pyramido in Malmö, who of course are all great!

My very good friend Bloody Kev sings in Regimes. He sang with Speedhorn for the final three years of the bands existence. Probably the best three years we had as a band, from a personal point of view...

Anyway, here is the flyer for the shows..