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...


  1. I dont get this really. I have tried so hard to find anything about Mörkt Kapitel online or elsewhere. But its impossible! Can someone point me in the right direction? I know this is like.. 6 years ago. But this is all I could find online about that band no matter how much I searched google and youtube.