Thursday, January 28, 2010


Yesterday was spent, almost in its entirety, sitting on our arses in the van.

We were hoping to get into the club early and load out, so we could leave Hamburg by 10am at the latest, but that didn't happen. After banging on the door for roughly ten minutes, we gave in and headed to the nearest café to eat breakfast instead. Hopes of getting home at a reasonable hour and having an easy night on my sofa with Jenny and my dog Bonzo were pretty much fucked, as it was already 1pm by the time we eventually left.

Dave from Municipal had decided he wanted to travel to Stockholm with us so he would have the chance to check out our home city during the day tomorrow. Dave has quickly become a good friend of ours and it was fun to have someone else outside the band along for the ride. We chatted most of the way home and the long journey didn't feel to bad to be fair. I eventually walked through my door around 1.30am, my dog Bonzo, waiting at the door for me wagging his tail. Jenny had even made a pie. Funny home home life and tour life seperates itself the minute you walk through the door to the apartment.

A day at home today, re-charging the batteries, will prove to be incredibly valueable over the coming days, I am sure. We have around thirty hours of van time over the next two and a half days! A couple of nights in my own bed and a day spent hanging out with Bonzo was exactly what I needed.

We leave early tomorrow for Oslo. The weather forecast predicts a ton of snow tonight and the journey has the very real possibilty of being somewhat sketchy. The roads in Norway are not the best. From Oslo we head on the longest route of the tour. Whilst Municipal fly on to play a show in Bergen on Friday, we will be driving through the night and next day to catch a ferry from Calais to Dover on the Saturday morning, eventually arriving in Birmingham sometime Saturday afterrnoon, where we will meet back up with Municipal. I mean, Bergen Friday, Birmingham Saturday? I don't understand what map these booker people are looking at when they plan these we had to cancel the Bergen show but we can't afford the flight or the hassle of hiring a new van and equipment in the UK.

The show tonight was a strange experience. Home-town gigs are always a little weird, since a large portion of the crowd are usually friends. The rest of the guys in the band were all super nervous. It wasn't quite the same for me but I understood where they were coming from. What was weirdest for me was probably the fact that the show was at Debaser, where I worked behind the bar for almost five years, and I still have a lot friends who work here. Johan still works here so it may have been even weirder for him.

The show was really great though, as just about all of the shows on this tour have been. The place was packed by the time we went on, and even then there were still people piling in through the doors. I felt bad that our friends in Beast had played a little too early and should have played to more people than they did. It was fun watching Modde play in another band, I've only seen him with Nitad before. He had this great dance thing going on which was I was really digging. I was pumped for the show after watching them.

The crowd really seemed into the show. There were a lot of faces down the front I didn't recognise and a lot of faces of to the side and a little further back that I did. Everyone seemed to be smiling though. There was this one kid down the front who was so into it that he grabbed the mic stand away from Johan and sang a verse at one point, not bothering to put the mic band back in place. A while later he takes a running lunge at the stage and slams his fist down into my foot. The mood was so good though that the kid just cracked me up. Funny the things people do when music takes over. Funny how personal mood changes day to day as to how we react to some of the nonsense that goes on with crowds. I guess you get wound up a hell of a lot easier when you're short on sleep and constantly floating somewhere between hungover and pissed.

After the show I met up with a lot friends, although didn't really have much time speaking to any of them. I guess that's the way it is with home gigs. So many friends, so little time. Less fun was the on-going van problems. We'd apparently fixed it with the rental company that we'd be recieving a new van at the venue tonight. So we'd prepared the broken piece of shit we've had so far, so that all the stuff was ready to throw over into the new van. The guy was supposed to come with it about an hour before we were going to play, that obviously did not happen. He must have come at some point during the show. I checked with Ronnie after the gig and he told me that the new van had turned up and he'd taken care of the gear. He also warned me that the new van was way smaller than the last one we had. He wasn't fucking joking! How we were gonna pack this van later on was beyond anyone's guess.

Dave apparently had a very succesful day in town. The guys showed him around, he got tattoed, bought some dark ale that he loves, bought some cakes. He was glowing when I met him earlier this evening. One thing really cracked me up whilst we were packing our impossibly small van after the show. LG from Entombed was hanging around outside. I noticed Dave hovering behind him. He nervously crept up behind him and introduced himself, explaining he was a huge fan from way back. Funny picture. LG, stood there in his usual get-up, (painter's jeans, football manager jacket, wooly hat), looking a little confused whilst offering his hand back. Both these guys are legends in their own right, but Dave's humility speaks volumes about the kind of guy he is. Great scene.

We somehow packed the van. There is no room left for a sleeper's seat, as we previously had in the broken van. That's gonna be a killer on the guys driving over the next couple of nights. The new van is at least warm. You can't have everyting I guess.

Myself and Jenny shared a cab home with Jon and his girlfriend Ana not long after the van was sorted. Got home early, around 1am, and re-packed my bag in perperation for the second half of the tour. The guys are picking us up around 8am, we're gonna have to take it slow and careful on the road to Oslo. I hardly felt like sleeping as I lay in my own bed, it was nice just enjoying it while it lasted. The thought of spending the next two nights in the van are not the most appealing. I'm sure the shows will more than make it worthwhile though...

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