Saturday, January 31, 2015


We were on the seven am flight to London, meaning Johan was coming for me at four-forty five.  I sometimes wonder what I’m doing with all this.  In fact, I constantly wonder what I’m doing with all this. There hasn’t been much sleep these last few nights, I’ve been up late writing a reportage on suicide in Sweden which has to be handed in by Monday, and given the fact I’m fucking off to England with Victims for the weekend I had to get it done before we left.  I was lying in bed last night around midnight, thinking about the fact that I’m in for another night of less than five hours sleep, the third in a row, and how shit I’m going to feel by Sunday after three nights of kipping on various floors.  Still, the shows should be good.

I didn’t feel too bad as I sat in Johan’s car as we drove out to Arlanda.  Weather was shite though, the dark sky emptying it’s clouds upon us.  I hope it’s better in England.  The airport was pretty dead, we were straight through without any hassle.  Nothing worse than queuing at airports whilst keeping a nervous eye on the clock.  I felt bad for this one poor sap that had missed his flight.  We were sat at café in the departure lounge next to a gate that had just closed it’s flight to Helsinki.  This young suit turns up looking flushed, totally baffled by the fact the gate is closed five minutes before his flight is due to lift.  He stands there scanning the vicinity looking for anyone to offer an explanation.  Jon mutters “good luck mate” on a few occasions, obviously finding the episode pretty amusing.  The suit ends up asking the people working behind the counter at the café if they can call someone from personnel to the gate.  What the fuck does he think that’s going to achieve?

Our flight is smooth, something I’m always extremely grateful for.  I seem to get worse at handling the turbulence with age, or maybe it’s the whole being a dad thing the different perspective on your own mortality that having a small child at home gives you.  The plane is half empty anyway so after taking a couple of obligatory snaps of the guys sleeping and sharing them on Instagram I find myself an empty row of seats to sleep on.  I catch maybe a half hour or so.  When I come to I notice a middle aged couple sat across the aisle from me, passionately petting.  The guy, this Mediterranean looking old boy with a pencil moustache and a comb-over that consists of a few oiled strands of hair, he looks kind of like Poirot with a tan, catches my eye whilst he’s stroking his ladies face and putting his tongue into her cake hole.  Feels awkward.  I head back to Jon.

We get to Gatwick about a half hour ahead of Karl who’s picking us up, so we head for some coffee and watch the world go by for a bit.  I was thinking Karl was bringing the van but it turns out he’s in his car.  As we’re walking towards it pushing three trolleys of gear I wonder how the fuck everything is going to fit, I look back at Johan who is smiling through the doubt.  Somehow we squeeze it all in though and we head off to Deptford.  It’s great seeing Karl again, the whole basis of this trip is his 40th. birthday bash we’re playing in London on Saturday.  Since we’re here anyway we thought we may as well make a weekend of it so we’re playing three shows with Disculpe.  Will be weird travelling with Kev and playing in different bands. We sit in the car and talk about sociology almost the whole way to Deptford, being a lecturer in the subject I’m studying he was interested in how it was going for me in school.  I love listening to Karl talk about this stuff, always got a lot of interesting things to say.  We arrive in Deptford and chill out at the Waiting Room for an hour or so, drinking numerous cups of their fine coffee and munching on veggie bagels.  Fucking wonderful.

Jamie and Kev turn up with the hire van, a brand new Mercedes Sprinter, and we head round to Marv’s practice studio to load in the gear.  We joke about how this will do nothing to dismiss the image of us being rock stars that places like Köpi have of us.  The drive to Bristol takes a few hours, half of which is spent travelling through London.  Still, rather see that than the misery of the M25.  The journey is pretty uneventful bar the constantly changing weather.  One minute the sun is out the next it’s snowing.  When we stop at a services for some snacks I note how raw it is. Raw in the way on England can be.

The venue in Bristol is tiny.  It’s this little rough and ready pub called the Red Lion in one of the city’s suburbs that has a carpeted side room that probably hold surely hold no more than fifty comfortably.  Kev tells me he saw Infernoh and Nomad here a while back and it was insane.  The PA fell on Wayne’s head apparently, much to Kev’s amusement.  Hoping for more of the same tonight.  It’s already dark when we arrive but welcomingly enough the air is not as biting now.  I haven’t got a sleeping bag with me, apart from the stupid big blue jacket I have on my back, so I’m hoping that Flash, the promoter’s house, has it’s pipes on the inside.  Otherwise I’m in for a rough night.  Or a very pissed one.

There is a Belgian band called Link playing these shows too, they’re waiting when we arrive.  Seem like good guys.  You can tell just by looking at them that they play epic crust ala Tragedy.  We’re all sharing gear anyway which makes the night a lot easier.  We get loaded in and I’m eyeing up the bar that seems to have an okay selection of ales but until I get some grub in me I can’t partake.  Luckily there is a Chinese chippy right next door which takes care of that little conundrum.  Chips down the hatch I head to the bar.  Pint of Staro to wash the salt down.

Flash turns up once he’s finished work, carrying with him a huge IKEA plastic container box, within it about fifty pints of punk stew sloshing around.  Even though I’m satisfied after the chips I feel it rude not to eat the free food.  It tastes like ash, or bonfire, as Kev remarks, but somehow it’s quite compelling and I nosh it down.   The punks are slowly filtering in as the first band goes on, some young guys playing a mesh of all kinds of manic stuff, a bit all over the place but they were okay.  I get talking to Nicky Nailbomb who plays drums in Disculpe.  Never met him before, funny really since he’s been a part of the scene for years.  He’s a funny guy.  Looks like a cheeky little builder, always got a sly smile on his coupon.  “I tell you wot Gaz, I get omesick if I’m gone for more than a day.  I facking lav Southend!” he laughs, but I can tell he’s not joking.  I like Nicky Nailbomb immediately.

I have to laugh, whilst the first band is playing, me, Nicky, Karl, Johan and Andy, the punk rock dads, are all sat around showing each other pictures of our kids, lots of “Aaaaaah”ing going on.  I look over at Jon who sat in a leather armchair in front of the fireplace in the bar, Arthur Daily sheepskin jacket on, lightly snoozing. Brilliant.

Disculpe play next.  I’ve been really looking forward to seeing them.  Really fun to see Alec back in a band again.  They don’t disappoint either.  The sound is great too, not rip-your-face-off loud but loud enough and you can hear everything really clearly.  Kev plays bass pretty well too, he’s definitely improving.  Me, Johan and Andy stand in the tiny room with about forty others the three of us cracking up every time Kev pushes his glasses back up his nose between riffs.  But yeah, they were great.  One of the best bands these guys have done for a while.  Fun watching Nicky play drums too, he has this weird backwards hands style, kind of like Andy’s feet.

I don’t see much of Link but there are plenty in the room watching them, and I can see a little through the hole in the wall behind the bar.  The old barmaid woman comes up to me asking if there’s any free merch for the barstaff, as in herself.  Cheeky move really but what the hell, I help her out.  She’s definitely at it though.  I ask her what size and she’s all, “Ooooh I dunno, what size do you think I am?”  Jesus… I’m not playing the game though.  “Large?” I hazard a guess.  “Cheeky bugger!” she replies.  I sort her out with the shirt and move along.  A while later she’s at it with the Disculpe lot.  Kev is only too happy to help.  “What size do you think I am?” again.. “You look like an extra small to me love, come on, lets sort ya owt!” he says, grabbing her by the arm and whisking her away.

I get talking to Nicky again who is telling me he thinks the band name is rubbish.  “It’s like, Spanish for “excuse me” or summit.  Bloody stupid name.  Everyone’s taking the piss, saying we’re polite punks.”  Nicky’s other band that he has together with Mad John is called Nasty Bastard.  So I guess he has both ends of the spectrum covered.

We go on around eleven thirty, Link obviously playing for a good forty minutes or so.  Goes with epic crust territory I guess.  It takes us a while to get going since Andy’s drum pedal seems to be fucked.  After ten minutes or so we’re set though, but chasing time since there’s a curfew set at midnight.  Flash is doing the sound so he’s keeping a check on us.  It’s a pretty good gig anyway.  It’s not crazy rammed but the room is full enough.  I have some issues with my lead that I eventually have to change, Jamie coming to my rescue as always, but amazingly I don’t break any strings.  It feels like a very typical “first show” on tour.  There’s plenty of energy being put in but it takes it’s toll.  It’s tight enough although I do miss the start of Circles, thinking we were playing something else.  I feel pretty cack by the last block.  Totally knackered.  Lack of sleep taking it’s toll.  The crowd gets more enthusiastic as the set rolls on though and by the time we’re onto Scars the place starts to erupt.  Karl is down front, singing along.  Always makes me smile to see him in there having a good time.

I find Kev and Alec at the bar after the show.  Both pretty pissed.  Kev’s got that look in his eye, like he’s out to wind everyone up.  “It got better towards the end dinit?  When you started playing the old songs that people actually like.”  Cheeky cunt.  We sell a good lot of merch though, surprisingly so.  You can never bank on selling much to the UK punks.  There’s a good hang out at the bar, although I’m feeling a bit drained.  I look over at Alec at one point who is wearing Jon’s jacket and doing impressions of Arthur Daley shouting at people.  Kev is going mad because he’s heard that Peter Sutclifffe’s nephew is in the place, and he’s trying to track him down.  He keeps telling everyone about it like it’s the best thing he’s ever heard. Apparently Sutcliffe’s nephew sings in some punk band down here.  Kev’s never heard them but they’re already his favourite band.

I’ve only managed to battle through one bottle of beer when Flash comes around looking to start the process of shipping us back to his house where we’re staying.  He’s bought a load of beer in and wants to get back. I’m only too happy to oblige.  Me, Karl, Alec, Jon and Kev take the first ride.  When we get back Kev tells me he’s got a few extra sleeping bags with him, so I’m out of having to sleep in my jacket, which is nice. Flash has bought a crate of lager and another of cider from Lidl, I opt for the Taurus cider.  Jon is flying into the Gallahad Lager.  His bloated little eyes alight with glee. Before long everyone is back and accounted for, except for Jamie, who was last seen chatting to some girl at the bar.  Flash, being the gent he is makes a third trip back to pick him up.  Kev starts cursing Jamie, going on about how he’s always in there with the birds.
Jamie not being here yet though, his pissed eyes turn to me and he starts giving me shit.  Fuck knows what he’s going about, we just laugh the old sod’s drunken ramblings off.  When Flash gets back with Jamie Kev starts back on him again.  Flash tells Alec to put an LP on which causes Alec some panic, he claims he doesn’t know how to work a record player and he’s not the man to be charged with this task.  He’s as pissed as Kev.  He’s soon asleep and we’re taking pictures of him.

The Link guys are sleeping here tonight too, there’s plenty of rooms to choose from though.  We all sit around in the dining room for a good while, chewing on Taurus Cider, chatting away with Flash and his girlfriend and playing with their dog Skit, I’m guessing he’s named after Skitsystem.  We gradually emigrate to the kitchen as people start to drop off one by one.  I’m up for a while longer, Kev still giving me shit, at least I think he’s looking at me.  We end up drinking some David Beckham single malt whiskey, although for the life of me I can’t work out what Beckham’s got to do with it.  Tastes alright anyway.  At three-thirty Andy and I decide to call it a night, we’ve been up for almost twenty four hours now, not bad for a pair of dads.  Flash points us in the direction of the back room upstairs which has a sofa bed in it.  I go looking for one of Kev’s sleeping bags but not being able to work out which one of the three light switches will light the hallway, I paw away at all of them and end up starting a bit of a disco on the living room where a few of the guys are already sleeping.  Flash tells me he has some other sleeping bags upstairs and I gladly head up there and crash out on the small double sofa bed with Andy beside me.  It's a bit tight but it's warm.  Fucking knackeredm I'm out like a light.  

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Paddan (The Toad)

It's been suggested to me before that my memory for fine detail when recounting stories borders on the autistic. Whilst I'm not sure if that's true, I have always liked to spin a good tale though and I've always found myself able to relive the event in my head via a series of mental images ingrained in the old nugget. The good stuff just stays with you. How then I missed this particular detail from the DB show at The Liffey is beyond me.

My friend, Paddan, the tool who was giving everyone hassle for not being punk enough, it seems wasn't quite done after the DB set, despite coming close to getting his head kicked in by the angry Goliath he was pushing around whilst we played.. No, there was more to come and fuck knows how, but I missed it. I guess I was too busy enjoying the Una Bestia set and pulling my shoulder in the process.

Erik, our good friend who also plays in Battle of Santiago with me and Paddan, got in touch with me yesterday and gave me this little snippet of gold that I thought I'd add as a footnote to the tour diary. I'll translate to English for the sake of the wider audience:

"Yo! Just read about the Liffey gig on your blog. Haha. Paddan. I was expecting you to mention when he tried to offer the singer (Una Bestia) a bit of hasch to eat on stage, right in the middle of the gig, and then tried to stage dive, backwards, and broke his rib. Fucking maniac! Haha, well written as usual though. Speak later!"

I could barely believe I had missed such a crucial detail. I texted him back to double check he was referring to the same gig.

"Right in the middle of the gig! On stage! He fucking tried to feed him a bit of hasch and the singer, with a mixture of surprise and fear in his eyes pushed him away. Then he dived down into the floor. Broken rib and cut the back of his head. Hit the post and out! Haha!"

Well Paddan, this one's for you mate. You are a true legend.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Stockholm (The Liffey)

Two Stockholm shows in a row.  This is starting to become something of a habit.  We weren’t really looking for another gig for DB this year, in fact only a couple of weeks ago Kev had been in touch asking if we were going to be playing any more this year since he had to sort his work schedule out at the café.  I’d answered him with a resounding “No”, thinking we’d spend the next little while writing the next record and getting it recorded.   And then I went to the Brainbombs show with Viktor and Lucas and our friend Geraldine who was putting that show on asked us if we wanted to play with Una Bestia Incontrolable…I texted Kev immediately and asked if he was up for up and he replied the next day saying he’d booked a flight.  So it can go.  The Brainbombs show was outstanding by the way…

I really wasn’t arsed about playing Stockholm right now and it’s not something we put a lot of energy into making happen, but the strange thing is that since the band formed in 2012 we’ve happened to play an annual November gig.  It’s purely coincidental but now we’ll probably have to continue the tradition.  Anyway, we were all really chuffed to be playing a show with UBI, one of the best bands to come out of the scene in recent times, for me their LP was one of the albums of last year.  Adrian Fy Fan had actually asked us if we wanted to play a show with them in Umeå the day after Stockholm but unfortunately it had too much going against it, Kev’s return flight for one thing.  Shame, would have been great.  Anyway, Vik and Luk had raved about the UBI show at K-Town Fest this year so tonight came with a lot of expectation.  At least, their set did.  I had a bad feeling how the turnout was going to be.  I hadn’t seen a poster for the show anywhere.

I was pretty fucking stressed getting to the show tonight.  I took the train home from school, picked Polly up from nursery, went into town with her to meet Jen who was taking her out to her Gran’s.  After I dropped her off at Södra Station I got back on the bus to Skanstull, only to realise that I still had Polly’s bag on my back, jumped off the bus, tried to call Jen to stop her getting on the suburb train, phone battery dying a limp and pathetic death as always, make it back to the station, drop bag off, back on bus and then tube home, pick up car and head back to town with the gear.  Kev had flown in with Vik’s girlfriend Bea from London, I felt bad when I got out of the car and Kev gave me a hug asking how I was, obviously looking forward to the gig tonight, and all I could come back with was a pissed off, “Stressed.”  Still, I had to take the car back home again and then return on the fucking train, again, and whilst I’m lugging the gear about the others are all getting ready to tuck into a pint.  One of those classic martyr moments when you insist it’s ok, don’t worry about it, stay and have your pint, and then you drive off murmuring how they’re all a bunch of wankers under your breath.  That’s band life.  And to be fair, Luk got an attack of conscience and asked if I wanted company, and of course I said it’s ok, don’t worry about it.  This time a little more sincerely.

By the time I get back to the the venue in Gamla Stan the stress has dispersed and all I really give a fuck about is getting my lips on a cold beer.  Mood reset to normal again.  I meet G and she gives me the heads up on the gig tonight.  It’s a bit of a mess.  Per, who booked the show is on tour with Sex Dwarf in the States and G’s hand is fucked so her correspondence has been somewhat hindered of late.  Her boyfriend Jocke is on his way to the airport to pick up the Spaniards but there is a lot of confusion over where the money is coming from for the bands.  The venue is run by the club Pussy A Go Go who G and Per hire from once a month but apparently they’ve gotten pretty tight on the money and won’t let them even handle the door, instead placing one of their own there.  Upshot of it is that we probably won’t be getting paid tonight.  To be honest, I don’t really care too much.  Kev’s flight was cheap and he’s not arsed, he never is, and we’re just happy to play the show.  It’s different if you’re on tour and relying on getting some petty money.  At the very least..

After a pint we set up the merch and then tuck into some food provided by the venue, spring rolls and French fries with hamburger dressing.  Pretty fucking cack if the truth’s told.   We end up soundchecking afterwards on the insistence of the sound engineer who has nothing to do whilst he waits for UBI. Someone has to do it I guess.  Soundcheck is always a pain in the ass, at least we always treat it that way, but it kind of hits me that maybe we should give ourselves a shake and actually attempt a good sound for once.  Act like professionals and all that carry on.  It sounds really fucking great on stage during the check too!  Feels totally worthwhile doing if for nothing else than giving you that buzz before the show.  Nice to go on stage knowing you’re going to hear everything really well, unless the mystical sound shifter appears between soundcheck and gig time of course.

The UBI guys turn up shortly afterwards and we get talking to them.  They seem like a good bunch of guys.  Vik has met them before out on the road with Nitad.  They’re in the hunt for some equipment since some stuff got left at the airport, of course we’re only too happy to help out.  I notice Vik is a little cautious about his cymbals though, nervously laughing, explaining to G that his cymbals are crap but if the UBI drummer wants to lend them he can.  G thanks us and rushes back off.  Vik turns to me, “The drummer is a fucking beast!”  Mattis, Poffen and the other Makabert Fynd guys are here too, they’re playing in the middle of the bill, and they end up lending the drum gear whilst we sort out the amps and leads.

It’s pretty chilled now.  We’re just sat around supping on a couple of plastic bottled beers provided by the venue and chatting.  The stress of earlier now completely washed away.  Jen is coming with Vera in a while, as are some other friends including a couple of girls from school, so I don’t want to go on before they, or at least somebody, gets here.  It’s the usual Stockholm bullshit, you tell everyone you start at nine, they turn up at ten.  The show gets pushed back.  Everyone knows how it works in this fucking city.  Stockholm is famous for it.  Gets on my fucking tits.  Andy Victims was supposed to be playing records tonight too but both of his kids have turned in sick so he had to cancel, although he’s still hoping to make it for the show.  My friends from school, Maya and Madde turn up just before nine, grinning, wide eyed and excited to see this world I’m part of.  It’s great to see them here.  They ask if we’re still on at nine.  Nine thirty I tell them…

Finally a few others start to arrive, Erik, Olle and Paddan from Battle of Santiago, as well as our friend Emil, and Jen and Vera arrive in time to see us play.  There are maybe forty people including bands in the place as we’re gearing up to go on.  We’ve sold a couple of shirts anyway, although we’re low on stock and demand outweighs supply.  The twat I am, I realise I’ve left a bag of shirts at home under the bed.. Maya buys a shirt, chuffed as fuck.  We’re stood there talking when Jen comes in.  I introduce them and when Jen goes off to the bar Maya asks if that’s my wife, I tell her yes.  “She’s really good looking!”  I laugh, asking her what did she expect.  Shortly after Lucas approaches.  Maya asks if he plays in my band.  I tell her that yes, he’s the bass player.  “He’s really good looking!”  I laugh, asking her did what she expect.

It’s time to go on and play.  Just starting the feedback up on the amp feels good.  The sound is still there.  Imagine if every show was this way, good sound on stage, sober, or not hungover at least.  There aren’t that many in the place but those who are have enough decency to come up to the stage.  We start with Hypnotic Eye, the slow song, and I find myself in amongst them, down on the floor.  We get to the end of the first block and the energy is good.  I feel fit and ready to blast this out for the next fifteen minutes.  Quick tune up, into the next couple of songs.  Before we get to the end of Good Strong Hand though, I feel a plastic beer bottle smack me in the chest.  I look up and my eyes are immediately drawn to a grinning Paddan, a head shaking Erik stood beside him.  Paddan.. He does this now and again.  It was the same when Erik’s other band, Mary’s Kids, played one time at Southside.  Paddan got fucked up and flew about the floor, annoying people, trying to get a mosh going and shouting about how punk he was and how everyone else in the building were wankers.  I can tell he’s on that trip now.  I hear later that at one point he grabs some big, leather jacketed guy by the arm semi-aggressively and tries to throw him into the non-existent mosh pit.  The guy politely tells him he’ll kick the fuck out of him if he doesn’t piss off.  Paddan apologises and slides back a step.  No more bottles from the tit, the rest of the show goes by without incident and by the end of the set there are a couple of punks starting to move, although Paddan is stood tentatively behind them.

The show felt great though, felt tight as fuck on stage, maybe the tightest we’ve ever played.  I’m pretty buzzed about it.  The amount of people in attendance often has little bearing on how much I enjoy the show.  I’ve played gigs in front of thousands going mad and had a subdued time on stage and I’ve played in front of ten and loved every second of it.  First and foremost it’s about my own release, my own escape.  If anyone else gets the same from it then that’s a bonus.  Maya and Madde come up to me as soon as we’re done, they’re both chuffed as fuck.  “My eyes have been opened!  I had no idea this kind of thing existed!” enthuses Maya.  “It was like some kind of art performance!  I loved it!” exclaims Madde.  I had a feeling they’d be a little shocked.  The me on stage is a pretty different entity to the quiet, reserved guy in class.  I was really glad they came down to hang out.

“It’s supposed to be a fucking punk show!” moans Paddan.  “What’s with everybody?”  We’ve been here before.  Paddan is pretty boats.  Erik is still shaking his head, although a sneaky grin is showing the first signs of cracking, calling Paddan a tosser.  I can tell Olle’s had a few too since he’s raving about the gig and going into detail over our set, pointing out the dynamics of the songs and the different elements we explore.  I laugh, “It was just a punk gig mate.”  Dynamic isn’t something DB often gets accused of.

Andy turned up just as we were playing the last riff of course, but to be honest, I’m just happy he’s made it out to see UBI.  We’re not important tonight.  I want Andy to see what should be one of the gigs of the year.  Andy and I are the two from Victims that still enthusiastically buy records and search out new bands in the punk scene and I wouldn’t want him to miss this.  It’s a shame Johan couldn’t make it though, I think he would have had a good time but it’s not as simple as just heading out to a show when you have a four month old at home.  He texted earlier on apologising for not being able to make it.  I know if anything that Johan would want to come out to support us, but it’s no big deal.  There will be other times and his baby boy is his priority.  There will be plenty of times for punk and beers later on.  I didn’t even bother asking Jon if he was coming, knowing he’d most likely be bowling.

As is so often the case when the sound on stage is great, I’m told, on this occasion by Jen, that the sound out front wasn’t the best.  Apparently the guitar was missing a lot.  It’s kind of a bummer for a minute, you want everyone else in the place to enjoy the same sound you have enjoyed yourself on stage, but I realise it doesn’t really matter.  It’s a small venue and those who were stood in front of the band probably got enough of the sound from the stage.  We had a good gig so fuck it.  Vik is chuffed anyway, he tells me the Avskum drummer came up to him after the show and was raving about it, saying we reminded him of Heresy in the eighties.  I’ll gladly take that.  Time for some more of the plastic bottled beer.

I don’t see much of Makabert, or “Mackaburt” as Kev pronounces it in his thick East Midlands accent.  I’m at the back talking to Andy and hanging out by the merch.  It’s true what Jen said though, from back here at least, the sound is a bit pants.  Not much at all in the way of guitar.  Still, they seem chuffed with the gig afterwards.  They always do.  I like the Makarbert guys.  Mattis puts a lot in to the scene, both through his label and his studio.  For someone who likes the booze as much as he does he’s a productive bloke.  All respect to him, he’s a genuine guy.  He’s got his distro here tonight and I pick up a Straight Jacket Nation album from him, but short on cash I ask him if he can save it for me.  He just tells me to take it and send him the money when I can.  No hassle.

So, it’s time for Una Bestia Incontrolable.  I haven’t been this buzzed about seeing a band since Brainbombs.  But before that it was quite a while… It hits you straight away.  These three regular looking chaps at the front of the stage and then this man mountain sat behind them.  He and the singer start the show off by attacking the kit whilst the guitarist and bassist kick into a monotonic, driving riff.  The singer on the floor tom, the Mountain blasting the rest of the kit.  I played with Gordon in Speedhorn for ten years and I didn’t think I’d see anyone hit the drums so hard again but I’ve never seen anything like this.  Every time the guy hit the cymbals I thought they were going to disintegrate.  It was quite a sight.  Vik looks over at me with an all knowing smile.  And from the first song they play, the forty or so people in the venue are down the front dancing away, a gaggle of raised fists and broad smiles.  Punk at it’s best.  I’m stood in the middle of it all, next to Andy, pumping my arm in the air to the continuous, almost tribal like thump of the drum kit when I feel a strain in a muscle somewhere.  Fuck sakes.  Feel like I’ve cricked my neck whilst dancing, if dancing is what you’d actually call it.  Ridiculous.

UBI play their set and before they even leave the stage everyone is shouting for more.  They come back on and play the Nou Mon from their latest seven inch, despite the fact they’re already played it once.  The singer bashfully explains that they don’t have any other songs.  Nobody cares.  We’re all happy just to keep them playing.  I look over at G, stood dancing whilst nursing a glass of red wine, at Vik and Luk down front pumping fists and singing along in an attempt at Catalan, at Andy beside me rocking back and forth on his heels.  It’s so fucking ace.  When they’re finally done, Andy turns round to me, “That was stupidly good!”  It’s not often he gets that psyched about bands these days.  It was stupidly good though, that’s a great way of putting it.

We hang out a little more by the merch after the show, but the party is dying slowly.  I think they want us out of here as soon as possible.  Bea is a bit sauced up and she seems to want to party, as does Vik’s mate Kalle.  Kalle is always smiling though so it’s hard to tell.  Saying that, he’s always wanting to party.  He’d seen our set earlier and said to Vik afterwards, “I don’t know what the fuck you guys are doing up there but it’s always a blast to watch!”  The lights in the venue gradually intensify and most of the small crowd have left before long.  G tells us that they’re going for drinks at a bar nearby and asks us to come.  She wants to show the UBI guys some Swedish hospitality and plus, she’s an old friend of Kev’s through the Bristol punk scene and wants to catch up.  Jen is heading home but being that Polly is at her Gran’s for the night, I’m up for it.

We grab one pint of something nice upstairs in the tacky Irish pub full of even tackier Brits and then we head along to Medusa, the rock bar on the edge of Gamla Stan where G has taken the guys.  This place really takes some beating.  You first walk into a tiny little bar which is all neon lights and horrible rock music like Rob Zombie, Machine Head et fucking al, but then beyond that is a labyrinth of dungeon like rooms with various bars, the music getting louder, but not any better, the further in you go.  The tap beer is poison, but it’s cheap.  Vik and Bea are stood over at the side by the door, already on the beer before I’ve realised what’s going on, Bea buzzing with that contagious smile of hers, Vik beside her, equally as chuffed.  G and the Una Bestia guys have found some weird little room which is basically a tiny balcony above some stairs with a couple of tables.  We all squeeze in, Andy’s long, spider like legs somehow finding space.

I don’t really remember much of what we’re talking about, just the usual I guess.  I’m sat next to the singer telling him the show was great but the humdrum of the bad metal seeping up from downstairs and the numbing effect of the beer makes it all a bit hazy.  Numbing.  It’s that effect rather than anything else the beer is giving me.  I don’t know what Kev has done to offend the girl sitting beside him and opposite me but she starts ripping into him, calling him silly, or boring, or something to that effect.  She’s pretty nasty with it, giving it large with the condescending tone.  I feel bad for Kev, he looks a little put out by it, although I can’t really make out what’s going on.  We sit there for another hour or so, another couple of trips down to the bar for a round of poison and then it’s time to head home.  I thank the guys for a great show and tell them I hope to see them around again at some point and make my way home.

Kev heads back to my place with me.  It’s around three thirty.  We get back and I make a pot of pasta, nothing but olive oil, sea salt and chili flakes to top it with.  At this hour it does the job though.  Kev had looked very doubtful as I was serving it up but he’s raving about it by the time he’s half way through.  “How does this taste so good?”  I guess at three thirty in the morning on a stomach full of beer most things pass as eatable.  We attempt a bit of TV but we’re both nodding off within minutes.  Time for bed.  I head to our bed where Jen has been sleeping for a few hours, Kev heads to Polly’s vacated room.  We’re up in the morning for practice, got to take advantage whilst Kev is in town.  We had agreed to meet at mid day.  I think maybe we’ll make it one.  Stockholm style.