Monday, April 6, 2015


Wake up, head banging to the familiar beat of the drum.  It’s still early, too early.  I crawl out of bed, step over a girl who I think was with the Slovakians, who is lying on a mattress in the middle of the floor, and head back down the hallway for a piss, making sure to avoid the one with the piss puddle I stepped in last night.  I head back to bed, hoping the headache will be gone when I next awake.

It’s still there when my eyes open again, daylight now having invaded the room.  If anything the headache is worse.  The rest of the guys start to rise around me, the snoring blame game commencing.  Viktor assures us that no one is innocent.  I get up out of bed and the first thing I see is two pair of shoes sticking out from the bunk directly above.  Vik and Kev.. They look like a right pair of dog’s arses.  Make me feel better.  That and the horse tranquilizer pill Luc gives me.

I was sure there was a shower here somewhere but I’m fucked if I can find it this time around.  I give up and head to the dining room for breakfast.  The coffee is like a gift from the Gods.  We tuck into sandwiches and fruit and a couple of mugs of the black stuff and I’m halfway to feeling human again.  Time to pack out and get going, we have a five hour trip to Bremen and a stop at the border shop to make.  When we’re finished packing the van I notice Kev sat on the curb, staring bleakly into nothingness.  I ask him if he’s okay.  “I just did a poo and it made me feel worse.”  Poor Kev, he’d been looking forward to a shit, he hadn’t done one in a couple of days, most unusual for him.

We thank the guys from the house and head off.  It’s another sunny day on tour.  It takes a couple of hours to get down to the boat at Rödby, and then we have a wait for twenty minutes, quite nice just to stand around in the sun anyway, even if it’s blowing a little cold.  My neck is aching, it’s been a while since I’ve experienced the tour aches, bangover Kev calls it.  When you got sharp pains shooting out from all over it’s quite hard to imagine where you’re going to find the energy from for the next show but somehow you do.  Of course, the booze usually helps, gives with one hand during the night, takes with the other in the morning.  We get a crate of Tuborg in from the duty free shop on the short ferry ride over to Germany.  We treat ourselves to it out of the band money since we made okay in Stockholm but we’ll have to be careful with that, seems like a sensible bet leaving the cash with Luc.

When we get off the other side and head straight for the infamous Border Shop.  The Pyramido guys are brimming with excitement, Ronnie is handing out the warnings, putting a half hour limit on the stop.  We walk in and Dan Bass turns to Luc and asks him if he’s ever been here, Luc tells him that he hasn’t.  “Let me teach you everything I know” he says and then takes a sample shot of some minging booze they’re handing out.
I walk around with Viktor and Ronnie, laughing along as Viktor adds more and more bottles to those he already has clutched to his chest.  “Are you not buying anything Bloggy?” he asks me, I tell him that I’m not that great with the hard liquor, plus I think Luc is picking up a bottle with the band money.  Seems like I’ve got my new nickname for the tour, I seem to pick up a new one each time we go out.
We get back to the van and wait for the rest.  They arrive a little while later, a vast assortment of booze clinking along with them.  Luc laughs telling me Dan Bass had already had three free sample shots of different stuff before they even got off the first floor.  We’ve only got about ten minutes down the road before all six of the bottles have been opened and passed around, Kev now sat next to Dan being right in the firing line.  Total punishment for the fucker.  A bottle of Fernet is making its way across the back seat and Luc asks me if I want some, I fucking hate Fernet anyway so it’s not on the agenda but I tell him I’m going to drive in a bit anyway,  Luc stops with the bottle to his mouth with a look of horror on his face, “Me too”.  Not today you’re not mate.

The booze flows pretty much all the way to Bremen, the Pyramido guys fucking chuffed.  Dan and Kev seem to have found each other, they’re involved in deep conversation about Bremen hardcore from the Nineties as the bottles go back and forth, seems like they have a lot in common.  There is this one particularly nasty looking bottle of pineapple liqueur that Kev finds repulsive, says it tastes like Toilet Duck, “It’s refreshing” exclaims Dan.  The word “Refreshing” will be repeated many times during the next couple of hours.  At one point a Cockney Rejects song comes on the stereo which sends Stix into overdrive, the boy loves Oi.
I take over from Ronnie after a petrol stop.  As I pull out on to the motorway the guys in the back are all chanting, “Sprit, sprit, sprit, sprit!”  After a while and get in too chat with Dan Guitar and Henrik.  Really nice guys.  Turns out Henrik’s wife is from Brazil, adding to the tropical connection on this tour.  I hear Luc in the back, obviously disgusted by something he’s just swallowed.  “That’s horrible!”  “It’s not good, but it’s important” Dan Bass parps up.  We all piss ourselves laughing.  Dan is in fine form.  “Now now Bloggy, don’t write and drive”  Que laughter again.  Seems like the Border Shop was a great ice breaker.  This is going to be a fun few days.

It’s nice to be back in Bremen.  We’ve been here a few times and I really like this city, it’s a nice place.  What I like most about it though is my dear friend Stachel.  It’s been too long since we hung out.  It’s so fun that he’s putting the show on here tonight.  “Oi fuck off!” is the first thing I hear when I get out of the van, I look up and see that familiar smiling face sticking out of the kitchen window at the top of the house.  Nothing changes.

It’s raining as we load the gear in to the squat that is G 18.  Typical.  I really love this venue though, we played here with Victims a couple of years back and it was fucking insane.  There were around a hundred and fifty people packed into the tiny room that night, I’ll be happy if there are thirty in tonight, it will still look okay.  Kev has less fond memories of the place though, he shat himself on stage here with Hard to Swallow, back in ´96.  Fucking cacked himself first song and had to make his way to the bog which had no light bulb in the ceiling.  He only had the one pair of pants too, so he had to fashion a pair out of gaffa tape.  The thought of him wearing gaffa tape pants is one that has cheered me up on many an occasion.
It’s great to see Stachel again, he’s busy in the kitchen making dinner for us.  There is coffee and snacks ready for us though, fucking magic.  Viktor turns to me and says in Swedish, “He’s shorter than ever”.  The coffee hits the spot perfectly, and those little peanut puff things that Andy Victims loves so much ain’t exactly cat shit either.  Stachel tells me I need to eat the fruit and vegetables too though, good to see he’s concerned for my health.  He’s always concerned about me.  I’m like the son he never had.

We decide to skip soundcheck and let the first band take care of it, we’ll just line check before we play.  The guys from the first band are involved in putting the show on, the singer Tom is a super nice guy.  They seem pretty psyched about Pyramido playing.  I think it should be a good vibe at the gig tonight.  After dinner it’s time for the first beer of the night.  It goes down a treat.  Kev is looking a bit ropey though, think he’s a bit pissed from the van journey.  How the fuck Dan Bass is still in check I don’t know.  The fucker is still smiling though, which is more than I can say for Kev.  Grumpy Kev Viktor calls him.  “I’m gonna be doomed at this rate” Kev moans.

We sort out the sleeping places and then head downstairs to the little room with the fussball table in it where we’ll set the merch up.  The Fiske Fjäse or whatever it’s called, is out and about.  Tastes good.  Tonight feels like a night for a shot before the gig.  Dan Bass and Henrik head off for a bit of tourism whilst the rest hang out just talking shit and drinking.  Except Ronnie of course.  Viktor, who is now called Nitty, because of his fine knitted jumper, meaning we now have Stix and Nitty as the two drummers on tour, is sat in the corner enthusing about each bottle of booze we have with us.

Tom’s band Dregs, start up around ten, everyone except the drummer stood on the floor.  There isn’t much space for much more than the backline.  The volume in the small concrete room is fucking furious.  There are maybe forty or so in watching them, as well as us guys, it looks more than okay.  It’s not totally my kind of music, big bouldering riffs chugging along, but they do it really well.  Everyone in the place nodding along in unison to the wall of sound.

After Dregs it’s time for DB.  Just the right amount of booze in the system, I’m ready to go for it.  I really love floor shows, it’s the ultimate setting for a punk gig.  My amp is insanely loud in this room, the treble tearing into your eardrums no matter how much I fiddle with it.  Fuck it, let’s do this.
I have an absolute blast during the gig.  One of those where my feet have got their dancing shoes on.  It feels good to be playing with the guys from the other bands and Stachel, as well as everyone else in close proximity.  Pure fucking petrol.  Apart from constantly fighting with the sound on the amp, I really enjoy the show.  The new song Nervous is working out well in the set, it’s a bit of a dancer, fits in well in the middle of the set.  Right little dancer.  By the time we’re done I’m pissing sweat, need to get out in the cold night air to cool off.  I know it’s asking for trouble, but it’s an almost orgasmic feeling going from the sauna of the venue out into the cold.  I have to force myself back inside.  The tiny corridor leading from the front door into the back room is filled with people and smoke.  I don’t know if I can be arsed with it but then I see Stix there, holding a bottle of beer for me.  Dancer.

Pyramido are a fucking exceptional band.  One of the best around at doing the slow thing.  The sound, albeit punishingly loud, is spot on tonight.  I can hear more of Ronnie than I could last night.  I stand there with Stix, enjoying ever last drop of the cold Becks, almost entranced by the sound the guys are making.  Nicely played boys, nicely fucking played.

We sell a bit of merch tonight, a few shirts and records, seems like people were pretty into it.  There is this one guy, totally random, who lived in London for a while, who really liked Kev’s old band Regimes.  Kev is well chuffed.  We stand hanging out there for a while, talking away to various people.  Micha from Punk Distro is here, always nice to see his smiling mug.  When we’re done I head back into the music room and the obligatory punk disco is on the go.  Kev and Luc in the thick of the action.  Pissed.

The beer is no longer free although it’s cheap enough to keep us going.  They’re closing the bar soon though and the lady working is doing her best to get us to come along to another bar.  She says Pyramido are being boring, luckily DB are willing to escort her.  I ask Nitty if he’s sure about not coming, he’s adamant he’s staying put.  He looks more than satisfied just being here with his Fiske Fjäs.  Dan Bass jumps aboard though, after a little convincing.  As we leave Nitty turns to Stix and warns, “Keep an eye on him, keep a good eye on him”.

We follow Sandra to the bar, amazingly it actually is only the five minutes walk she’d promised.  It’s a really cosy little living room type bar with sofas.  We get some beers in and park ourselves in the corner.  Sandra is supping on a Pina Colada that catches my eye, she lets me have a taste and I’m sold immediately.  I have to have a cocktail.  I see they’re selling Zombies, one of my particular favourites, for four Euros fifty, I tell Luc to get the band money out.  I tells me he hasn’t got it with him.  I know he’s lying.  I know that he’s right too.  We stick to the beer.

The place is pretty busy and we’re all chatting away on one side of the table whilst Kev is sat opposite next to a couple of girls, looking like a drunk old tramp sat there talking to himself.  He’s gesticulating towards me, I can’t really figure out what he’s trying to say though.  I can only offer a confused shrug in reply.  “I’ve had twenty shots!  I’m fucked!” he proclaims.  He’s got that crazed look in his eye.
We head back to the venue about an hour later, Kev dragging behind, “ I’m going to fucking die.  I don’t want to die on tour!  The fucking Swedes are killing me!”  “Gaz, I’ve had twenty shots!”  We get back to the house and Kev fucks off into the dark somewhere, I head to bed.  Drunk, but not alone in that, not by a long stretch.  Still, day two on tour and I can already feel the immune system is getting stronger.

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