The other guys stir to life and Dan looks over, smile on his face, and starts to tell us about their night. Apparently Mira’s flat mate, the guy with the dreads who was sleeping beside him in the kitchen, had asked them if they wanted to hear some Danish grindcore and then put the fucker on full blast without waiting for a response. He then went and sat in the kitchen and started talking on his phone whilst looking at the guys lying there with this music blasting. Every now and again he’d get back up and walk to the room, have a look at them and then go back to the chair in the kitchen and sit down again. Ronnie comes to bed and turns the music off, Dreads then comes back to the room, looks at Dan and says in a barely decipherable growl, “You want E?” Dan and the guys look back, a bit scoobied, not really understanding what he’s asking. “You want weed?” The guys look back in silence again. “You want…eat?” He then goes and sits down again, just starting at them through the door with this intense look. A while later he’s back again. “Do you like breakcore?” Dan just shakes his head, says the whole situation was fucking surreal.
Luc says he woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of his phone. When he looks up, Dreads is stood above him staring, having just stood on Luc’s phone. He then hops about the room landing between the mattresses for about fifteen minutes. Luc just turns over and tries to pretend it’s not happening. Mental fucker. He doesn’t seem to be around this morning anyway. Kev looks at me, feeling knackered he says, “We should have slept at Symesy’s place. Right now we’d be drinking coffee, we’d have showered and we’d be looking at his bird.” I ask him if she’s hot, “Hotter than nowt” he says in his thick Nottingham accent. I piss myself laughing. Dirty old fecker.
Ronnie comes back from having a shower and says it was pretty good. I’m fucking desperate, it’s been a couple of days now, feel rank. Ronnie warns that it’s one of those small boilers that won’t hold very much water. When I go to investigate I find Mira washing a huge fucking saucepan in the shower. That’s that fucked then. Mira offers some coffee anyway, which Kev and I happily accept. I get a bit of a shock at first when the first then I get is a clump of coffee powder, forgetting that they do it that way around these parts. I pick some lumps out of my teeth and fight through it. It gets better. We get talking to Mira about his country and the education system, turns out he’s studying history and sociology. He’s a really nice guy and its fun to talk to him. He says he’ll happily help us with other shows in the future. Would be nice, if we could make it work financially. Hard if the best you can get is money from the donation box though. We’ll see. I love this part of the world and I’d really like to play some other cities in the Czech Republic.
We head off around eleven for some breakfast. We have to go back to the café we played yesterday since Luc left his silly little steel case that everyone has been taking the piss out since we left, the Pyramido guys have been having a field day with it. They had some good food at the café anyway so we may as well get brecky there. The staff they have employed there are young offenders that are in a back-to-work program. Everyone from the bar staff to the sound guy. Really cool idea. As we’re stood there ordering Kev is looking at the girls talking in the kitchen, “It’s like Prisoner Cell Block H back there.” He looks chuffed.
The journey to Liz takes around three hours. The roads towards the Austrian border are pretty slow going. I take over after a while, even if it’s slow going, it’s a nice drive with some nice views of the green hills. We get talking about merch and Sticky’s cd distro that he hasn’t sold so much of on this tour yet, he’s holding out for Poland though. He tells us about this time he took a couple of bottles of booze with him to some hardcore festival and sold shots for ten kronors a pop by the merch table. “I made a fucking fortune!” he chirps. “The thing is, there were a couple of Germans from another band next us who had the same idea, and every time I sold a shot I bought a shot from them. Ended up crawling home, destroyed. Puking everywhere. I managed to sell two bottles of booze and drink two bottles of booze.” Fucking genius.
We get to the venue, which is a classic old squat in the grounds of a churchyard just at the back end of the city centre. The squat is a big old building that I guess belonged to the church at one point in time. The promoter is there when we arrive but we’re in no rush so we head off for a walk around the city. The sun is shining and only Stix and Kev have ever been here before so we’re all up for some sightseeing. There is a pretty impressive cathedral just around the corner we have a peek at for a bit and then carry on through the city and make our way to the Danube. We sit around in a park for a while on the banks of the river, taking pictures and chilling out. It’s a little nippy though so we head for a walk along the bank and then turn up into the old town which is full of bars that are still closed. I guess this is the place to be on a Saturday night in Linz. I’m getting a bit peckish, therefore I’m delighted when we find a little supermarket that is selling the classic apple strudel. We meander back through the streets munching on pastries and looking at old buildings. Dan Arne is starting to feel that everything that isn’t a bar is not worth looking at, “No, no, no. Fucking boring building. Where is the bar?”
We get back to the venue around six and load the gear in. The gig room has a professional looking set up, with a large corner stage and a meaty looking PA. It’s a bigger room than most we have played so how it will look at the gig tonight I don’t know. The sound engineer is this really friendly girl called Sabrina who seems to know her shit, Pyramido sound immense during soundcheck. I have a look at my amp and see if I can fix it but it proves harder than expected to reach the input socket. I’m back on Wendel’s 800 by the looks of it.
Dinner is served after soundcheck, we sit together at the dining table up in the band room. This squat has a great setup, a really nice bed area on the other side of the curtain from the kitchen. The dinner is great too, a big puff pastry pie filled with potatoes and other vegetables, fucking great. This Englishman is chuffed with that. It’s nice sitting down with the guys for dinner. A little glimpse of civilization. We sit about afterwards chatting, sipping on a beer or two. This is the night Stix has had booked in to be his calm night but I’m very fucking skeptical about that I have to say. The lack of sleep last night, plus the weighty dinner is beginning to take its toll, I feel I’ll be taking a shot of the old Fisk before show time tonight, bit of an energy injection. I get talking to a couple of the guys from the squat, telling them about our walk around the city earlier on in the day, saying that it’s a nice looking place. I happen to mention the Old Town and they tell me that you don’t want to go there at night time, those bars are filled with young girls and idiots. They tell me that if you go there on a Saturday night you’re likely to experience some Linz Acupuncture, i.e. a knife in the back.
The guys from the first band, Rost, come up to the kitchen and get talking to us. The singer is this funny looking guy with a cheeky voice, has a kind of Sideshow Bob thing going on with is barnet. Someone has been down and fetched some booze from the van bar and we offer some to him, “Sprit, sprit, sprit!” They teach us their word Schwarm, or something like that, and we all take up the baton, “Schwarm, schwarm, schwarm!” Sideshow explains to us that it there word for “drink”, before another of his band adds, “extensively”. Brilliant. Sideshow is confused, “The guys from err Diagnosis err Bastard have written their logo everywhere.”
“We can’t afford stickers” explains Luc.
We hang out for a little longer and then head downstairs in time to watch Rost. It feels like it could be a low attendance tonight so we should go down and show our support. Turns out that it’s okay anyway, maybe forty or so people, looks okay in the dark. When Rost start playing I don’t know what to think, Sideshow is stood on the floor smoking a roll up between singing, kind of just stood there looking like an imposter. Then the promoter guests on a song, wearing a nervous smile and carrying a little note with lyrics on. He holds them tight as he screams indecipherably into the mic, smiling the whole time. I begin to dig it. Sideshow talks English between all the songs, a cheeky smile on his coupon the whole time, purely for our sakes. Really fun. We’re all stood there chuckling along to their set. By the end Lucas jumps in and starts moshing, after Sideshow announces, “This is the last shit you hear from us tonight, then it’s time for some Swedish shit”. They of course do an encore, a cover of Minor Threat’s I Don’t Want To Hear It. They receive warm applause from the crowd, us amongst them.
I take a shot of Fisk and grab a beer and then get set up on stage. A few people are starting to trickle back in by the time we’re done with the noise at the start, before Stix starts the drum intro to Hypnotic Eye. I can tell it sounds good in the PA but I’m stood right in front of my cab with nowhere to go and all I can hear is myself. I can see Stix but can’t hear a thing he’s playing. I get down to the floor and play the rest of the gig from there, thinking or hoping that Kev will follow, but I’m left there on my own, dancing about the place for the entire set, feeling like a bit of a pillock. It sounds ace when I’m stood in the middle of the stage in front of Kev, really good sound. Feels tight again, tour mode fully locked in now. Really enjoyable show, and it feels like the crowd appreciate it. There are shouts for more afterwards but encores aren’t really our thing.
I head over to the merch tables after the show to pick up my guitar cases and the girl who played guitar in Rost comes up to me and says, “Hey, Party Guitar! It was great!” Seems like we’re selling some merch tonight again which is always nice to see. It’s so fun to think that here we are in Linz playing to other punks for the first time and they’re buying our records and t-shirts. That’s amazing to me really. That we write these silly little high speed punk songs in our practice space in Stockholm and now here we are in Austria, being fed and given beer and playing for other punks that haven’t heard of us before who are now buying our records.
Pyramido sound huge with this sound system. I stand for the entire show, entranced by their dreamy sounding doom, thinking back to when I used to rock Polly to sleep in my arms to their last album Saga. For some reason it used to do the trick. The guys seem to really enjoy their set tonight, as do the other punks in the venue. At the end of the set the punks are shouting for more, Dan Arne says in that voice of his that they’ll play if someone brings them some apfel strudel. They play the Discharge song, Ain’t No Feeble Bastard, and we all jump in for a mosh. Great crack. Afterwards I get talking to Smiley the promoter. He tells me they have a radio station out of the squat where he has a show every week and he’s been playing ours and Pyramido’s songs for the last couple of weeks to promote the gig. He says they think it’s fun with English and talk it on the show. He asks me what the band name means, I tell him the story. He says he’s been presenting us as Diagnosis Ask Why Sign, Bastard Shout Out Loud Sign. This is the best thing I’ve heard in ages.
I don’t know when the fuck it happened but Kev seems to be steamboats. Another fucker who was saying he was taking it easier earlier. Kill ‘Em All is on the PA and Kev is doing a little hop dance to the song Jump in the Fire. The booze is being passed around and before long we’re all having a dance. This goes on until we’re told they’re closing the room so we take it upstairs. We hang out on the sofas up by the kitchen, the booze now flowing freely. A couple of bottles of bubbly have appeared from somewhere and as they’re brought out it’s met with chants of, “This is incredible, this is incredible, this is incredible!” Ronnie is pissing himself laughing at us, calling us idiots. Cue “We are idiots, we are idiots, we are idiots!” Stix is filming it all, there has to be some samples in there somewhere.
Kev is now sat there looking miserable, picking on Luc, ripping shreds out of him, he always does this with Luc when he’s this pissed. His way of showing him he loves him. We sit there passing the booze around laughing at him whilst Kev sits there moaning, now truly living up to the name Sticky has given him, Grumpy Kev. The guys in Rost are stood outside in the hallway because we put No Smoking signs around the sleeping area earlier. They’re in and out picking up booze and beer and Kev is moaning about them too. I love it when he’s in this mood. Ronnie is in constant howls of laughter as we sit there passing around a bottle of Asti Martini talking absolute nonsense. Luc is asking everyone to check out his tooth, apparently he got Ronnie’s mic in the mouth earlier and he’s chipped a gad, panicking that his beauty has been destroyed by punk rock. Story has it that Nirvana played this venue back in ´89 as support to Tad, Luc comments how that’s pretty amazing. “Saw ém on that tour in Nottingham. Fucking shite!” grumbles Kev.
Eventually we start to drift off to the beds one by one. Dan Arne, Stix and Kev are the last left of us. We can hear Dan Arne and Stix gabbing on about something and Kev calling everyone cunts. I hear Stix warning Kev that he’s spilling his beer on his jeans, “Fuck off” is the simple reply. That gets him going again, mumbling away to himself. Henrik, lying in a bed at the end, comes with one of his brilliant ponderings, “I wonder if Kev is like a parrot, if you drape a towel over him he’ll just fall asleep?” Ronnie and I find that hilarious, I’m laughing so hard that I have a pain in my stomach. They finally head to bed, Kev stumbling about the place calling us all wankers. The Rost guys head back into the main room and then over to our beds, seemingly wanting to party. Sideshow keeps appearing with his hurdy gurdy voice, asking us inane questions. I’m starting to fade now, just the sound of Sideshow in the background. The last thing he says before pulling the curtain back shut, “I like cabbage.” Totally random.
“Cabbage!?” shouts Kev, a mixture of confusion and anger.