Friday, June 17, 2016


It’s been a strange old start to this weekend. I’m starting to wonder if we’ve had some DIY curse bestowed upon us that is punishing us for taking slots on these big festivals..

First off we were flying out of Bromma airport the night before we play Hellfest in Clisson, France. We had to take the night flight since we have a three pm slot at the festival and there were no reasonable flights to take the same day that would have gotten us to the gig in time. Given that the festival paid us three thousand euros in advance we can’t afford to miss the gig… That would be a bit of a fucking bummer having to pay that back. So we flew down to Brussels at night and booked a cheap hotel at the airport, to then get the ten am flight to Nantes the next day. All well and good, no problems.

It started off with me and Johan lugging three guitars, a huge bag of merch that is as heavy as a corpse, and then our own personal bags. Been fucking raining all day, total misery weather where the grey clouds seemingly hang just above your head. The plan was for me to drive over to Johan in my car, pick him up and then drop the car off at the tube, which Jen would pick up later. The thing is we’re flying home to Arlanda on Sunday so we have to take public transport. Of course, one of the two car keys I had at home decided to break, it’s one of these farty remote control things. So I had to get Jen’s mum to come along in the car with us, with Polly, and all the gear, for her to then drive our car back. Bit of a hiccup but no big deal.

Johan and I lugged all the gear on the tube to Alvik on the north side of the city where we met Jon, who texted saying he’d be smoking a cig on the platform waiting for us. It’s an above ground station.. So we get there, get off the back end of the train and I spot Jon stood at the other end of the platform. Well, I spot a hood, a beard and a cig. We trudge down the platform, staring at him the whole way as he just stares at us. With all this gear I’m thinking, fucking lazy cunt, could at least come help us. The fucker is just staring at us. It’s not until we get within about five meters of him that he starts to life, “Woah”, he’s just spotted us. I forgot, he’s been without contact lenses and glasses for a couple of weeks and the fucker is as blind as a bat without them…

We take the bus over to the city airport, right behind where me and Jon used to live. I used to love living so close to the airport, obviously it was a bit noisy but it was great walking the dog around the grounds watching the flights take off and land at such close proximity. Anyway, we get into the tiny airport, check in the gear, and to our pleasant surprise are told that the baggage will be checked in all the way to Nantes tomorrow. Nice one. As we’re leaving the oversized luggage some old rocker guy comes up to us, “Are you guys Victims?” Seems he knows us from somewhere but none of us can make out who he is. Seems to know the band pretty well anyway.
We head through security and watch a bit of football in the bar whilst we wait to board. Of course, being that the European Championships are currently being held in France there is a good bet that it’s going to be a bit crazy this weekend, with the country swarming with football twats. Rocker comes up to us in the bar again and strikes up a bit of conversation, says he’s heading back to Visby and is talking about the fact we should come and play there. Johan reckons he might be in Candlemass. Fuck knows. Nice guy anyway.

The flight takes off on time, and I take a quick view of the big field I used to walk Bonz to at the end of the runway, but we’re barely over it when the plane disappears into the clouds. The flight down to Brussels is smooth enough, it’s one of those planes that have the wings on top of the plane instead of out of the side of it, so it’s noisy as fuck the whole way, but despite the high clouds, the ride is fine. It’s been pissing down in Europe for the last couple of weeks and much of France has been under water, as was the case even in Southern Sweden this morning, so fuck knows what weather awaits us down there. And the thought of playing a festival in a big of mud isn’t the most appetising. I’m sat writing on the plane, on the back row, waiting to order a beer from the guy with the trolley. He seems to be taking an age. It’s finally my turn once we’re long into the decent, but I’ve had my mind set on a beer the entire flight so I’m not to be deterred. I order a can of Leffe. Turns out the card machine the guy has is fucked, well the zero button doesn’t work, and my pin code has two zeros in it. After numerous attempts the guy just takes it back and tells me it’s on the house. Dancer.

We land and make our way to the transfer busses. There is a fair bit of hustle and bustle here since the recent terror attacks have resulted in a big increase in security. There are machine guns everywhere. There are plenty of signs for the bus but none of them seem to make any sense. When we finally find the station we notice that the last bus went an hour ago. So it’s in a fucking Joe Baxi then. Some old cunt picks us up and drives us ten minutes and charges us twenty euros for the pleasure. We hadn’t even noticed the sticker on the window informing “No cards”, but as luck would have it Andy happened to have cash on him. Could have been a tricky situation. The old fucker refuses to give a receipt too. Feels like we’ve been had.

We head into the reception of the Ibis Budget hotel we’re staying at where we’re greeted by a rather tired looking receptionist and a rabble of what I immediately assume to be Brits. You can tell them a mile off. All old boys, shaved heads, crap tats and crap clothes, most of them half pissed up and talking loudly. Don’t miss them. As we’re checking in I notice the buzzer sounding from the door where some old boy is pressing repeatedly, not understanding why the door isn’t opening for him. When we come out of our rooms having dumped our bags we find the same old boy and his mate, slowly pressing in the code on the door for their room. The four of us instinctively know that they’re not going to figure it out. “It’s not facking workin’” moans one of them whilst the other nods at us one by one, “Alright. Alright. Alright,” he greets us as we pass him in the corridor trying not to laugh.

We head over to the larger Ibis hotel opposite, where they seem to have a bar and a restaurant. We walk in and find it’s full or football Brits, none of them under forty. We order a large Jupiler each and head to the beer garden where thankfully it’s a lot quieter. We enjoy a couple of pints and enjoy the garden. It’s nice to be halfway to the Fest with just a short flight to finish off the journey tomorrow. Johan had got talking to some guy by the bar who was on his way to Hellfest but had missed his connecting flight, he was now getting pissed and worried that he’s going to fuck up tomorrow’s journey. I imagine there will be a few rockers on the flight tomorrow.

It’s one thirty by the time Jon and I retire, a little too late maybe, but it had been a nice night and worth it. I’ve only had three beers but do feel a little mushy. We wake a little late and no time for breakfast, we head straight downstairs to the bus stop. In plenty of time we grab some expensive breakfast at the airport and then make our way to the gate. All going smoothly, until we board and step onto the transfer bus.

We’re stood there for twenty minutes with no driver. I look at the time, it’s already passed our allotted take off slot. No info, stood around on a packed bus, starting to get pissed off. When some guy finally comes he drives about the airport grounds looking lost, as if he doesn’t know what plane we’re supposed to be heading to. We finally pull up at the side of some small plane at the far end of the airport and there we wait a little longer, a stressed out looking stewardess stood in the doorway at the top of the stairs. When we finally board the flight we’re told that the ground staff at the airport have gone on strike this morning and by the looks of it no checked in luggage will be coming with us because there is simply nobody working to bring it to the flight. For that matter, they don’t even know where the luggage is.

Balls. This sucks. We have no equipment and no merch with us. And if this plane doesn’t take off soon we’re soon going to be in danger of even making our stage time.

We’re now in Nantes. The flight took off an hour late, but we’ve managed to contact the festival and they’ve sorted guitars and drums out for us. The stewardess on the flight was also really cool, and she’s given us some numbers to ring. We’ll have to try sorting our baggage out after the gig today though. The guys in Paris are a little less optimistic about finding all the gear we need to lend for the show tomorrow. Luckily an old friend of the band is playing with us tomorrow so hopefully we can work something out. Still, without the merch we’re losing a lot of money. We’ll see what we can do. We’re staying at a hotel by the aiport tonight and not flying until three pm tomorrow. Fucking hope the bastard gear turns up. Still, could be worse. There are a couple of festival goers on the plane that have lost their bags, one guy is looking pretty distraught, saying his tent and everything is in his bag. Another guy from Canada, comes up to us and wishes us luck for the show. He’s in the shit too. No tent, no clothes, no jacket. Fuck spending the weekend at a muddy festival without any of that lot. Fuck spending the weekend at a muddy festival full stop I guess.

Almost at the festival now, we’re on in an hour. It’s raining.

No comments:

Post a Comment