Friday, February 3, 2012

European Tour Journal - Day 3 - Flensburg

We just got back from our first 3 week tour of Europe, playing shows in Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Czech Republic, but mostly Germany.
Previously... Day 1 & Day 2

Day 3 (December 28th): Hafermarkt in Flensburg

The morning of December 28th was spent trying to back up and park a massive transport van, loading our loaner gear and rented drums, and finding a GPS that can guide us through the acute streets of Europe. I mean, everything is one way, and the directional/parking/speed signs are designed like Sesame Street props, oh and the toilets! Don't get me started! It's like a creepy futuristic America over there! How can they stand it!?

We pile in the van, bags and pillows and elbows, with the members of No More Art. They just released a really amazing 7 inch on New Dark Age records, and their show with us tonight is their first ever. We pull up to Hafermarkt, a cultural/venue/bar/housing-space in the beautiful tiny town of Flensburg. The town is eerily quiet, but by showtime the place fills up. We get fed a huge vegan pasta dinner and start drinking our free Astra, and everyone in both bands is clearly a bundle of nerves. After arguing about whether or not Germans know what rock/paper/scissors is, we rock/paper/scissors for it.

No More Art goes first, and like seasoned artists, nail it:

Then we go on:

We're the only two bands on the bill, but luckily the show is also an occasion for a local's big birthday party. As soon as we stow our gear, the place erupts into dance music. Everyone takes to the floor. We abandon the merch table and join in.

If you're ever on tour with another band, especially strangers who's first language isn't your own, alcohol becomes an essential conduit for chumming up. Also, make sure the first chorus of "Neun Und Neunzig Luftballons" is coming in. Everyone will get really familiar real fast.

Furious matches of Kicker start up, fierce arguments about the Eurozone crisis boil to a head, a tall german tries to impress all of the americans with what he calls "my really good Sam Cooke voice". All of the punx are upped. The party keeps raging.

The bunk rooms in Hafermarkt were up on the third floor, around 4 AM people start to waft up to bed. At one point there is a late night altercation between Ben, Shaun, and Will. Will's got it in his head that a Kicker opponent has it in for him, Shaun is convinced there will be a need for backup, Ben wants to go the fuck to bed. Will takes on an animal persona when late-night drunk that has earned him the nickname "The Cobra", with his razor squinted eyes, slithering knees, and a preternatural nimbleness. The man knows the tour game well.

Eventually everyone gets to bed, Ashley wakes early and makes it out to load the van just in time to step in a massive pile of dogshit. For the remainder of tour she will be known as "Fraulein Scheisse Fuss". Load in, hit the road, and head off to Denmark for our show at the legendary 1000Fryd.


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