Tuesday, 16 November 2010

European Tour Diary: Day 23 - Dortmund, Germany

Today’s show has been one we’ve been simultaneously looking forward to and been nervous about. We’ve been lucky enough to do a series of short video blogs for the German music website Visions.de which is great for us and a really cool chance for us to introduce ourselves to the German rock scene, which have all led up to todays event, a 2 day indoor festival in Dortmund. We’re honoured to be playing below John Garcia of seminal stoner rock band Kyuss fame, and the whole thing is being filmed for German rock TV show Rock Palaste which is the equivalent of, we’re told, Top of The Pops in the UK. No pressure then. We arrive in the afternoon and walk in to John Garcia and his band sound checking. This is really really cool. When I was at university I listened to a lot of Kyuss (who counted Josh Homme of Queens of The Stone Age/Eagles of Death Metal and more) in their ranks and influenced a whole generation of bands, so to see JG up singing on stage is cool. He’s a total rock star, shades on indoors, walking around with that air of someone who just knows they are cool (almost as bad as Ben). We hear rumours of his demands to be moved not just bed, not just room, but hotel when he found what appeared to be a pubic hair on his mattress before coming here. Nice work John, nearly as bad as Fraser.

We mooch around backstage for a while surfing the web or laughing at the fact that our manager Andy accidentally called the band we’re sharing a backstage room with ‘Pink Snot Red’ instead of ‘Pinks Not Red’, before doing an acoustic version song for the Visions.de website. We’ve done this a few times on this tour now, but this is my favourite time that we’ve performed the song. We wrap it up and have some food and coffee before getting ready to play. The show itself is an odd one. Great stage, great lighting, but the audience is definitely hard to get moving. We aren’t unused to this though, so plug away and do our best. It’s always tough but we plug away and get a good response in the end, which is awesome considering that John Garcia is such a cult figure that most of the people here are die-hard stoner rock fans. Not so much our target audience, perhaps. We get given a CD of filmed footage from our show straight away when we come off stage but I hate watching videos of us playing live so I elect not to watch it.

We hang out, watch Danko Jones and some of John Garcia play before we get ready to leave, which brings me to the other reason we were apprehensive about today. Tomorrow’s show is in Lyon. Lyon is in France. We are in Germany. It’s a 900 kilometre drive and there’s no travel day. This pretty much means we have to leave the show in Dortmund and drive all night and all morning in order to arrive at the venue in time to make our soundcheck the next day in France. Shit. We spend so long in this van anyway being in here for 14/15 hours straight really sucks, let me tell you. You go a bit mad, but it’s all part of the experience, and electing to do it as DIY as we have means you have to do things like this. The guys take shifts of 3 hours or so while I sit in the back enjoying the one time that not being able to drive is a benefit.
I’m beginning to lose track of which country we are actually in.


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