Friday, 24 October 2014

Day 5. Båten, Karlstad, Sweden - 13.09.2014.

In the morning we found a nice breakfast in the kitchen with 4-5 different types of amazing spreads and a superb local bread (with fruits inside!). Thanks for whoever has arranged it (still we don’t know who in person organized things in Oslo). The first thing we had to solve is the problems with our car – we called the Polish mechanic and arranged an earliest time possible, still we already knew there is a slight chance to get to Karlstad on time – we were to play an afternoon show for about one thousand people (not kidding!!!!) at 2pm. It would have been a special show, a particular attraction of a jogging race, which every year this small Swedish town holds – thanks to our organizers, guys from DeathTrap we would have had the chance to play there too. It would have been a unique experience, just see this video from last year’s event here:
So instead of blasting in front of lots of people who certainly haven’t heard anything of this type of music so far, we were waiting until the car mechanic managed to fix our car – but only the exhaust pipe, because there was no pneumatic there on Saturday, so we had to be content with our rusty reserve wheel and pray if it would survive the 230 kms between Oslo and Karlstad. As we were not in a rush any more (the afternoon show had already been started), we could fully enjoy the Northern nature for the first time on our way. Probably this was the most splendid landscape we crossed through with amazing dark forests and millions of small lakes around (we made a superb, relaxing picnic at one stop, that was really nice).

In the early evening we arrived to Karlstad, where we were about to play on a seemingly luxury boat standing afloat on Sweden’s biggest lake. Here we met and made friends with the night’s organizer Niklas (DeathTrap) and set up all the necessary arrangements before the show, and seeing the prices of drinks on the boat we were about to go to some shops to buy some supplementary booze for the night, when he informed us that all the bands will get a total of 70% discount on the consumption. Yeeeeaaahhh, that was excellent news, so our anxiety went away fast and we could get beers costing normally 6-7 Euros only for 1-2 Euros :) (Yes, the gossips are true, in Sweden the drinks are FUCKING expensive in bars!!).

Niklas told us it was the first time ever that this boat hosts gigs like this (and there are not really any other possibilities for making concerts in town), so he was not sure at all how the outcome would be. At 9pm there were no one around apart from the bands and organizers, but we were not worried at all (the number of discounted, consumpted beers were getting higher and higher really fast:). Then within 20 minutes, all of a sudden, the place got packed (yes, this is the right word, cos as Niklas informed us later there were 144 people who paid the entry!), so the show should start! Already with a great atmosphere created by the audience Bricanyl got on stage and rushed over their set – the sound was excellent even if the room did not seem like ideal for this type of shows at first. Niklas’ band DeathTrap provided some old-school based Death Metal/ Grind, it was really professional and could not be felt that they had played their set some hours earlier once more that day and might have been tired (especially vocals could have been affected). Then one more great local band came called Våldsamt Motstånd – raw Crust/ Metal mix with some inhuman vocals. The drummer showed it does not matter how much your cymbals are broken, they still can produce some harsh noise which give some dirtier sound (highly enjoyable!) to your music. It was well past midnight when we started our set and I was a bit afraid that the discount on drinks would have its effect on our playing (however, as usual for me not to drink before playing, I just had two shots of vodka at the bar, to the surprise of the barman – I suppose no one drinks vodka in itself at one shot here :) Well, my fears were baseless, and it turned out to be one of the greatest shows on tour – thanks a lot also for the enthusiastic audience. Here you can check some minutes of the vivid atmosphere:

The concert ended by 1am, which meant the closing time of the pub as well – the people disappeared as suddenly as they appeared some hours before. As in this small town apparently there were not many opportunities to continue in pubs, we made some funny afterparty at the sleeping place, which was a complex with offices, rehearsal rooms of the bands etc… We haven’t seen the videos made then, but maybe it is better, hehehe…  We knew we would have a day off the next day, still it proved to be busier as expected…

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Day 4. Blitz fest, squat Blitz, Oslo, Norway - 12.09.2014.

From Denmark to Norway it took long, but we did not see much of Sweden when we were crossing it – mainly we were heading the highway on the West. Not long after leaving Denmark we noticed some problem with the exhaust pipe, which we managed to fix temporarily using an empty can of Coke :). At Oslo we had to face a more serious issue with the car – just right after having parked one street away from Blitz squat we realized the backwheel on the left was extremely flat. How could we get as far as here with that? There was a small crack on the rim of the wheel and it was evident we had to repair it somehow. We found the squat and asked for help there – it was not easy at all. There were people already and even at the entrance the young guys could not tell us who the organizer is – they said there is no such a thing as organizer as a whole collective organizing the fest. Hmmm… In the end we managed to get a lever to lift the car and change the reserve wheel (getting screw-keys from some older women from the street, whose car luckily broke down right beside us), but it seemed rusty and was flat so we did not believe it would function for long. Later some Polish guy gave us a telephone number saying his friend is a car mechanix and can check our van tomorrow, so we tried to forget about all the shits and get involved in enjoying Blitz fest… which, opposite our expectations, turned out to be the weakest gig on the tour. 

 The squat itself is superb – it is somewhere near the centre of Oslo, has maybe 3-4 storeys with two concert rooms, two bars, sleeping places for bands, backstage rooms etc. It has a history and many well-known and lesser-known bands have played here. I have heard some Black metalist (maybe that idiot from Burzum?) already wanted to burn it to ashes many times, but apparently he did not manage as it seems to be alive and comprises a strong cultural centre for the youth of Oslo. Speaking about the youth you have to imagine it like people below 20 years old, because most of the audience and the organizers were really kids (maybe that’s why there were problems with organizing, they seemed to lack some experience). Anyway, some of them seemed spoiled having just got the nice opportunity to have this nice culture centre where they can get drunk and wasted and can be sure no one will harass them. It was my impression seeing those young kids and girls being more excited in the party-side of the things, they were not much interested in the bands as I felt. The starting local bands were not in a rush at all, after an hour sound-check they felt free to play one-hour long set, so it was well after midnight when the foreign guest could come to stage – staring with Led by Fear from Russia. They played some raw D-beat, but I missed most of their programme as my old Norwegian friend Hans (Diskord/ No Posers Please!) had just arrived right then and we had a lot to talk all at once. As expected by the time Bricanyl got to the stage most of the audience were too tired/ drunk/ stoned or simply uninterested to pay attention so they had to play just for a handful of people. The same with us, so it was well after 2am then we finished, of course a bit disappointed because we were really looking forward to play at Blitz fest.  Even the afterparty was a bit weaker than usual (they sold only beers, which they ran out of by that time), but at least we were sure to get up as early as possible to get the car fixed… which of course was not that easy as you will see in the next day’s report… :)  

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Day 3. Ungdomshuset, Copenhagen, Denmark - 11.09.2014.

Collecting ourselves in the morning, after a quick breakfast and shower we started our way to the North – to Rostock more exactly, where we already had reservation for the ferry to Denmark at 15:30. With no problems we got there even earlier and passed the time at the seashore in a good mood. The ferry trip took about two hours, which seemed just minutes – it was a relaxing time after being for hours in the van on the road.

Coming off the ferry our van was waved aside for police and custom control. Ufff... we expected something like this at the border between Sweden and Norway. The cop asked where we were going and why. We’d better handed him the infosheet with the current show instead of pronouncing the name of the club Ungdomshuset. The paper included the day’s line up as well... “Kluster Fuck? Is that the name of your band?“ asked the officer smiling, seeing the name of one of the support bands on the sheet. “So: sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll? Let’s see whether you have drugs“ and in a minute a trained dog was let in our van to search... Even if we assured we just have alcoholic drinks (which was not true this time), the dog was carefully sniffed all the corners of our stinking van inside and in the end found... the stick of salami under the seats :). While the policman tried to separate the eager dog and the salami we were thinking with a relieved smile how lucky it is to have not only vegetarian bandmembers when being on tour!:) We were let go and after some hundreds of meters one already could hear loud laughters and green smoke coming out of the carwindows...

In Copenhagen we found Ungdomshuset quite easily and in some minutes we had to be looking for our jaws on the foor, which fell down so deep by the surprise and amusement – this place is a huge complex (we can say half-official squat or culture center) where on 3 floors we could find everything: a cafeteria/ restaurant (vegan), rehearsal rooms, a library, sleeping places for bands, a huge concert hall and in a separate building a smaller (still big enough) concert-room with a bar... We arrived in late afternoon and there were (mostly young, but not exactly teenager) people everywhere, there was some presentation with projection in the library – everything seemed so lively and active. All the time I was just wondering why a place like this, offering youth to spend their freetime in a meaningful way, cannot exist in our town Brno?! The gig was to start about 21:30, so we had time to take a small walk around the complex and on our way back we met Charlie and Eva coming to the show by bike (yes, many people seem to use bikes in this country). It was a warm feeling to speak in Hungarian and Slovak far from our home and to meet nice people like them (a friendship for life has been bound that night for all of us, I think).

People started to gather for the concert, we could not expect too many of them as there was Maquina Muerte playing the following day, which might have attracted more visitors being it a Friday and having a band from the overseas (Mexico). Still there were enough people to create a good atmosphere, even the fact that at the bar they do not sell hard drinks did not make us depressed, hehehe (Why? You will read about it a bit below:). A girl was sitting at the bar looking very much similar to our ex-vocalist Tereza. After a momentary amazement I forgot about her as I was busy with the distro until I went in front for some minutes to check the first band... and guess what? The girl was on the vocal producing inhuman voices, which one could not expect. The band was called Diswolf and it is in fact the organizer, Jonathan’s new band with a couple of gigs behind them. Crust as fuck, really raw and dirty, I liked it very much (I still enjoy regularly listening to their demotape, which I was lucky to have got hold that night, thanks to Kim from War Game Tapes, with whom we made a huge trade). 

The second band was that Kluster Fuck. I cannot find words, either. Something like Idiots Parade or Lycantrophy – indeed intensive. Kristine, the vocalis girl has an unbelievably strong screaming voice and the whole band was full of energy. They are also a new formation, which I think we will hear more about in the near future. We were really afraid to get on stage after them, hahaha. Bricanyl did it at first and they made it. Then we closed the night with our short blast hoping that everyone was satisfied.

The bar was to close at 3 pm, but as there was no hard drink for sale, we started one or two more bottles of our slivovica, which was distributed in the whole venue letting everyone who wants to taste some home-made spirit from the South :). As a result (or also by the fat hash cigar made by Jonathan) the bar was open still at around 4:30. (The slivovica got warm welcome, unlike the Kozel beer in 1.5l plastic bottle – the girls at the bar felt personally insulted by our offering it to them: they said in Denmark noone would drink that shit in that form, hehehe.)  Anyway, the whole complex with the yard is locked for the evening/ night to avoid people unwanted getting in. Suddenly (hell knows how much the time it was then) I just realized I am outside the fence and all I want is to get in.  As my memory serves right (of which I am not sure regarding this tour:) I went out escorting a girl to the nearby busstop, however the details of getting out are absolutely unclear. After returning, by my shouting and bumping on the gate a girl finally let me in so that I could search for our sleeping place as noone seemed to be around at that time. After wandering some long-lasting minutes (hours?) in the labyrinth-like corridors of the complex (as I did not remember where our sleeping room was), I gave it up and lied down on some free bed in a seemingly temporarily furnished room where some people that I remembered from the gig were already sleeping... and I was lucky to have been found in the morning by the others from the band. They were already after the morning shower and the breakfast (inculding some hash again) and ready to go, so stinky and still totally wasted I could not do anything but get in the van as we are about to leave this splendid country, 8-9 hours of driving ahead of us... to direction to Oslo!