Thursday, 18 December 2014

Day 8. Azyl, Liberec, Czech Republic

The way from Griefswald to Liberec was long, and uninteresting (at least I don't remember any moment of it), and we were happy to reach the border and to feel again at "home" (not that we did not enjoy 99% of the time being away:). From a 3-bands weekday show the Liberec gig swole to a mini-festival with 6 bands. We joined the line-up shortly before leaving on tour (we were lucky and very grateful for the organizer) and in the last moment Hello Bastards were also added from the UK (yes, I believe it was hard to say 'no' to this offer:). It was suspected that almost only the bands will be the audience that day - there are many shows in Liberec lately and on a weekday noone could expect hundreds of people even if the line-up sounded as illustrous as today.
For us it did not matter, though, we have already played in Liberec and we enjoyed the whole atmosphere that this nice pub/ place called Azyl has. We were just hanging aroung the bands until the gig started, got friends with the Brazilian guys as well as with Hello Bastards, and said hello to our friends from here (ahoj Petra!!!:), had some drinks with them etc. First band that night was a thrash/ black/ punk (?) band from this area with the name Evil Regiment. What they played was very much old shool, reminded me of Venom, Hellhammer or Bathory. Absolutely simple song structures and ancient, rusty mood. Do not expect much musical skill from them, simply the atmosphere of their music which they created was cool. Then we played our set as normal, and realized (as also people said) we had a superb sound that night (just like Bricanyl following us did have).
OK, then the foreign part started with Countdown To Armageddon, an unknown name for me so far, playing Crust/ Post punk. Typically it is the type of music which I cannot take for too long live, so I'd better wasted my time at the distros, which was worth it as at Hello Bastard's stalls I have found many interesting anarchist 'zines, which they were willing to trade. By the time I got back to the concert room it was already Brazilian Nuclëar Fröst on the stage terrorizing the audience with their crust/ metal. I would make them similar to Defy or Subterror from their country, but somnehow they reminded me also to the first band that night: their songs were simple and the atmosphere it conveyed played a more important role again than how talented (or not) the musicians were.

The best band of the night was just to come: Hello Bastards, anarcho-vegan straight edge from the UK. Their set-up and conception about the need of a stage was unique: they placed the drumset in the middle of the concert-room and started their set immediately. They are a trio, with the drummer, guitarist and a vocalist (no bass at all) an these latter two found their places somewhere in the room and the craziness could start... Fastcore/ hardcore/ power violence is what they play, very energetic, powerful show with short songs which made the audience move (running around the drumset like hurricane was the highlight of their performance that night). It was a worthy end of our tour to see this band and get some future inspiration for our next gigs  (which we have already had since that, stealing the idea of placing the drumset in irregular places:). 
And the party was not yet over: as a habit in Liberec, we settled down at the bar drinking, chatting, enjoying the atmosphere till morning, until all of us passed out... :) The awakening some hours (?) later was a bit bitter, but we were just a few hours off from our long-awaited beds, feeling totally like zombies from the grave, but filled with life-long experiences, without any financial, physical and mental loss. Thanks for all the people making this tour possible, we are grateful for their friendliness and hospitality and we promise and hope to be able to give it back one day!!!

Monday, 1 December 2014

Day 7. JUZ Klex, Greifswald, Germany

In the morning with tears in our eyes we parted ways from Charlie's and hurried to the ferry, which we successfully caught. Two hours of relaxation was waiting for us, meanwhile we realized the tax-free shop on the boat was surprisingly cheap, so we filled up our alcohol store for the night. We did not expect anything from this Greifswald show, being a Monday and having a Swedish band (Totem Skin) as headliners (we were lucky to get in as support bands). It is always better when you expect less and get more - we were given super and abundant food, excellent sound and even some gas money (which we did not even expect) as well as a handful of enthusiastic people coming to the show and buying our merchandise.

Greifswald for me was a night of encounters: I met one guy who remembered seeing Bombatölcsér in Brno (pub "u Babicky") years ago even with Tereza on vocals. He lives just 40 kms from Greifswald and when he saw our logo on the placard he thought of coming to visit this Monday gig. The second surprising person was some Hungarian guy I met in a pub in town at the afterparty. He spent his Erasmus college period here, and was just accidentally  (and already drunk:) in the pub when we arrived. OK, but let's not run that fast: the concert was all right, but a bit short: even the Swedish band did not play more than 20 minutes I think (our standard programmes were that long/ short, too).

The place itself was a huge complex with a big yard (with a shy-looking but fierce cat living in), own bar and kitchen, concert-hall with a soundman, and rooms for bands to sleep. I think it was financed by the town and functions as some youth centre (there were brochures and leaflets everywhere showing that the house is aboundant in different types of programmes).

It was strange when I asked one of the organizers right before going out to town what time should we be back and if we get some keys to get in... He was confused and surprised, then said the house will be not locked for the night, it is not a habit here. And it was so... but not just unlocked was it, the doors were open wide by the time we arrived and it was rather late/ early morning:) Actually, Greifswald seemed to me a small, cultivated, well-preserved historical town with people willing to keep it cultural and civilized - all in all, I liked it very much. About the afterparty I will not talk too much this time (I don't remember much, to be honest), so here are some pictures to speak:) (But the pub which we visited had excellent atmosphere, indeed!!!)