Friday May 27th (Bern, Switzerland)
We had to get up at 8 today. This was tough. I slept the worst of any of the nights on the tour.. Maybe 3-4hrs of real sleep. I will feel it later for sure. Everything took longer than expected and it was about 9:40 when we had filled the tank and hit the road. We have to be at the venue at 16 today if we want a soundcheck. GPS says we arrive at 15 but we will be stopped at the border for sure and no idea how long this might take. Breakfast was nice with coffee, tea, bread, cheese, avocado, jam……
We are about 2hrs from the Swiss border now. I drove the first two hours and now Jiri is driving. We have been listening to Mali blues, Mastadon, Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, some poppy stuff (yuck)…… I am making some transfers or the recordings so we can make the audience recording tonight… I have little space on the computer so I have to move them to a safe place. Jonathan will also copy them to his computer.
15:30 We had no hassle and did not even have to stop at the border!! The place was not hard to find and the weather amazing. Gaskessel is a super cool place like a small roundhouse like place but not in London. An very old youth place that has been there since 1970!! We arrived about 15:30, which was perfect as we could have a relaxed load in and set up. A super beautiful area of Bern near the river, which was very full, nearly flooding (1m). Very hot today, probably 27C…. awesome… Quite a few freaks and old hippies around and super nice people.
We took a long time but the other bands (Glowsun and The Spacelords) had not arrived yet. We were done in good time for the other bands but they were going to use their own gear and drums so Birk, me and Nick had to take our stuff down and make space for the others.. The backstage area was upstairs and very hot but a nice outside patio place to hang out. Great area to walk around. The hostel was down the street 10mins walk right next to the river.
Gaskessel- Super cool place..
It is going to be a late night and the cook, who also co-owns the local Rathaus Records, was very cool but said dinner would not be until 20-21… We were all super starving and they did not want to give us anything to eat….. They said it would be ready at 19 and then just delay after delay (cook was very stoned) and then we got a very nice meal with veal with red wine sauce, potatoes, cheese risotto, some veggies… there was some dessert later as well and he said he could put some hash in the brownie if we wanted but we all passed on that.. Great meal.. worth the wait.. Cool people. Nice to see Daniel, Patrick and Mike from Space Invaders again. He said he would make an audience recording and video tape.
We went back to the hostel after dinner and it was one big room with 14 beds, where all the bands would sleep. The show was supposed to start at 22 with Glowsun but when we came back at 22:30 they had not started yet.. I was really unhappy as it is not cool to play for no one at 2 in the morning.. IT took another 10mins to get on the stage.. The Glowsun guys when I asked them why they were not playing said they were waiting for someone to tell them to play. Stupid…. They cut their set by 10mins, which was nice. I guess about 75 people were watching them. The sound was great and I enjoyed the part of the set that I watched.
The Spacelords set up really fast and I liked their set much better. No idea what they actually played. I did recognize one of the tracks from the new record. I think they played about an hour. IT was like 00:45 maybe when they finished. We tried to set up as fast as we could and put the backdrop up and they moved the visual projections from the ceiling down to the stage, which was much better.
We had a pretty bad gig. It was one of our most relaxed gigs and people were not very inspired. Mogens was not feeling well and a bit dizzy before we started… 1/4 bottle of Jack Daniels improved his mood though.. Also Nicks.. Most of the audience had left and the place was huge. I guess about 40-50 people watched the entire show. Birk, Nick and Mogens were sleeping at the hostel when we left and I was a bit worried they would oversleep and this would delay us even more but they showed up maybe even before Spacelords started. My friend Chris from Phased came from Basel but due having to go home he would have to leave before we even played… Shit..
We played about 1hr 45mins and the small stoned crowd really loved it and people said the sound was good. Sabine filmed about an hour from the balcony, which will look really cool. Overall, the band was not happy and the sound was not ideal on stage. NO Nick for first half of the show on right side of the stage. Mogens was also too low.. Jiri was so loud in the last half of the show and then I could not hear Nick at all. We got 600€ and a great response. We sold about 300CHF in merch, mostly to the guy from Rathaus records (wholesale prices). We sold all the ØSC vinyl records we brought and I am sure we could have sold 30-50 more if we had them. It was 03:40 when I got back to the hostel to crash and I was the first back. We pack the gear and leave it in the venue and meet them at 11….
Day 8 (Hamburg)
We arrived at the venue a bit after 11 and packed the stuff. The venue was mostly all cleaned up and it all went smoothly. We were all pretty hungry though.
01:10 We stopped at Shoppyland and bought 60€ (51.5CHF) of food for the van so we do not have to stop except for smoking and coffee before we have dinner somewhere.. It was very hard to get up today. Glowsun was up at like 8 or something. Everyone except Sabine missed the breakfast, which ended at 09:30.
GPS took us some stupid small roads through Olten to save a bit of distance but wasted 20 fucking mins… should have just stayed on the highway. I told Jiri but he wants to just follow the GPS and he is driving. I hate sitting in the front when he is driving. Makes me very nervous as he drives too fast and tailgates.. 120km/hr and he will be just 3m from the car in front….
Next mistake that delayed us another 30mins was taking the wrong exit at the border and ending up with the big trucks and having to turn around and go back 2km and get back on the road again, so we stopped at a road side place for gas and Nick could smoke the rest of the pot before the border..
We did not get stopped at all at the border and just went right through. Phew.. It was a hell of a drive to Hamburg and we did not arrive until 01 in the morning. 13hrs on the road minus all the stops. We stopped in Romrod, a very cool small fairy tale town where we ate dinner at an Italian place and celebrated the tour. A quick one hour dinner and we were off. Beautiful little town and cool castle and small houses.
Anyway.. people are happy, enjoyed the tour and it was a financial success. One of the rare times that we have not lost money and the only time ever where I could actually give the band 10€ a day… Lets see how the overall finances work out…
What I have learned though is we will take just one small box of shirts with like 5 of each size as we sold only 3 per day… Almost not worth having them at all. Pity.. I will put all the old ones up for sale for 5€ on the web page. We also sold 5-10 CDs every day. If we had more vinyls we would have sold more. So bring more vinyl and only a few mixed boxes of CDs.. This will save us a lot.
Thanks to all the promoters and fans and to Sabine for all the help….