Here is my try of an english version of the so called „Tour diary“. After we`ve made the big plan to leave cologne early, we for sure (and especially because of me, Roger) we, as usual left towards Belgium much too late. Okay, that`s punkrock and it always will be.
Tuesday, May 8th 2001
First day: B/Kontich – Lintfabriek
Here is my try of an english version of the so called „Tour diary“. After we`ve made the big plan to leave cologne early, we for sure (and especially because of me, Roger) we, as usual left towards Belgium much too late. We also had to pick up some Merchandise in Dortmund. Okay, that`s punkrock and it always will be. If there is statistics about bands coming late to shows I am sure we still would be middle field or lower.
We`re actually not so bad. After all the driving we arrived right in time in Belgium and the nice little town Kontich. A very cool and old club where the backstage is covered with all these photos of a million bands that have played here before. A traditional club.
This gives us a good feeling for the show because those clubs have atmosphere and spirit and most of the time a good crowd too. The stage is big but low and the soundsystem looks like a good one too. Nothing can go wrong. Because of some dumb neighbours, NFC, our Supportband has to start early. It`s nine o`clock and there are about 300 people that stand more or less in the back and watch the band. Oh, oh. NFC are a young band and they play some powerful hardcore more the N.Y. Style.
Anyway, after half the set, the crowd gets closer to the stage and the room gets warmer. They finish their set and the applause ist pretty loud. Okay. Hectic is around in the backstage and we`re getting closer to our first show in Belgium after several years. Yes we still can get nervous. We start traditionally with „Americans are cool“ and some necks move a little. It is always hard if you play that kind of powerful song first and the crowd stands in the back and is not with you. It feels strange. At least for me. As the third or fourth song we play „Common thread“ but the reactions are still kind a shy. At least the air is already pretty humid and sticky. Thanks God there`s „Bed tool“. With the heavy intro and all of us jumping hard into this hardcore tune the crowd freaks out. Jumps, pogo and almost everybody gets loose.
Finally. „Nothing is easy“, „Melt the ice“, „With a gun“ can`t go wrong at this point. Even one of our new tunes called „Not right“ keeps the crowd moving. Belgium is still one of the best hardcore crowds we`ve had in our career. It was like that in 1989 and it still is. Congratulations. The classic punk beside the concert was there too. He was lying totally wasted on stage, from the first tone on we played. Sometimes he woke up, yelled, raised his fist for seconds and passed out again. Once in the middle of the set he stood up a little, friends of him grabbed him, threw him in the crowd and they picked him up, carried him all the way to the mixing board. The punk didn`t recognised the whole action that much and looked pretty surprised. That was quit funny.
I looked funny too, after falling on my ass on the wet, sweaty stage. There was almost no air to breathe is the hall anymore and luckily we finished with „Only a phase“. Go outside, breathe and go back for „Blood stains“ and „Try again“. Lee is up front with the crowd shouting together all the lyrics with him. YES. We end the show with one of our oldest songs. „She`s got V.D.“. A great evening goes to end and we all feel great and happy. Belgium still know what a Punk-Hardcore Show is about. Fun and family. Togetherness. Thanks Belgium.
Wednesday, May 9th 2001
Second day: GB/London – The Underworld
After the ferry we arrive again right in time in big London. We even find the Underworld pretty fast. Thanks to our biggest tourist and Navigator Beppo. The Underworld is a professional concertclub, so stage and soundsystem is great. Even catering is there for us. Wow. England has changed so much? We get drinks, they pay us good money and we get something to eat. Ten years ago, we were lucky if we got one beer at all. Hey we take it as it is. Drink and eat fast before they gonna take it away again. Ha, ha. We are again a little nervous about what will happen in England. Tonight three other bands gonna play with us and they have to start early.
At eight o`clock the first band is on and the hall is pretty empty. Okay it`s early and it`s London. Typical reason picking is going on. We getting nervous. Captain Everything is on next and there are some more people, thank god. Vanilla Pod get the crowd going. They gonna be with us the next four days and they play a great mixture of ska-punk with a lot of melodies. Great. They are totally into it and groove and give everything. Just before we are about to start we get a message from home that Beppos dad had an accident and is in hospital. After Beppo calls home and find out that it`s not so bad we can start but lost time. 11 am is closing time and Lee barely introduces only a few songs.
With the first songs around fifty people start jamming and after because of the really great sound on stage we don`t care about the other around 200 that stand more in the back. We have a hell lot of fun with the fifty up front. After Lee talks about our age and that we could be fathers of most of the people that are here tonight, we get a lot of laughter and everybody gets looser. That`s the right time for “Nothing is easy” and “Kill me quick”. Now almost everybody is up front and dancing. “Not right” again is a little hit of the new songs and because of the time pressure we shorten up our programm and finish with “You`re not a punk” and “Try again”. Everybody freaks out and the end couldn`t be better.
We don`t have a merchandiser so I run of stage to the merchstand. It`s stressful but really cool because you get to talk with people. So many smile and buy a shirt. Two young brothers come closer and they are very shy but mention that this night was the greatest for them. Also a big guy is totally fanatic and overwhelming about the show he almost breaks my hand by shaking it. All this makes me very proud and lucky. THIS is what we are here for. Fuck all the money or other bullshit. Being with strangers and leaving as friends wich have shared a good time together and left good memories forever in some peoples mind is the biggest. Nothing else or less!!
Thursday, May 10th 2001
Third day: GB/Exeter – The cavern
After a long ride and finally getting used to drive on the wrong side of the road, we arriving in Exeter. We have unbelievable weather and this can`t be England. Where is all the rain and fog?? We are all a bit nerved out because of the printing company that was suppose to send posters to Coesfeld by parcel service but fucked up so the show got canceled and I try to find another show for this day over mobile phone from England. Wonder what this action will cost (meanwhile I know). Anyway the sun is out so fuck it. We have to unload through a very steep stairway what is quit funny especially for this massive huge box Markus plays (Bass). Matzi??? Where the hell is Matzi (normally our roadie) if you need her??
Vanilla Pod can`t play with us so a young local band (I forgot their name again) is opening. There is a funny crowd tonight. A mixture between Kindergarten and older people. We guess it has to do with the first band. Not so many people, maybe 80. Dave the promoter is great. He gets us a youth-hostel with these typical two stock? Beds. We will feel young again tonight. Yihaa. We get a great diner and free drinks (this can`t be England. Someone hypnotised us and kept us in Germany). After we had for sure one or two cases of beer from the bar I am getting nervous. Will they write down every drink and made us pay after the show???
The first band sounds a little insecure but pushes hard. The crowd is into them and they all have fun. We start playing and luckily all the friends of the first band stay. We getting good applause for the first songs and we feel a little bit nacked. In front of me I face a totally bored looking girl who looks like “I will fall asleep in the next five minutes” while her boyfriend is sucking on her neck. He looks as bored as she does. Wow, what an exciting couple. I try to keep my aggression and enthusiasm high but it`s a hard one. Punkrockshow and apathy in the first row doesn`t fit that well. Luckily there are the boys. Look over to Frank and Markus, make a dumb face and start laughing about everything. Hey easy.
Finally with “Melt the ice” and “Kill me quick” the crowd wakes up. Dave filmed the show and made us a quicktime-movie of “Bed tool”. I will try to put it in the net soon. A lot of beers later we walk to the famous youth hostel and have a final drink with Dave. With his promise of us, getting the best breakfast of Exeter we`re going to bed. The next morning is sunny again (this is Barbados or Jamaica?) and Dave was right. Mushrooms, backed eggs and beans, ham and for the vegetariens sojasticks. Faboulos (maybe we are in Italy. They like good food and they have always nice weather). Totally fed up we start a little tourist thing and heading for a cathedral. On the way there we met Fred Aster (are we in America?) but he didn`t wanna sing background for the upcoming shows. What a petty. Into the bus up to Sheffield.
Friday, May 11th, 2001
Fourth Day (GB/Sheffield – The Corporation)
With about 400 Kilometers we have to drive one of the longer distances. Not so much Traffic brings us right in time to the club in Sheffield. The club is underneath a railway bridge and we wonder if this is really a club for a concert. tAfter waiting for half an hour for an promoter, we use the handy to get a hold of him (I wonder how my bill will look like). No promoter on the phone. Great. Two punks with classical mohawk-haircut come down the road and stop at the club. They stand around and talk. After 15 minutes I walk over to ask them about the show tonight. All of the sudden I speak to the promoter. Ähh?
He stood around our bus for the whole time but doesn`t say hello to us?? Very strange. Finally someone comes by and open up the club. It`s wet and cold inside. The stage is a three-steps-one-squaremeter big podest. Hell we will rock tonight. Thilo say his Stereo at home is louder than the P.A. in this club. Motorhead here we come. Somehow we manage to get all instruments on this stage incl. us. Line-check and out for dinner. Noone is really into this gig. It`s not a concert place and it won`t get one tonight. Not that many people show up (80) and after Vanilla Pod played a very powerfull set its up to us.
Like a bigband we stand on these stairs, Beppo on top, Frank and Markus on the second one, me and Lee on the first step, right up front where noone is. The crowd stands all in the back. It`s too bright and cold in that cement disco with all these typical wabbering disco-lights. What are we doing here? To the end of the set some fans get closer and we`re having a little party at least. Franks Amp blows up so no Encore but we are not really sad about it. We sleep at Baz (our tourpromoter) house tonight so we have an hour drive. Arriving there we drink some beer to forget this show.