18 October 2015

Day 16 - ?, Maasmechelen, Belgium

After a pretty long bus ride from the British islands we arrived at the venue. Or so we thought. The bus stopped and the Tour Manager went out to find the local promoter, but the place was deserted.

We soon found out that the show was moved to a new venue due to a double booking or something. The new venue was only a few extra minutes and we were met with the sight of barbecue right outside the venue entrance. The inside of the venue looked sort of like a Norwegian "Bedehus" with old chairs, dull colors and the crucifix over several of the doors. 


Our sound-guy was also thrown out by the promoter after complaining about how the venue mixed the electricity meant for lights and back-line (sound-system), something that often creates interference which means a humming sound.
This put the entire gig in limbo as we can not play without a sound-guy. Besides, our sound-guy is top of the line.

The Tour Manager was involved and everything was mellowed. Sort of.

The kind of toilet we often meet. I mean.. Why?
It also looks like the toilet has a happy face as if laughing at our cold, unfortunate immediate future.

The backstage was big and the catering was barbecue and salad. The show went great and we got a few new fans. Again we set a new personal record selling merchandise!

Tomorrow is "Substage" in Karlsruhe which is supposed to be amazing. Looking forward to that!

15 October 2015

Day 15 - The Fleece, Bristol, United Kingdom

Bristol is the last of the English cities we'll play in on this tour. This was definitely the weirdest day on the British isles. First of all, the promoter of the gig did not show up at all, nor did he do much promoting of the gig. The venue had failed to get a hold of him for several weeks so we had to improvise "a bit".

The leaning towers of musicians.
Mid rigging.

The stage. Not sure what the deal with the metal beams are.
Leprous sound-check.

This was by far our worst gig. Ever. Most of the cables in the venue didn't work properly. The microphone for the lead singer (me) stopped working  mid-show, but as Marius was unable to sing today I took his microphone instead.
Marius also had to go off stage several times due to issues with the signal on his guitar and due to the ancient sound system there was a constant feedback.

We cut a couple of songs from the set and felt like everything went against us until we heard that we set a new personal tour-record selling merchandise. A few people also came over after the show telling us how much they enjoyed it, this of course made things a little better.

Due to lack of promoter and thus, lack of catering, we had to eat at an Italian restaurant.

Tomorrow we're going back to the continent and we are really looking forward to some nice venues ahead!

14 October 2015

Day 14 - Ruby Lounge, Manchester, United Kingdom

Unlike yesterday, we had a lot of time after load-out to check out the nearest area. 
It appears Manchester is not too bad. 

A random park merely a couple of blocks away from the venue.

Jelly Beans soap.

Typical hooligans in the city of Manchester. 

A bridge over what can only be described as incredibly troubled water.

Bjørn and the park. Could be a book title. Then again, maybe it already is?

We also got the chance to eat actual British breakfast. Not the rubbish we ate at the ferry. (Check out my English lingo).

A proper British breakfast

The venue is called the Ruby Lounge. I tried taking a few pictures, but due to dim light the pictures were deleted.
The stage is pretty low above the ground, which is something I as a vocalist tend to enjoy. It means I can get close and personal with the audience instead of standing above them. 

I more or less always talk about the catering. The catering this time was very good actually. Sushi, good vegetarian food for the veggies and loads of snacks, beer and other drinks.

The beer was almost exclusively consumed by the promoter.

Although the audience was not massive, we delivered a good show. Marius still has some issues with his throat, but all in all it went well.

13 October 2015

Day 13 - Garage, London, United Kingdom

Leaving the main land and entering the British Islands meant travelling by ferry. Everybody had to leave the bus and we headed straight for the cafeteria to test out a typical english dish: Fish'n'chips.

We think most agreed upon it not being the nicest meal we had eaten, especially since several had mistaken sugar for salt, and the sea started to get rough.

So a couple of hours later, it was a bus full of green faced and tired people that arrived London.

England isn't exactly famous for big backstage and storage rooms, so we had a bit of difficulty trying to find places to put our empty cases after everything was set up on stage. This meant having to climb big stacks of  boxes and guitar cases getting in and out of the shower and the toilet.

Plugging into the english power outlets is a story of it's own.

This day was so hectic and chaotic that we had no time to eat, and less so take any pictures. The second and last meal of the day was luckily better than the first. Isak and Øystein ate at Mcdonald's to get a quick energy boost, while the others ate at "The black swan" which was "ok".

The other bands had a lot of technical issues on stage. We managed to get through the show without too much problems and chose to get out of the building rather than staying in the packed backstage of frustration.

Tomorrow is a new day in a new city. Here we come Manchester.

12 October 2015

Day 12 - Ninkasi Kao, Lyon, France

Time for pants again. The shorts will probably be left in the bottom of the luggage only to be washed when we get home and then forgotten until summer comes to Norway.
It is cold here in Lyon. The weather is gray and both Marius and Isak is having some issues with sore throats, so Isak and Bjørn set out to find a cure.
Garlic and ginger was bought, cut up and added to a boiling hot green tea with a big spoon of honey.
It didn't take long before we were feeling slightly better, but with slightly worse smelling breath. Fair trade.

Bjørn, Ulrik and Isak went to find some good french restaurant, while Marius was fast asleep and Øystein ate the catering provided by the venue.

Well, the trio did not find any good french restaurants nearby that looked promising, so we ended up going to a sushi restaurant instead and were surprised by incredibly high-end sushi.

Back at the venue we found this mutant tomato. The girl is the bassist from Rendezvous Point.  

The show went way better than we anticipated and I, Isak, am certain that this is due to my garlic-ginseng-tea.

Not much else happened this day and not many pictures were taken. 

11 October 2015

Day 11 - Razzmatazz2, Barcelona, Spain

To think that people would settle in the cold north when there are places as hot as this during the fall. Well, to each his own, Isak prefers a slightly colder weather after yesterdays heat on the roof balcony, but this was not a cold day.

Barcelona is pretty awesome. We were up before the bus arrived at the venue this time and got to see a lot from the window. Incredible architecture most of which is designed by Antoni Gaudí, an architect that favored nature as his main influence rather than the work of previous architects. He was also one of the people in Barcelona to fight for the implementation of trams as a public transportation and it didn't take long before they were all over the city.
Sadly, a few years later, he was hit by a tram and left to die as the people passing by thought he was a beggar due to his rough looks. He was later recognized and rushed to the hospital, but it was too late.

He did; however, manage to create a city decorated in artistic architecture unlike anything elsewhere in the world.

La Sagrada Familia. Excuse the bad picture. There are so many people here and we both know you didn't come here for the architecture. Google it if you really want good pictures.

Ulrik with what I assume is an office building behind him. Obviously not created by Antoni Gaudí. I mean. That thing does not look anything natural.

The venue was very big and we were the 2nd of 6 bands today. Surprisingly, there were a lot of people in the audience when we went on stage and the show went well. We were only scheduled to play 25 minutes and chose therefore to only play the most heavy songs.

No silly, the drum-set is supposed to be ON the stage.

Not too easy to see on these pictures, but we had three (3) drum-sets on stage. Not too much space.

10 October 2015

Day 10 - Garaje, Murcia, Spain

And we thought Madrid was sunny and hot.

When I peeked out of the window this morning I was fooled by the shadow provided by the venue in which the bus had come to a stop. I thought to myself "oh well, at least we had some sun yesterday". I was definitely surprised when I went outside to find the weather to be way warmer than yesterday even with a warm breeze, which is the main thing that differs from Madrid where the wind was nippy.

Murcia is located pretty far south in Spain not too far from Alicante. The venue had a major roof balcony where we spent a few hours after loading in our gear. Bjørn and Isak got sunburned and Isak had to spend some time inside the backstage area to fully recover from the blistering sun.
The sun roof was also a perfect chance to dry clothes, so a few hours was also spent trying to wash clothes by hand in the sink. They end up smelling slightly better than before washing, but beggars (traveling artists in this case) can't be choosers.

Today is also Ulriks birthday. Isak made sure the audience knew and he was greeted and applauded properly on stage and after the show several people approached him wishing him happy birthday.

Birthday boy in sandals.

Disregard pirate. Isak had just cut his hair short again and needed protection as his pale Norwegian skin was not prepared for the beating handed out by the Spanish October-sun.
Yes, for you beer knowers. We were indeed drinking Budweiser. And we loved every second of it.

The drying of clothes.

The venue before gear is applied.

We did not spend too much time scouting out the area as it didn't seem to be much happening around this part of town, except from our show of course.

The venue in itself was pretty decent and the show went off without a hitch.