Monday, April 21, 2008

A Couple Of Words From The Cold South

Well - "south" - is maybe a bit of an exageration, but it was south of the danish border, when I was on a short germany club tour with the band Late Night Venture last thursday and friday.

I thought i'd just put a couple of words and launch some pictures from the tour.

By now, we have played quite a lot of shows here and there in all sorts of venues in denmark as well as in other countries such as Sweden, UK, Finland and off course also Germany, and this time it was the time of playing small clubs : Astra Stube in Hamburg and Intersoup in Berlin.

It seems like everytime we go to germany it always ends up in ourselves having a really good time, which is due to a very enthusiastic audience, venues that cares about making everything work as best as possible, and then just good vibrations.

This time was no different, than the other times, making both shows a very nice experience.

17.04.2008 - Astra Stube - Hamburg

First show was at the small club Astra Stube i
n Hamburg, a really cool and pretty smashed place, just like we like it. We've played there before, but this time, they had improved the place, making a bigger stage and some better monitoring gear, so we could actually fit on the stage this time (last time both Peter and myself had to stand on the floor instead of the stage) .
One could think that these small places are not good for our pretty broad sound, but it really doesn't matter, in fact we feel quite comfortable
at these small venues. It feels a bit more like the rehearsal space and it's very nice to be so close to audience, and that night there was a lot of dedicated listeners in the audience, making it even better to play the songs.

These things all added up to a good atmosphere which kind of developed into a party afterwards, being able to talk with a lot of the l
ocals and just have a good time, drinking all the Astra's in the Stube.

Hospitality is not an issue in Hamburg, so we had a good sleep, and on the day after, the arrangers had us out for brunch, before we were off to Berlin.

Astra Stube is definately a good place to stop by when touring in Germany, and we will be back there for sure, just not on our forthcoming Europe tour, because its too close.

The Setlist of this night was:
  • Encore : Silent Carriers
18.04.2008 - Intersoup - Berlin

Berlin is definately a nice city, I've been there lots of times by now, mostly when playing concerts but also at other occasions and one thing that Berlin has a lot of, is those combo places, where they have a bar, some cafe stuff and then also a small club for live music, all packed into a former resident area and typically with very mixed interior, made out of old 70's furniture, antique looking divans, colored carpets and in general a lights design that makes the places very cozy.

Intersoup is one of those places. In general, it's a bar, it's an asian eating place, and has a club where we would set up and play a show.

I must admit that I had bit crisis, when discovering that the PA system in this place, was really really, and I mean really small, the smallest PA speakers I think I've seen, not really suitable for a full blown rock band, which we are.

So there definately some sound issues with Vocals and Keyboards, but we tried to get the best out of it, and tweaked it to its max output. Nonetheless not optimal, but still the show ended up being one of those connecting experiences, where the audience is really with you and we had the same show as in Astra Stube, but had to put in one more encore.

As in Hamburg, there was quite a good mood and everything ended up in a nice party afterwards, until we had to depart with the gear. Luckily had some extra hands to carry for us this time. Thanks André .

Before we played the show, we we're fed by the intersoup kitchen, and that was really something. I enjoy "Dim Sum" a lot, and the "Dim Sum" they made here was so excellent, I don't think I've had better Dim Sum since a time in Chinatown, San Fransisco. I lived long on those Dim Sum :-)

Below here I've posted a couple of pictures to give you an idea of the setting, it was very cozy and atmospheric club in my opinion. To see all the pictures go to our Flickr here

The Set list of the night was the same as Astra Stube, but with a 2nd encore, where we played Condition Lost.

19.04.2008 - Home

After this short tour, we had to pack up and get back on the road, nothing exciting about that. Just a short pit-stop 30km's from Rostock made us pretty nervous.

The tour bus broke down, and just wouldnt start. Time was running, the ferry probably wouldn't wait on us !
After half an hour of boxing with the bus, calling the rental company, having a german tank-stop guy helping us, we finally got it running, and actually made the ferry.

But this just ends up in one more experience that we should add to the list of what to do when you tour.

Two major things to remember next time.
  • Always have your own PA along, you never know what's in the place (this is mainly for the small places, bigger venues always have decent gear)
  • Always rent a "newer" bus, we've recently had 3 busses breaking down on us, last time in germany we had two breakdowns before we even left denmark.
So next up is a local show :
  • 29.04.2008 : Loppen, Copenhagen. Playing a show with "This Will Destroy You" from U.S. I'm looking forward to that, I really enjoy This Will Destroy You.
Bus Rotation

As with most older bus'es you don't get a CD player in it, and even though our friendly healthcare manager and driver had brought along his cassette IPOD converter, it didn't really work, so we didn't get to listen to much music on this tour, but the Macbook Pro was nonetheless playing :
  • This Will Destroy You
  • Snowden
  • Dinosaur Jr
  • Sonic Youth
  • Kyte
  • DJ Shadow
  • The Cult
  • Cult Of Luna
  • Afghan Whigs
  • Charlotte Gainsbourgh
  • Band Of Horses
  • Blue Foundation
  • Mice Parade
  • Manual

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