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We Rock Like Gril’s Don’t (Germany, 2009)

March 31, 2009

On The Road With… WE ROCK LIKE GIRL’S DON’T (Germany – March, 2009).

My journey started on Wednesday 25th making my way to London to pick up the van from Holloway Road, amazingly the whole journey took 1h55m! The van is very reasonably priced, so if you’re in a band check it out…http://www.besthire.co.uk/
Met Vas (drummer) and followed her back to Enfield and then made my way back into the city, which took a bloody age! I was gonna do some pottering at TotalRock but arrived there at the time I should have been interviewing at the O2 Islington Academy! So rushing around in the lovely weather wearing a leather jacket, I smelt great! Whilst on the tube some one decided to pull the emergency switch which delayed me another 10 minutes, why do I have such bad luck in London?!! lol

It turned out not to be a problem being late, luckily, as tere had been all sorts of problems. First off I interviewed Alex Skolnick of Testament, if you read his blogs, then you’ll know it is typical to find him at his laptop, which he was! Next I interviewed Jamie of Sylosis in the stairwell up to the stage! Worried how that one turned out, hopefully can get all these interviews edited soon, and you’ll be able to find out what their favourite cheesecakes are!!
Back to TotalRock towers to briefly say hi and finally met The Bat, then across to the Crow Bar to meet Cliff The Riff, guitarist from Tank, to discuss drum teching in the summer, alls looking good! Originally as I had to get back to Enfiled I was only going to watch Sylosis as I’ve not seen them yet, and I saw Testament earlier in the year, but then I found out that testament would only be performing their first two albums, like I’m gonna miss that!! Redd had problems getting in so I was considering giving her my pass, but thankfully she finaly got one, glad I saw it, it’s one of those special gigs that go down in history I think. Oddly, at the interview, I was recognised by a documentor?! Gues I’m more modest than most rock stars! haha. Typically my journey home was a disaster argh!!

 

Thursday 26th – Köln, Germany

We set off mid morning to the Euro Tunnel, a first for us all. Our terminal is very basic and old looking, typical I think for the English to underwhelm at something that could be a pillar to show off! Once on the train, it is so smooth, you don’t even realise it has started moving, must be a French train, we couldn’t be that effecient! Our route today takes us through France, Belgium, Netherlands and then Germany. 90% of the roads were fine, but that 10% in the ring road around Brussels, what should have been 20 minutes took 1h30m!! The filters in Europe are different to the UK, a whole two lane motorway will suddenly merge into the inside lane of another motorway, so traffic jams are easy, but this was hurrendous! We thoguht it must be a bad accident, many police had gone by, then some police diggers zoomed by (emergency road works?) then 17 riot vans zoomed by!! no idea what happened. I settled well into driving on the wrong side of the road, round abouts were fine too, the only problems I had were the sharp breaks and hand brake being a pedal! We didn’t have a SatNav so we had to follow printed instructions, this wasn’t too bad, the only problem was Vas’ problem of thnking we’ve missed a turn so telling me to turn early! We got to the Sonic Ballroom and as soon as we walked in, we were hit with a must of smoke, we forgot there’s no smoking ban!
The venue is much like many venues in the UK, black, band stickers and posters everywhere, small capacity, nice and intimate. The flat above had loads of bunks and we were cooked a lovely soup!

A Pilsner we drank, Früh, which is a Kölsch, is much like pork pies, it has to be brewed in that region. The only other band of the night and the tour were great! really quirky, Zealot, go check!!

 

Friday 27th – Den Helder, Netherlands

A quick trip into the city to see the Cathedral, very gothic! We also saw and ancient building, that had either fallen down over time or bombed. This building had been preserved by incorporating its remaining structure into a modern building, without destroying it, actually usuing it, veyr well done! Next off to the Netherlands. Today I discovered that Holland is not a country, Dutch people live in the Netherlands, North and South Holland are province! The drive should have only been 3-4 hours, but again massive traffic! Was nice driving throgh the country though, really flat, funnily enough! Den Helder is in the far NW corner of the North Holland in the NW of Netherland! It was interesting walking up hill to the sea! The venue, Blitsem, is a nice bar, thin and long.

The logo is in the KISS style, and they have a local liquer, that isnt Jager, but tastes just like it! The accomadation, well, VERY… interesting! Lovely Risotto though!

 

Saturday 28th – Frieburg, Germany

Well like most mornings, it rained when we started driving, but boy did it perk up, showing off the German landscap so well. Were heading for the Black Forest, an eight hour drive!! No traffic at all today and a good drive, until we hit the city, I think we drove around for at least an hour trying to find the venue, in the end we had to hire a taxi to follow to the road, even he didn’t know where the venue is! The club, The Great Rang Teng Teng, is in the basement under some shops. The centre of the city is cobled and still medevil looking. The ancient parts underneath the city are preserved by being used or protected by another wall. We went for dinner in a market next door. It was fantastic, loads of food stalls and a bar, with a communal eating area in the middle and music being played. It was open late as part of a monthly late opening day in the city.

The club was rammed tonight and got very hot! After struggling to load up the van through the crowd, we dropped off at the hotel and went to the promotors bar around the corner.

 

Sunday 29th – Shimitz, Germany

We had a great brunch at the hotel, which aparently it is well known in the area for, including Black Forest Gateau, drewl!

Today about a six hour drive to Eastern Germany, had a great drive on the Autoban A9. You’d expect with an unresreticted speed there would be this great big huge straight road, nope, 2 lanes, rough patchy surface and a fair few drivers stick to 130k, it’s mainly the business men in estates that tend to go fast, and me! The law has also chagned to give way to traffic on the right, this is done to slow traffic down, this also causes a lot of accidents as cars just pull out on you to over take! Doesn’t matter what speed you’re going, if theres a gap the size of a car they’ll pull out and usually without warning. Over here we usually keep a good distance just at our speeds, over there, even at 80mph youre only a few feet away from the car in front whilst you wait for them to pull in. Saying this though, we only saw one accident in 5 days worth of driving there, in the eight hours driving from home to Dover and back, I saw two! Also the junctions there are very different, in terms of slowing traffic down I think they’re good, but, say if you miss your exit and want to go back, you can’t as theres not roundabouts! Anyway, really fun driving on the A9, 3 lanes curving around the hillside with not much traffic. Great veiws too, there is a lot of wind farms in Europe, I ony saw one power station and that only had one chimney!

My view of Germany totally changed once we hit the city. Sundays are quiet in France and Germany as everything closes, the outskirts had traffic but the area around Subway To Peter was dead! With such big buildings, soviet in style, either run down or gaps where there were buildings, and maybe only 50% of them rejuvenated, we had a small taste and hit of reality what the area was like under the iron curtain. We had an ace pizza, no idea what it was! haha. We set up and went to the apartment.

When walking back, eveyr where was dead. Virtually city centre and not even th sound of A car, no one walking, we thought the gig would be dead. When we opened the club door, silence. We walked down the stairs, opened the massive door, music booming out and a bunker full of smoke and atmoshear, not so dead after all then! Like the rest of the gigs, plenty of merch was bought.

 

Monday 30th

Longest drive ever today, we left at 10am, we didn’t get back into London till 9.30pm!!! The first leg in Germany was the first bit I didn’t drive, when I took over, thinking we were near the German border, we were only just back over to Köln! but the weather was fantastic, virtually clear blue skies right up till the Channel Tunnel.

Greated home with a lovely chicken, egg and lemon soup!

From → Tour Diary

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