„Kurz vorm Showdown Tour 2005“
November 19-26, 2005
Georg – bus and great mood
Willy – throat and cigarettes
Froesi – bass and ADOLESCENTS-Tapes
Stolle – guitar and bloodsoaked hands
Flo – drums and a bottle of Jack Daniel`s
Guys – how were tours done 10 years ago, when there was no internet yet and you couldn´t simply send out some mails to get a week booked with gigs? Honestly, I cannot imagine really and I am glad to be able to use this medium. When we, CHAINBREAKER, this summer decided to do a one-week tour in late autumn, most of the shows were cleared after a few days only. I just had to send a copy of our 7” in case people didn`t know us and then gratefully just had to wait for the confirmation. In the end we had our fine little tour, leading us through whole Germany from North to South, with a sensible route and most possible to places where we hadn`t been before.
Saturday, November 19, 2005: “Sturmglocke”, Hannover
We had a date at 2:30 pm at our rehearsal room, to be able to depart at 3:00. I had been the one to put big speeches on the necessity to meet in time in order to pack the gear in the van without any hassle – and then it was me who arrived just before 3:00, just after the others already had loaded the amps and most parts of my drumkit. (For the following days, I would keep in mind to piss off when it was coming to load the can just to turn up while pretending surprise – “Oh, you are finished with loading already…?” - just when everything`s finished).
I met Georg, our driver, who also owned the bus, and then we drove off. Just at the beginning of the tour we had fun with the internet-generated road descriptions when we tried to take the motorway at Michendorf which just had been deconstructed… this meant driving through several villages to get on the motorway at another approach. We arrived Hannover quite quickly, too quick for me to enjoy my bottle of Jack Daniel`s. I wondered how we managed to be in front of the “Sturmglocke” at the Sprengel area where Felix and Mupe of XAWARA welcomed us. Actually, we had been supposed to play with XAWARA and another band called GRUBE UND PENDEL at the “Stumpf”, until the XAWARA folks had realised that on the same evening, an antifascist benefit festival would take place at the “Sturmglocke” so that our show had been cancelled and we were added on the bill for the festival. I had wanted to play with XAWARA and especially GRUBE UND PENDEL who consist of people having been in HYPOCRITICAL SOCIETY before – a band I liked very much a decade ago. But to reduce each others´s audience would not have been a good idea, so we played the festival which was put up quite big and professional, with things such as drink assets for band members. XAWARE-Felix was very ashamed of them so that he immediately told us to tell him whenever we would go short of these – he would provide us more drinks. That`s the way it should be! We sat in the café for some hours, besides Georg and us only crew members and other musicians, no audience at all, listened to old HELLOWEEN tunes und asked ourselves if any visitors would show up at all. After a while I had to search my scarf which I had deposited on a sofa under which it had fell meanwhile. I found it finally. At some point, around 20 young people came which seemed to be school mates of the members of the first band, PUBLIC DISORDER, who started to play by then. They did not enthusiate me much with their new metal ideas directly stolen from SYSTEM OF A DOWN and the DEFTONES. Their 20 friends cheered loud enough which drove the band to drop a “you are so cool!” announcement. I remembered my own high school band embarrassments and forgave them. At first it had looked like the 20 PUBLIC DISORDER friends would go after their heroes` gig to head for the next alternative disco and leave the rest of the bands by themselves, meanwhile the venue had filled up with a cool mixture of people – and it became more and more during the evening. Punks, skins, hardcore folks, hippie girls, gothics – all of them were there. I liked it, the diversity. THE DISTURBERS from Kiel started playing and managed to impress me with their mixture of old TURBONEGRO and SHEER TERROR – they had drive and rock in their performance and their singer had the necessary aggression and anti-sociality in his stage appearance that such a sound simply needs. Unfortunately they didn`t know when enough was enough and played way too long so that I went out of the show room at the end of their set. After them, the all-girl-trash-punk-band DE FATWAS from Holland was on, who, in my ears, sounded a little like slow S.O.A.. Their singer was sexy as she stood totally motionless on stage and crawled snakelike around her microphone stand in a Jim Morrison way. Then TACKLEBERRY, from somewhere in Northern Germany, played a kind of “modern hardcore” which meant that they mixed up old GORILLA BISCUITS ideas with screamo vocals, okay, but not my kind of beer. Then came NERVOUS BREAKDOWN who we were supposed to play the following three days unless they had cancelled their show for the following day at the “Rote Flora” in Hamburg. I found them dubious for cancelling so shortly and was curious on musical terms. I didn`t like them that evening – they attend the “old school” and are eager pupils of teachers like SLAPSHOT, they even have just done their first lessons on “blast beats”, but have failed to do their homework on that…but more to them at a later point. Then it was up to us and just like most of the other bands we weren`t quite convincing. I had difficulties in getting on with the huge drum rack on stage which had to be used by each band. I couldn`t set up my drums properly and played rather sloppy, to my shame. Stolle hurt himself by hitting his guitar as hard as possible and his blood poured over his instrument, looking quite dramatically. The audience, however, seemed to like us. After us, EGOZID were on, again more on the metallic new-school edge of hardcore, which didn`t interest me too much after our gig. Soon, we went to sleep after this mediocre start of our tour, had some fun with Georg and his gorgeous Vienna dialect (he´s Austrian), then tried to sleep and to ignore the loud partying people just in front of the window of our sleeping room. Shortly after we had fallen asleep, most of the time without snoring (thus actually being a problem in our band!)
Sunday, November 20, 2005, “Rote Flora”, Hamburg
We got up not too early and went down to the café to have breakfast with the other bands. Like the evening before, the crew first provided us unspectacular satiating food, waited until our stomachs were stuffed and then came up with the real tasty dishes – in this case great grilled tofu. The day before they had waited until everyone had had enough pasta when they then served French Fries and other goodies. Luckily I was hungry enough to have a second plate of it all. After breakfast we hung around for a while since the drive to Hamburg wouldn`t take long and we would have to hang there anyways. Daniel from Hamburg, who was doing the show, informed us that he himself would not be able to show up and unlock the doors for us before 6 pm, so that an early departure didn`t make sense. So we stayed in the warmth in Hannover. I went on a short walk into the city centre in order to get a post card to send to my wife – I wanted to send her a card from every place where we were playing. Fitting to the slight hangover atmosphere of us, it rained and it was cold and windy – and I had suffered from a cold for a week by then. When I came back, the others had already loaded the backline in the van. Despite all, we wanted to go by then, especially since Felix from XAWARA admitted that due to his hangover, he was not in the shape to start drinking with us as we had promised before. Around 3 pm, we drove off.
Two hours later we stood in front of the “Rote Flora” and knocked the door desperately. There was light inside, but nobody opened us. At some point Georg heard death metal noises coming from a cellar window and we managed to persuade the people to let us leave our stuff inside the building. We didn´t want to leave our equipment in the car outside, but also didn`t want to wait in the car. When this was cleared we went to explore the quarter, the Schanzenviertel, in which the “Rote Flora”, an ancient theatre and nowadays a place for all kinds of alternative, non-commercial subculture, is located. The Schanze is a quarter like some corners in Berlin-Friedrichshain – a lot of nice bars, but attended by hip elite law students who however didn`t manage yet to wash away the initial feeling of it. It`s nice! After two hours of walking around we started to get cold and went inside a kebab diner near the “Flora” to test the first Astra Pilses. Froesi, Georg and me went off again to have a short walk over the famous red-light-district, the Reeperbahn – I didn`t want to miss that! Conscientious we bought some cards with topless girl pictures to send to our lovers at home – duty number two was fulfilled. When we came back to the “Flora”, the crew there was busy with cooking already to serve us, the rockstars, nice soy/vegetable stew. Meanwhile the house band INSTINCT OF SURVIVAL who filled in for the sortly cancelled NERVOUS BREAKDOWN had turned up. Singer/guitarist Patrik tried to gain back his voice by drinking litres of hot tea – he suffered from a cold and had woken up without a voice after a party the night before. Luckily, he was successful. We built up our backline in the concert room and INSTINCT… started to do soundcheck. Everything looked nice – only that no single paying guest had entered yet. I went on for a short walk through the slight rain again to realize dozens of people standing in front of the “Flora” entrance. They just didn`t want to pay and get in. When INSTINCT… let the first heavy bass feedbacks drone through the building, the audience changed their mind and around 40 people found their way into the “Flora” cellar. INSTINCT… were good as a four-piece. I had seen them as a trio at the “Yellow Dog Festival” in the summer where I found them a bit one-dimensional though their “traditional” crust style in the vein of old AMEBIX/DEVIATED INSTINCT is definitely a nice variation from the stereotype “Sweden Crust” or generic grindcore. Now – with two guitars and lots of MORBID ANGEL solos – I like a lot what I heard. So did the audience. After them we played a far better show than the night before. It was loud, rocking and fun! At some point I didn`t care if the audience enjoyed us because I did – and that mattered! Stolle tore his hand and bled all over his guitar – a top example for hardcore being an intensive style of music, haha! Unfortunately, all our efforts didn`t seem enough to get the audience to ask for encores. We stopped our set therefore and packed our stuff together quite quickly. We then had to wait for a while until Barzi, the man doing the bar and generally in charge of tidying up and throwing people out, until we drive to his flat where we were supposed to stay over night. After having had to search for a parking space for a while, we had to be very quiet when we entered his the flat because of his sleeping roommate. We squeezed ourselves into 10 m², handed around the Jack Daniel`s bottle and a joint and fell asleep afterwards.
Monday, November 21, 2005: “AZ” Mülheim/Ruhr
After waking up, everyone of us attended the loo and everyone of us stayed there much longer as necessary because of the Nintendo gameboy lying around which persuaded to play tetris. But at some point we managed to drive back to the “Flora” where a great breakfast awaited us already. I again started searching my scarf as I knew I had left it in the “Flora” kitchen the night before – but either I was simply wrong or someone else had taken it with him; black scarfs are common enough that it would be no wonder. I was pissed nevertheless because I felt cold around my neck at temperatures around 0° Celsius. But nothing helped: I had to walk to the local Wal-Mart to get me a cheap new one. Besides I bought huge amounts of aspirin, paracetamol and cough drops, since all of started getting ill. When I returned from my shopping trip, the others had loaded the van already – good behaviour, I say! Barzi gave us a big box filled with bottles of Astra Pils and Bionade (a nice kind of lemonade without artificial ingredients, but natural flavours instead). We were quite touched of this friendliness – also because he just had hosted us very nicely. It would take a while for me to notice that I knew him from an internet message board already – under a nickname, of course…
When we drove off, it was early afternoon, because Mülheim was a bit farer as we had been told and in the Ruhrpott area the rush hour traffic should not be taken easily. So we started in time, but this advantage got wiped off at the first gas station (still in Hamburg) when Froesi wanted to clean the front car glass and did this with so much energy that he broke the windscreen wiper. To purchase a new one took its time, of course…
We arrived Mülheim at the early evening without any greater problems. We soon realized that social democratic traffic policy visions of the 60s can turn into driver nightmares decades later: the road network is dominated by a really shitty one-way system so that you never get back to any starting point once you`ve missed any drive. The atmosphere in a certain band can definitely suffer on that. Nevertheless we arrived at the famous AZ (=autonomous centre) where we were greeted enthusiastically by Lucien/BURIAL and Christoph/BOMBENALARM who handed us beer and food immediately. Thus our mood was good again. NERVOUS BREAKDOWN, on the schedule again for this night, had also arrived already and waited, just like we did, for more audience to show up. All in all it was only a few people entering, but the ones who were there were exclusively nice persons such as Stachel or the whole Ruhrpott crew around the great BURIAL and BOMBENALARM. I took the opportunity to have a longer talk with NERVOUS BREAKDOWN during which the reasons for their strange cancellation of the gig the night before became obvious. In my eyes it excused a lot of what I had found stupid before: they simply were very, very young (between 15 and 18 years old) and had had stress with their parents on the issue of driving to Hamburg. I hadn`t thought that they were that young and found it impressing that they had developed such a taste and created such a sound as a band – other people take years and long ways over heavy metal to remember the “old school”. Thinking of my own first steps in playing in bands as a 15-year-old, I think NERVOUS BREAKDOWN are less embarrassing. I am curious what will happen to them in the next two years when they learn to play their instruments a bit better. On this whole background I liked seeing them play much more than two days before, when they started their set in front of 25 people. But also from an objective point of view it was better what they did that evening. We then thrashed through our songlist solidly (Stolle bled again) to sit and drink with Christoph, Stachel and the others afterwards. At first I was glad of having found another whiskey lover in Stachel, until he informed me that would drink everything “on the rocks” anyway. What an ignorant! From this moment on I was a bit more careful in offering him my bottle. For the night we were shown our sleeping room where real beds with blankets awaited us. With the knowledge that the world will demise with noblesse, we soon went to sleep.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005, “Zoro”, Leipzig
Relaxed and comfortable (due to the beds) we woke up the next morning, saw Lucien with a big bag of bread rolls passing our window and went down to the “AZ”-barroom after having washed ourselves. Breakfast was great again, with lots of fruits.
At noon we left as the drive to Leipzig was supposed to be the longest distance of our tour. As last task in Mülheim I tried to get a postcard which was an impossible act in the quarter we were passing. In the end I had to draw one myself which I did not too bad – with industry sites and trucks on it (Mülheim is an old industrial city, famous for its mines and steel factories).
The drive was long and without any incidents. After five-and-a-half hours we arrived at the “Zoro” in Leipzig and realized that no one was there and that it was fucking cold. As all of us had been to Leipzig and the “Zoro” before, we spread. Stolle went to say “hallo” to his sister, I went getting the obligatory post card, then attended an internet café while the others hung around in the “Zoro” house. Later, the show crew around Andy turned up and started cooking. Then the other bands MEN IN SEARCH OF THE PERFECT WEAPON from Leipzig and BURIED INSIDE from Canada arrived and started setting up the backline in the big concert room of the “Zoro”. This was very impressing, though not really surprising considering the massive heavy sound that both bands play. Especially BURIED INSIDE didn`t seem to find an end carrying amp after amp out of their van. “They muscle up a lot!”, Froesi summed it all up. BURIED INSIDE started a longer soundcheck which seemed reasonable at sight of all their gear. The first visitors came and it started getting crowded when we entered the stage then, did a short line check and started playing without any further break. The “Zoro” filled more and more, until it was really stuffed with people. Some friends of us showed up, among the “Vendetta” label boss Stefan and Froesi`s girlfriend Käthe. But despite, our performance wouldn`t gain much reaction from the audience. We noticed that people hadn`t come because of us, but to see the other two bands who were doing a different style then we. We hadn`t been on the agenda for this evening from the beginnen, but had jumped in some weeks before when our tour plan still had no date for this evening and I had finally asked Steffen from MEN IN SEARCH… if we could join which, nice enough, wasn´t a problem. This had lead to the situation that we played in front of 200 people waiting for slow droning heavy hardcore and weren´t too much into our sloppy fast thrash. Thanks to the semi-optimal stage sound our performance wasn´t at best, inclusive technical accidents like breaking guitar strings and loose screws on the drum kit. The whole time I felt like being at a party where I have invited myself and then didn`t know anybody and was dismissed by the rest of the guests. To be honest, I have to add that of course there were many friends of us there who had come to see us mainly, and that the “Zoro” guys at the entrance told us later that not too few people had asked for us when paying. It was just my feeling at this moment… at least Stolle gave everything again: he bled all over his guitar again. His hand started looking disgusting with a thick blood crust.
After we had put our stuff off the stage quickly I went behind our “merch” stand and watched the other bands play. I wished I was there as a normal spectator without being on tour and having to think of so many things. I liked a lot what I heard – both band were very intense!
After the whole show we drank a bit and went to sleep soon.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005, “JUZ”, Mannheim
When I woke up, it was bitter cold. The big stove heating of the kitchen had burned out long before and the necessary open windows had caused freezing temperatures in the sleeping room. Stolle also woke up and together we went outside to look for some wood to hack. Back upstairs again we managed to get the room back to a pleasant temperatur again. The concert crew showed up to prepare a big breakfast for all involved which we had then, sitting all around the big table.
Again around noon, we left for Mannheim. At first we drove along a highway with direction motorway as we saw an overturned car on the field besides the road. We wondered about the sight of it when in that recent moment we noticed a woman crawling out of the wreck. This was no car ruin, but an accident that just had happened! We stopped immediately and looked what was up actually, but the women didn´t seem to be injured and just told us that “nothing had happened” and that we could continue our journey. We didn´t know if that was true or if she was under a heavy shock but when we saw a car of the road watch coming nearer we went back to our can and continued our drive.
On the early evening, we arrived in Mannheim at the “JUZ” (=youth centre) which is located in a former supermarket building near a huge festival ground in the quarter Neckarstadt. As I had grown up near Mannheim, I was eager to see old companions. And there they were – some of the people at the “JUZ” I still knew or at least had attended the same happenings so that I could sit down with them and share old memories for some hours. While we sat around in the nice book store of the “JUZ”, had a chat, searched the record boxes of local organizer Litty for little raries and goodies, or enjoyed the huge variety of books, the old heroes of DIAVOLO ROSSO arrived, also the rather young guys of THE ITALIAN STALLION. The fourth band of this evening, WITH DYING HOPE, called us to inform us about their delay due to traffic jams, which lead to them being packed at the end of the bill for stage.
After a good dinner and the first few beers, THE ITALIAN STALLIONs started not too late with their highspeed-youth-crew-thrashcore. Musically with the right ideas they also convinced with their engaged speeches against homophobia – I often think that certain speeches are just a boring “preaching to the converted”, but in this case it came convincing and sincere. And a hardcore band giving themselves a “gay” image in a scene full of metal machismo is more than just sympathetic! As they told later, they really had some problems with the bodybuilder-idiotic bit of the scene on that issue.
To see DIAVOLO ROSSO then, was a highlight of the whole tour for me. I had cared to invite these old heroes of my punk rock youth myself and had felt like a king when they confirmed playing together with us. Now they playing just before us and I stood there in the first row and felt like they were playing just for me. And how great they were – a bit calmer compared to earlier beer spilling excesses (“prosperity punk is what my colleagues at work call me”, singer Kuhni admitted before their set just to point out that I also had grown a little belly), but with their two guitars still a fat, unbelievably tight wall of thrilling melodies. When they dedicated their old demo song “Zuchtsau” to me, I was happy as can be.
Our performance was quite good then. Stolle bled as usual, the crowd seem to like us and at the end of our set we had to smile while playing when we realized we just had our first circle pit in the audience – it consisted of three people moving around just like a children´s polonaise in a circle of appr. 3 m. Nevertheless!
After us, WITH DYING HOPE where on, who changed their name to KAISHA this evening. The origin of this name is some samurai movie as they told us. Unfortunately no one understood what it was about which made them “the band with the samurai” among all of us for the rest of the evening. On bass they featured my old friend Mirko with whose old bands I had shared stages and a split 7” with my former band ALTENBURG 76, and he surprised me with unexpected skills and heaviness. Their sound didn`t fit too well with the more punk sound of the rest of the bands, but I dig their complex metal math core and found them to be Mirko´s best band so far!
Like every other evening it didn`t take too long after clearing off the stage until we layed down to sleep.
Thursday, November 24, 2005, “Kunstverein”, Nuremberg
I woke up early in the morning and used the opportunity to have shower. Meanwhile, Froesi and the singer of ITALIAN STALLION were up, too, and as it looked as if it would take a while until the rest would crawl out of their sleeping bags, we went off for a small walk through the city. Besides a little impression of the city we wanted to buy drumsticks for me, and of course the obligatory post cards. We got all of it after we had seen the famous water tower, we started to feel cold enough to return to the “JUZ” in the Neckarstadt. The others were already sitting around a huge breakfast table. Breakfast was good again and because we and ITALIAN STALLION weren`t in a hurry we sat there quite long and listened to Litty telling an endless amount of funny incidents of the R.A.M.B.O. tour he had been driving the summer.
In the afternoon, both bands departed for Nuremberg where we arrived two hours later at the “Kunstverein”. The “Kunstverein” is some sort of bar with a stage in a huge building back from the Nazi era, in which numerous cultural locations have their place. We had difficulties finding the entrance to “our” place. Inside we met Patrick who did the show, provided us food and showed us the sleeping facilities. Later, our father-figure friend Flo Helmchen turned up who had driven all the way from Munich for this concert. He talked to us shortly to get himself on the table soccer where stayed for the rest of the evening, only interrupting shortly when one of the bands was on. I was pleased to meet my friend Raphael who I had told about the show months before and who had kept this in mind and travelled from Erlangen to see us. That´s what I call dedication!
After a while we set up our equipment – in a totally empty concert room which sadly wouldn´t really fill over the evening. As the room wasn`t small at all, it stayed rather cold – in every meaning of it. THE ITALIAN STALLION started and were even more convincing than the night before. They are simply nice young people with a target and a great future when they will just continue what they have begun so far! After them, the local act GENETIKS was up. They played some kind of wave-punk which I may have liked under other circumstances, but not on this evening. The sound wasn´t great, their keyboard was only visible, not audible and somehow I couldn`t cope with the appearance of the musicians in their thirties though they had their touching moments when sounding a bit like AMEBIX. We were up as last act and played a solid, unspectacular set, except for Stolle bleeding impressive, of course.
Afterwards we very soon were the last remaining attendants of the bar who would take an intensive test of the tasty local beers. When Stolle once got himself another bottle again and asked for the drink account status of CHAINBREAKER (every band had a certain contingent of free drinks) he was told, that we had had 28 beers already. We were stroke on that and assumed that the other bands had told the barkeeper that they were from CHAINBREAKER when ordering to save their own contingent, but then we figured out that, especially due to Georg who was partying heavily that evening, the number made sense. As I felt cold, I went to sleep as the first of us, while the others continued drinking and playing table-soccer until the early morning.
Friday, November 25, 2005, “Freitagscafé”, Munich
Next morning I noticed to my joy that it had snowed over night and that the whole city was covered by a beautiful white coat of snow. Although this meant unreliable traffic conditions, cold and wet, I liked the sight a lot. In the house it was freezing and so we sat all in jackets around the breakfast table and let Patrick tell us stories about the Nuremberg punk scene, especially about some strange Oi! Punk phenomema.
As Munich wasn´t that far, we decided to stay a little in Nuremberg and take a look at city. The ancient inner city, dating from the middle ages, and the city castle are famous sight seeing points. And so we went through the snow, looked shortly at the busy Christmas shopping crowds and had some fun getting postcards (there are in facts cards with the slogan “1933 was a special year” written on it, meant to send to someone born in this year – why not, whoever was born in `33 is definitely not responsible for the political change in Germany taking part; on the other hand it reads funny and cynic). We went up the hill to see the castle, looked upon the city and went back. We took a stop at the famous Christmas market which was just to be started with a celebration in this moment and had some glue wine (a traditional hot alcoholic drink) out of mugs formed as boots – very stylish! We agreed that this was a great way to spend our time on tour and that we should use of these opportunities in the future. Hanging around in concert venues is more boring.
In the late evening we headed for Munich finally, not without having taken some bottles of a local beer called “Pogo Rausch” that was brought to the “Kunstverein” for a punk festival in the moment we loaded the van. Drinking beer on the road however can cause serious problems as I had to find out painfully because in Munich we got stuck in the usual rush hour traffic jam. After more than half-an-hour of stop and go my bubble started to hurt real badly. As it was totally unclear how long it would take us to reach our destination I couldn´t help myself no other than to jump out of the car and take a minute-long piss on a tree in the middle of a small Christmas market. I believe that the people in Munich, as beerdrinkers themselvcs and hosts of the famous Oktoberfest, are used to the sight of heavily pissing men in public. I was glad that Georg showed solidarity and I stood not alone there. Maybe it was just a matter of perception, but after relieving myself it didn´t take long until we arrived at the youth centre “Tröpferlbad” which hosts the “Freitagscafé” every Friday evening. Nobody seemed to be there when we rang the bell. After a while the door opened and we were welcomed by a fairylike beautiful girl with wild dreadlocks on her head. She let us in gave all of us a beer at first. We were so stroked by her friendliness (and her cuteness) that we spoke of Julie, as her name was, as “the fairy godmother”. Once more I enjoyed being at this great place where I had nothing but best memories from playing there with my old band ALTENBURG 76. In the entrance there was a poster announcing CHAINBREAKER as “ex-ALTENBURG 76” which made me proud.
As it was early the evening and it would take a while until everything would start, we hung, as usual, with drinking and playing table soccer. Willy and I went on a short walk – to get postcards, of course… At the Sendlinger Tor we saw the Munich punk scene original Anton, a unbelievable fat Mohawk punk who I had partied with the last time until 5 in the morning. This time he wouldn´t show up at our show, though.
Coming back, the venue had filled up well. The other bands were there already, build up the equipment and we got served a great roast meal on a soy base, with sauerkraut. Our die hard follower Flo Helmchen came and I met Johannes, who was organizer of another great show I had had with ALTENBURG 76 in Munich. It turned out that he was singer of the local band KACHEL who was supposed to play this evening. The started as first then and aroused my enthusiasm with their intense, fast hardcore thrash. As it was their first show ever, a lot of their friends had come who created a thankful and rousing atmosphere in the audience. I stood bit in the back, watched it all and had great fun. After them, PURREN were on, some sort of local stalwarts in their job – relaxed, melodic rock with hardcore/punk roots. Not so much my cup of tea – it was okay, but not thrilling. We were up last and played a great set, in my opinion! The audience was kind, gave us a motivating response and drove us into a loud and fast performance. Again, during the song “Dauerlatte Lebenslauf”, there was some sort of circle pit action, this time even for real! Been taken with so much cool feedback, we played a few encores, also songs that we hadn´t practised any more for while. Well, hardcore has got to be chaotic from time to time, and guessing from the picture on the cover of the JERRY`S KIDS LP, the band is not very tight either… Thanks to Stolle´s ever-bleeding hand and the blood-covered guitar it all looked pretty dangerous! His hand was an amorph piece of blood by then.
Afterwards we sold a proud amount of shirts (Bavarians/Munichs are well-off and we must have been good that evening) and hung around, feeling well. Later at night, the crew closed the venue and we also packed our stuff und said good-bye. The “fairy” gave us a last touch of magic when we thanked her on behalf of her crew for the nice evening we had had as a band, and she answered with the most beautiful smile that she, too, liked it and that we were invited to come back any time! Wow!
We went to the flat of two people of the crew by foot and train where parts of us went directly to sleep, others sat down with our hosts to have some more of the great Augustiner beers.
Saturday, November 26, 2005, “Squat”, Erfurt
Being woken up by sunbeams through the window, Stolle and I went on to get “Weissbier” (a local beer), vegetarian sausages, brezels and sweet mustard because we wanted to celebrate a traditional local breakfast. So it was – though my favour for this kind of dish was not shared by all of my band mates who hold themselves on coffee and cigarettes instead.
Not too late we went back to the show venue because this day´s route would be a bit longer, again. We loaded quickly and, as goodbye present, were given a huge bag full of lemonade and beer bottles. The way to Erfurt was passed without any incidents.
The local squat is located on an area of a former factory playing a sad role in exploiting the work force of boot camp inhabitants during the Nazi era. There is a well-done exhibition informing about details inside the squat. Besides the punk bar and show venue there are some other projects located on the site. On this evening, a techno party was taking place next to our concert.
But at first it was just fucking cold as the heater wasn´t started yet and the doors were open most of the time. Felix and XAWARA had arrived already and munched hot chilli, cuddling together on a sofa near a stove heater. We joined them. Is was really fucking cold.
Like on other occasions during our tour I was stunned by the fact that the audience turned out rather big when in the beginning of the evening it all seemed rather empty and none of the bands really had a big name. It was quite crowded when the local act KELLERASSELN started to thrash their way through 20 songs in about 15 minutes. I had seen them a few times before and as always I was impressed by their asocial sound consisting of parts of snotty punk elements (the East German legend SCHLEIMKEIM!) and hyperfast thrashcore. If this band had not their misleading moniker (but named themselves after, let´s say an action movie actor…) and weren´t dressed like typical punkers (but wore shorts and bandanas instead), their 625 release would be for sure. This way I find it a bit sad that they will assumingly remain undiscovered by greater audiences – unjustified, in my opinion!
XAWARA came after and surprised me in a positive way with their changes since I had seen them last time. Their old singer, Mupe, was gone, and Felix and Daniel were parting singing, and the formerly a bit boring drummer had left the kit for a yound hard-hitter who gave their dark crust-core way more drive and punch. This is another very good band with a promising future! Above that they are awesome nice people who you can have a great time with – who will give you Bud Spencer buttons as a present, just like Felix did?
We were last band again and I had had the feeling that, after the great gig the night before, it might end up disappointing. Luckily I was completely wrong. The audience was totally mad and made us give everything again. Stolle poured blood all over again and we thrashed our way through our set and had great fun watching the pogo mob in front of us. Stolle and Froesi had to jump to the side all the time as again and again, people were crashing onto the stage to jump back again. Between the songs there was one funny guy constantly asking us if we were “this certain student band from Bautzen” and if we couldn`t play some MOTÖRHEAD tunes. We couldn`t give that but everything else instead, played every encore we still knew and this time we managed all of them. Soaked in sweat and happy we sat on stage afterwards.
Initially, a big party should have taken place after the bands, with dancing, but because it was so cold and since there was no DJ but just some self-burned mix-CDs, the few people willing to dance soon gave up and stayed in the much better heated bar room.
I had some drinks, spent a short visit to the techno party next door and tried to party but had to capitulate the cold night and crawled into the sleeping room, in my sleeping bag. The XAWARA folks had tried to keep the heater working, with the result that the air in the room was quite smoky and made it necessary to open the windows which then again didn`t help to solve the warmth problem. Despite the party noise from downstairs I managed to sleep soon.
The next morning the fight against the cold was on the agenda again. We had breakfast, drank coffee, said goodbye to Steffel from the local crew (also drummer for KELLERASSELN) and XAWARA and drove home without any further incidents. We unloaded our equipment at the rehearsal room, made a short finance check, said goodbye to Georg who had earned himself a place in our hearts with his friendly personality and his helpful appearance through the last days and went home each. The same evening I started to get ill, but it was worth it. Really really nice it had been!