The first day, Joe and I parked by the harbor. A sauna session, some busking, working on the website and a short night in the van later, the day of the first show was there.
And it was not a good day. Dave, Timon and Alise had some issues with the second van which caused them to arrive only 2 hours before the show, dead tired. Also, Robine and Gildo´s flight was delayed, they arrived 1 hour before the show. It was hectic. We were told to set up outside of a café, next to a street.
The two acts we were playing with, Margarete & Ture, were absolute champs though. Patient & funny and fantastic, unique musicians. We set up in less than two hours, using all our equipment, cables, channels. Even though it was exhausting and chaotic, it ended up being a good proof of concept. Sad that hardly anyone saw it.
Apparently there was a big music festival in town and the location had not really advertised for the show… The few people joining us liked it though and after taking everything down, a very (very, very) expensive pizza, some nice chats and drinks, we headed to our sleeping arrangements. By the end of the day, we were proud to have survived the first day of madness.
And we were glad it was over.
A little hungover but excited for the days ahead, we finally hit the road all together.
The endless days of a nordic summer messed with your awareness of time. Maybe it was just the lack of sleep or the long hours in the car… We stopped for lunch sometime in the late afternoon and by then everything felt a little more peaceful, more in place than the day before.
Cropped with pines
Pools of water cupped in giant hands
Knuckles of stone
Kissed with moss
We’re thundering down her back
On an asphalt serpent“
(from Joe´s diary)
The land: stunningly soft and rough at the same time.
The people: beautiful and humble, unbelievably welcoming to us bunch scruffy musicians with a crazy idea…
We met old friends and made new ones within only a few moments.. This. This is what it’s all about. I think we all felt it that day.
The show in Gävle was the exact opposite of Oslo. A packed community center, an enthusiastic audience, beautiful moments and a peaceful day in one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. It was beautiful to see how all kinds of people came together to celebrate a day of music and community. And the notion that we inspired some of that… blows my mind. These are the kinds of connections, the kinds of ideas and moments that make memories that last hopefully forever.. and sometimes you have to get up a little early for it, be stressed for it, go above and beyond for it.
The next morning, Timon and I recorded some local musicians in a light house in town. A beautiful scenery and a song that still gives me goosebumps to this day. The others slept in and started packing up to head towards Stockholm, where we took the ferry to Turku, Finland.
Photo: Gildo Cassimo (Photospokus)
It had only been a couple of days. But it felt like we were traveling for much longer already. Some of us were starting to get tired. From lack of sleep, constant travel, new surroundings, noise, not being able to be alone for even just a little bit.. A night on the ferry helped. And the fact that it was only a short drive to the house we were staying in as yet another short-term home to play a show. And what a strange show it was.
An old church in the middle of nowhere was converted into some kind of festival ground for the birthday of Australian music manager Marcello (Italian name… I know). A fantastic hot dog stand, an improvised stage, a bar and people dressed in 70s party / disco outfits gathered to celebrate him, his wife and us. We got absolutely destroyed by a swarm of mosquitos, got some decent applause and ended up having a great time. I made a girl in the audience very uncomfortable when I called her out for her phone ringing… and felt very sorry.
The night ended with a smoke sauna session and the deepest sleep I had in a long time.
I don´t remember who booked the show but they forgot to tell us it was on an Island. Wait, what? How do we get there? Apparently not with the vans. F**k. A short discussion and a few calls later, we figured it would be best to take the tourist ferry and walk. With most of our equipment.
“It´s not that far”
Not when you don´t have a truckload of equipment to carry. We arrived drained in sweat, frustrated and stressed. Only an hour or so until showtime and we still had to set up. We got joined by ____ and Nightbird that everning, two very talented local musicians. Nightbird would eventually join us until Berlin.
While the island is stunningly beautiful, it is a touristic place where people go during the day to walk around and enjoy the calm. Not a place where people live. Or stay for concerts in the evening. We played for a handful of people that loved it though and after the show, the friendly bartender got us drunk and took us on a night walk through the caved of the island. I admit that I was frustrated for most of the day… but everything turned golden at night and all the fog of stress and disappointment was lifted by great company, fresh air, a clear sky and a beautiful island. We rushed to take the last ferry and Joe and I slept in the van by the harbor with the equipment while the others stayed at a friends place.
We had long days of driving ahead of us. Our next show was Frun festival in Poland and we only had a few days to get there.
As the days passed, one milestone after the other, one magical moment after the other, one annoyance, one frustration, one tired comment after the other, one heat stroke, one runny nose, cough, fever after the other.. One long night out, one drink, cigarette, hungover drive in the van after the other.. we were getting tired. Some knew it, others (like me) wouldn’t want to believe it.
Some of the crew got sick along the way, we were sleeping in tents and the vans and it was 40*C outside. We spent three days sweating, noses dripping, trying to find some calm between trance music and drum circles. Lucas Laufen joined the crew and brought some fresh energy…
I don´t think he knew what he was getting himself into. After a beautiful late night headline set at the “roots” stage and barely escaping a summer storm we left Frun absolutely exhausted. And went our different ways for a few days before our next show in Berlin.
PS: still editing the documentary. So. Much. Great. Stuff.
(and soooo much work)