Thursday, 24 June 2010

Evile Infecting Nations 2010 tour.Weinheim.

Being freezing wakes me up this morning. Well, this afternoon. The bus stopping outside the venue probably had something to do with it too. How lazy. Load in would have been way more painful today if it wasn’t for the fact that not many people were up, the ones who were, were all slow motion and quiet and every time I went in to the venue to drop stuff, The Jimi Hendrix experience played through me from the speakers. Heaven. Everything is slow mo’ and hazy.

Food is being laid out for us as we load in too, and the best thing happens, the kind of thing that only happens now and again. I have been craving scrambled eggs for a few days now, and lo and behold if that’s not what is sitting in a bowl on the bar. Joel, Ben and me are beside ourselves. Doors aren’t till 8pm tonight, so I have loads of time and don’t have to rush for once. The extra half an hour or hour you get with a 7.30pm or 8pm start makes the world of difference to your working day. And 9pm openings are the dream! You can set your shit up, do work you don’t usually have time for, shower and jazz yourself up, eat slowly, and still have time to surf the net and bum around with your mates and sometimes even go on a wander. 9pm starts are a real rarity though. They are not to be expected but rather enjoyed when you are lucky enough to get one.

I grab the shower next, I usually manage to get in them before everyone else using the reasoning that once doors are open I’m stuck on the stand till close, where as everyone else can go whenever. They are all happy with this, since none of them want to do the stand while I shower. Of course the shower is freezing, I have come to expect not much better than this, lukewarm is hitting me for a short while, but freezing dominates it’s arse and pushes through, speeding me along while I thank God I didn’t need to wash my hair.

Freshly preened, I warn the others of the impending shower doom and trot off out to the trailer to grab stock and hunt for the still missing Evile backdrop. Still missing since Irun, 4 nights ago. We have turned the bus inside out looking for it, well Lyall has. He’s asked me to double check the trailer in case he missed it. This is major stress for him, the management back home are mega pissed about it because Evile need it for the two months they will be spending touring round the States straight after this tour as they are pretty much unknown out there. I get some of The Fading out with me, to keep watch while I’m raking around in the boxes. Safety first eh. It is a very silly and lazy idea to be pulling stock out of the trailer on your own when you have thousands of pounds worth of stock and many, many bored men sitting around inside the venue who own said stock. It may be snowing and shit, but you have to drag their arses out. They don’t mind once they are there, all they’re doing is sitting there, smoking and watching the world go by while you talk to yourself out loud.

Once in side, I start setting up the merch stand, which for once, is out of this world amazing and has been designed specifically to be a merch area. We are talking a massive counter, which is hollow for boxes to be stacked underneath, and a raised lip for coat hangers to hang off the front of. Then behind are poles running horizontally across the balcony overlooking the stairs, three rows to fit all your t-shirts. And finally, a massive stage light to illuminate your wares. Oh, and not only can you use gaffa tape, they also sold me 5 rolls! I am in merch stand heaven, plus this is the foyer to the live music stage are, where everyone comes out to chill and smoke between sets, great location, plus, I can smoke!

I sit down to dinner at the long table in the middle of the venue and watch The Fading sound check while eating dinner with Lyall, Joel and Warbringer. The food gets washed down with Plop beer, I can’t recall what the food was, it was some form of slop, tasted nice enough but couldn’t tell you what was in it. Home made is always like that, always nicer too though, certainly better for you than buy out, mainly because that usually goes on pizza and booze.

I’m still really sniffly and coughing loads, so are quite a lot of us, but I’m trying to eat well, drink plenty of water and green tea and get some decent sleep every night so fingers crossed I won’t get as bad as Laux for example. He is suffering, has stopped drinking and everything in a bid to not get full blown cold or flu, whatever it is that is threatening our bus with its Germania. So again, I’m well chuffed my stand is not down some drafty cold hallway. It’s great to be back in a venue that is built for live music and travelling bands, it really is. Makes a huge difference to your day.

Doors open and I got Shaked, Adam and Joel all chilling out next to my stand at a seating area, that and messing about on the fuse ball table, all the while smoking away and chewing the cud. It’d funny, no one recognises them really. Joel is new boy, Shaked is in the opening band, and Adam has his hood up and hat on. I stick a price tag on Shaked to see if we can get him a hot Jewish girl, but to no avail. Gave us all a laugh though. See these times during the days are just peppered with boredom and hanging around and then silly little things like that. It’s almost like being on detention and having to get on with whatever your homework is, sound check, setting up m=the merch stand, practicing riffs, until the teacher leaves the room and you all start pissing around with each other for 5 minutes. It’s mostly monotonous work broken up with random acts of childishness. And a lot of the time, you really have to be there to get the joke.

Some kid asks me if he can interview Warbringer for his fanzine, so I cross over to the ‘backstage dressing room’ door and find one to come talk to him. This kid is proper rude to me, can’t get his head out of Warbringer’s arse, but is fucking rude as, to me. I wish his fanzine nothing but failure until he learns some fucking manners. Daddy must be rich if he thinks he can talk to the ‘hired help’ like that. Spotty little cocksucker. Of course I can’t say shit because I’m representing all three bands and blah blah blah, so I turn my attention to the low attendance and worry about exactly how good sales can possibly be when there are so few people here. Oh jeez not again.

Adam is my new BFF for many reasons, one of which being that he hangs with me on the stand and chats shit with me a whole heap, tons more than any of the others. Today we talk about shit we miss and shit we are looking forward to doing when we get back home off tour. He can’t think that way because he has 3 more weeks out in Eastern Europe to contend with, but me? I’m all about cranking the radiator in my room up to the max, having a bath and blaring Jimi Hendrix out through my sub woofer for an afternoon. I miss my music so much it hurts. Some light-fingered radio bitch at Download stole my ipod last summer, and I don’t have the income to get a new one. My dad has apparently got me one for Christmas but forgot to bring it when I had lunch with him before I went away. And I haven’t managed to move my music library from my old computer to my laptop yet, so I have like, a minimal collection to choose from. Most of it is Thrash, I already have a high intake of that daily so I’m kind of shit out of luck.

I am mainly getting drunk German guys hanging about around the stand rather than any serious buyers. Sods law, the night my merch is presented to the max, looking amazing, there is no one here to see it. I sell like, a patch. One of the guys tells me he thinks I am wearing a very sexy outfit, which would be lovely and all except that he is a middle aged creep and looks like he has a bit of the Fritzel about him. Adam puts his used wristband on the stand to sell so that he can buy a pack of cigarettes and sure enough, they sell. This causes much more amusement for us, along with the Fritzel dude, and the pace for tonight is set. It’s chill out, right off night. Lyall tries to explain tax law in European countries to me, he is on a hugely steep learning curve on this tour, and honestly, I can’t keep up. I tell Laux how much I enjoyed listening to The Jackson 5 while showering today, he’s the only one that pisses about with music really. I also voice my disappointment that no one is here to see my amazing stand. A drunk guys wanders in to the dressing room twice by accident while looking for the bathroom which causes much comedy for me because no one notices, all the guys in there are on their laptops online and don’t even look up to notice! The second time, it’s me that goes in and points him out, staggering near the entrance to the stage!

So we have a week left, and talk is turning to that throughout the days. I know I’ll be stoked to be home for a week, then bored the next week, then desperate to get back out the week after that. I’m so jealous of Evile who will have 10 days off and then jet off to the States for 2 months. I’m not jealous of Warbringer who downsize in to a splitter van for a further 3 weeks out after this one finishes.

As I mentioned, by the time Warbringer are halfway through their set, I have sold a patch. One little patch. I am freaking out inside, there’s nothing worse than not being able to do anything to make a bad situation better, I just grab a stool and sit there stewing it over in my head for the rest of the night. Yep, I broke one of my cardinal merch stand rules tonight. One week left and I give up, I need to sit down. I believe that working the stand is like working the bar, you never sit down, and you never do something that does not relate to the job at hand. You should be enjoying, or pretending to be enjoying the music, chatting to people, or doing work sheets, stock ups, tidying boxes. You should not be reading, feet up, looking bored shitless.

There I am though, sitting down. In my defence, it ‘s a stool that I place at the side of the stand, so I’m still approachable and not in the way of the products. This guy comes and chats with me, a local and gives me some light as to why it’s so quiet. Apparently the heavy snowfall has meant that many of the people that he knew were coming, have not managed to get there. He says that usually everyone car pools, or comes in mini vans, and that most of them couldn’t get through. Sounds suspicious to me, very London, ooh it’s snowing, let’s cancel everything. It’s all I’ve got though and as I pass it around, everyone seems to ease up and chill. It’s acceptable to admit defeat to Mother Nature.

The end of the night draws in, and Adam has run off to the bus while I pack up to stick a note on the tele, saying him and me are picking the movie tonight. We are always last on the bus, him packing the trailer and me finishing up the merch money and sales stuff, so we never get to pick.

We find ourselves instead, squashed on to a three seater sofa with Joel and Laux around my laptop, Lyall and Ben on the other side of it, drinking large measured spirit and mixer drinks and knocking back shots of Jager, all the while watching kids programs on Youtube. See, turns out Adam and Laux have never heard of the Moomins! So that gets played, and immediately loved. Then we move through Jamie and his magic torch and so on, until finally ending up at ‘Look around you’. That couple of hours was awesome fun, not getting hurried out of the club so getting to mess about online while getting trashed. By the time we got on the bus we were wrecked and soon enough we pull in to a service station and all drunken hell breaks loose. I really shouldn’t be allowed in service stations in Europe when I’m drunk.

We left with more booze, a massive stuffed R2D2, a sperm with some alcoholic beverage in it, a small man in a hat in a box and some sweets and crisps. Back to the bus and the kitchen party continues, upstairs the movies are rolling but we are too fucked to care now. At some point I push off to bunk and get some sleep. The strangest thing happened though, I woke up pretty soon after, the bus was stationary and I needed to puke. So I hurled myself down the stairs and threw open the door ready to vom’ only to be confronted by Chop and Steve the drivers, Adam, Laux and Lyall, all still up. I got massive stage fright and wandered back upstairs completely mortified and embarrassed. Jeez, can’t a girl get any fucking space to herself anymore? I did sign up for this though huh.

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