Monday, 12 July 2010

With Full Force festival. Eastern Germany. Part 4. Booze and blood

I came round and back to the land of the living in time for the sun to go down and cannibal Corpse to play. Ben had marked them as the band he definitely wanted to go in the pit for, so off he trotted, booze in hand while Kim and me realised we had missed our friends band play, Deadline from London. Duh. I think we had even taken a walk over to catch them but they finished as we arrived. Bit of a fail that.

Thomas Kupfer came to visit, laughed when he found out where Ben was. As did all Ben’s 'bromance' buddies. Cannibal Corpse played a mighty sick set; our stand allowed us direct acoustics, which was rad because we never missed anyone really, even though we couldn’t see them. Earache always seems to be given a good space, probably ‘cause it rocks ha! But then when they finished, Ben didn’t come back? Maybe he had been trampled to unconsciousness during the Cannibal Corpse ‘wall of death?’ or maybe he had done the rounds on all his 'bromance' buddies on the various different stands to show them his pit injury. Ben got punched in the face in the pit during Cannibal Corpse and was delighted with his black and bloody split eye. To be fair, it did look super fucking cool.

Couldn’t tell you a thing about Heaven Shall Burn, but Venom rocked my world for sure. Ben was unimpressed but he is a violent pit dweller so his opinion no longer matters. Venom are so amazing and epic but alas the young crowd who are mainly hardcore kids don’t know about them. Apparently, according to Janet from one of the other merch stands, who is completely 100% Metal, there were like 3 rows of people and then loads of space between the rest of the people milling around. Really sad. At the end was a massive fireworks display that we all watched from outside our stand. These fireworks were epic in size, colour and duration, no expense spared. And I tripped out one last time, but in a great cosmic wow type way.

We poured drinks out and hung out as the site got cleared by security of non traders and felt satisfied that we had yet again done great on the stand considering no one was really shopping. Earache merch is easy to sell because the bands are super rad and the t-shirt designs rule. Municipal Waste flies out the stand, Oceano a Deathcore band from Detroit did great, along with Gama Bomb and a heap of other bands. Vinyl was proving a success, box sets too.

Work done with, party time starts and with the tarpaulin over the front of our stand, everyone from our festival family joins us as the table full of rows upon rows of C’D’s becomes a bar area, with Luke becoming our bar tender. Him and Ben come up with many, many strange and glorious concoctions from our varied array of brightly coloured bottles of pure European filthy liqueurs. They pass them round in massive empty sparkling water bottles, the sparkling water fizzing away on the grass at our feet. Everyone would swig as much as they could in one go and then pass the bottles on to the next person. Drunkenness was not a long time coming.

Ben had barely eaten all day, none of us had in fact. Probably down to the 38 degree heat that had been hammering us since dawn. Rather we had been snacking and grazing on snacks that hadn’t melted in to oblivion. Ben had bought a bag of pink and white mice for his sister that had since melted in to one big swirly lump. Most of the cheese and ham was too dubious to eat, one of the other festival family saw our pitiful state of affairs and offered us space in their fridge the next day for anything that was still edible. Win.

So Ben had turned to eating Doritos crisps absolutely slathered in a mountain of hot chilli sauce and a pool of Tabasco sauce in the middle of that. He got hic-ups several times, his face went red several times, his breathing went weird several times, still he kept on munching. We decided that by the end of the weekend he had to finish the entire bottle of Tabasco. Next stop was one of the other festival families stand. We partied there with loads of people including my friend Meeri from Finland who I had met in Germany on the Evile tour, and Thomas Kupfer our new journalist best friend forever. I left them all to it to go find Happy and Joy and hang out with them some or arrange where we can all meet up on masse. Gwar would be playing at 3am and most of us wanted to watch them drunkenly.

Backstage I ran in to Joy, happy had apparently gotten lucky with a German girl. Exodus were all hanging out drinking too, hugs all round, chatter and bullshit talked. Good times right there. I arranged with Tom to meet at the second pole along the tent where Gwar were playing at 2.45am and that we would both bring our respective parties with us. Job done!

The rest of the night was a blur. We got to hang out with Exodus for ages, they even drank our vicious and potent cocktails from the bottles being passed around. By the time Gwar came on, everyone was arms round shoulders style, laughing and shouting and chatting and generally pissing about having loads of fun and relaxing. Interruptions for photos and autographs from fans pulled me back to the amazing reality that I am hanging with fucking Exodus like they were my school buddies. What an amazing night.

Gwar came on and none of noticed we having so much fun. I got a hotdog in a bid to sober up a touch, which started a food envy train to the hotdog stall for loads of others, and then Tom and me went in to the crowd to get closer to the mighty Gwar stage. Watching Gwar at 4am, still stoned but nicely, drunk and standing next to Tom from Exodus banging our heads and chucking the horns was possible one of the coolest moments of my life to date. And with that, Exodus had to leave.

On route back to the Earache merchandise stand having said my farewells to Exodus and Happy and Joy, I rounded a corner in the main stage area and rounding the other corner was Ben and Co. The side of Ben’s face other to the side already bruised from his Cannibal Corpse injury was covered in Mud or dust. He was happily drunk, as of course we all were, and explained that he had clear lost his feet from underneath himself and crash landed straight on to his face! Having laughed at Ben’s poor, abused face for a while, I took myself off to my tent and crashed out with my earplugs in, which yet again did nothing to dilute the noise and bass vibrations under me where I slept from the all night ‘D.J’ tent next door.

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