Monday, 12 July 2010

With Full Force festival. Eastern Germany. Part 3. The lost day.

Saturday. Ah yes. Saturday went a bit wrong for all intense purposes. Started out, as it should, as one would expect it to. Hot, bit hung over, getting ready for the day ahead with lots of de-sweating breaks in between. Setting up the Earache merchandise stand for the day. Trying to drink sparkling fucking water without gagging. And then this happened. Exodus came to town.
Exodus came to play a gig and bought with them two old friends of mine whose names for the sake of this story shall be Happy and Joy. Ooh you know it’s a good story when I revert to code names huh.

Happy had apparently come by our stand when the Exodus bus rolled in but we didn’t hear him shouting. The next time he came by we were pretty much ready to trade, although the main stage area was still closed to the public, and I could be found sprawled out on a fold up chair in the sun bitching about sparkling water and why do we always forget to just open the bottle in the supermarket and check for bubbles. And then there he was, and I was overjoyed! One of my favourite people right here is our Happy. Happy is very troublesome, we are cut from the same cloth. Although Happy is from Holland, and always has fun things for me to play with on him if you know what I mean. So he hangs with us, I introduce him to the others and he goes off to get us cold, still water after having us in stitches for the best part of an hour.

Next visitor for the day to the blessed and holy Earache stand is the lovely Tom, drummer from Exodus. We chew the cud; shoot the shit, all that stuff. It’s good times when friends pop up like this at small festivals in the middle of Europe because none of you know the local language or that many people so you all stick together more.

Exodus are in my top 5 favourite bands and I have been very privileged to meet them on several occasions throughout the years, starting with working as a bouncer at one of their gigs in London and carrying on bumping into them spanning over, shit, about 7 years now. I still get star struck by them now, even more so because they are so down to earth and great people.
Happy, on return with water that gets guzzled down immediately, offers to get me breakfast. I’m well stoked! Backstage artist food is gonna be much better than our breville toasties we been boshing together for the last 72 hours. Off I trot, leaving the others behind with promises of great delights stolen from backstage.

Happy and me reach the coolness of the tour bus and I slouch down in to one of the chairs up front, hugging Joy and saying Hi as he goes through paper work. He is in work mode and so I sit there quietly while Happy goes to the back of the bus and opens up his present for me. Ffs. Space cake. Yep, Happy is giving me space cake for breakfast. I’m like ‘Dude I haven’t eaten this stuff for 10 years, it’s boiling and I have a full day of work ahead of me. Oh and it’s 11am.’ Happy and Joy then go about friendly bullying me with ‘eat it eat it’ till my arm is twisted and the cake is eaten. Didn’t have to twist much to be fair to them but still, would’ve rather just had more still water.

So you can guess what happened for the rest of my day. First off, after an hours nervous wait back at the stand which sees me apologising ahead of time to Ben and Kim for whatever may come of me in the following 8 hours and seriously contemplating making myself vomit, comes the giggles. I laughed so hard at absolutely nothing that I cried. I cried as Ben and Kim looked on at me in resigned amusement. I had to take myself off to behind the tent because I couldn’t stop laughing at the customers. I cannot stop laughing now as I write this. It was very fucking funny for me. Just for me one suspects though. Then, a brief spell of calm where I sat with the others and maybe even managed to serve a customer before the next stage kicked in. Intense paranoia.

I couldn’t look at the customers or people passing. I couldn’t look at Ben and Kim without seeing them passing looks of disdain between them; in my head they were rolling their eyes. Although, I can hardly blame them if they were. I couldn’t say anything because everything I said came out wrong in my head and I was questioning it all and how they might take it.

Then the agitated bit. I couldn’t get comfy anywhere. And the burning heat from the sun helped intensify this. I moved from the stand to behind the stand and tried to sleep it off in a tiny patch of shade, but the passing gen-pop could still see me so I got paranoid and moved to my tent, where I boiled and sweated. So I clambered out and laid down in a foot wide space between my tent and the back of the stand and stayed there for an hour or so. I think I kind of slept, or close enough to it. People came by to visit but I just stayed there feeling guilty for not working.

When I came to I sorted myself out. Kim came on a walk with me to the nice toilets in the traders campsite to help walk it off and also because I couldn’t figure out if I needed a piss or if I was just paranoid that I need a piss and concentrating on it too much. Jeez it was exhausting. On our way there we bumped in to Happy who was, very happy. The shit. Yes everyone was highly amused by my day except me it seems. Damn them all the fuckers.

So, there’s 8 hours of Saturday righteously thrown right out the window. Want to know what bands I missed? Well, Exodus for a fucking start! Ha-ha, yes I heard them but was wedged between two tents trying to chill out when they came on. I heard Walls of Jericho and Grand Magus. Their sets intertwined with the football that was being broadcast on the other side of the field and somewhere along the line, a trumpet joined in and I tripped out massively with all sorts of sounds and songs in my head. Fortunately the middle day is always a very quiet sales day. The first day is busy, second day everyone is browsing, and the last day everyone spends what they have left or comes back for what they have been looking at on the previous days. If this had happened on Sunday I suspect Ben and Kim would hate me forever!

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