Today I'm going to tell you about the project, that I tried to make only 2 weeks ago.
Well, not tried.
Made it more or less better.
[ all the stories are only my personal memories of what happened ]
- Band – ska melodic punk emo frizura band „Mango”.
- On board - me ( kind of the mom and neverending panic ex/double bass player), Krists (walking nonsense driver of the van trombone player), Janis ( person who knows everything about everything, at least as far as he thinks so, the drummer), Oskars (his brother, my substitute for the tour, the co driver of the van, the oldest and supposaly wisest person on the board), Janis a.k.a. Kuhar (the noob and the soft heart sax player), Reinis ( somehow undescribable pussy magnet,
neverending smile guitar player) and Kostja (always quiet but very tricky person on the board, the vocal and guitar player).
- Equipment – 9 seat Volks filled with dirty socks, wet towels extra shoes, full backline and intruments covered with the banner of the band ( so nobody is suspicious and in a want to steal the gear (logic, there’s none)), and a torpedo on the roof for extra stuff, which most of the time was acoustic guitar, half eaten food and all the socks and towels and sleeping bags that didn’t have place in the rest of the van, and, as far as I heard – 6cd’s – some pop punk compilation, cd of „Rise Against”, Frank Turner, Offspring’s „Americana” , newest Alexisonfire „Old Crows Young Cardinals” and some weird compilation of salsa and funk music.
- The plan – a week around Balkans – Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia and back in Slovenia.
- A very fast insight - http://www.souvizija.si/video/fix_latvijska_sadna_solata_z_vodko/?show=f5257d4aa2c8d9b56a4e3efa831bd27e&search=mango&search_type=s
Me and a friend were cooking for the band, when I received a message, they are already here. And, as fun as it is, not in the theritory of „Pekarna”, Maribor, but downstairs to my block house, after somehow managing to enter the ramp of the yard that lets in only the people who live there and have the key to it.
A big chaos already striked in.
6 guys in my flat chaoticly taking a shower, beating each other with towels, eating like animals, sleeping in my bed, fooling around with my ukulele and speaking all at the same time.
Guitarist is lost, vocal and trombone player playing guitar and singing out loud, sax player again expressed his monkey abilities by climbing up the roof of Gustaf, while team of brothers - drummer and the bass player were somewhere in Kurd all the time skating and falling off the skates. Later on band showed a bit of the skills, when vocal who never had skated managed to make a kick flip on the board.
I lost my keys and stayed a night in the container.
I found the keys but wasn’t able to wake up guys, so I went home.
When I came back I met bunch of zombies eager to get some icecream and pile of coffee.
After nearly and hour long zombie parade/walk to a radio „Marš” to make acoustic performance, we did it with a success with even 23 people listening online and one calling to the studio. We didn’t reply in an angst of a person being scared away by our trombone player who was all day strangely aroused and eager to know from everyone „how they like cottage cheese”.
I couldn’t keep them together, after the show they again invaded all the Pekarna’s theritory singing songs, riding in shopping carts and exploring the distance of talking on walkie talkies they found there.
As Janis was 100% sure that „Satchmo” is a jazz FESTIVAL, where he can find lots of fine local ladies, I took them there.
I am pretty sure we are banned there, though the drummer found fine local habitants - so small, but therefore a success.
During this night we also had a jam session, followed by improvised and filmed play called „Last day of Marry Poppins”:
- Konstantin – Mary Poppins
- Me – the killer
- Kuhar – the voice
- Krists – podvorskij huligan ( backyard hooligan).
The story is very short – Mary Popins walks around with his (her...?) umbrella, thinking about the children of the world, gets killed by bike driver and after that beaten up by podvorskij huligan who, as all of them, are always keen on picking on the weakest. End.
Driving off to Novi Sad, „CK13”
Guys forgot to purchase „zelena karta”, we also didn’t have Ata Karnet, so it was kind of lottery game wheter they will or not let us in.
They did. On both Croatian and Serbian borders.
We got fascinated by the fact that on each border weird people are following us – they were all wearing suits, and they just got off on every border out of their fancy cars, shaked each others hands, got back into their cars and drove off.
Needless to say, we tried to do the same.
I have to go a bit back in time to explain this, but I will try my best.
...when I first got the cabel TV, I was so fascinated by foreign TV channels – most of them were in German. I was most impressed by, as I kept him in my mind, an all time German hero called „Viele Mehr”. His name appeared everywhere and I was so eager to finally see, who’s that mistery man, taking part in everything – including music, sports, movies etc.
After some time somebody, of course, explained to me the meaning of this combination of words, therefore my dreams went down.
Today, in Serbia we sightseeded the local „Viele Mehr”.
We went into the first petrol station after the border to purchase cigarettes and coffee, when a cd/dvd stand attracted our attention. Mostly because this DVD with big colourful letters saying „ŽURKA” caught out attention ( in Latvian Žurka means – „a rat”).
But, after we took a closer look to this cd and some other compilations of music around it, we sightseed this interesting view.
A bald guy with a same picture being on allmost all of the cd’s.
And who is the designer of these cd’s anyways?
Are they for real?
Same day around 20:00
Even though we did our best to promote the gig – the mormon approach – meet people, give them stickers and say that they just won’t be able to live normally without visiting the gig, the place was not as full as expected.
Anyways, we created a good party and even better afterparty.
Total score of the night:
- Created a big acoustic gig in the centre of Novi Sad (vocal lost his voice) and attracted some local photographer to follow us allthrough the night and take with every minute even more and more embaracing photos
- During all night lost 3 members of the band
- Me, Kuhar and Kostja invaded bushes of the local municipality. Too bad we saw too late that they are rose bushes. Me and Kostja did the straight dive in, Kuhar had always to be different and did it in the back flip therefore causing a bigger damage for himself.
- Brothers Janis and Oskars had a fight and Oskars ended up throwing his shoes and the band money and his passport all over the street, fighting with a building and later sleeping in a fountain (it’s called Latvians vs rakija vol 1)
- Me and Kuhar developed a new friend (first we thought he wants to kick our asses), but later we all sat down ate some icecream played guitar and went back to the club to sleep. Serbians are tricky. Their friendliness can be most of the time mistaken for agressivity, at least, when it comes to us, „the cold blooded northern habbitants”.
Dear pieces of sheet written on my pc,
4 of us, who didn’t get lost woke up in the two person bed.
Others still missing.
After around hour they show up with big hamburgers and saying „You can buy it this big only for 100 shits”. Yesterday for them – covered in the past.
Oskar’s arm after previous day’s fight with still unrecognized building had became two times bigger.
I come back on board as the second bass player.
Same day around 2 pm
Road. Guys insisted we have to stop by the road to buy some fruit from the farmers.
I was against, knowing that in the best case 3 grapes and 1 apple will be eaten and after that it will be only another collection of a weird smell and a seperate microlifes living in our van.
But we did that. Just for the experiment.
And also because while they were purchasing fruit, me and Kostja sneaked to purchase home brewed rakija.
The most exhausting road ever. Only 50 km, but on the curving national road.
We entertained ourselves reading some article on vintage croatian porn magazine about the most sensitive parts in the woman and man’s body.
Why is the eye in the place nr 5 in the scale from 1-10 (the least sensitive to most sensitive parts)?
Playing on the streets. Gaining some money for the gas.
Four fighter planes passing over Belgrade very low, followed by helicopters.
All of us allmost peed our pants and were quite ready to cancel the show and spend a night in a fright for our lives in some bomb shelter or something.
But it turned out it’s normal there.
After that we got 5 2 litre bottles of beer and 7 different bureks for the concert.
Same day around 23:00
After that all of the band went to some party on the boat.
Me and Oskars stayed in the club to finally get some rest.
A rest is a rest. Nevermind it’s in on the floor of the club surrounded by smoke of cigarettes.
Kostja came to sleep to the club the last.
He thold me that only some minutes ago a homeless guy with a stick
was chasing him while screaming out something in Serbian.
Hello there again, my little friend,
Woke up at 9.
Packed all the backline back into the buss.
Everyone had faces blown up twice their size, eyes like vulva of the mouse.
Also all as one had gained cold, some special ones – even a fever.
Me, Konstantin and Kuhar developed a club „Scorpion”.
A little jamaica on the buss full of stressfull band members.
In our illeagal backseat bar, only with a help of hiding under the seats you could taste some marvellous serbian beers, homebrewed rakija and sniffing tobacco.
Same day around 4 pm
Passed the Macedonian border. First border we were asked for both – zelena karta and ata karnet.
Paid last 40 eur for karta, that is valid only in Macedonia (stupid birocracy) and declared all the backline and instruments on a piece of paper, in addition bribing them with our cd.
- they serve hamburgers with french fries already stuck in them
- the albanian part of skopje looks like a big kitchen covered with huge rock tiles
- none of us ever heard the calling to the mosque, so we got kind of scared while having a lunch and then this undescribable something in the speakers around the town.
- they have strayed cats who look too domestic to be strayed. Also too friendly.
- they drink hot rakija with sugar and honey.
By this time we are also all ill to the tops - while others are sharing the beers and other drinks, we are sharing the pills and the drops for the nose.
Konstantin ,who, as I wrote before, started to lose his voice, gives up whispering and torturing his voice and goes full retard – walking around with a piece of paper and a pen.
And after the show – finally a decent sleep (more or less).
After the shower we devided beds, and our club, Scorpion,gained even a seperate room, in which the rest of domestic rakija was emptied along with eating some black bread on it and followed by various nonsense performances.
I kept my nerves about naked guys dancing around me.
I lost them only when Kuhar trapped himself in a sleeping bag and was hitting on every piece of the furniture in the room following his performance with only one sentence in a girly straight enlish pronounciation:”Oh, I’m so clumsy”. ( it’s called Latvians vs rakija vol 2).
We took a walk around Kumanovo. We called it little Cuba.
Guys bought a postcards for their girlfriends.
I’m still amazed that they are pretty sure, that if they talk with people in russian, they actually understand them, because languages are „so similar”.
Oskars and Janis found a guy who was making cars. Their favourite one was a car who was going forward with a help of a huge mower.
On the way back, on the Macedonian border, at the moment the guards saw our bus approaching, they already started to sing our songs. Fun way to get a new fanbase.
Serbians were different.
They asked for all the exact papers we don’t have, and took our passports.
We had to pay 110 eur or go back.
We took a map and with a help of an eye, of course, not the gps, counted the way around Serbia, decided it to be the best option – to go through Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary instead of paying this fee.
We took off.
We stopped only somewhere a bit out of Sofia, Bulgaria, to finally have some meal throughout all the day–middle of the night, dark as hell, as far as I understood, somewhere next to Donav, accompanied by some strayed dogs and a local dumpster.. All of us like wild animals fighting over bread and beans with ketchup. Some of the guys just eating raw meat. Cover it all with beer to handle the psychological trauma about this meal, and also, just as a medicine to fall asleep in the van.
It’s 3 am and guys just allmost drove into Donav. GPS showed there’s a bridge, while actually there was a ferry, that wasn’t even there at the moment. They stopped at the very end of a ramp just because the pavement looked oddly blue.
At 8 am friendly guard of Romanian ferry woke us up.
In a way of tourist attraction Romania has definately something to do with a person who is working in the same field in Croatia –
Croatians welcome you with long lines on the borders, therefore making you curious as hell, what is there, that is kept under such a big lines, and Romanians do it more easier – to get to it, you have to pay 40 eur for ferry.
Romania surprised us with two bloody carcrashes on the road, two half an hour long traffic jams, guys driving in front of us on their sick animals called horses, and pile of strayed dogs.
We also lost additional 60 eur for speeding.
We surprised Hungary with killing 3 hedgehogs and one fox on the highway.
We also came 4 hours late to our gig, but we still somehow made it.
And I think I’m somehow already allergic to this album of Alexisonfire, because it was rolling all night through in our van.
Suggestion for the travellers –you cannot always trust GPS, but you also can’t trust your eye while considering if the road is short enough to make it on time.
It’s oficially the last day of my duty as the second bass player.
Oskar’s hand has healed (allmost) and Ljubljana, Metelkova is my last place to be with my boys on this tour.
We woke up in the squat of „Medika”, the club in Zagreb, surrounded by also some never seen people.
I hadn’t had a shower in 2 days and all of my parts felt odd. The clothes? I would just like to take them off and burn them. It would be the easiest way around.
I tried to persuade guys to stop in some petrol station on the road, to take a shower.
After an hour long fight we finally did it.
15 min long shower costs 3 eur. So, me and Kuhar, as being the most femine people in the band got the longest time to shower – 7 min each.
Other guys bought another 3 eur 15 minute shower time and shared it 2 guys at the same.
System was easy – all of them got naked in a parking lot, 2 are in the shower – while one is under the water, another one is soaping himself up, and then they just change for the next 7 min, while other duo approaches. Janis was the official pioneer of the shower, who stayed there for two times in a row, just exchanging the co-shower-people.
After that I guess, it was first day in allmost a week, that we could just chill-out. We took out cards and a bottle of water (as the day was finally neetly warm in Slovenia), and chilled out.
The only thing bugging us was the „lighter problem”. We all had one lighter at the start of the tour. In the end only two of us had them, and, therefore these two people got bugged every 3 minutes.
As soon as we got to Ljubljana, and ended up setting up the stage, we went on a tour/search for a place for guys to again play on the street, to gain another extra money, that we lost in the marvellous surroundings of Romania.
Too bad it got invested in other „first aid things”.
The concert was officially the best one we had during the tour.
( I’m not saying others were bad, we just voted this one to be somehow over the tops. Also, as I mentioned before, probably because finally there was no stress before it.)
The sound, the audience, the vibe, and of course, the afterparty, who was the craziest, even though it took only one place – surroundings of Metelkova.
Around 500 eur minus
The van slightly stinks, as Kuhar quoted – of a piece of paper that used to be wet but then again got dry and is mixed inbetween dirty socks.
More or less feverish feeling.
Lots and lots of a new friends, that we all have to thank for just being.
(And we DO thank them).
The most drilled phrases through the tour:
„Do you like cottage cheese?”
„I’m so clumsy”
„Nice VAAAAA” (this you have to pronounce in a slight animalish voice. „vaaaaa” stands for...the red animal collecting the nuts)
„Dobra dan” (exact pronounciation of the guys)
„Balkan, Balkan!!!” ( this is actually performed most of the time after the shower in the underpants jumping around and clapping hands, basically, a dance of a minimal, but very important happiness)
„Can I have number 10” (refering to the vintage porn magazine article)
„Don’t forget the bejner! (baner of the band)”
„I forgot my maks (wallet in Latvian) at home....”
The most drilled songs through the tour:
Frank Turner – The Ballad of Me And My Friends (usually sang as an acoustic song, friends hugging and kissing and „definately going to hell”)
Rise Against – Hero of War (usually sang along to one of the most listened cd’s and performed along with a movement explaining the happenings in the lyrics)
Misfits – Last Caress (this song usually just sneaks out of nowhere and is sang karaoke with all the parts of the instruments done a-capella)