2010/12/15

Day 32 – Club Studio, Krakow, Polen – 28.11.2010

Looking back at this day, I realize that it must have been my most immobile day so far. I woke up at 14.00, and since I had the privilege of counting the merchandise today, this more or less meant that I would not have time to check out the city center of Krakow. Once the merch was counted it was time for soundcheck, followed by a fight with the internet to publish my blog post from the travel day, “Crossing Donau”. While the video was uploading, I had some deep fried spring rolls, with deep fried potatoes, over cooked vegetables and mayonnaise on the side. In other words; an excellent way to fill up your energy level prior to the show.

Suddenly it was showtime, and as for me, I think this was one of the coolest shows soo far. Here’s one of the songs we will record on our upcoming album this january. The song is called Restless.

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The energy both on stage and in the audience was really good, and the groove felt very natural. After playing in all the 17 countries of the tour, I hereby declare my top 3 best impressions of audiences, based on the nationalities (in random order): the Bulgarians, the Polish and the French. Of course, my personal impression can be affected by many different variables, and this doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the other shows. In fact, I hope we will be able to return to every single place we’ve visited, and hope some of you will want us back as well!

After the show, me and Einar went out in the neighbourhood, hunting for something to eat, but everything seemed to be closed. That was until we came across this place:



Out of absolutely nowhere, a kebab hut, not too different from the ones we have back in Norway, popped up in a street which up until that point only seemed to consist of residents. I must admit that the taste of the food probably wouldn’t have taken any harm in being a bit better, but as for my famishing stomach, it did the trick.

This was the last night we travelled with Therion, since tomorrow is the last show, so Kristoffer and Waldemar from Therion decided to ride with us this night. Kristoffer put on a Prog rock show off in the back of the bus, while Waldemar tried to get a party started in the front.



It all ended up with Joachim, our eminent sound engineer and tour manager, going for a walkabout in his sleep at 7.00 am. His destination was in the front of the bus whereas he found it convenient to spread his urine. Lawrence and Waldemar, sitting in only their underwear at the moment, gathered some cups, and cought approximately 0,8 liters of piss as it exited Joachim. As to how they managed to clean up the spillings, I wont’t go to much in the details, but I can go as far as to tell you it has something to do with Tobias eating some odd tasting chips afterwards…

Tomorrow will be the last concert for the support acts. Will everything go smoothly, or will somebody play a prank or two?

Stay tuned!

TorO

2010/12/13

Day 31/34 - Petofi Hall, Budapest, Hungary 27.11.2010

We arrived at the venue about 1 PM, which means lunch time for us. After entering the Petofi hall, we were met by a very nice local crew who showed us our backstage. The service on the venue turns out to be very good, and everything is in order. The concert hall is huge, the stage is great, the backstage is nice and the food is very good. Nothing to complain about so far.

I manage to gather the entire band (for once) for a trip to Budapest city centre. On our way out we met the best prepared autograph-hunter I’ve ever met. He has book in which he has made two pages each for all three bands which is decorated with a picture of the band and a compact disc. Everyone signs the two pages, and we head off to the city centre.

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On our way to the metro, we encounter a castle which reminds us about the castle in “Tre nøtter til askepott” (originally called Tři oříšky pro Popelku). A CzechoslovakianIn adventure movie which is broadcasted on christmas morning every year.



In order to find the metro, we had to follow the GPS on my iPhone very thoroughly. The metro stop was located in the middle of a park, and there were know signs showing that it was located there. It was only a stairway without any signs. The trains themselves might have been the smallest I’ve ever witnessed, and they also had the coolest jingles I’ve ever heard on a metro.

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I’ve heard so many good things about Budapest, and it absolutely lives up to my expectations! I wish we had more time to check out the City, but at least we managed to cross the almighty Donau on our way from Pest to Buda! After that we had to return to the venue for sound-checking.

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What surprises me is how good shape we all still are in after 26 concerts - almost without breaks. I still look forward to every concert with great enthusiasm. Todays concert was really enjoyable, and I’m really looking forward to Krakow tomorrow!


All the best,
Einar

2010/12/12

30/34 - DK VLtavska, Prague, Czech Republic - 26.11.2010

We're spending one of our very last days on the tour in the Czech Republic. Last time it was Zlin, now Prague is up. Scott stops the engine outside a huge building; the DK Vltavska. Not much research were done on this place beforehand, but it would seem this is somekind of cultural center for all sorts of things. Later in the evening, loading out, we pass a swing dancing lesson. That's pretty damn cool. Anyway, the main stage is downstairs. Loch Vostok and us have two separate backstages. Usually this is a good thing, but when you're left with a 2 square meter room and can fit ONE chair in, you just know it won't be the center of tonights hang out. First come first served; Me and my laptop get the chair. On the other side of the wall is the stage for tonights eardrum-busting show.

Tobias, Halvor, Einar and Tor Oddmund leave to see how this place compares to the other 24 (!) cities we've visited so far this November. I decide that staying and working on my studies are much more fun!! You'd be crazy not wanting to grab this fantastic opportunity to spend some quality homework time..



It feels strange only having 4 shows left. We've played more shows this month than we have in years combined. Hopefully this will have only made us a much better live band, and we can't wait to show off after the tour;) As the tour is slowly coming to an end, some extra energy is unraveling on stage. Hope to see you in Budapest!!

Special news for today's blog:
As a part of Leprous, I am very proud to announce that we have received 25 000 NOK (about €3000) from "Willy Strandlis Minnefond", a foundation dedicated to the late Norwegian guitarist Willy Strandli. Anually the foundation chooses a local band from our hometown and this time it was Leprous. As touring is very expensive and our next album is yet to be recorded, these money could not have come at a better time. We are very thankful and can't wait to start recording in January. Even though the planned live video feed for the ceremony back in Norway didn't work out as planned, a short phone conversation did the trick.

- rockin' greetings from Øystein

2010/12/05

Day 29/34 - Backstage, Munich, Germany - 25.11.2010

We’re back in Germany! The village is called Munich, and the stage is named Backstage (?). Napalm Death has their tour bus parked alongside ours. It turns out we’re playing the same venue the same night. Luckily there’s more than one concert hall in this Backstage venue.

Before the soundcheck we went downtown to check out their largest musical instruments store. It was huge! Øystein and TorO tried out leftie guitars, Einar bought some new instrument cables, Halvor drooled over some analog synths and invested in 10 shiny new picks while Tobias tried out every cymbal in the huge drum department, and ended up buying quite a few. Tobias’ cymbal adventure ate up our possible soundcheck time, so we had no soundcheck this night. But we had new cymbals, picks and cables!



The venue was beautiful. Great backstage at Backstage! The show was ok, but unfortunately not great. After the show we ordered some pizza and checked out the Napalm Death show. And I believe the Vostok guys enjoyed a beer or two judging by their comfort level ☺



Next time we’re in Germany we’ll be on our way home from this great tour. But right now we’re hell bent on killing and destroying big time in Prague!

Watch out, Czech Republic!
Halvor

2010/12/02

Day 28/34 - Z7 ,Pratteln, Switzerland - 24.11.2010

Today the weather was kind of grey. And the venue was located far away from the centre. So we did not see the city of Pratteln.
Z7 (the venue) was really nice. The monitor-technician was as good as his mouth was big.
The experience from a show with bad monitor-sound compared to good, is of course huge. So we really appreciate having a guy that knows his craft.

We all enjoyed excellent home-cooked food, right from the kitchen. This is also something you start to compare, after a few days with in-door catering.
And as with technicians. It varies alot.

The Swiss audience were really nice to us. And its good to play after a really boring day off.
Although its not the biggest audience, it seemed like there were some that showed up mainly to see us. That is nice, for a opening act.


btw: thank you, the guy that gave us swiss money for the foosball-game! and thanks to Waldemar, being such a humble opponent in the game!



-tobias

2010/11/28

Day 27/34 - Travel day #3 (Bucharest / Vienna / Pratteln) – 23.11.2010

“Crossing Donau”
by Tor Oddmund Suhrke



The grenades are pouring down. We just barely missed getting struck by the last attack. They’ve spotted us now. 20 soldiers are heading our way. Blam! Blam! BLAM! Tobias is dead, Øystein has betrayed us, and Halvor is lying in his own pile of blood. It’s only Einar and TorO now. As they turn around, Scott directs a herd of bisons their way. They get forced down on the ground, and while the bisons are stumping their heads down in the mud, suddenly…

BUMP!

TorO wakes up as his head fiercely rams into the roof of his bunk.
“Thank God, it was only a dream!” TorO thought to himself as he rolls out of bed. “But what’s going on?”
He considers his jeans worthy of their 22nd consecutive day without washing them, as he throws them on. He struggle his way down to Scott, who’s in charge of keeping the bus on, what appears to be, the most bumpy road in Hungary. Scott is calm as usual.
“Hand me the black pack of vanilla cigarettes will you?” He asks gently.
“Where are we?” TorO replies, unable to find the cigarettes.
“They’re lying under my laptop.” He adds, while pointing in the direction of the overhead compartment. “We had to take a detour. There was an accident on the highway you see, but I asked around, and this is supposed to be the best way we can cross the river, without having to take one of those small ferries.”
Something in Scott’s eyes gives TorO an uneasy feeling.
“Are you ok Scott?” he asks, while handing Scott the cigarettes. Scott tries his best not to show what he’s really thinking, but it’s all in vain.
“It’s just that we’ve been driving on this road for 1,5 hours now, and I’m starting to think that the guy who gave me the directions might not have been a professor in English after all.” He lights his cigarette, and leans back into his seat.

---

“Mmmmh.” Øystein sneaks naked out of Joachim’s bunk. “And where exactly do you think you’re going mister?” Joachim whispers with his sexy, rusty morning voice.
“I’m just heading to the front of the bus to see what’s going on with these bumpy roads.” Øystein replies.
“You didn’t seem to mind the bumpy roads last night!” Joachim adds, and gives Øystein one of his famous winks. “I miss you already!”
Øystein throws himself at him, and as their lips meet, all the bumps in the world couldn’t stop them. “Let us make breakfast” Joachim says in that all to familiar voice.
Øystein stuffs his salami right in the middle of Joachim’s freshly baked donut. “Mmm, that’s good!” Joachim shouts eagerly. “The only thing missing is some dressing.”
“Well I happen to have some right here!” Øystein laughs. “Just wait one more second! Here it is! I found it!” Øystein squirts some delicious dressing on to Joachim’s donut.
Joachim dips his finger in the dressing and then licks it all off, slowly. “Now, that’s what I call good dressing!” he laughs.

---

“Is that a line of cars forming down there?” TorO asks Scott, as he points his finger down the road.
“I’m not sure, but at least it looks like we’re getting closer to the river.” Scott replies. “I can feel it.”
“Øystein! Can’t you put on some clothes for once?!” TorO asks politely, yet a bit harsh, the moment Øystein sits down next to him. Øystein starts to cry.
“Was that really necessary?” Joachim shouts from his bunk. He climbs down. “Now, I have to spend the rest of the day comforting him!” He grabs one of the panties Øystein has left in his bunk, and throws them at him. “Here you go! Put this on, and maybe Mr. grumpy pants won’t be hassling you anymore.”
Øystein starts to giggle.
“What’s that?” Joachim asks, as he sits down with his great looking just-got-out-of-bed hair.
“It’s a fuckin’ ferry,” Scott sighs, while everybody starts laughing “and it’s probably about half the size of the bus”.

---

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---

“Wake up!” Einar raises his voice to get TorO’s attention.
Øystein gets a bit startled and starts to cry.
“Where am I?” TorO asks with an astonished look in his face.
“You passed out right before Donau devoured us completely. We took the trans Donauic passageway, and were put ashore in Vienna just a couple of minutes ago…”
“So we’re in Vienna now?” TorO asks out in the open as a rather slick expression covers his face. “Then I can get my camera back!”
“Ha ha ha! You and your camera” Halvor says, while he winks to the other guys.
Everybody laughs, winks and high five each other. What a gang!

THE END

Day 26/34 - Arenele Romane, Bucharest, Romania - 22.11.2010

After a very relaxing day off in Thessaloniki (Greece) we had all our batteries charged and were fit for fight. Bucharest, Romania was our next stop. Once we stepped out of the bus, we were embraced by several stray dogs who wanted to express their welcomeness to us.



After checking out the backstage (which turned out to be quite nice) we managed to get in touch with our Romanian friend and very true fan Andrea (who currently lives in Oslo, Norway). This was the third time she saw us on this tour (and the eight time this year), which is rather impressive since she actually lives in Norway. Fortunately she was available to give us a really nice guided tour through her old hometown Bucharest. The most impressive (and most horrifying) building was the Palace of the Parliament, also called the Peoples House. The palace of the Parliament is the second biggest building in the world after Pentagon, and was built in only five years (from 1983 - 1989) under the command of Nicolae Ceauşescu.

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I would describe Bucharest as a two-parted city. It had many impressive architectural pearls, but the maintenance in general could have been better.

While looking for something to eat, we met a couple of the Therion guys (which we do very often when we’re checking out the city centre). They joined us after our meal, and we started walking back to the venue. After walking for a while we found out that Therion was about to start their soundcheck in just a few minutes. Thomas and Christian had to catch a cab in order to be at the venue in time for the soundcheck. The distance from the city centre to the venue was twice as long as I remembered it to be.

When it was time for soundcheck, we unfortunately found out that we had to deal with the slowest working local crew on the tour so far. When the doors opened and people started entering the venue, they still hadn’t managed to connect all the cables to the drums, guitars, vocals, and keys. To be honest, I’m glad we weren’t the first band to go on stage today. As a special treat from the venue to Loch Vostok, they had made sure that Mano (the guitarist) got radio signals playing Barry White through his guitar amp. After Loch Vostok was done with their concert, everything seemed to be in order.



The concert went well even though we didn’t get to check anything, and the response we received from the Romanian crowd was overwhelming!

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I had actually made quite an effort to make a video of our backstage activities, but it ended up being way to embarrassing for certain people. Well, you can at least check out the song I used as theme song for the movie! The never ending success story ..........Babylon Zoo!!



All the best,
Einar

2010/11/27

Day 25/34 - Travel day #2 (Thessaloniki) - 21.11.2010

After a drive that made night turn into day we arrived in Thessaloniki after leaving Athens behind us in the dark. This travel day turned out to be much more enjoyable than the last one. The last one was being spent in rainy Ljubljana in a boring hotel room. This one we spent in sunny Greece by the ocean.



We had the whole day, one hotel room and not a care in the world. We ate pizza by the ocean, drank coffee from starbucks and walked down the harbour towards a beautiful tower. Øystein went back to the hotel to catch up on his studying while the rest of us went to the movies. We saw the new Harry Potter movie. This was my first encounter with Harry Potter. So – Tor Oddmund, Einar and Tobias had to bring me up to speed on the saga while we were waiting for the film to begin. Even though they did a great job retelling the story, there were just too many holes in my knowledge of the story to keep me on the edge of my seat this evening. Despite the noisy young crowd, it was nice and relaxing to spend the night at the movies after spending 22 nights on venues around Europe. Nothing wrong with that at all – but a bit of recreation is never wrong.



After a nice shower and some fast food we entered our tour bus once again at midnight. This time our destination is Romania and a huge tent in the city of Bucharest.

Merry XMAS form Greece:




Good Night!
Halvor

2010/11/26

Day 24/34 - Gagarin 205, Athens, Greece - 20.11.2010

8 hour bumpy drive from Thessaloniki
the sun wakes us up and we're feelin' hot 'n freaky
let's gather the band plus our danish engineer
and check out the city, there's a metro near

Daypass is the thang and Attiki is our station
Acropolis is our number one destination
This popular place is 6 dots away
but we jump on the train without any delay

Our sound guy with his Ray Ban thinks he's cool as hell
even though he once got the comment; "Dude, your ass smells!"
The coolness of this crew makes everything fade
lets hope Acropolis is ready for our escapade

We go up, we go down
we turn back, we frown
there's nothing here, let's go 'round
ok, lets pay the twelve and head for the top

A long, long, long, long way to go
the path of stone is just so damn slow
up from here the beautiful city we see
right now, this is THE place to be

(NOTE: No emergency rhymes were made during the making of this rap)

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Yours faithfully,
Øystein

2010/11/25

Day 23/34 - Block 33 - Thessaloniki, Greece, 19.11.2010

Yesterdays night we had a really bumpy ride. The roads from Bulgaria to Greece arent the best... It was quite ok, allthough sometimes you`d wake up allmost trown out of bed.

The weather in Greece is really nice. It makes it even better to know thats it minus 10 degrees in Norway.
We took a walk to find the city centre It took a while and we didnt have too much time to actually see the city.
As we were walking peaceful down the streets Einar and TorO got stopped by a cop. He told them to show their papers, probably meaning their passports.
They were of course in the bus...

They tried to explain that we were a group on a tour. He asked where we were from. As soon as Norway got mentioned it was ok. You free to go.

The reason why they were stopped in the first place: ??
What a rude cop...

In addition to this rather suprising episode, we were in quite a hurry to get back to our soundcheck.
Which of course resulted in this:

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The funny thing is that when it was time to soundcheck, the pot-smoking local crew were to slow so we didnt get time to soundcheck.

But the show went on as usual. The crowd werent the same as the two previous days. Not saying it was bad. Just not as wild.

After the show i enjoyed the coldest shower ever. In the world most dirty toilet. Which of course was the only one on the venue. Without being able to lock the door, or hide behind a showercurtain. Because there werent anything.

-Tobias

2010/11/24

Day 22 (v2) – Jubileina, Sofia, Bulgaria – 18.11.2010

The word on the street is that Hr Botev Sports Hall’s roof actually collapsed the day prior to our concert there, so I guess we can be glad it didn’t hang on for just one more day. The new venue, Jubileina, is an ex-military base turned into Sofia’s university of transport. The stage is placed inside an extremely boring room, and in daylight it looks like a school prom, just without all the dancing people

The coffee here is the worst yet, even though they actually have their own espresso machine. The backstage is the longest one I’ve ever seen, and after 5-6 hours in the hall, we also got our own auditorium as dressing room. In the following movie, you’ll get to see the backstage, and maybe you’ll get something else as well? You won’t find out until you watch:

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The fact that they managed to fit 1200 people into this venue is nothing more than impressing. The show went really good, and the crowd was amazing. I must really say I love the Bulgarian audience, except one guy who wanted us off stage before we even started playing. Luckily, this was also the guy with the loudest voice in the room…

The light engineer of the day had many cool movable lights to choose between, and the lighting turned out to be very cool in parts of the show. The only thing I could put my finger on is that he had a slightly weird "light interpretation" of the start of our concert. That’s me striking that wrong note in the beginning, simply because I couldn’t see my guitar. Here’s a compilation that shows the light, the excellent crowd and the great atmosphere.

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After the show we got interviewed by a national Bulgarian TV-station, and we learned that we probably won’t take any harm in preparing a bit more before the next time we’re answering questions in front of a camera.

We also got to know a couple of Bulgarian fans, Antonio & Vladimir, who had also seen us at ProgPower Europe earlier this year. To our advantage, they turned out to be some of the nicest people I’ve met so far on the tour. During our spare time earlier in the day we tried to get to downtown Sofia, but when we finally found out how to get there, we didn’t have the time. When we told them this, Antonio drove us downtown to see the city center and to get some food. He also drove me to a pharmacy and bought some coughing medicine for me, since I have been coughing since Vienna. Thanks to their company, this evening turned out to be the best night so far on the tour, and it really left me with an excellent impression of Bulgaria.

Good times! :)

TorO

2010/11/22

Day 22 (v1) – Hr. Botev Sports Hall, Sofia, Bulgaria – 18.11.2010

Finally! The day we’ve all been waiting for! Everybody has been so jealous of me for getting to write the blog for today. “Hr Botev Sports Hall” has been on everybody’s lips ever since we received the tour dates 6 months ago. This is the only venue of which we have no information what so ever. There’s just a blank page in our tour intinerary, also known as “the book of lies”.

The questions are many: Who is this Hr. Botev? What does his Sports Hall have to offer? Will he meet us in person when we arrive? How does he look like? Does he wear a top hat? Days pass like years when you’re waiting for something this good, but now the wait is finally over.

Or is it?

What I’m about to tell you is actually too painful to be described on paper, so I made a documentary instead. This movie contains extremely dramatical and disturbing scenes, so be sure you have a shoulder to cry on as you watch.

video

...

To see what happened next, check out Day 22 (v2)

2010/11/19

Day 21/34 - SKC, Belgrade, Serbia - 17.11.2010

The clock is approximately 09:00 am when Teddy (from Loch Vostok) wakes me up for the Serbian passport control. To be honest I was actually quite glad to get up early for once. A couple of hours later we arrive outside of the venue in Belgrade, which luckily happens to be in the middle of the city centre. First mission - to exchange my Croatian Kuna into Serbian Dinara. That was easier said than done. I had to ask in at least five different exchange offices and banks before I finally found someone that was able to exchange.



Since the weather was slightly better than it had been for the last three days, it was a pleasure exploring the city. Belgrade was a much more modern city than I thought, although it had a post war’ish touch (especially outside the city centre). In the end of the main shopping street, we found Kalemegdan - The fortress of Belgrade. Kalemegdan was built in year 535, and is one of the oldest monuments in the area.



Tonight's venue was a venue worth mentioning. It reminded mo of an old museum both from the inside and from the outside. The first thing that crossed my mind when I saw the concert hall was: “How on earth can someone arrange a rock concert in a hall with these kind of acoustics?”. During the soundcheck I found out that my predictions was entirely right. What a mess!! I believe the room would be perfectly suitable for a classical concert, but for very rhythmical music like Leprous it was a complete disaster - at least on the soundcheck. The reverberation time was insane!



Luckily it seemed like the tickets were sold out this evening, which was a very good thing when it comes to the acoustics. The more people there to absorb the sound, the better the sound will be. When we finally entered the stage, we were met by an extremely enthusiastic crowd! Their enthusiasm affected us in a very positive manner, and after one day with reloading batteries we gave absolutely everything (although the temperature on stage was unbearable). It seemed like many people had checked us out prior to the concert, and quite a few people actually sang along on some of the songs. The sound seemed much better than on the soundcheck, and this ended up being one of the coolest concerts on the entire tour!

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Since we finance this tour entirely on our own, we’re dependent on selling some merch on every concert. After some experimenting, we’ve found out that we often sell more merch by hanging around outside the merch stand after the show. It kind of reminds the people that we exist and that our concert (and music) was good! By standing there we also encourage the autograph hunters to buy CD’s for signing. Well, this strategy didn’t seem to work on this crowd. Of course there were some people who wanted to take a picture with the band, but nobody came for a signature on recently bought items. So he whole thing ended up being rather awkward.


On our way out to the bus, we suddenly found ourselves in a middle of a brutal fight between a guy with blood all over his face and the security guards at the venue. When I came, he ran towards the security guards to hit them, but ended up being being put back on earth. I did notice that Serbian security guards are way more violent than the ones we have in Norway. I almost felt sorry for the bastard when he was sitting in his own pile of blood, although everything seemed to be his fault.

Next stop - Hr. Botev Sports hall!!!!

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All the best,
Einar

Day 20/34 - Travel day - 16.11.2010

First Travel Day:

View Larger Map

Today we travelled from Strasburg to Ljubljana and stayed in Ljubljana for the day. We parked the bus right outside the venue we played a week ago. There were a hotel right beside the venue, and we seized the opportunity to get some rest outside the bus for the first time in 18 days. Each band (LV and L) got one room each. Here we got to shower and relax on a king size bed.


Later TorO, Halvor and Tobias went for a run in the November rain. No show today - so not much to report I’m afraid. We left for Belgrade around 22.30 and watched “5 på gata fra Notodden tv” and "Some Kind of Monster vol. 2" on the bus. The real film, Some Kind of Monster vol. 1 was mssing… FAAAACK:(



Halvor

2010/11/17

Day 19/34 - La Laterie, Strasbourg, France - 15.11.2010

We wake up at around 12 o'clock. Well, at least I do. Halvor and Tor Oddmund have shown to be the vampires of the tour. Their active in the nightly hours. I do my usual routine and gets some work done during this rainy and gray morning. If you've been paying attention and have read this blog, you'll know how we love the French. This is the sixth and last of the shows in France; Lille, Paris, Toulouse, Limoges and now the ninth largest city in France. It's one of three cities in France with an opera house and its 266 000 inhabitants live almost 500km east of Paris. Yes! You guessed it.. it's Strasbourg!



We make our way into La Laterie. The old dairy is redecorated and made a pretty decent venue. We put down our stuff on the second floor where our backstage is and proceed to the wonderful catering provided. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to see this beautiful city, but Einar was kind enough to provide me with the picture above.

21 days have passed since we left home in Oslo and there comes a time when one has to do laundry. The time is now. The place is located down the street 200 meters from the bus (phew!). 40 minutes later everybody has 6 euros less in their pockets, but ready for the remaining 12 days of the European tour.

I love you all,
Øystein

2010/11/16

Day 18/34 - CC John Lennon, Limoges, France - 14/11/2010

Today we ate, waited, jogged, waited, rigged, soundchecked, ate, waited, played, rigged, waited, went on the bus.
The concert was mediocre. We didn't get too much out Limoges on this rainy day. But it seemed like a nice city.

Enjoy the videos!

-tobias

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2010/11/15

Day 17 - La Riviera, Madrid, Spain - 13.11.2010



I haven’t been able to wash any laundry since Lille, and now I’m really starting to run out of clothes. Ten concerts without access to a washing machine has also taken its toll on my stage outfit, so today I was determined to find a Laundromat or Lavateria or whatever its called here in Spain. I gathered my Posse (Einar/Tobias), and off we went on our quest. Our first stop was at Lori’s, to borrow some laundry detergent. She supplied us with what we needed, asked around in Spanish to find out where we could go, jogged over herself to check if it was open, returned and told us it was closed, and then added that their (Therion’s) sound check were moved earlier so we wouldn’t have time to wash anything anyway. Cool... Guess the quest will have to be postponed.



The upside of not being able to do my laundry was that I now had time to take a stroll downtown in Madrid. On our way we were lucky enough to be heading in the opposite direction of a demonstration, featuring both Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh. We also met this guy, who makes a living smiling for money.



To my surprise they don’t seem to sell clothes in downtown Madrid, so my quest for clean clothes continues. On our way back to the venue, the demonstration had decided to turn around, so once again we had to walk through it in the opposite direction.



Time for soundcheck. Has anybody seen Halvor? He’s always on time for sound checks, and always tells somebody where he’s going. He’s not in our dressing room, nor at any other dressing room. Nowhere back stage. Not in the bus. Nowhere in the venue. He’s not in the close perimeters of the venue. I try to call him, the phone rings, a couple of times, and then I get a “no answer signal”. Time goes by.

Lori: Here’s a guy sleeping that kind of looks like Halvor!
She shakes the sleeping fellow, who turns around with an astonished look on his face.
Lori: Not him!

More time goes by, everybody’s looking, but no Halvor. We’re all starting to get worried about whatever has happened to our dear bass player. Is he lying somewhere in his own pile of blood? Almost an hour after our sound check started Halvor comes jogging up on stage with his green foosball t-shirt. He’s been lost in Madrid for over a couple of hours, with nobody understanding English. He’s never been so desperate in his life. On the bright side, we’ve never had a slower group of local venue riggers, and since they were running approximately 90 minutes late, the sound check went smooth as always.

Being the blog-guy for today, I’m in charge of setting up the camera. It’s actually harder than it seems though. Specially when the venue is a maze, I’m focused on filming where I’m going, and in addition I have all these amazing pictures running through my head from the backstages we share with Loch Vostok. I made this short film to illustrate the life of “the camera dude”.

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The concert went well today, and we once again edited our set list by replacing one of our new songs “Cryptogenic Desires”, with another new song “Restless”. I guess we’re not that patient when it comes to playing the same set night after night. We also encountered the same odd looking crew we met earlier in Paris, who said they really enjoyed this alternative set list. They would also like, once again, to send their greetings back home.



I think that’s all the super interesting information I have for you guys following our blog. Oh well, of course I could also tell you all who has hooked up during the last 24h, but I guess I’ll rather use this as a cliff hanger, so I know you’ll be continuing checking out our super duper fantastic blog.

Until next time!
TorO

2010/11/14

Day 16/34 - Razmatazz, Barcelona, Spain - 12.11.2010

This is the day I was finally going to meet my family and my fiancee!! What did not cheer me up particularly was that we couldn’t arrive at the venue before 2 pm because of difficulties with the load in. Luckily the guys in Therion let me crash in their bus from Toulouse to Barcelona , so I managed to be there before noon.

I struggled a bit finding Razmatazz due to massive road work. But then I finally saw my mother and fiancee outside! And what a great feeling it was to finally meet my family and fiancee!
As soon as we were able to, we took the subway to check out the city centre. First we took a small stop by the main street called La Rambla, but once we realized we didn’t have that much time we took the subway further to the main tourist attraction of Barcelona - The architectural masterpiece by Antoni Gaudi that never seems to be finished: La Sagrada Familia!



We managed to get back to La Rambla, where we met this guy:



Due to early sound check I had to get back to the venue earlier than preferable. The venue was nice (as the venues on this tour tend to be) , and the sound check went very well.
After soundchecking we met our spanish designer Maria Picassò, who has designed the latest Leprous t-shirts. It was a pleasure finally being able to meet the person we’ve only spoken a lot to through e-mails.



The concert was filled with energy, a painful back (due to 15 concerts of intense headbanging), a great spanish crowd and good stage sound! It was really nice to show my family and fiancee how much we’ve developed as a live band on this tour. It’s always nice playing for people you know very well. They always have earlier shows to compare to.



In every city, TorO is taking a picture of several Playmo-men (and women) in different settings. Here’s an action photo of TorO doing exactly that.



It was sad having to say good bye to my fiancee, mother and aunt. But it was truly a pleasure getting to see them again!



All the best,
Einar

2010/11/13

Day 15/34 - Le Phare, Toulouse, France - 11.10.2010

No time Toulouse today! The trip from Lyon to the south of France was done in the dark of night either sleeping or watching Mad Men, Dexter, Six Feet Under or playing Football Manager. When we got there it was raining lightly outside. Inside the venue of Le Phare we got our own backstage with candy and drinks and a shower but no WiFi... Catastrophe! No FaceBook!!? A whole day without knowing what Per Cesar or Jeremy are up to? How we got trough it is still a mystery to me.

The stage and the hall were really nice. During soundcheck there was a slight problem of slap back delay in the room – having to do with the rooms acoustics. But the problem lessened when the audience came in in time for the show. TorO, Tobias and Halvor were out running in the beautiful French countryside. A refreshing trip!

The audience were amazing in Toulouse! They really energized us and made the show memorable. The concert went well. Maybe not the best – but certainly not the worst. Tonight we’re heading even souther when the pin is nailed to Spain and Barcelona -and WiFi!



The one and only,
Halvor

2010/11/12

DAY 14/34 - Le Transbordeur, Lyon, France - 10.11.2010

I try to get up early today, but the good mood on the bus keeps the nights long so it isn't easy. I've taken a month off from my studies to go on this tour and I have stuff to do every day. The venue's Wi-Fi is one of the few that extends to the bus, so I try to get some work done. Eventually the other guys get up, and we gather for breakfast. It turns out that the frenchmen kick everyone's ass with their catering. The good meal gets the day started and our usual backstage rig (mentioned earlier) is up and running in no time. I put on my combo of ear-plugs, noise-cancelling headset and Massive Attack and get to work. Einar heads out for the streets of Lyon and the other three enjoy the Wi-Fi.

The hours fly by when you're having fun as they say, and I have to put aside my books as everyone starts preparing for show time.

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Tonights show turns out to be one of the best (use the comment section on the bottom of the page if you agree or disagree) and most fun for us so far. The sound on stage is amazing for everybody, and as usual the delightful French crowd help us keep the energy up high.

This was one of those days where I had to give up sightseeing and be stuck inside with my computer and papers. I study computers and programming for those of you that are curious, so I'm a bit of a geek on the side. Luckily I get to have fun on some of the coolest venues across Europe, so I'm not complaining! Tonight we're heading for Toulouse. Hopefully they will retain the reputation of the French!

Day 13/34 - Alcatraz, Milan, Italy - 09.11.2010

Today we stood up early as usual. Maybe around 12.30. Halvor of course needed his two more hours.

Catering was very good. Venue was good. And that is good, after last evenings lame concert.
We went to the city of Milan, which was very nice. Allthough i think its more suited if you are into fashion, and are willing to spend (wasting) alot of money.
We went into one of these fashion store. When the personal approached us and saw our style, he just smiled and turned back. No need wasting time, he thought.
The Milan Cathedral was one of the most spectacular buildings i`ve ever seen.

The concert itself was much better than yesterday and the crowd were really nice to us.
We had a shower in our backstage, which is really nice. Because the last couple of days we had specific rules for showering.

Like: just between 9.30 and 10.30, so its ready for the headliners after their show.
Hey!, but their show ends at 11.30?
Yeah but the water needs to get heated before they finish.
Sometimes there is this moron rules for support bands. Just to seperate us from the headliner.
But overall its good!

Next stop Lyon!

-tobias

Here is a short movie i made one night on the bus. It is random clips, filmed during our stay in Milan.

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2010/11/11

Day 12/34 - Kino Siska Club, Ljubljana, Slovenia - 08.11.2010

First of all, being the lucky bastard I am, I forgot my Nikon D80 camera back in Vienna.
I also went to bed last night with a fever and a sore throat, so what could be better than to be woken by the Slovenian border patrol walking around in our bus? That’s right; getting the message that if we didn’t get up this very instant, we would be arrested… So we all rolled our behinds out of bed, and saluted our new best Slovenian gun bearing friend.



Arriving at the Kino Siska Club in Ljubljana was a very positive experience. It’s a really nice venue, great catering, a large stage, easy to load out/in and we had easy access to our bus. Another great thing was that we got the biggest backstage ever. 300 m2 of pure heaven featuring our own ping-pong table, free internet access and good food. The only downside was that there had been a double booking of the room, meaning that we had to share the paradise with an amateur group of barrel drummers. Luckily they didn’t make their presence too obvious though, as seen in this film:

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Being in need of a hacksaw, Tobias forced the rest of us to join him on a 3 hour walking tour of Ljubljana, which is a very beautiful city by the way. For some reason, Tobias have a tendency to break his instruments, and now he had to saw off a piece on one of his cymbals. As the rain was pouring down, we returned to the venue after not finding anything close to a hardware store. At this point I double checked with Tobias that he had already asked someone at the venue if they had a hacksaw, but to my surprise, he had done no such thing. Two minutes later Tobias got the saw he needed from the first person he asked, and I would like to use this opportunity to give Tobias a big hand for his top of the line reasoning on how to get hold of things he need.



Finally, it was showtime, and we were all really psyched after the great show in Zagreb the day before. With such a cool stage and venue, in addition to the very nice impression we had from the Slovenians we had met so far, things couldn’t go wrong. The only thing we didn’t know before the show, was the fact that 75% of the Slovenian audience obviously prefer to sit on the floor, or in some cases lie on their backs, while watching the concert. We tried the best we could to keep up the energy level from our previous shows, but I must admit that it’s a bit hard when the people in the first row are lying on their backs yawning, while you’re breaking your pelvis trying to lift the mood…

As a special treat, it seems as we’ve also lost our camera stand, so from now on we’ll have to improvise a bit when recording the shows. I don’t think you will be disappointed with this camera view though. ;) Enjoy!

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Thank you for following our blog!
Next stop: Milano

TorO

BTW. I beat Tobias in ping-pong three times in a row…

2010/11/09

Day 11/34 - Boogalo Club, Zagreb, Croatia - 07.11.2010

Today it was time to say hello to Zagreb - the capital of Croatia. We enter the venue, and discover that both the catering and backstage facilities are really good! After doing some shows with rather small backstages shared between two bands, it was really nice to finally have a large backstage only for Leprous. In addition to that, the stage was perfect and the local crew was very helpful! Without us asking for it, they provided us with a driver that drove us to the city center of Zagreb.



When we arrived in the more central parts of Zagreb, the driver offered us to guide us through the city center to show us the most interesting parts. Now we´re talking good service! What also surprised me was how good the Croatians were in English! Almost everyone I talked to were able to communicate quite good in English.

The catering on the venue was perfect........for those who eat meat! Since the majority of the band are Vegetarians, it could have been better. It was a huge plate with meats of all kind, almost like a norwegian christmas meal. No worries, because the really nice crew from the Boogallo Club in Zagreb ordered a really nice Tofu meal for us! Once again, really nice service.

Yes - there was a fitness studio in the same building as the venue! I got the chance to do one of my three weekly work out sessions!! When I returned to the backstage I was embraced by one hell of an exited gang!

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Ok, it’s about time to write something about the concert! Because this was really a concert worth mentioning. The majority of the crowd were girls between 15 - 25 (at least it seemed so), and they gave us such fantastic response - even though most of the people there didn’t know us before the concert! The sound on stage could have been better for me, but it did not overshadow the great experience at all. Zagreb is definitely a place we wanna visit again!

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All the best,
Einar