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

Day 10/34 - Szene, Vienna, Austria - 06.11.2010

Today I was the last one to wake up and to get out of the bus. And to be honest – this is how it usually is. Anyway, as I stepped out of the bus a group of Theorians and Leprechauns where ready to take the trip downtown to check out the cultural Haubstadt of Vienna. I joined the group, and we were on our way.

When we left the nightliners, parked outside tonight’s venue Szene, the weather was nice and sunny, but as we reached the city centre the sun had vanished and we were left freezing in our t-shirts. Tobias had a specific mission for his trip downtown – he needed to get his broken drum pedals either fixed or replaced by a working pair.

We got directions to an instrument store from one of the Theorians, but this trail went cold, as no one in the neighbourhood seemed to know anything about it. Then we were told by a local to take the tram here and the train there to get to this instrument store. This was too complicated; as we were convinced it had to be an easier way to come across an instrument shop in Vienna. Then we were told to ask one of the guys handing out opera flyers to the rich tourists. We did, and he told us there was a shop located “right down the street”. But “right down the street” there were no instrument shop. Here we ran into Einars brother Kenneth and our good friend Josten who came all the way from Norway to visit us on tour!

Back on the trail:
Then we found a record store and asked the staff there for directions. They told us that the biggest instrument store was located two stops by tram from the venue Szene. We went there but couldn’t find any instrument shops there either. And now it started to get really cold, and late. Then a local told us to walk a couple of hundred metres down the street. We did. No instrument shop. Then we asked a lady behind an info counter in a shopping mall. She looked it up and gave us the correct address to Viennas biggest instrument store; “Klangfarbe”. They were closing at five. That meant that we had about 20 minutes to get there, and it was pretty far away…. After some more tramming and walking/running we finally arrived at “Klangfarbe”. As we stepped inside they were turning off the lights and asking people to leave. They didn’t have the time to fix Tobias’ pedal, so he had to buy a new one. He bought the exact same model as the broken one. I believe it felt great to spend some hundred euros on something he already had.

Szene, the Austrian venue, was one of the smallest venues of the entire tour. Our spot on the stage was pretty limited with Therion´s rig just behind ours – but it worked out ok. This was one of the better concerts for me personally, as my stage sound was great and I easily managed to get into the groove and enjoy myself. This was unfortunately not the case for everyone in the band – but overall the show went ok. Tor Oddmund left his camera in Vienna, so no pictures on todays blog...

Tomorrow it’s Boogaloo Club in Zagreb.
We’re ready to rock the Balkans!

From Vienna with Love,
Halvor
DAY 9/34 - Masters of Rock Cafe, Zlin, Czech Republic - 05.11.2010

Z to to L to the I to the N. That's right, folks.. Zlin! We're finally here. Our first encounters with Czech roads at 11 o'clock in the morning make for a bumpy introduction. I give up sleeping any longer and like the rest of the band usually do, I kill off some time watching TV series. The bus has effectively been split in two from day one: the LV guys at the front (Loch Vostok.. do your homework!), us in the back and all the bunks in between. A broken panel on the air duct above our section cool us down to below zero. Gotta get that one fixed, although it might not be all that badconsidering the current level of hygiene. Takes away the edge, haha..

The bus does its signature "shake and stop" (like all buses of course must do!) outside a mall. "We're here!". I take a quick look outside the bus and jus beside the mall I can see the logo: Masters of Rock Cafe. Todays venue has one of the smaller rooms so far, but the stage looks good. Not as spacious as some of the other ones, but we make it work. Our backstage is a small room in the back of stage right, and we're starting to get used to sharing the backstage with our swedish companions as we move east through Europe.

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We've traveled through 6 countries and after a total of 3145km so far, the bus is ready for its first cleaning on this November tour of the great Europe. Mano from Loch Vostok gets to work with the on-board vacuum cleaner, while the rest take care of stray socks, boxers, sweaty stage clothes, bags, cans, bottles, chips, remote controls, deoderants(??), medicines, sunglasses, metronomes, computers, chargers, dvds, to-fix-dreads needles, jogging shoes, peanuts, pence, cent, groszy, ZLIN-money.. do you get the picture? The point is that stray pillows, plastic bags, jackets, headsets, drum sticks and other stuff is actually just lying aroung in the bus. Believe it. Anyway, Einar has dreads as some of you might know. And sometimes they need a fix (not dope, no). He needs a special kind of needle for that, and just as he's leaving Zlin's "Needles For Dread Fixing" shop satisfied with his purchase, he decides to check the message I sent him BEFORE he even entered; "Hey, man! I found the needle you lost!". So now there's actually three needles lying around, as he decided to buy two.

Our late arrival makes for a short day before the sound check. Luckily, the stage crew is extremely slow, the monitor guy is pissed at the world and one of them speaks English. We've been waiting so patiently for that! Things eventually get done. Before we hit the stage, we decide to just wing it, no matter the monitoring.

The past-show hang-out and dinner is done at the cool VIP room on the second floor. Hammerfall, Sonata Arctica, Manowar, Manowar and Manowar are just some of the famous bands that have eaten their food here. If you look through one of the 8 10x10cm windows on the wall facing the stage, you'll see the backs of the press, band members and other VIPs on a small balcony. The evening is otherwise of the calm kind.

Zlin was Zlin and now we're ready to put on another 235km to Vienna.

Yours sincerely,
Øystein

2010/11/05

Day 8/34 - Batchkapp, Frankfurt, Germany 04.11.10

Last thing we did yesterday was driving past Louvre and Notre Dame. Today we woke up in Frankfurt in Germany. Not quite the same to be honest.

We took a walk to check out the city, but found out that, our venue: Batschkapp, wasnt located in the centrum. Cant complain because we found a very nice shop. That had some really nice christmas calenders. For a good price.

The stage was quite small. At least compared to the other we played on the last days. But we sorted it out and gave it all. It seemed like some liked it.

It wasnt the most exciting day. But still there are things thats has to be done.
Here is a typical activity on tour:

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-Tobias

Day 7/34 - Elysée Montmartre, Paris, France - 03.11.10

Our first impression of Paris really lived up to everybody's expectations of this marvelous city, and it was a truly psyched gang of early birds that jumped out of bed at the break of dawn.

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All loaded in at the venue, we were once again served a delicious breakfast. I must really hand it to the French when it comes to food at the venues (not ironic). The venue, Elysée Montmartre, is located about a 2 min walk from le Sacré Cæur, which is a big beautiful church placed on a hill with a wonderful view of the entire city (as seen in the jogging video later in this post). Once we were there, Tobias decided he would like some jewelery, so he just stopped a random stranger passing by to make him a bracelet.



We also met this odd looking crew, who wanted to send their hello back home.



While the rest of us went downtown to check out what Paris had to offer, Øystein used this opportunity to do some homework. Well, I guess we would all be torn when being faced with these two choices…



While some of us wanted to TAKE pictures of the monuments, some of us preferred to BE the pictures. I’m not sure you’ll notice it though.





Before the concert, me and Tobias went for a jog back to Sacré Cæur. The main stairs up to the church turned out to be closed though, so we had to take the back stairs. It was a good warm-up anyway, and Tobias got the opportunity to try out some of his newest jumping tricks.

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Back at the venue, people was starting to gather in front of the stage, and so it was time to play our sixth concert. This concert turned out to be the coolest concert so far on the tour for all the band members. It rarely happens that all band members are completely satisfied with an entire concert, but the great sound on stage, as well as the excellent energy in the crowd made this the most rewarding show so far. I really hope we’ll have the opportunity to come back in a not too distant future.

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You can’t be a tourist in France without trying one of the many national delicacies, so we chose to end this highly interesting day in Paris sharing a plate of snails at a traditional French cuisine.



Au revoir,
TorO