Mittwoch, 7. August 2013

Monster Magnet Tourdiary Part 1

02.08 - Tilburg
With a delay of 120min my train arrived in Tilburg, NL where I should meet the whole crew. I was glad that I already had Paddy (Stage left) travelling with me, because it was a long, boring ride even without a delay.
We all had a nice welcome at the hotel and one Magnet after another showed up in the lounge trying to fight their jetlag.
It's always cool meeting new people and realize that we all share the same passion for music... 
5 of us went later to the "013" venue to watch Five Horse Johnson from Detroit. We crashed out with the guys at the Little Devil Bar afterwards and we had a great start and FHJ a great ending of their tour.

03.08 - Tilburg
It was really nice to meet the Five Horse Johnson guys again in the morning at the breakfast buffet. All were a little bit hangovered and exhausted but ready to start their last tourday.
Let's get it started with Monster Magnet! At noon we drove to 013 venue to set up everything. It is the first time for me with MM and also for the backliners Paddy and Bärtchen, so the musicians took a lot of time for an introduction. We had a good soundcheck with the band and the gig turned out like the whole crew did it a hundred times before.
And it was fucking hot! You could cut the air, wow! Now after an ice cold shower we're on the way to Bristol, England. Bus call 1am

04.08 - Bristol
The first day in the bus. We drove during the night and I had a good sleep with a short interruption at the border control in Calais at about 5am. The coffee machine in the bus and I will not become friends. Looking forward for a cup of black brew I needed to go through a cleaning process of 10min including water refill every 30 seconds, fuck you Saeco! But if this will be one of my biggest problems on tour, it's going to be easy.
We arrived at "the Fleece" venue at 1pm and started to load in immediately. 
I heard a lot of stories about English venues: Bad equipment, shitty beer and food and it's all true! But it was really charming. It was an old building with a stone floor and a wooden ceiling. It looked kind of medievil. Mixing that night was a hard fight. The PA system was at it's limit and some compressors were broken. We needed to change some mic cables which were also broken already at the soundcheck. Everything was very instable but I won the fight in the end.
Next to all the stress, Bristol is a nice city with old buildings and a lot of water, it reminds me somehow to Hamburg... Just smaller and english.

05.08 - Brighton
At 2.30 in the night we hit the road to Brighton. When I woke up I was right at the beach with sunshine! That's a nice start for a day.
The "Concorde 2" venue is an old greenhouse with coloured windows looking like a peacock tail. Again very charming for a location.
So first I had a coffee at the beach and I took a walk with merch guy Paco to the city of Brighton. We passed the Brighton Pier, an amusement park with rollercoasters, arcade and gambling machines and all that shit... I felt like in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas this morning.
Back in the venue we started setting up the backline, ready for line check.
Today the equipment was way better than in Bristol. There was a Digidesign Console which was more complicated than any other digi desks I used before. So... I learned something new.
Between the soundcheck and the show I had some free hours. That is the only time you can check out the town a little bit. Bristol is a touristic place for the English right at the seaside. Even the Royals came here for holidays and built the Royal Pavillion back in the days in an Indian style.
After a nice walk and an Indian dinner it was time to work... Show was nice. Loud guitars and psychedelic lights by Tim, what shall I say more? Off to Belgium!

06.08 - Lokeren
Benelux productions are mostly highly professional and the "Lokerse Feesten" in Belgium aswell. This was the biggest stage I've ever worked on. It was monstrous.
We unloaded our backline very fast with 10+ stagehands from the festival! Next to Alice Cooper's and Deep Purple's backline we set up everything. We had only a line check during the changeover, but working with the backliners Paddy and Bärtchen is getting to a routine after some gigs. The sound was like HD, clear and defined through the line array system. There was a big analog Midas and good equipment for delays and compressors, the stuff you find everywhere, but open air and with a professional system it makes working much easier. After the show we met Alice and Deep Purple in the backstage. 
Paddy and Alice, what a couple! Time for a day off!

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