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Withering Surface Tour Report

Ein Artikel von Odin vom 14.05.2003 (8252 mal gelesen)
Withering Surface Easter Tour 2003

Wedne sday the 16th of April, K17 Berlin.
After months of hard work getting this mini tour together, the day had finally arrived. The day where Withering Surface once again was to show the Germans that Danish metal most certainly is marked with quality. Infront of us were 5 gigs in Berlin, Dresden, Mügeln, Kassel and Jena.

Around 8:30 in the morning yours truely was picked up at his house by a brand new, rented minibuss with death metal forcing its ways throughout the windows - the party was ready to begin. Besides my band mates ( (Allan, Kaspar, Jacob & Lukas) the crew consisted of our support band Iniquity (Mads, Jesper & Thomas) and our driver Morten. A farewell kiss to my girlfriend and daughter and off to the German Autobahn.

Six hours later, with a beautiful Doro vs. Ido ballad in the stereo, we are trying our best to find the venue K17. Only one and a half hour too late we arrive and shake hands with our German support band, My Cold Embrace, who had kindly been waiting for us for hours. They seem very happy to meet us and the feelings are mutual. K17 is one of the most known metal clubs in Berlin, but a short period of time ago they changed the location of the venue, meaning the new location seem quite new and untried. After the sound check, we hang out with our new German friends, until the doors openens at 20.00. When we enter the scene at 23:00 the venue consists of an audience of around 50 people. We play a solid set and are afterwards all in all satisfied with our performace. What is less satisfactory is the fact that the deal tonight is a 50-50 door split deal, meaning our payment for tonights performance is 50% of the income from the door entrance = 100 Eur. Three great metal bands for 100 Eur seems a little too cheap, and I try my best charming my way into the heart of the booker, Birgit, and succeed… At least in getting 50 beers more covering most of our financial wounds.

Around 4 o’clock in the morning most of us find it’s time to go to bed, but when entering the room in which we are supposed to sleep we are caught by surprise. One of the members from our German support band (no names mentioned here…!), is having sex with the local groupie! The new couple quickly coveres themselves with a sleeping bag, and afterwards we all expect the girl to leave the room. She, however, is not planning on going anywhere. Instead she stays at our room talking about how much she likes guys playing in bands. This all becomes a little too much for yours truely and thus he returns to the goth bar in which we earlier had been drinking and watching funny goth people dance. Since I forgot my black lipstick and dancing shoes, I only manage to drink a goodnight-beer and afterwards return to bed.

Thursday the 17th of April, Skullcrusher, Dresden
After an icecold shower, breakfast consisting of two German brattwursts, a small bottle of Underberg and an healthy amount of mineral water, things are again looking pretty bright for my body and soul. Approx. 300 kilometers later we arrive to the Skullcrusher club in Dreseden and are welcomed with great manners. From the second we enter the gates, it feels like we cross a limit into other time period. An age in the sign of extreme metal. The photos on the wall, the beer, the people, everything reeks of an extreme dedication to the metal culture. The Skullcrusher crew lead us the way to our backstage/sleeping room where they with pride unveil that they at least 3 or 4 times a week spend the nights together listening to metal and drink beer. Hell, they often even spend the night here. Later we do the sound check, but I am not satisfied, since the vocal monitor is out of order. I can’t hear myself singing on stage and it pisses me off. However, the only explanation I can get is that the monitor burnt down at the last gig they had. Hell, then why haven’t you had it fixed? I realize I have to accept the conditions. 150 German beers and a bottle of Jägermeister standing in the backstage room ready to be consumed makes he forget my sorrows and outside there is fire in the grill. 4 brattwursts and several beers later My Cold Embrace enteres the stage without any notable response from the audience. Shortly after Iniquity shows the people of Dresden how brutal death metal is to be delivered and the Germans love it. Iniquity had two years previously played at the Skullcrusher club, so they were already familiar to some of the people in the audience. Half an hour later we enter the stage and deliver a good, big doze of melodic, rockin’ death metal to the 150 people attending the show. We play well together tonight and deliver a good’n’nasty attitude on stage, and the audience is awarded with an extra song. As we expected, our afterparty is one big party with beer, booze, women, arm wrestling and non stop heavy metal.

Friday the 18th of April, Jugendverein, Mügeln
The morning after, or more accurate a few hours after falling asleep, the very much awake and over-fresh videoguy/roadie Aykut is singing a chorus from one of our songs directly into my head. I kindly tell him “fuck off or I’ll kill you”, and he runs aways, laughing. But not fast enough for me to notice the smell of fresh made coffee. A couple of hours later we are all in the bus again on the way to the next gig. Luckily the drive is only around 70 kilometers to Müglen, so even though everybody are very hung over, we manage to arrive safely to the small village (5000 inhabitants). In advance I had been warned by the Jugendverien-booker, Tobi, that the venue is very small and not very well equipped. Jugendverein is the German word for Youth Club and that was exactly the kind of area we enter on the way to the actual concert hall. 12-13 year old boys and girl playing football. As we enter the venue, only a few seconds pass, before the room is filled with laughter. 80 square meters with a billard table placed in front of the stage. Some of us laugh in frustration, some in bitterness and some because it simply seems hilarious. We agree to get the best out of it and start loading in our gear. When I decide to line up the merhandise stand, I start looking for our merhandise box and ask Allan where it is. He is certain it is in the van and start looking for it. After looking desperately everywhere we realize we have forgotten the merhandise box at the backstage room in the Skullcrusher club. We at once call the Skullcrusher club and ask them if it is still there. Shortly after they call us back saying it is not to be found. It’s gone, stolen, dissapeared… 120 CDds and 30 t-shirts… gone. The atmosphere turns to point zero and we decide to call the police, who show up and make a report. “The report of the stolen merchandise box”. We decide to cheer up, and after the sound check things are almost back to normal again. The fact that the venue is packed with 120 people only make things better and we end up playing a very mean, aggressive, in-your-face gig with a turned-on audience. People go crazy and we almost forget we are playing on our back gear and not a PA. The concert which to begin with seemed like a bad joke, end up being a good experience and the episodes following in the backstage room only underline this even further. Worth mentioning is especially the 2,2 meter tall German guy, who does his entrance at around 3:00 or 4:00 o’clock in the morning with the sentence “Ich bin Uwe”. The giant takes a seat and continues to switch between talking and growling something in German nobody understand. Due to strange circumstances I challenge the giant to do an armwrestling match. The giant smiles, pulls up his sleeves and takes a phone book lying on a shelve and wraps it in two halfs. One half he places under my elbow, simply because his arm is a lot longer (and bigger!) than mine. What a gentleman. I suppose it is unnecessary to mention I lose the match. Afterwards Jacob challenge the giant and suffers the same destiny as yours truely. Uwe is a winner with manners, so he offers both of us a zip of his nice mint liquer. In the meantime, two girls have also entered the backstage room, where only Kaspar, Jacob, me and of course Uwe is left. Everybody else is sleeping. The girls tell us they think both Withering Surface and Iniquity are a bit too soft for them. They prefer extreme gore/grind like Cock & Ball Torture, Cuntgrinder og Sadistic Blood Massacre. Hmmm…. “can you do a showcase in how to headbang to music like this” I kindly ask one of the girls. This sure is no problem for the girl who starts headbanging like crazy. Afterwards the same girl show us her tits, and a giant cock is slapped against them (guess who did it?). Yes, it most certainly was a wise move we decided to stay in Müglen eventhough the conditions seemed shitty to being with.

Saturday the 19th of April, Musik Theater/Nachthallen, Kassel
After two hours of sleep I wake up precisely like the morning before, this time with Aykut jumping on my madras. It’s 8 o’clock in the morning and energy is a word not to be found in my vocabulary. To reach the next gig in time, we have to drive already at 9 o’clock. Luckily the alkohol is still very dominant in my body and I manage to eat some breakfast followed by a few small bottles of refreshing Underberg, some brattwursts and a great warm feeling in my body makes me enjoy the beautiful landscape in the South of Germany. Six hours and a dozen of heavy metal CDs later, we reach our destination, Nachthalle i Kassel. My Cold Embrace had been talking about this gig since we meet them. Kassel is their hometown and Musik Theater is the best venue in town. After having seen it with our own eyes we understand their excitement. It’s a really good looking big concert hall with a capacity of 800 people. Hell, even Slayer have played there. Musik Theater is the biggest venue inside the Nachhalle, which also consists of a discoteque for the younger audience, a gothclub, a lounge/jazz club with a restaurant and several bigger bars. In total Nachthalle has a capacity of 4000-5000 people! After a quick guide inside the venue my first thought is that I will never find my way around. While the gear is brought on stage, and sound check is done, I decide to run up to the shower and get, what turns out to be, the only real shower on this tour. Clean with a fresh scent of aftershave I do my vocal soundcheck and afterwards we all eat dinner. The mood is great and due to the cool surroundings, we almost feel like Scandinavian rockstars in Germany. The hall is packed with 500-600 people when the local heroes My Cold Embrace enter the stage. The audience headbang, stagedive and goes berzerk. Not quite at the same pace when Iniquity are playing, but they end up delivering a good and energic gig. When it’s our turn to show the metalheads of Kassel what we are made of, after our new best friend Aykut, presents us as Withering Surface from Sweden, it is with mixed feelings, since the sound on stage is horrible and the audience not really that wild. After a few minutes the audience come closer and we try our best to impress them and seem to succeed. We give them what they want and just as we are about to enter the stage again to play an extra song, we are told that we can’t play anymore, because now the venue is turning into a rock club with DJs… We stare at eachother, not really knowing how to react towards this statement. Later in the backstage room, partying, we decide to discover what Nachthalle has to offer. First up is the goth club where a ridiculous Marilyn Manson looking clone is dancing alone on the dance floor. We laught at the poor fellow and decide to spend the night at the Musik Theater drinking Tequila and Corona. At 5:30 the place close and we head towards the appartment of Ernie, the singer in My Cold Embrace. Yours truely being drunk like hell…

Sunday the 20th of April, Rosenkeller, Jena.
The next morning I’m feeling dizzy and my breath is almost killing me. This is what hangovers are all about. Not even breakfast at Burger King provides me with enough energy to wake up. I’m trying my best to sleep in the bus on the way to the last gig. We arrive to Rosenkeller in the middle of the afternoon and we all agree that this venue is cool as hell! It most of all looks like a beer hall from the middle age with stone covered walls and floors and very big stairs. The big stairs are quite a challenge when we have to unload and carry in the gear to the venue. But we survive and afterwards we hang out in the cosy backstage room which is lined up with 100 bottles of the local Rosenpilsner beers. For the first time on the tour 100 beers for three bands seems like a lot and it takes ages for me to consume the first bottle. My soul is saying “yes, please… fill it up”, but my body is saying “please, no more…”. Luckily my soul is stronger than my body and after a while the taste of the good, local brew gets me back in a good, jolly mood. A few hours later the Rosenkeller is filled with people and the atmosphere is in top. My Cold Embrace are playing their best show on the tour and the audience is very supportive. Shortly after Iniquity takes over and warms up the audience even further. When we enter the stage it is hot as hell and the audience is going wild. Headbanging like possessed and singing along to our songs. When we leave the stage, after having played extra songs, the audience is screaming for more in the minutes after. What fucking great gig! In the backstage room we are accompanied by some journalists and members from other bands who all seem to agree we are a killer band. It’s also time to write some autographs and for a second I get really sad we don’t have our merchandise, because it’s obvious we could have sold a lot this evening. In the middle of this great moment, a girl is smiling at me saying “ “Hi Michael”, I’m looking at the beautiful girl not having a clue who she is. “You don’t remember me?”, she says. ”Aahhh… tjoo, ehhh”. She laughts and says “we met eachother when you played in the UK”. All of a sudden I realize I met her in London last year when we supported Opeth and Arch Enemy at the Mean Fiddler. “Oh yeah, you are one of the two German au pair girls, what are you doing here?” I tell her. She’s back in Germany and really happy to see us live again. What a wicked experience! Eventhough the nice people of Rosenkeller has booked hotel rooms for us, we decide to head towards Denmark at 3 o’clock in the night, in order to be home in a somewhat due time to get sobered up before going to work. We say goodbye to the crew of Rosenkeller, and the Hellborn Metal Radio club, who helped promoting it, give hugs to our German friends in My Cold Embrace and empty a bottle of Jägermeister, hoping it will help us fall asleep on the 1000 kilometers long drive home back to Copenhagen. Unfortunately I’m not getting much sleep, and I witness that Lukas isn’t either and when we reach Berlin it is obvious that he is in serious pain. At this point he is desperately screaming at Morten to speed up and drive into the nearest gasstation. Once this happens, he jumps out of the bus and lie down on the street screaming in pain. Thomas runs to the gasstation and get them to call an ambulence, which quickly arrives and drives Lukas to the hospital. Here is he being told that he has gotten a kidney stone and they mange to drug him enough to stand the rest of the drive home with us to Denmark. In Denmark he is being hospitalized and one week after he is still so badly hurt that we have to cancel two gigs in Sweden. While writing this, we are still unaware of his destiny…. One positive thing, however, is that there was an email from the Skullcrusher club saying they found the merchandise box.

Michael H. Andersen


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