Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Nurse the Hate: Utrecht Holland




Day 2 Dbs Utrecht Holland

 

I wake up last.  I never wake up last.  Breakfast is downstairs, typical good quality rolls, cold cuts and cheese.  This can often be a shock to Americans to find breakfast is always a trip to the deli counter.  Leo´s new friend Humphrey is at the table, and we talk about his friends in Ft Wayne that do a Harley import business into Europe.  Humphrey is in a motorcycle club and tells us there are 11 in the relative village of Wilhelmshaven alone.  These range from a Christian club we later see by the harbour to Hells Angels and Banditos, who are currently engaged in a brutal war.  I don´´t know if Humphrey is in a “let´s go for a Sunday ride” club or “let´s kill the Thai whores who stole our meth” club.  I would guess more to the former than the latter as he is a nice guy.  Still, it seems like he can handle himself.
 
Sugar is experiencing what she believes are her “darkest hours”.  She is freezing cold sitting in a bottom bunk.  Her computer will not connect to the internet.  Her phone card will not work.  She cannot open her very poorly planned shampoo containers from home.  Her credit card will not work.  Her ATM card won´t give her any money.  She can´t come up with a system for the bleak shower.  She is one day in and just now coming to terms with her new reality.  I leave her to her personal hell.
 
We load out and then Humphrey guides us to the North Sea.  How do you not look at the North Sea when you are in the neighbourhood?  We drive by a series of warships from the 50s and 60s docked at a maritime museum.  The road ends at a small park by the sea.  It is windy and really fucking cold.  I walk down to the water and place my hand in the sea.  It is as cold as you imagine it would be.  Leo and Humphrey light up what Humphrey refers to as “herbal entertainment”.  Of course Leo has found his kind of people.  It is cold.  We leave.

We stop at a Shell station in Holland.  I have to launch “Operation Mad Ape”, which is code for what is sure to be a very brutal bowel movement.  I have obvious trepidation about launching such a mission in a gas station.  I pay my .50 € and enter what might have been the finest public restroom facility on the continent.  A private completely enclosed room with absolutely spotless tile and contemporary fixtures.  Hell, even “Ebony and Ivory” is wafting down from high quality speakers.  This is nicer than your bathroom at home.  It is nicer than your friend´s bathrooms.  The Ritz would even say, “That´s a nice bathroom”.  It is a great success.

It is time to go on record and say that one of the greatest crisis in America is the deplorable conditions of our public toilets.  I have no idea of what people are doing in there.  How many times have you walked into a public toilet and found a House of Horrors that looked like a crime scene?  Most of the time, right?  What is it that has gone wrong with the people that came before you?  Is it a question of technique?  Lack of training?  Passive aggressive marking tendencies?  Are most Americans little better than barnyard animals?  I have no idea what the answer is, but we need to embrace this European model immediately.  I will pay 50 cents all day long to have a decent toilet experience.
 
As with most gas station stops, Leo searches out and finds the least appealing foods to me possible.  In Holland they love to deep fry about as much as an Alabama share cropper family.  This gas station has an automat with five (5) different types of deep friend rectangles.  There is no telling what is inside.  Buyer beware.  Leo buys a spicy deep fried shish-ka-bob and washes it down with coffee with caramel chunks floating in it.  A gastrointestinal crisis is imminent for this man…

We arrive at the venue.  Dbs is quite a complex.  A large building owned by the railway company, it has been converted into multiple band practice spaces, a recording studio, a café, and a venue.  The venue itself is a big box with steel floors.  We soundcheck and are as loud as Black Sabbath and the Melvins playing at the same time.  Gary´s father-in-law appears without warning, and those two head off for dinner.  The rest of us attempt to find our accommodations, a B&B buried in the pitch black Dutch countryside. 

When we get back to the club we eat a traditional Dutch meal of Chinese takeout.  The people that work in the venue are all very thoughtful and friendly.  I like the Dutch people.  They are super relaxed and have fashioned a permissive society that supports the arts.  Each band flier up in the café is well done with an eye for detail and composition.  They are printed on good quality paper and hung in an organized fashion.  These folks have their act together.
 
Most times when I have been in Holland I get stuck drinking Amstel.  Dbs is stocked with good local beers.  They have two on tap.  Maximus, which is a hop heavy IPA and La Chouffe, a blonde ale are the options.  The La Chouffe has a cute little gnome on it.  In my experience anytime you see an alcohol with a cute little character on it you can guarantee it will crush your skull.  Remember this rule.  The cuter the mascot, the more of a motherfucker the drink inside.  If you drink three beers with a friendly gnome on it, you can be assured of waking up with a Turkish wife and a fresh tattoo of flames on your penis.  Can you even imagine what direction your life would go if you drank a beer with a baby fawn or a smiling bunny on it? 

I stick with the Maximus for one, and then switch to the Hertog Jan, a reasonably good lager.  It should be noted that the club supplied a never ending case of Dommelsch pilsner, which is awful.  I opened one and left it behind.  Every single guy I talked to from the excellent opening bands Buckshot and Slapback Johnny warned me that the Dommelsch would provide you with a horrible headache.  Interesting enough, the beer has been produced since 1744, creating headaches for almost 300 years.  Ah, rich European tradition! 

We play reasonably well, though it is annoying that everything we did on our lengthy soundcheck was thrown out the window the second we started.  My vocals shift in the monitor from being awash in delay to completely dry.  They are loud and then totally gone.  The people are packed in like sardines.  The ones up front even move around.  It´s a fun set.
 
Afterwards we go to the main bar where a DJ has been playing a killer mix of 50s R&B, rockabilly, and garage rock.  Pretty little girls in ponytails and vintage skirts dance peppily while the boys look on.  A bartender with a fire tattoo on his forehead gets me a beer.  Sugar kisses an album leaving a lipstick signature.  I am goaded to do the same.  I don´t have much experience with lipstick application so I smear it everywhere.  Afterwards I forget I have it on and it has created a sick clown mouth.  I wondered why every woman has been giving me the “creep” look glare from across the room.  When I discover it on my face in the men´s room, even I am shocked by my horrifying appearance. 

We pack up to leave.  It has snowed since we came into the club.  We head back to the farmhouse to sleep.  It is 3 a.m. and we have to be on the road by 10 a.m. for the first of two shows tomorrow.      

 

 

2 Comments:

At February 27, 2013 at 2:19:00 PM EST , Blogger ScottyJ said...

Yep, it's gonna get weirder, ain't it?

 
At March 26, 2013 at 3:56:00 PM EDT , Blogger Darkfuture said...

The album was mine :) thanks Sugar, Thanx guys, i had a blast! I wrote a review from your performance:

http://www.rockabilly-online.com/?p=9735

Love to see you guys soon,

Rockin' Greetz,

Rocky

 

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