Thursday, November 19, 2015

Nurse the Hate: 2015 Euro Tour Day 8 Wilhelmshaven

Breakfast is early as we have a long drive.  The Dutch do breakfast differently.  As this is a B&B, and a folksy one at that, this is pretty typical.  These folks love putting sprinkles on everything.  Get yourself a slice of bread, spread on some Nutella, and sprinkle it up with chocolate, candy sprinkles, or maybe bits of cookie.  Maybe they do gum drops and pixie stix too.  I don’t know.  Christoph looks at the situation and takes a piece of cheese.  “Sprinkles?  It makes no sense.  Never!”  There will be no sprinkles for the German boy.  Brother Dege doesn't do sprinkles either.  Leo?  He sprinkles it up, but then again he is probably high.  

We head back towards Germany making a couple of desperate last stops for more Chocomel for Christoph to lord over his friends.  The cans start to roll around in the LSD Trips van.  The rest stops here in Belgium/Holland have these weird little automats filled with what can only be called “deep fried delights”.  It is like a Speedway gas station, but where in America we would have a cooler with crappy sugar drinks, they have a wall with little PO box looking windows with deep fried cubes and stuff on sticks.  You put in a coin and pull out the deep fried crap.  A half dozen people stand by the wall of windows to pull out these various brown fried squares and tubes filled with God knows what.  I buy Leo a brown rectangle to see what’s inside.  I get him a hot curry sauce because I figure he will eat anything with hot sauce on it.  It turns out to be a brick of breaded deep fried noodles.  After that curry sauce, I am predicting an Operation Mad Ape within the hour.

We roll into Wilhelmshaven, a small tough town on the North Sea.  This is probably hopping in the summer as a place to sail and pleasure boat.  Now it is chilly with a foreboding gray sky blanketing the region.  This would be a great place to be a retired U-Boat captain.  I could see strolling around smoking a pipe talking wistfully about the transport ships I had sent to the bottom "during the troubles".  I would need to grow a beard first though.  Who has that kind of time?  We need to get this mountain of gear inside.  After load in Sugar, Leo and I walk marketstrasse to look at the shabby discount shops.  In three blocks there are ten (10) bakeries, all of which do a brisk business.  Logically one would expect these people to all be 700 pounds.  Hell, I feel like I have put on 10 pounds this week alone.  Yet, slim women eat 2000 calorie pastries at café tables without a care in the world.  

We walk into a mall.  Leo buys what is purported to be a traditional seafaring cap.  He actually does look like a Euro longshoreman.  They try to sell me a captain’s hat, but that is going just too damn far.  I haven't grown that beard yet.  I pass.  Sugar buys this weird silver disco shorts unitard from a Chinese run thrift store.  I don't know what she is going to do with that.  Solve crimes maybe?  We try to keep the local economy humming with an espresso purchase, Leo enjoying his 37th pretzel of the week.  We have done everything there is to do in marketstrasse.  We head back.

The gig tonight is at the hometown of our booking agent Jens.  He has paired us with a local metal band called Hellhead.  It seems like an odd pairing.  They are having a CD and video release party at this show while opening for us.  They are guys about our age that have been weened on Metallica and Iron Maiden.  They do an updated version of that type of stuff but sung in German.  It is unusual for bands to sing in German, which I find odd.  I know I can't write lyrics in German, so why do they write in English?  Perhaps the American cultural influence is too strong.  After all, there are two things we do better than anyone; entertainment and blowing things up with military might, often at the same time.  To think we used to build things...  What an age!  Hellhead brings out local friends and family in great numbers.  Everyone is in great spirits.  This is looking like a doomsday scenario.  What I foresee is a bunch of their older work friends immediately catapulting out of here the second after these guys finish their triumphant victory lap.  I don’t want to go into that room that was packed full and play to nobody.  I’m concerned and on edge.

We try to set up to play quickly, trying to get up and rolling before anyone in the Hellhead crowd has any real idea another band just started.  We can win them over if we get the chance.  We are set up.  Ready.  "Hey man... I gotta go find my gig shirt."  Leo must be doing this to give me a nervous breakdown.  The room of people are staring at us and I'm standing at the mic.  And you want to go change now?  I know I am being really uptight about this, but for fuck's sake, this is literally the only thing you need to have your shit together for all day.  It's the only reason we flew across the Atlantic.  You have literally had an entire afternoon to do nothing but be ready to play when it's time, and now you are going to begin to look for your clothes.  I am going to explode.  I have so much white rage going when we start to play, I feel like Teenage Henry Rollins.  When Gary has to tune his guitar I wonder if I am going to stroke out.  I should point out, I have completely lost my mind from lack of sleep and a steady stream of Jever beer. Despite or because of this (I'm not sure), the show goes great.  The crowd sort of transitions from the metal heads to our people.  There is much frivolity.  It's a really good night.

When we finish I really get a sense of how drunk these people are...  They might have all just come ashore from being on a merchant marine ship for the last 4 months.  One guy in a motorcycle jacket stumbles around the bar laughing and trying to keep his balance.  He fails.  His friends pick him up.  Antje sits down next to me in a booth and we observe the chaos.  I start to invent names for everyone.  Leo and Sugar almost go to some shaky sounding rockabilly dance party at someone's house but Leo (Leo!) advises against it when it sounds dicey.  We have an early morning tomorrow to get to Berlin.  I get a local wheat beer.  The band apartment is upstairs.  It isn't going anywhere.  


At November 19, 2015 at 4:54:00 PM EST , Blogger MrMFTF said...

Is Leo a secret Mentors fan? Looks like he is rifling thru that ladies purse.

At November 20, 2015 at 2:47:00 PM EST , Blogger Greg Miller said...

Caps like that aren't free.


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