torsdag 21 november 2013

Electric and hectic

This week started with a gig at a venue called Thunderbird Lounge. After the show we stayed at the bar owners home outside the city. No one in the band are big fans of whiskey, but the bar owner managed to trick a whole bottle together with a few beers down our throats. So the day after we all felt strong and full of energy. We continued to the next venue called Secret Place. A few hours before the gig our french booking agency called and told us that the gig for the day after had been cancelled...crap... Soooooo we drank a lot and had a little after party, until 7 o clock or something like that, in the morning after.

We solved the gig problem and un-cancelled it. The problem was that the owner of the venue feared that he would lose to much money because of bad weather and people not showing up because of that... So to save money they cancelled us. Nice nice, so instead of losing money the band who had traveled more than 2000km from the middle of Sweden would have to pay for dinner and a nights sleep for 5, somewhere in south of France...and lose a lot of money instead.
Our booking agency talked the venue in to letting us play anyway, without payment... But at least we didn't have to pay for somewhere to sleep or eat.

So after repairing a broken window with duct tape on our tour bus, that I had somehow managed to break in the chaos I called "a little after party" a here above, we headed southwards again.

Just got to love those venues with PA speakers smaller than the speakers i got at home for my computer. Another good thing to do if you plan to have a live scene at a venue is to fix the electricity. We've played at several places before that haven't had enough electric capacity. Like one socket or something at the venue for everything. It doesn't take much to overload it when the air condition/heater, the fridge, the bar lights, etc is already on that circuit. Especially if you gonna plug in two full tube amp heads, one on 100watts and the other on 400. Then add a few effect pedals as well. And to top it up you add a PA system to that. Great success! :)
Now that wasn't the problem this time, so i should not complain about that right now. What actually was the problem instead was that none of the electric outlets was grounded to earth. Most times when you plug in a your instrument into an un-grounded outlet you will get small static shocks every time you touch the microphone, a cable or another instrument that isn't plug in to the same power source. Not very bad but a bit disturbing when you try to perform.
This time thought... MAMA MIA! If I were a few(or more than a few) years older and had like an pacemaker or something, my heart would have stopped on the spot. It felt like I had a giant version of one of those TV-shop gadgets, that gives electric shocks and are suppose to make your muscles stronger and build up them without you having to work out, all around my body. It's hard not to touch the microphone with your lips while both playing and singing. Lucky us, we had wireless sets for our instruments with us, so we could avoid any accidental frying or heart stops.

Enough with the Swedish whining for now!!! We have two days off before our last gig, before we go north again, home. The last gig will be in a town called Nommay, and we will play with a band called MADJIVE. Me and Tom watched a few of their music videos on Youtube this morning, real naj!
The two days until then we are spending at the home of a "facebook" friend of our manager. They are awesome nice and are letting us stay at their house for two nights. Real naj!:)
Today we did a little sightseeing in the village and came back with 45 liters of wine from the local producer.

Also on Friday our dear friend Miriam will come to the gig. We haven't seen her in ages. She was the one who tricked this very young rock band from Sweden to take a first huge step in their rock carrier with an cheap Ryan Air flight to Paris. We spent a week at hear place and made a few shows and a lot of scandals. Great time, a lot of crazy things happened. Too bad for you that this blog is about the tour I am on, and not the ones I've already done.

Bye bye time to die. No that was a lie. The die, part. Fart.

lördag 16 november 2013

"Your stay, our obsession"

Today we have one day off from the music playing. Or as our other roadie Pune, who is not with us on this tour, would have said; vacation from the rock business. We are staying at the very pleasant high class Hotel F1 in a city, which name is unknown to me. 
A few moments ago Tom got yelled at by a girl dressed in an leopard pajamas for resting one of his legs over the chair next to him when we were having dinner. I don't understand if she is working here or not, she didn't were any uniform, but she acted like she was the janitor or something. The yelling was all in French so most of it was in vain since we habla no français. But we did understand that it had to do something about his shoes that were to dirty and shouldn't be on the chair. How she managed to mistake Toms trousers for his shoes I can’t answer thought. But after more than a week on the road, the trouser isn’t that clean either so… so….so now I am doing it the Swedish way, as our roadie Humpar-Eddie made clear to me just now, letting go of the frustration over internet instead of facing up :)

Last night we played at a huge venue in a small city. Callac was the name of the city and the venue was called La Bacardi. We played together with two French punk bands and had a great time. Somehow they had managed to put us last on the bill. Can’t say that we were any kind of headline or any like that, but it felt a bit strange to play after the old French punk legends and another upcoming French band. I guess that it was because they didn't want to give us a sound check that we got the stage last. But no problems for the vietcong boys. Since we have been raised the hard way in local garage band competition “GarageRocken”, we are always very quick to get on the stage with our equipment, drums etc, and even quicker when doing a line check. The most embarrassing thing to see is when a band takes ages to perform a sound check, and even worse when it is a line check in front of a waiting audience. And the sad part, if it doesn't sound OK almost from the start of the check, it won’t get better how long you try anyway. So, we just use to play some A chords and riffs and screamed in the microphones a little while Rackarn is drumming on the drums. And then we let the sound guy(or girl) know if we need to hear more of anything. Absolute maximum, 3 minutes. If it would have been a proper sound check before the venue opened we might have spent 10 minutes more, tops. Then of stage to grab a few beers for the set, and then we goo…hey ho

We were lucky, the sound guy last night knew what he was doing so everything went painless, and quick. And as I said a few times before, when writing for your band, the gig always was a blast. And so it was.
Tomorrow we continue further south towards the Mediterranean, I think.

Here are a few pictures I haven’t posted here yet.

 Omaha Beach bitches!

 Tom is helping Rackarn and Björn to load the car....

 Rackarn and Tom in their bed in Lille


 Humpar-Eddie and John Lennon at Omaha Beach

 French fried Rabbit

An excellent parked shark... 

 Standard toilet in the rock business 

Tom in his favorite cap at a luxurious Hotel

fredag 15 november 2013

Friday on my mind!

Fredag! dags att supa, lördag! Samma sak!

Today its Friday, last night we played the Le Galion in the city of Lorient. I checked google maps and I think the venue was just a few blocks from an old Atlantic u-bot base from the ww2. If I’m lucky I might trick the others guys in going and check it out before we leave.

This evening we will play in a small city called Callac. No one seems to know of the city nor have heard about it… on the bright side, the venue will take 600 persons, and we play with two French bands… So now you know, if you don’t hear anything more about this night it was a “success”…:P

It’s a risky thing going to a faraway country, playing rock music, and hope that people will show up. But don’t fear, the Vietcong Boys are the most daring and we face danger with straight backs! Like the day before yesterday, we had to cross two bridges higher that mount Everest and steeper than…I don’t know, they were steep, yes, very brave indeed. On top of the second bridge the smell of oil and something burnt got quite intense. Hasta la vista brave little sharkmobile me and Rackarn was thinking, and drove on. The next day on our way back out from the city of Le Havre we realized that it most have been the big industrial area with the big tower with flames on the top who made that smell, and not our beloved tour bus.

Since we are so fearless we also manage our own little operation Neptune. On Wednesday the 13th in the year 2013, sometime around 4 o clock in the afternoon, we landed on Omaha Beach. Like real tourists, but still, a invasion is a invasion!
Björn took a souvenir from the beach in form of a little small stone. We will take turns and sleep with it until the end of the tour when we get home. Then we are going to sign it and sell it to the highest bidder on ebay. So start saving now and you might get lucky!

Now I have to go, hope you will miss me so. Hey ho

PS. The gigs has (of course) been blasts, if you absolutely need to know about them. DS

måndag 11 november 2013

Sunday & Monday

Aah. Tonight we've played our second show. The first one was in a Belgian town called Waregemen, I think, and tonight we played in Lille in France. Tomorrow is a holiday in whole Europe it seams, the reason for the extra weekend has to do with one of the two wars that Sweden didn't take part in. That may also be the excuse for me and my band for not knowing anything about this unexpected holiday. 

This is our third time in France. The lesson for today is that France is not what the Hollywood movies makes you think it is. There is a lot of rain, dirt and graffiti. The movie France is just made up by Walt Disney. Good thing for us thought, since we would have been pretty misplaced together with musketeers, druids and Quasimodo. 

No internet tonight, saving this for tomorrow. 

 Good night
/Affe 03.14 Sunday(night to Monday) 

Ok, I take it back, all of it. France is just like in the movies. As we parked our van today when we got to Paris we only had to wait two minutes, then we where dragged onto the catwalk in front of a camera. We had parked outside a photo studio, where they happened to have a fashion shot and lacked a few models. So Rackarn and Björn was dressed up as two French fashion-loverboys and putted in front of the camera. 
I had to wait outside and guard the car, since parking lots ain't invented in Paris yet. 

Later we will play here in Paris. And maybe I will be able to find a internet connection so I might post all this nonsense blabberish. 

Bye for now 
/Affe 17.42 Monday

The show tonight was a lot of fun. The venue was located at some kind of occupied old building in the middle of Paris. Just to kick me in the balls a bit more for the statement of France not being like in the movies there was a building beside the stage where they was making oil paintings... For dinner there where baguettes:)

Tonight we are sleeping at our promoter Matts place.


lördag 9 november 2013


(Written Friday the 8th)

Last night we slept at an of season beach hotel in Puttgarden, 5mins from the ferry that took us from the wasteland called Denmark.
Before that we stopped in Malmö to pick up a new drum set for Rackarn. It’s a risky business buying new drums on the way out on tour without a backup. Everything went well though.

Today we are continuing towards Belgium were we will do our first show tonight. The drive goes by the German über autobahn. And it is as booooring as Gothenburgians who are joking about fish. Writing on my iPhone right now to post later when I find that secret holy internet access which is shrouded in mystery and hidden for us brave road warriors from the north.

Here I will give you a few tips on how to spend the traveling time.

1. Decide on one person in the tour group and go together and bully "hen"(a new Swedish word for an undefined he or she, not the bird). Only funny for a while thought, and not fun at all for the hen.
2. Eat snacks and work on your tour-belly.
3. Drive really close to the lorry in front of you. It gets more exciting the more danger and warning labels it got attached at the back. Change driver and make a high-score of distances, speed, labels and traveling time. Bonus is achieved if it is raining, snowing or foggy.
4. Sleep.

We just passed into the Netherlands. The grass is still green here, in November. Not fair, but It makes sense since they are allowed to smoke it here. 
As I said before, I will post this when I find a Wi-Fi connection. Until then I will try to convince our new roadie Eddie into helping us raise our tour budget at the next lorry stop, since services like that is also legal in this country.
Thanks and hey leverpastej. 

onsdag 6 november 2013


There is two important things to remember before leaving on a tour!!!

Number 1:
Don't bring stuff you don't need!
3% of the time is the show you play, 15% is spent waiting, 70% is spent sleeping or traveling, and 12% you spend loading and unloading all equipment. If you have to much stuff 82% of the tour is spent either cramped inside an overloaded vehicle or trying to get everything inside or out of it. Which sucks big time...

Number 2:
Don't bring to little!
You need spares of everything, cables, guitars, strings, sticks, microphones and so on. And just because the venue is suppose to have a thing, it doesn't mean that they do got it. And if your guitar breaks, or the venue don't have any mic-stands, those precious 3% of the whole time on tour spent actually playing, will suck big time instead...

The solution to this paradox is yet unknown to mankind I'm afraid. But we have developed a little trick in the band that we use to apply. I'm not sure of the English word for it, but in Sweden it is know as the "Ole dole doff".

By now our van is loaded to the maximum, and we are leaving from Stockholm tomorrow morning, at the break of dawn for Puttgarden in Germany, where will take a rest for a few hours at a cheap hotel before continuing to Belgium for our first show.
On our way down through Sweden we will have to make a quick stop in the Malmö though, to by new drums for Rackarn. I have heard rumors that says they are silver sparkling, which is a sign of pure power and good beats.

At this moment I am lying on the floor in the guest room at the house of my good friend Tom K, also the singer in our band. And Rackarn is trying to sleep beside me. So now I'm gonna start spend some of this days 70% little of sleeping.

Over and out, cosmonaut.

PS. I forgot one important item in the gear list i provided it the previous post:
Athlete's foot ointment (since trench foot is a common symptom on the road)

tisdag 5 november 2013

What is this???

This day has been spent trying to pack everything...Now the clock is almost well past midnight, and I cant relax nor go to sleep....

This far i got this:
Clothes (despite the booklet to our latest album, we do wear clothes normally)
Shoes (same as above...)
Toothbrush and toothpaste (as my drummer Rackarn found out a few years ago, just menthol cigarettes or "Minttu" wont do) 
Sleeping bag (you never now where you end up sleeping)
Air bed (any couch/sofa is ok! But every night for 3weeks in a row....sorry)
Shampoo (a substance for those who still got hair on their heads, cleans it, i think)
Passport (so that we have something beautiful to show for the border police when they search our van for drugs)
Painkillers (faster than a bullet, terrifying scream, enraged and full of anger, he's half man and half machine)
Hospital insurance card (to show the doctors if I need an liver, not funny, to much rock cliche, sorry)
Insurance papers and owner certificates for the tour bus (IMPORTANT!)

Tomorrow I'm gonna load the van with all our equipment. There will be drums, merchandise, amplifiers and cabinets. After the van is loaded me and Rackarn will head for Stockholm where our singer and guitarist lives. Then we'll have to boldly go where no man has gone before...(France)

Sooooo,    If you haven't got bored by reading this blaberish yet, you might ask yourself, what kind of blog this is, and why?

My name is Affe. I play electric bass in the band VIETCONG PORNSÜRFERS. Tomorrow we will go out on our 4th tour in Europe. That is what this blog will be about, the touring and everything that happens around the gigs on the road. If you want more info about the band:

The reason I decided that I will try to write a blog during this tour is because we have got some complaints on previous tours for not reporting enough. But instead of an typical tour dairy on a bands webpage that only says stuff like: "Last night was a blast, thank you XXX(insert town name)" again and again I will try to do it a bit different and more honest.
A lot of misspellings and bad grammars are guaranteed any way. 

So, I made a blog for everything bad and good that happens on tour with my band and, one by one I'm going to tell you all about our successes and mistakes. I'm just trying to be a rock star. My name is Affe.