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Journal RSS journal posts · 2024 · 2023 · 2022 · 2021 · {and before that


European tour

26-31 May 2014

 | freddie koratella
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[english version, versione in italiano, qua]

What I'm about to recount here, it's six days of traveling on tour, which sees Switzerland, Germany and France, lived together with Go!Zilla. We've come a long way, crammed into a Fiat Doblo cargo, up to capacity, where amps, guitars, bags and drums would fit in the trunk, as not even the best Tetris player might be able to perform. Six towns, six days. A journey in which, as rule, we've had poor sleep, and traveled a lot. An average of nearly 500 km per day; and it took us to live situations so fast and intense that stay on you for days. Life on the road is like love for some women; as fascinating as difficult. Maybe that was why it was so fine. 

Monday, May 26th
From Florence, we leave relatively soon. Then a little delay on what scheduled, and once loaded our van, we hit the road, headed to the North, it's about 12:30. Crossed the Alps, I find myself immersed eye and mind in wide landscapes: goose bumps; the vast stretches of water also reflected the dismay of certain times. When it all ends, and it takes a little to engage the right gear. We get to our destination a little before 20:30. The local pomoter, Arthur, opens us the door of Boschbar. The venue is a spartan room, along the banks of the Limmat river, with a small terrace overlooking the river; after a quick line-check, we relax taking advantage of the free drink that was reserved us for the evening. Can't ask for anything better. And I got even more comfortable as Tongue Tied Twin stepped in, with who I had a little talk about the upcoming "Festival of Invasione Monobanda." 
Finally, here it comes, the reason why we're here. Playing a show. The moment Go!Zilla start their set, there is already a fair number of people standing; growing steadily. I enjoy the show. Admiring the whole thing, from behind the merchandising table, I sense that in these next six days we'll be doing fine. The Tuscan trio is flaming, and the audience wants to start the week in best possible way; by having a good time. At the end of the show, I have my work to be done; people appreciated the music and came to buy it. The DJ selections until dawn by Le Mueck ended up making this Monday a Swiss party slap. If a good day starts in the morning, I learnt two basic things of life on tour: first that you can't never know when you arrive and when you leave. Secondly, according to that, at the end you always have to reload everything inside the van; fuck, the instrumentation of Go!Zilla is pretty heavy.

Tuesday, May 27th
Seen the boys can't really wake up yet, first I spend some time in a nice chat with Arthur, and later, I take a solitary walk in the city. Walking aimlessly, Zurich takes me; I do not have time to understand why, I suddenly find myself in our van again. Direction Geneva. We're a little late, a delay that becomes abysmal, once on the highway; due to a car accident, and related diversions on secondary roads, we would arrive at the Taverne de la Republique just in time to set up and play. The anxiety of being late is immediately frozen by the venue's owner, who does not want us to get on stage. He just had problems with the neighbors, and he says he prefers a quiet evening at a moderate volume; he pays the cachet, anyway, also gives us a sandwich, then provides us with a drink and a place to sleep. Go!Zilla folks try to claim, they want to play; but, no way. I am a bit puzzled; we can only get lost in a conversation with a couple of guys who had came just for the show, disappointed more than us for what happened. Finally, we went to bed not too late, - Germany is next on tomorrow, and with it, more than 500 km that separate us from Heilbronn. 

Wednesday, May 28th:
The alarm clock is set pretty early, but, since the last night went easy, we have beautifully rested; so, just the time to take a walk and visit Bongo Joe records, good to spend the first money of this exciting journey. The store is a disques & coffee place, managed by one of the boys of Mama Rosin. Also been shopping at the supermarket next to the store, and around 12:30 we are ready to hook it. Go!Zilla are willing to pitch in, not having played live the night before. Shortly after leaving Geneva, however, we realize that the music has not changed, compared to yesterday: stuck in traffic again. We arrive at Heillbronn at 20.40, approximately. A hellish journey. Waiting for us at the Red River club, there are Weird Owls, who open the dancing. Theirs is a spicy punk rock thing, which certainly is not enhanced by the acoustics of the room, which is in a continuous feedback. The beginning of Go!Zilla's set is more hellish than the journey we faced earlier; people seem to dig it, anyway, and the boys, arranged volumes with ease, and ruled their show. With I'm Bleeding, the audience goes crazy, and you quickly forget of all the problems. Finally, we are all a bit exhausted by this endless day; there is still time to fill up with alcohol, and once reloaded the van, we move at a couple of guys' place where we spend the night. The hospitality is a holy rule there, and we put it to use. Even today, I learn something else about life on tour: sleep and and take a dump, right as you have the chance

Thursday, May 29:
One more poor sleep night, and an early wake, but today we have to cross four countries, to finally arrive in France; destination, Saint Laurent Blangy. We chose the long way, no tolls, to save a lot of needed cash. This is definitely the longest road trip we took, not to mention the return trip to Italy. Now, after three days, I feel as a member of the band; infinite time spent in the car, I realized that while traveling, you can freely do only three things: driving, sleeping, and farting. Today I opt for the first, and I do most of the road as driver. The journey is long but pleasant, and the more I get, the more we enjoy it; the band is taking a rest, Luca, even while sleeping, always seems in constant motion. Right as he wakes up, he makes plans to release a split disc featuring Go!Zilla and Warm Toy Machine, - they would share the stage with tonight, at Taverne des Gaulois; I also shall see them in Rome in mid-June. I long to see them. I am parking in front of the venue, and I realize I drove more than 400 km. As we step in the Taverne des Gaulois, we're jumping in an on going party. It Damien's birthday, venue's owner; a party inside the party. I already met Warm Toy Machine before, in person they are really a hoot. We are offered a princely dinner, with wine, appetizer, first course, second course, dessert and bitter. Then we are all marked on the back of the hand with an X that gives us the priviledge of free drinks; a sort of straight edge reversed. The guys from Brussels offer us a funny, dirty and sweaty show. I can not wait to see them giving the same party in the neck of our wood. Inside the tavern it begins to get hot; the sound is not the best, but it works just enough to drive people crazy as Grabbing A Crocodile. Fabio tonight has an extra gear, and Matthias gives Go!Zilla that needed wall of sound; Luca spits flames into the microphone. Their set is flaming. But the real party starts after the closing time. We all move upstairs. It starts another party; but this is a private thing, and unfortunately you're not invited. Happy Birthday Damien, thanks a lot for a crazy night. When the night turns into morning, and the morning becomes day, I learned to my cost one more fact: when you're on tour, almost everything is legitimate; go ahead until there is gas

Friday, May 30th:
After staying up till full morning, in a situation to the limits of surrealism, waking up is real pain; and driving up for more 400 kms becomes a titanic trip. My head hurts, and stepping again inside the van, that just leaves me a bitter taste; fortunately, I immediately collapse. I wake up in Nancy without even realizing it, and, we can say, right on time; I guess I should spend more sleepless nights, more often. The Royal Bar welcomes us with style, and we soon feel it to be a nice place. The idyll cracks at the sound-check; for the local sound-engineer, volumes are too loud; of course, the band says they're too low. Good vibrations turns band, and a few words too. And I fear the worst. Then I do the only thing I can do right now: I speak first with the venue's managers, then with the band. In the end, shit, we all want the same thing: Rock'n'Roll, beer and easy fun. We are all too tired to deside anything else. Once lowered the volume, tension is released and magically people begin to overcrowd the room. Go!Zilla give us one of their best live show, up to this moment. The encore is a must. The trio is pure apotheosis. Then, finally, it's my time to work; merchandise sold smoothly. In the end, everyone is happy and fine. When we are at the final farewell, I realize that I would have said goodbye more thoroughly to one of the most fascinating women of France, the venue's owner. We would sleep at Christophe's, the gig's PR; I drive, and immediately I become the King of reverse gear (sbam!). Applause. Once we're at him, after a day like that, we could not ask for better. It goes so smoothly. The place to recharge your batteries before the last effort; more than what expected. The Cosmic Trip Festival. As I'm laying asleep next to Fabio, who snores louder than how he plays drums, I understand another basic thing of life on tour: ear caps are essential; although, during the their shows, I never needed. 

Saturday, May 31st:
This time, waking up early is not that issue for anyone; today, in fact, is the Cosmic Trip Festival day, and we are all pretty excited about that. I offer me for the last round of driving; I have already attended this festival as part of the audience; this time, I want to get in Bourges directly from back-stage. Anyway, just for fun, even today, there are more than 500 km still to run. We arrive at destination relatively early; we park the van, and we got a good welcome from the staff; I do not lose the opportunity to admire the functionality, and the perfection of the gears of this event; at this point of our adventure on tour, I easily understand the difference that exists between playing in a bar, club or in an big festival like this. We settle in our relax-room, which we share with my idol, Bob Log III; another icing on the cake. There comes the show scheduled for the afternoon; French guys Kaviar Special start the games in the jungle-room. Theirs is a garage music à la Thee Oh Sees. Nothing to complain as apetizer. Then, it's Go!Zilla time to break the ice with sound-check; finally, Luca, Fabio and Mattia can finally turn up the volume, undisturbed, and it's pleasure for your ears. After the warm-up I do what I do best: I'm going to throw away my money on records; here, of places to squander my belongings, there are plenty; though, I am not Rockefeller. My purchases distract me from Head On's live set; I feel sorry for them, but often life is made of priorities and I have found several goodies that go to enrich my collection. At 20:45, Go!Zilla go on stage of the jungle-room, and begin to crank it; I miss on the initial attack, but when I enter the room, their vibe is on fire. Luca, Fabio and Mattia give the best of them; the energy exchange between stage and audience is amazing. Go!Zilla leave their mark. See you later for the second show. I do not have time to hug the boys, because in the main hall Shannon & the Clams start playing. The trio from Oakland brings us back in the 50's with its vintage rock'n'roll. I look at them with a more careful eye; perhaps a bit 'tight', but I can see them doing fine in the stage of the Trenta Formiche club in Rome, next season. I go on with my drinks and it's time again to jump on stage for Go!Zilla, for their second show, and final date of this Tour. Their desire to impress people is still great. It is an exciting show. The audience gets really into their groove. The volumes are loud, and Go!Zilla hypnotize us all. When I wake up, as planned earlier, Luca calls me on stage; I wear a luchador mask, which they have brought me from their recent tour in Mexico. I feel ashamed like a dog; but here I learn another lesson: the show goes must go on. But I prefer the obscure work behind the stage; I leave applauses to others. And, of applause, the Florentine trio makes a big number; fuck, Go!Zilla kick ass, and I was not the only one noticing. Our job is finished, now we have only time for fun. Bazooka are on stage, - they will be in Rome with the Warm Toy Machine, in mid-June. A sound that makes you jump in the air, this Greeks use two drums. Then, it's time for Bob Log III, and everybody goes bananas. Only a man like him can ignite a room with his legendary rock'n'roll. It is the show man par excellence, - later, I'll meet him in the relaxation room we share. I love him. The closing shows see Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds and The Fleshtones; I am exalted with the first, playing two covers, and the latter, doing their best, but the whole audience remains a little cold. Unfortunately, the bass amp stops working; moments of panic and the show stops. A quick replace, and everything starts again, but as regards me, it's late; with Go!Zilla stop counting our drinks, only the dawn brings an end to this Tour, and it is time again, for the last time, to reload everything inside the van; time to go to sleep, tomorrow we have to face over 1000 km before reaching home. 

Sunday, June 1st:
The return trip always has a special flavor; you gain a load of experience, which has a specific weight. We've got a long road to go; but as AC / DC teach us: if you want Rock'n'Roll, 'it is a long way to the top'. Maybe a coincidence, but right in that moment we reach Italy, and I see its highest mountain peak, and we go right throught it. The Mont Blanc fascinates me, and view it from below, it gives a whole different perspective. My tour with Go!Zilla ends at Chivasso railway station, after about 3520 km. I take the train on the fly, who knows where it will take me. The final greetings are fast and intense, so like the rest of this week, I will always carry that with me. A special thanks to the three guys from Florence, which made me feel like one of the band, despite not being able to play a fucking tool. As the train leaves, one last thing I learn about life on tour: as it's over, you long to do it again. Each trip has its own story; and what I wrote here has got its own particular flavor. See you next time.

by  Freddie Koratella (Dead Music Roma)


More pictures, here.

Listen, there.

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 albino writes:
i can't believe it
(19/06/2014 20:53:00 - ip: 85.119...)
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