So I had never met the infamous "Allegra Oxborough" and when andy asked me if it was cool if she rolled with us for a few days I was way down. I mean she's the one that taught P.O.S. to do the "thing with the cups". She entered the tour in Darmstadt,Germany which is a city that continues to deliver more and more memories for me each time I return. The first time I ever was in Darmstadt at OETTINGER VILLA little did I know that my 6 year relationship to my girlfriend would end there and on the same night an old friend that I hadn't seen in 6 years would waltz back into my life. So this place always has my mind racing. I know on this trip to OETTINGER VILLA it would bring 3 new events in my life. The first meeting Allegra. Such a wonderful person to hang with. She can literally walk up to anyone and become instant friends. Which is exactly what happen to me. The show was awesome as usual. This time we play with our homie Babel Fishh from Texas who lives off and on in Germany doing music. A couple of years ago we did a 12" split with him for a german label. Good dude. Good show!
The next night we were in Oberhausen which is a new town we hadn't never played before. Allegra declared that,"she was getting drunk tonight". And it had been awhile since we had gotten drunk. So we thought that would be fun and it was. Besides it was her last night with us. Druckluft is this huge complex with a cafe,music venue,and I believe a youth center as well. Great turnout especially for the first visit. So later on that night Allegra says, "we should get buddy tattoo's tomorrow". And you know me I love getting buddy tattoos. Little did I know at the time it was going to be her first tattoo. Always exciting. So it was her job to find out about tattoo shops and what we would get. She got 3 different places. And we decided that since we were in Oberhausen we should get something that represents the town. We found out the town was an old mining town from back in the day. And they had this "logo" or "crest" if you will of a hammer and pick. Very simple and easy to get tattooed small. Oh I almost forgot. We stayed in the nicest hostel ever. That had this little dog that was so cute and happy as hell to see people. So cool. Anyways. So we get up the next day hung over and tired because we stayed up drinking and listening to music all night. We called the first 2 shops. No luck. The third we just decided to chance it and go there. On our way to the shop we had remembered from the night before that we saw Michael Jordan palming a basketball in the bushes in front of this building. Which was so confusing but we knew today we would have to find Jordan and take a picture with him. Which we did. He looks good for his age! We get to the tattoo shop and it just so happens they had someone get there appointment date mixed up so they had an opening. We made Allegra go first of course,then andy, and I was last. We had to find a place to put it on my arm. Found a perfect home. Knocked that out. Had lunch and said our goodbyes to Allegra and we were off to Zurich. And man little did we know we were in for a treat. Binz in Zurich,Switzerland is a 4 year old squat that was an old 4 story factory. Its a huge art complex with about 40 people living there. Words cannot explain this place. It was like instantly being 12 again. When you had the imagination of the perfect tree house or fort but you were 12 so you couldn't use your dad's drill press or band saw. Everyone has built there "fort" inside this place. Skilled craftsmen for sure. Its was like being on the set of "The Swiss Family Robinson's". I mean one person literally had a pirate bridge going across the factory four stories up. They had a firemen's pole that I went down twice. I'm actually going to write a separate post about Binz in a couple days with pics. I'll attach a couple to wet your whistle. This place was amazing. Show was great. It was another new city. Come to think about it. The last week only had 2 return cities. The rest all new. We sold out of vinyl for the second on this tour in Zurich. We can never bring enough vinyl.
Next was France for 2 days. Nancy was a return city. But it was only the second time to be in that city. Last time was in a beautiful theatre. This time was in a bar for the kick off party for 3 companies music series schedule for the Fall. Such great people. Anne and Julie are always so nice. I'm not used to the kiss of each cheek when you meet someone but it is what it is. My allergies got the best of me after 2 days of constant weather change. It moved to my chest and became one hellva cough. Which I still have. Anne was so worried about the cigarette smoke making it worse. She brought me some french Zyrtec that worked like a charm. That with 400mg advil's and whiskey. Disco I could sleep at night.
Next was our drive to Grenoble,France. Grenoble is at the foot of the French Alps. Much bigger city than we though. That town is on the list to return and get lost in it for a couple days. This place was going to be the hardest crowd of the tour we thought. The place had children, old folks,handicap adults in wheelchairs. It was all over the place. It went really good considering we were their first "hip hop" act to play that venue.
Carpi, Italy was the last show of the tour. And what an expense drive it was. Though such a breathtaking view through mountains and tunnels. Apparently when they drive a tunnel through mountain it makes the drive very expensive. I think we literally spent 100€ in tolls to get to Carpi. On our first tour to Europe last Feb. We meet Giacomo who was our promoter for one of our Italian dates. We hit it off he came to our 2nd italian show and we partied on Valentines Day. It was awesome. When we got to Europe this trip. I got an email from him explaining he was opening a venue in Carpi and he wanted us to play the Grand Opening party. And we were like,"Duh!". We confirmed it made us super excited to return to Italy and to see Giacomo. The show itself wasn't that great but the crowd was more primed for a hangout and "be seen" than "have an american scream at you" party. All in all it was nice. The fucking food they served us around the corner was a perfect way to end the tour. Italy is growing on me that's for sure.
The next day was going to be a drive day to get as close to Frankfurt as possible. It didn't realize it would be the longest day of the tour. It was also one of the illest drives of the tour. Entire part of italy and austria we had never seen. Mind blowing. Just wait until you see andy's pictures. It took 10 hours to get to our friend Dani's place. I couldn't think straight.
What a tour!
This job is by far the best job I've ever had. Several times I found myself lost in my thoughts and I'd come to and be one tear down my face and a shit Eatting grin and I'd laugh and say, "your in europe with your best friend". How did I get here? I got here because this is all I wanted to do. I was spoiled by andy's talent. And I told him 10 years ago,"I want to show as many people as I can YOU" because its not fair that I and a couple folks get to see you do what you do. Everyone should see it. We never thought it would bring us to the places it has and we are truly grateful for all the people that have helped us along the way.
I leave you with this from andy,"if you hate your job,quit your job and get in a car with your friend and drive around the world, become a rapper its worked out pretty well so far for me"
Until next time
Next was Paris. We had never headlined Paris. And only played there once with Tegan and Sara. We usually just spend a day off in Paris and shoe shop. Not this time though. We were there to work. Paris is by far the hardest city to drive in. Them motherfuckers do not mess around. Between the motorcycles,mopeds,bicycles,cars,and people. There is a lot to watch out for and there is a million things going on as well. We got to the venue. Sound checked. We had a package of merch come in while we were in wuppertal so I had to sort and arrange that. We checked into our room the front desk lady was so nice. Couldn't of been more helpful. Cheap room for Paris as well which is hard to find in that city. They even had there own parking garage down the block and it only cost 10€ to park over night which is a steal. It was the least amount of money we have ever spent in Paris to date. Show was great. We met the booker/promoter Ludo. Who booked 3 France dates and 1 show in Zurich for us. Super nice dude. Looking forward to doing more work with him in the future. Had a rap group opener not to bad considering I have no clue what they were saying because they were french rappers. All and All Paris was waaaayyy better than we thought it would be considering it was basically our first time to play there on our own gig.
Then there was Amstredam. We had never played there before either. Only been there once before on a day off. I need about a week to fully enjoy this city. Our good friend Andy did the show and he did a great job. His friends and girlfriend took great care of us. We stayed up late as hell just talking,drinking,and listening to music. But to me the highlight was his boat. The next morning we took his boat the Slippery Otter out on the canals and cruised. Man I could do that all day. And plan on doing it in the future. Its the only way to truly see that city. I want to come back and spend a week riding bikes,boats,and walking around. Such a beautiful place. Like none other really.
The next 3 days were all return cities. Köln, Bremen, and Aachen
The attendance was double from the previous visits to these cities.
This tour has been so good. We had a lot going against us because of the summer and how europe literally shuts down and folks go on vacation. So to be having such great shows is pretty rad.
We are on the last leg of the tour. 2 in germany,1 in Switzerland,2 in france,and the last show is in Italy. 4 of the cities we have never been to so it should be an interesting way to end the tour. Full report to come while on the plane back to the states.
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