Well, we just got back from our two month tour of Europe and we had a great time and we are [not] feeling hopelessly depressed or forlorn at all…Here’s a little tour diary of all that happened in pictures and words…
After a 30 hour flight from Sydney the last thing one wants to do is catch a 4 hour bus to the middle of Finland to play a show with a psychedelic, pop rock band…no one except for us. This is what we did when we landed in Finland, just after we picked up our hand cut debut album ‘WORD GOT OUT’ on vinyl from Helsinki record label Royal Mint Records. First stop: Jyväskylä playing with legends 22-Piskepirkko at Luttako.
Boy was it fun. Psychedelic Rock + jet lag + snow + whiskey = feeling good. The folks at Luttako were super friendly and made us a lovely breakfast. The two brothers in 22 Piskepirkko were super nice gentlemen as well AND IT WAS SNOWING!
After sleeping in bunk beds in what looked like a crack den we raced for another bus for another 4 hour Journey to Oulu to play with Jarkko Martikainen who could possibly be the nicest guy (with the best hair) in Finland. Jarkko sang completely in Finnish so we had no idea what he was singing about, but the crowd loved him. We played to a packed room who were all lovely and had the best after song applause screams of all our Europe tour.The venue was fanatastic- the 45 Special.
More photos from the show can be viewed here.
The next morning after a few hours sleep we caught another ONNI BUS (amazing super cheap European bus service- make Greyhound buses look like 1880 Soviet cattle wagons). This time it was an eight hour bus ride back to Helsinki to do a radio interview at Radio Helsinki with Njassa. The tallest, craziest DJ of all time.
Here’s the Podcast of the interview
After taking a few days to shoot the -1 breeze, see the Robert Mapplethorpe photography exhibition, watch Jep eat a full bag of deepfried tiny fish (still with their eyes) and get attacked by a swarm of seagulls, hand screen some Jep and Dep limited edition tote bags with Cam and Lau at Royal Mint Records we took another Onni bus. This time to Turku to play at Bar Kuka with the ‘Nick Cave’ of Finland: Kauko Röyhkä at Bar Kuka.
Turku was a super nice town – real pretty and vibrant and Kauko was quite the character. We got put up in a fancy hotel, had long showers and free breakfast. This was like heaven. The venue Bar Kuka was super cosy as well. We made some new fans. They bought our record.
Dep with Kaouko Rouka.
Back to Helsinki by Onni bus (again) to play with Mirel Wagner, whose music we both love. Mirel was a very kind and delicate woman who took little puffs of her cigarette in the greenroom, whispered a few words between her songs, and captivated the audience with her dark, menacing lullabies. It was a pleasure to support her.
After our show with Mirel we had one final weekend in Helsink. We did two more shows, one at the Thirsty Scholar and the second at Linko Pizza which was a very special night of music. Dep did a solo show at Linko as support. The crowd were enchanting. It all got middle earth that night. Magical. Vibrant. We hung out for 20 minutes near a Cash machine in the cold talking after the show.
Despite this photo, we had a great time.
With very little sleep, and an early flight (that eventually got cancelled) we left Helsinki for the place that fills the empty voids our hearts…
Armed with our debut album ‘WORD GOT OUT’ on limited edition vinyl we arrived in Schöneberg, just in time for Record Store Day. We got to play at Dodo Beach Record Store who put on a mini festival on the streets outside their shopfront. A truck was converted to a stage and the streets were buzzing with beers and berliners. We were so cold we had to buy clothes from the op shop near by. It was a blast!
Next show was at Madame Claude, an old brothel converted into a bar/music venue. As the music venue was basically a dungeon we decided to play up in the bar without a PA. Despite this it was a great, special night.
In other big news- Dep got a haircut in Neukölln by a teenage Turkish barber. Looooong story, but ten Euro’s well spent. OKAY, so the story is that Jep unsuccessfully (and at the persuasive demands of Dep) cut Dep’s hair first. It was a fail, Dep looked like Denise Drysdale in the 80’s but not quite as attractive. He fled to the closet barber and scared all of the Turkish lads cutting hair and sculpting Muslim beards. They thought Dep was a homeless Americian Transvestite (true). After a few hand gestures and a quick google of Johnny Cash on a Iphone3 the shaver fired up and Dep’s brief career as an out of work drag-queen was terminated. Jep has no comment on the matter.
Photo below is from another lovely gig at Robart in Rixdorf, Neukölln.
We recorded 4 new songs, for album number two at Paul Lincke Studio with the one and only Alexander “Harrison Silverfox” Ott and played at Wowsville where our record can be found out back in the record shop.
After a few more shows scattered through Berlin, we went on tour with the craziest, most fun people we know. THE FIZZIES who sound like a cross between The Feelies, Bob Dylan and Creedence Clearwater Revival. And they know how to party. Touring Southern Germany we went to Heidelberg, Wurzberg, Frankfurt and then back to Berlin– it was four days of great music, Southern (german) hospitality and mountain / highway highs. We had the best time. Karl from the Fizzi’s is now Dep’s hero. We finished the tour with the Fizzi’s at a sold out show at Kugelbahn in Wedding, Berlin.
Another early flight and this time to PARIS. Our first gig was at at Balades Sonores, a record store/venue–a vinyl lover’s paradise. Met some super lovely people at Balades– everyone wanted our album on vinyl but unfortunately we had sold out of our limited edition run by the time we hit Southern Germany. So Welcome to Paris! The home of tiny expensive apartments, cheap cheese and bread. We stayed in Canal St Martin which was edgy but cool.
Our official Paris album launch was at a great venue called Pop In, run by Denis-an absolute legend and definitely one of the nicest guys we met in Paris (Bonjour Denis). Dep had played there on Tuesday supporting a Parisian based Canadian band called ‘Plumes’ and both nights was fantastique! Great audiences for both shows! Local duo Barn Swallows supported us, met some lovely people AND hey we were still having fun!
You know the waiting room scene in Beetlejuice? Well this is what our last gig in Paris at La Zorba was like. Lets. Just. Leave. It. At. That. Le Zorba.
Our last night in Paris culminated into a Parisian Airbnb Horror story. We had to flee our rented apartment in fear of safety – got rescued by our Kiwi friend Rosie in Pigalle and caught a 4.30am Taxi to the Charles de Gaulle Airport to head back to our beloved Berlin for a steady diet of 3 Euro Kreuzberg Falafels.
BACK TO BERLIN
Boy it felt great to be back in Berlin with our surrogate Uncle and Aunt, Chrissy and Hot Ott in Kreuzberg.
We did a live music session and photograph session with the Berlin Fashion and Culture magazine – Splendid Magazine which should be published soon.
After 8 weeks of touring we had two shows left in Berlin, a farewell show at the wonderful Culture Container run by Franz – a funny character -who’s wife was chased by Nick Cave and Blixer Bargeld in the 80’s-this really really impressed Dep. Our last show in Berlin was at Silverwings Club (an old WW1 Germany airport- once the biggest building in the world) in Templehof- on a stage Johnny Cash once played!
We had one more party with our dear friends the Fizzi’s, Kissed our our Berlin main man/spiritual Tour Guide Alex Ott goodbye at the airport and reluctantly we headed back home to the most expensive country in the world, Australia (well done Prime Minister Tony Abbott).
SO thats the end of our two month tour of Europe– we had the time of our lives. Thank you to everyone who helped us along the way, bought our record or took the time to come to one, two or three of our gigs. We want to get back as soon as we can. So with these experiences in mind, we start writing our next album.
You can catch Jep and Dep live in Sydney:
20/6 Supporting Lost Ragas at Lazy Bones
3/7 Supporting Rob Snarski at The Vanguard.