Neu Tramm, Berlin, and Ansbach.
Neu Tramm, Berlin, and Ansbach.
We waited around forever, for Bruno to make his toilette. So long, in fact, that we had no time to go to Andy’s house for coffee, showers, laundry, and internet. I was most disappointed about missing out on laundry. It’s day 12 and I have one pair of clean socks and underwear and no shirts. My jeans are pretty much able to stand up by themselves at this point. It wasn’t to be. The traffic to Ansbach was continuously bunching up and we didn’t roll into the small town of Ansbach until around 7pm. We never asked, but it appeared as thought the club was some sort of Christian youth center. I kept cringing as the Croats kept tossing around the MFers, but our hosts didn’t seem to notice or mind (or just seethed indside?).
The bass amp started buzzing again during sound check, so we popped the back plate and discovered yet another connection had broken. It appeared as though it was an attenuator circuit that wasn’t being used, but Jason soldered it back together anyhow and it seemed to take care of the problem. The show was supposed to start at 9, but since no one had showed up, they kept pushing the start time back. Finally after ten, Joe 4 played to a ground of six or seven kids. They really dug it, banging their heads to brittle metallic fury of the Croats. What a great band. I still haven’t gotten tired of seeing them night after night. We played to the same group of kids. They also watched enthusiastically as we pounded through a pretty darn good set. I’m not sure the people that ran the place were so keen — the emocore before and between bands seemed to indicate that ours was not the genre of choice. The flat we stayed at was clean and comfortable. I climbed into a little loft in the living room, kicked off a couple of YouTube uploads and went to sleep.
After a shower at the hostel, we walked down the street to find coffee. We found a bakery on the corner with a pretty Croatian girl behind the counter who seemed very amused at our pointing and six-word vocabulary. We walked back to the hostel with our small coffees and large pastries and hung out on the patio until Josip collected us around noon. We went to a music store (a brand-new Peavey/Paul-Reed-Smith-type store staffed with metal heads, the kind you can find in any mall in America) to exchange so Josip could exchange some cables. We had lunch at a sort of swanky hipsterish restaurant that served really good Croatian food. The boys ate various kinds of fried meat.
After lunch, Josip dropped us at their practice place so we could get a feel for their gear and run through a few songs. By the time we got things sounded pretty good, Damir (Joe 4 drummer) showed up. After a couple of more songs, Josip returned with bassist Sasha. We hung out and watched them run through a few songs and then we loaded up and went to the club. Tvorinica Kulture was a brand-new club with a brand new sound system and some kind of stand-offish bar and sound staff. The promoter Nenad was super cool though. We sound checked and then hung out on the sidewalk patio out in front of the club.
The night’s technical difficulties began with the first band’s first song. Nikki Louder’s bassist broke a string right out of the gate and Bill came to his rescue. The rest of their set was great though — a frantic Sonic Youth inspired ball of noise that we all quite liked. They were from Slovenia and we’ll see them again in a few days when we play there. Joe 4 was up next and despite a fried bass amp and several broken strings, they were great. We are lucky to be playing the entire tour with them and having the privilege of seeing them every night. We had to use the club’s bass amp since ours died, so Bill had to figure out his sound in approximately 60 seconds. I broke a string during the second song and the sound that had seemed so great at sound check now seemed sort of thin and oddly disjointed. We played fairly well but it was a bit weird. We sold one LP and three CDs, which, according to merch guy, Bruno, was “quite an accomplishment in Croatia.” After the show we stayed at an apartment owned by the club for housing tour bands. A bit spartan, but more than adequate. We are definitely not used to people taking care of us here.