Thursday, July 1, 2010

there's the blockade!

it's been a while. i'd like to start this blog by saying thanks to martin from belgium. or bavaria. uh oh. i've fogotten where he's from. but anyway he told me in paris that he reads my blog. so thankyou. nice to know i'm not typing into the abyss.

sooooo germany. it was legit. i visited the augustiner brewery and brew house, hofbrauhaus and walked around a bunch. one night i worked out with joe and jord to meet them at 10:10am at rosenheim station the next day so we could go check out the eagles nest in berchtesgaden. google it. this required me to be awake at about 9 to catch a 9:30 train from just up the road. well since i have no phone and the watch i have has no alarm (but i worked out later my ipod does, fml) i rely on going to bed at the right time in order to wake up at the right time. this failed me, i woke up at 10:55. great. i sat around in bed for a while dwelling on the epicness of my fail at not making it to basically why i came to munich for (eagles nest) before dressing myself and trudging downstairs with little hope. after a quick google i decide to jump in a taxi and bolt it to the station.

turns out the taxi driver took me on the most random-ass route possible so instead of going straight down the road to the station he did like a massive loop so my route compared to the ideal one forms a massive grinning mouth. sigh. i get inside and run to the ticket booth and wait around for a bit before the guy is like "choo canten maken ze 11:50 tvain becoose ze platvorm iz to var avay, lol" so i bought a ticket to the next one then bolted and caught the early one. take that dracula. yeah i know dracula wasn't german, hush. so i get to rosenheim with no hope of the guys being there. i was stressed on the train ride but animal collective calmed me down. superb calm down and make happy music. yeah so i got off the train and wandered for a while around the station before going to info where the only guy who spoke english was occupied by some woman buying what must have been a house or something equally as significant because the transaction lasted for like 2 hours. okay maybe 25 minutes but it was long.

he told me how to get to berchtesgaden and i went to the right platform. a couple of minutes pass then i spot jord and joe coming up the stairs with bikes. the most amazing coincidence known to man. we laughed for ages at the pure chance of it. turns out they'd tried to email me a few times and just decided to cycle around for a while and wait to see if i'd show up. so we got on the train and headed to berchtesgaden, finally. we met a guy from brisbane who is studying bass trombone in germany somewhere and buddied up. we got to da berch ( btw) but found out we couldn't get to the eagles nest because the last bus was about to leave so we wouldn't be able to get back. sigh. we decided to go to konigssee instead, this epic glacial lake about 5km away. we had two bikes so jord ended up riding on the back while i rode cause i'm heavier. we got there and it was amazing. seriously so good.

suss this photo - - see the little island out on the water? it has a statue of a king on it with some ruins and such. it's awesome. we stripped (stripped makes it sound drawn out) and swam from that left edge of the shore just beyond those boat houses (in the forest) out to the island. the water was FREEZING. i'd be wagering it was close to zero. joe's toes went white and he couldn't feel them for a few hours. we hiked back to the village and tried to hitchhike but ended up doing the dink thing and riding back to berchtesgaden. tried to find a tavern for a drink, no luck. ended up getting beer from the train station which came in insanely solid bottles and tasted incredible. the beer in
caught the train back to central in munich and went back to the hostel after a train station dinner with the gents.

eventually we flew to london. we got to the airport not 100% knowing how we'd get picked up but eventually mark and jack appeared seemingly out of nowhere. cause the 10kg GPS i'd been lugging around with me didn't seem to work we ended up without one so we drove around london for a few hours trying to work out what to do. we found a nandos across the street from our hotel and ate. the hotel was interesting. no air con. like the van we hired. oh yeah, that's right. no air conditioning in the van and the only windows that open are the front two and a skylight. pretty amazing. this is now sweat tour '10 aka. disgusting thin layer of oily gloss that forms on your face when you're in a vehicle for too long with no fresh air or air conditioning...tour '10. later that night i went to my sister's to hang out for a bit. we hadn't seen each other for like 6 months so it was pretty legit. went home and "slept". next day we picked up ro and bree and headed to manchester for our first UK show. it went alright. the venue was nice. don (one of our managers)'s daughter and her boyfriend were there which was nice. some food after then off to the hotel to sleep. the next day we caught a ferry to ireland which was pleasant.

ireland was just pleasant overall. the people ruled, the venue was nice, we got fruit, show went good, people bought us guinness (guinness in ireland tastes about 50 times better than anywhere else in the world). quality time. shame we couldn't find our hotel later that night and after 3 hours of searching we just slept at a petrol station near the ferry docks. caught the ferry at a time that was too early, arrived in england again and drove to glastonbury. nice drive. due to some misorganisation on my part i'd written off any chance of my sister finding us at glasto but somehow she turned up just as we did exactly where we did. for anyone who knows anything about glasto's grounds, this is a bona fide miracle. the weather was perfect. we ran into polly and some of the mumford lads which was great. they were in mourning over the soccer. we walked across the fest to our stage (it took about a half hour...glasto is big) and got some food. eventually we wound up talking to some of the other dudes backstage who turned out to be chief, the band playing with us at bush hall in london in about two weeks. really legit guys. we ended up doing some acrobatics and inventing games with little tables and chairs around the place. everyone nearly got seriously injured a few times but all in the name of fun. jack and i met a fellow named avi buffalo who was after us on the stage who was super nice. he asked to listen to my ipod cause i was warming up to pig destroyer. he said they shredded. he is not wrong.

chief played and killed it. really solid live band, pretty chill. drummer michael reminded me of doug clifford from creedence. solid and entertaining to watch. sweet d00dz. we hung with them for a bit, played our set (it was alright) then walked around a while. my sister was hanging with us too which was most excellent. we found our way back to the van eventually with the chief dudes (to give them a lift back to their hotel) but when we got there we had to wait in line with the van for what must have been about 2 hours. it was insane. the line to get out was just. not. moving. joe got in the boot with mike (chief) and my sister and had a bit of a banjo hodown. nice work guys. eventually we got out and headed to ben mumford's place for some sleep. we woke up nice and late, ate some great breakfast then headed to brighton for the show that night. it went pretty good. first of a few shows with pearly gate music who are sweet people. after the show we drove a while to get to a hotel in dover near the ferry for the next day only to find out that they had no record of our booking. sweet. we drove and found another hotel and slept for about half an hour before heading to the ferry to head to calais to drive to paris. we got there and drove. it was a pleasant drive toward the end. paris is legit.

we loaded in and sat around for a while before soundcheck. joe and i washed our clothes then trekked around for a while trying to find a laundromat to dry our clothes in to not much avail. but that's cool. we eventually found one. it dried our clothes real good. sam octigan showed up at the show which was rad, sweet pal from back home. good to see another familiar face. emma, a friend of my pal nikoli was there too which was rad. show went pretty good. nice crowd. strangely large venue. we left our gear there afterward and headed back to the hotel where some of us stayed and slept and some of us went out. i slept. woke up to the hotel phone ringing and the hotel brought us up some bread, croissants and coffee. thanks guys. checked out and headed to the eiffel tower. it was big and not bad. octigan met us there, we walked around for a bit, got ice cream, took some photos with the tower then got some lunch back near the van. i had a weird frenchy hotdog. said our goodbyes to octigan (see you in three weeks!) then started the drive to cologne where i am now.

i watched a film called werckmeister harmonies by bela tarr. it's a hungarian flick about a guy in a small town that's having kind of an existential crisis when a big whale is brought to town as a freak show type exhibit. it's made up of only a few really long intricately planned takes. all shot in black and white. sparse music. very, very beautiful film. haunting is the right word. i recommend it highly. a few bits of forced emotion but the rest is great. you need to be patient with it.

we got in, ate, slept and i am now awake and it's like 1:15pm. we're playing in koln tonight. notbadnotbad. i'm hungry.



  1. I love reading your blog, dude. Can't wait til you come back! ...When is that, btw? :P


  2. Wow Konigssee looks amazing.

  3. Really enjoying these posts, Mike. Thanks for sharing!