Sunday, 25 July 2010

Atomgevitter – European Tour 2010

Atomgevitter – European Tour 2010

Well 2010 has proven to be another busy year for the Atomgevitter crew, celebrating our 6th year of diy thrash with a massive 2 date European tour, which unfortunately for those who missed it looks like it will be our last! Don’t start crying into your bandanas though. This year should see the release, after 4 years of fucking around, finally, no-joke, bollocks crossed, of our album ‘Thrash Ritual.’ All the songs we ever did plus some other shite to pad out a 70 minute cd – value for money kids! Also if ya live out in Indonesia, Phillipines, Malaysia, Borneo or Singapore you can come catch us on our 2011 ‘farewell’ tour (we should really play one more Euro gig then we can call it a world tour right?) Anyway, here’s my thoughts on our weekend away, em, I mean European superstar tour.

Friday 16th July 2010 – Dublin, Lower Deck

We arrived in Dublin just after midnight Thursday, and had all been working/travelling all day and were all proper fucking tired. Still, a short taxi ride later, and €40 lighter, we arrived at chateaux Moose, where we were welcomed by the Moose himself with cans of Dutchgold (none of that Galahad muck at this Gaff!), who was also crazy tired, and within 30 mins we had all crawled into our fart sacks and started the snoreathon. Passing out first meant that I got the use of Moose’s wank‑chariot, and I felt refreshed and ready to go after 9 hours cradled in its snug embrace. A quick trip to what seemed to be the Irish version of Marks and Spencer’s (all though now that I think about it the only similarity was the green colour scheme, and perhaps that really isn’t so odd in Ireland...?) we were sitting down to a hearty half ‘n’ half English/Euro Squat breakfast (Fried mushrooms and boiled Eggs = UK, healthy salad and fresh bread = Euro) – sorted!

While our primary objective for this trip was obviously to rock the Lower Deck to its foundations, our secondary mission was to take in some sights and be touristy bastards, and Moose stepped up to the plate, offering to show us around town before the gig. Dublin town on a Friday afternoon was indeed a very enjoyable experience. We hung around in the Dubh Linn gardens, which according to Moose (and Wikipedia) is where the whole Dublin thing started years and years ago when Fionn and the lads were still around. Anyway, as nice as the gardens were in an architectural and horticultural sense, it was all the bees flying around that did it for me. As far as I’m aware bees are still dying out like crazy all over the shot so it was cool to see the little fellas going about their business in amongst the flowers! After rounding up our roadie Mickey who’d gone walk about (we don’t call him Mick Dundee for nothing!) Moose took us on to the Science Gallery at the Trinity College where there was an awesome exhibition called Biorhythm running. It’s an interactive exhibition with loads of cool machines that produce sounds in different ways, everything from the classic theremin (I can’t speak for the others but I know I was doing my best attempt at the Doctor Who theme tune), a Lego set that produced different effects depending on how you put it together, to €20,000 table that could be programmed using different 2 dimensional barcodes to play just about anything! There was also a super relaxing vibrating bed which I fell asleep on – it was awesome. Not much else to say about this really, the exhibition is running till October, if yer in Dublin ya need to check it out! We finished off our afternoon of hijinks hanging out at a cafe with Sarah from Estel, where Moose was exhibiting some photos. However since none of us had a spare €100 we just stuck to the hot black stuff.

Now then, after a top dinner of chili burritos ala Lidl, it was down to the Lower Deck to get on with the rocking. The First band up was Evidence of Decay, which I suppose is some kind of Irish super group since they’ve got Kenn of Easpa Measa et al. on the drums and Daniel of Only Fumes and Corpses on guitar (maybe the other lads playing guitar and bass are famous too, I dinnie ken!). Anyway musically I thought they came across somewhere between Tragedy and Wolfbrigade, you know the style, solid hardcore riffs and beats mixed with lead guitar harmonies and solos. They played really well even when the guitarist that wasn’t Daniel was drunkenly spazzing allover the shot upturning microphones and band members in the process. I think at one point only Kenn was still plugging away on the drums before they all dropped back in – tight!

Next up was Fag Enablers, who have Cormy of Nuclear Death Terror on vocals. Seems like these guys have been around for a while but this was the first I’d heard of them. Their sound is kinda hard to pin down, it has a post-punky feel but it is also sounds really tough and quite hypnotic sometimes. Cormy was spazzing all over the shot pushing folk over and stuff which i thought took away from the music a little but I still enjoyed them a lot. One of the Family Man lads said they sounded like every second band that was playing in Berlin last year, but I was only in Berlin once last year and all the bands I saw were playing fastcore, so I can’t comment on that. Cormy still had some demo tapes in his wee bag at the end of the night so hit them up for a copy, it’s pretty rocking!

photo by Moose

After The Fags it was our turn to take to the stage. The crowd had swelled quite a bit by now and I was actually feeling a little nervous about playing. The rest of the guys set up really quickly so I had to go and shout at the majority of the crowd, who were outside smoking, to come back in and enjoy the rock. My words of encouragement seemed to do little in encouraging the smokers inward however which in turn made me even more nervous about playing. Do they care we’ve come all the way from Scotland? Do I care? Should either of care? There was only one thing to do – rock. Despite playing our set pretty much unrehearsed, and the last time we had even played together was back in November, we rocked surprisingly hard. The songs flowed well and we only had to deal with one broken string. The crowd reaction was a little tamer than I’d expected, which I took as me not working them up into enough of a frenzy, maybe I was a little out of practice? Anyway despite the venue not being an inferno of flailing limb chaos when we played, if the number of hand-shakes and ‘well done’s’ we got after we played are anything to go by I guess we did ok!

photo by Moose

The next band, Putrefaction, were obviously the local heroes, and probably shoulda played last since they had everyone going mental to their Celtic-Frost meets brutal crust sounds, the perfect crust party music, right? My memory’s getting a little fuzzy now but Eric Easpa Measa was defiantly on lead vocals and i think guitar and the bass player might have been in Evidence of Decay, I dunno, I was still buzzing from our set dancing like a twat along with the Irish kids for their whole set.

Putrefaction getting such a good response of course meant that when Family Man hit the stage there was probably about 20 people watching them, the place did fill up but I think most folk were totally knackered after the earlier crust onslaught and so it was up the drunkest of the drunk to boogie down to the Family Man, I know I was definitely doing all I could just to stay on my feet by this point. Family Man played a set pretty well balanced between their 2 lp’s, old classics like ‘Pig Champion’ and ‘I wanna be a Surfer Jock’ sitting snugly next to soon to be kraut-core classics like ‘The Turning of the Key’. Unfortunately the gig was running overtime and the guys had to cut their set short, but hardcore always works better in short doses anyway!

After-show antics amounted to little more than an hour’s walk to Moose’s gaff via the chipper for the Atomgevitter crew and an hour and a half wait for the family man guys outside the venue waiting for a lift to a chaotic crust party at some massive gaff with a swimming pool. I kinda wish I’d headed there too, but it would have been too difficult to get back the next day – touring without a van is never easy! (ask Ablach!)

Saturday 17th July 2010 – Day Off

Due to completely foreseen (at least by me anyway from the moment he said he would organize a gig for us 2 or 3 months ago) the ‘promoter’ of our Belfast gig had failed to deliver the goods (more on this later, creeps like this have no place in the DIY scene) so we instead took a relaxing day off travelling back to Glasgow. We got a top notch vegan breakfast from Cornucopia in Dublin, including some delicious ‘cheese’ cake, checked out the Road Records closing down sale where i got a couple of Irish classics (1st Runnin Riot lp and Mouthpiece lp) for a few euros and went for a drink in Dublin’s smallest pub, which was indeed pretty small, but I’m sure we’ve played smaller places on the mainland... After that it was a leisurely flight back to Glasgow for the Atomgevitter lads, ‘Hot Shot Part Deux’, and then off to Bed.

For the Family Man guys however it was a completely different tale. They had been offered an early gig at the ‘Limelight’ in Belfast, and the promoter of the orgional, cancelled Belfast show, Phil Hamilton had agreed to meet them at this gig and let them stay with him that night. Rather unsurprisingly, Phil did a no-show, and after going round every hostel in Belfast to no avail, dragging not just their luggage and guitars but guitar heads as well, they phoned us around 10.30pm asking what we could do. Thankfully Mandy, Tom G Vitter’s wife, had an old friend in Belfast who was willing to help out a bunch of complete strangers from a foreign land at close to midnight on a Saturday. Like i said, more about Phil Hamilton later.

Sunday 18th July 2010 – Glasgow, 13th Note Cafe

So as I said right back at the beginning, at some point on this tour we came to the common consensus that tonight was gonna be the final Atomgevitter European show. It would also be our first time playing in Glasgow in over 4 years, so I was more than a little nervous about how things would go. On the one hand, the performance side of the band is what I’m not getting the same enjoyment out of anymore, but on the other hand if this was gonna be our final show i wanted to make sure we went out with a bang. There was also the worry, since Gama Bomb were headlining, of the place being full of metalheads who wouldn’t give two shits about some crappy thrash band they’d never heard of. Of course all these worries and more were all founded on nothing and the gig was unreal, but more on that later. First we had to take advantage of the four of us being in the same place at the same time and hit the studio to lay down some new tunes (ok we wrote them 2 years ago but still....) The studio kinda hit home what we were putting behind us, all the songs down perfect in two takes, even a cover we didn’t ever really know how to play. If Atomgevitter was one thing it was fucking tight!

Anyway, on to the gig itself. The 13th note was absolutely rammed, I think we reckoned on 140ish people in the venue, a little over capacity, and as you might imagine, it was totally crazy. Fist band on was Uber Schweinhund, who feature Atomgevitter’s very own Kaiser Panzerfaust on Bass. They’d been described to me as sounding a bit like Captain Beefheart before but in reality they were more like a hardcore punk band with good players. I think there were 2 lead vocalists, (it was hard to see from where I was standing) and their little flourishes of rap and songs about fish suppers had some longhairs up giving it laldy. They definitely got the night off to a good start.

Next was Family Man, who after all the crap they’d had to deal with in Belfast were hungry to do some rocking, and rock they did. They rocked so hard I had to get someone else to do the door so I could join the rest of the room in thrashing about to their hardcore power. Tonight was possibly the best I’ve ever seen Family man, they really killed it – if you still don’t know who these lads are you need to check them out NOW!

photo by Serranon

A quick turnaround (time was tight tonight) and it was Atomgevitter’s time to rock. I don’t think I’ve felt so nervous about being on stage since our first gig way back in 2004. The place was jammed to the back and all eyes were on us, but we pulled it off as if there was nothing to it. I might not be so excited about playing on stage anymore but when I looked out at the crowd and saw so many friends, old and new, with smiles spread across their faces, dancing like crazy, it made me feel like we were creating something special, not the band alone though, but everyone together. Someone said to me after the gig “you guys were wicked” well we couldn’t have done it without everyone else, this is DIY punk rock, there shouldn’t be ‘the band’ and ‘the fans.’ Anyway, things were so wild while we were playing it was hard to keep track of what was happening on stage, and despite my best efforts to talk about the politics of our songs, since the crowd had so many people new to hardcore punk in it, the best i could come out with was crap like “fuck magazines, they’re shit. Join the library and read a book” or trying to talk about direct action and anti-fascism before our cover of ‘Bomb the Embassy.’ Hopefully it didn’t all go in one drunken ear and out the other.... Oh yeah nearly forgot, we even had some kid naked screaming along with us at one point, and the crowds of people I’d never even seen before in my life who were rushing the mike to sing-along on my songs was pretty fucking awesome.
photo by Serranon

Irish thrash metal band Gama Bomb provided a thundering end to the night. They played loads of classics and were tight as hell. The crowd were getting so rowdy pipes were getting pulled from the ceiling. I went up on stage and told them to stop, which they did – pretty cool i thought! In the end I was up on stage singing ‘Zombie Brew’ along with the lads, my body still buzzing with endorphins from when we played earlier (whether you enjoy playing or not, jumping up and down and screaming for 30 minutes non-stop is gonna get get yer blood moving!) This was the first time I’d seen Gama Bomb since I’d booked a tour for them back in 2004 or 2005 where they played this same venue to like 10 folk so it was awesome to see them play the sort of gig i always knew they should have been.

Post show celebrations were held at the Kaisers gaff but most of the Gama lads were out for the count after an hour on the green stuff, but most of the GVTR crew and the Family Boys were up till 4am talking shite and enjoying the short time that we had to spend together.

Not that much more to say really except thanks to everyone who made this weekend happen, you know who you are and we genuinely appreciate everything you've done for us!

oh yeah and since it won’t be on the forth coming 'Thrash Ritual' album, here's our demo from 2004, recorded at maybe our 5th practice. Forward With Atomgevitter