No Omega & Grieved – Stockholm Blues Tour Diary 2012

This was all done after the tour, so I have probably forgotten so much stuff, or just left it out because I didn’t have time to fit it all in. If you’re not mentioned, you’re not forgotten. Either because you were nice to us, or because you were a complete weirdo. One of them.

6 July, Kafe 44, Stockholm

First day of tour starts in the hometown of us and Grieved. I was part of the group putting up a two-day minifestival at our favourite venue, Kafe 44. Our driver/pro skater Eddie met some of the band members for the first time today, and everyone was a little nervous it seemed. This is the first major tour we do with people we’ve been good friends with before. Camp No Omega was stoked to get on the road with a new band again though, and Grieved have been a band we all like to some degree. There was quite a lot of people there, and the first three bands (As We Were, Miramis and Håll käften, vad vill du?) played to a appreciative but still-standing audience. But when Grieved got on stage, everyone got warm and the room was boiling after. Our show was probably the best one we’d had thus far, the crowd going off like we’d never seen before. It’s nice to see that your friends listen to your records. After the show everyone went home to themselves, except Andreas who came home to me. Bålsta is far with the train.

7 July, Pizzeria Rex, Malmö

We met up at Mariatorget, doing our first shot at packing the van. We’d all packed as few belongings as possible, put our guitars in soft cases, and we even put the floor tom in the bass drum to save space. We still had things between our legs for a couple of weeks, haha. The drive to Malmö was paused in Jönköping, where Eddie wanted to skate for a while in the local but awesome skate park. When we got to the venue, we all did a stop at the counter to order vegan pizzas for dines, before we started loading in. We love pizza. This show was opened by our dear friends in Trophies, who did the best set I’ve seen by them this far. It was great to see those guys, because they’re some of the best people I know. Our set was good, and some people in crust punk-Malmö seemed to enjoy us as well! After the show we had close-to-free falafel outside Niklas of Trophies apartment, before we went up to hang out. Me and Oscar did our first night in the van, something I got quite used to after a while.

8 July, K19, Berlin

Got up early to drive to Berlin, and arrived in good time to go have pizza close to the venue. I had broccoli on mine, a new topping that I hope to enjoy again. This show was just No Omega (without Grieved), but we played with three awesome French bands – Birds in Row, Aussitôt Mort and Nine Eleven. The venue is pretty small, and when Birds in Row played it was hard to squeeze in. Our set went fine, even though you could notice most people were there for the other bands. A middle aged man got up next to me for the last couple songs, but quickly removed himself again. We slept at Oscar’s girlfriend Lisa, who lives in Berlin. Her place was nice, and I once again slept in the van, this time with Felix.

9 July, Off Club, Trzebiel

We got up in good time to do some sightseeing, and went to a piece of the wall I hadn’t seen before, and checked out some interesting architecture. We had lunch at Vegó, where I first had a burger with fries, and then another burger. Felix did the same. The guy taking our orders was grumpy. After the burgers, we went to a place that sold vegan ice cream, and I had a milkshake. Me and Felix were in pain until we got back to apartment to use the toilet. The drive was short to HALLÅ in Poland, and we got there quite early. It was a really small town, and we played some sort of youth center/house/I don’t know. There was a stage. We got pink rice with cucumbers for dinner, served in a room where countless 80’s pornos must have been shot. “Only four at a time can come in.” There were a lot of bands playing, and we just hung out in the van most of the night, eating crisps and laughing at the weird things we’d experienced during Grieved’s first visit to Poland. Our show was extremely sweaty, and we closed with the Rise And Fall song Oscar didn’t remember how to play. I accidentally kicked Andreas in the balls when stagediving, which ended with us switching instruments. We decided to drive straight to Czech Republic, some of us fearing a midnight stabbing if we stayed.

10 July, Plan B Hardcore Café, Ostrava

We slept in a park when we got there, and woke up sweating in the sun. After hangouts at a café, four of us went to a water park and the rest hung out in another park. The venue was a rock club, and they served us freshly cooked seitan burgers, and then I fell asleep in the van. Woke up halfway through the opening bands set, who sounded kind of like The Chariot. Got in, set up, started the set. My first scream was this really high pitch fucked up shit, and after a look at Hooper who stood next to the stage, I knew it really sounded as funny as I thought. Decent but sleepy show. Slept on the floor of one of the promoters, who kept taking photographs the whole night. Nice people!

11 July, Trafik Club, Budapest

Super hot day. Driving there was a constant struggle not to stop for a swim. Venue located in this semi-old town part of the city, next to 100 tourist restaurants. The club was downstairs, and had a big devil or something hanging from the back of the stage, with a toilet seat on it. We opened up for Cephalic Carnage, and got some good food. Soda ran out fast though, and us straight edgers had to watch the drunkies go for more and more beer and booze. A couple of people came out for us Swedes, but most of the audience came for the old metal men headlining. After the show me and Hooper went to look down the street for a bit, and when we got back Cephalic had already started offering weed and drinks to everyone. Slept at a nice guy from the show, and Eddie tied Andreas’ socks together making him laugh so much he almost didn’t come with the rest of the drinkers out for a bar round. I slept good on my mattress. No hot water.

12 July, a beach, Novi Sad

Next day was even hotter, you could tell we were travelling south. Weird guy at the border control, but we got through. We were playing the beach, and after meeting up with Bojan and Sonja, we went over there to set up the “stage”. A few pieces of scrap wood to hold the drums and amps. Good hangouts though, and a few of us swam in the river, throwing frisbee. They cooked over an open fire, and served us a really good stew. When the darkness came, people started to show up, and Grieved we both played to a good amount of people. Headlining was local joke-metalcore act Conviction (yes, the name Grieved had when the played NYHC two years ago…) Playing an Earth Crisis cover, and wearing mock French outfits, we of course circle pitted around the band. Eddie was naked. Slept at Bojan’s place, who’d made pizza and cake for us.

13 July, Grindhouse, Sofia

Another hot day. After a breakfast consisting of water melon, we drove to Sofia where we were playing a skate park. The skate park was more a bar with one ramp, but still. Cool place. Decent food. Opening was a local old school fast band who got some circle pits going. Then My Turn from Greece played, doing a quite long set of Gorilla Biscuits-esque songs. Cool people! Then we played, and had fun, and Eddie skated in the ramp between some songs. The PA broke towards the end of our set, and was completely out for Grieved. After a lot of hassle, Marcus sang through a guitar amp, and the show could be finished. People were documenting a lot, and even this far from home, I could see Pulling Teeth and Anchor shirts. Slept in the van since our host had a bunch of cats, and we are three people with allergies on the tour. Good dude who was really into dumpster diving.

14 July, Rockmaraton Festival, Pécz

Back to Hungary, to play a big rock festival. Got there really late, since it was more or less impossible to find, and the border crossing we came to first was “closed”. Played a tent, and got quite good food. Carnifex played, and we saw some of it. We hung out with a British metalcore band for a while, and then we drove off to sleep.

15 July, Venster 99, Vienna

We came to Vienna, where we did the first of two shows with local Gray Years. Eddie took William and Victor skating the first chance he got, and me, Oscar and Andreas went to see the city. The rest found a place with wi-fi, as usual. We saw a bunch of cool architecture, went into the old university, and after getting lost for an hour or so, we finally came back to the venue. The stage was small but not in a good way really, and after having some chili we set up and played to a sleepy audience. One or two people sang along to our set. After the show, the venue owner and the promoter started smoking a bunch of weed, and as thanks for us playing we received a really tall joint. Thank you. Slept in the van again, since there was another cat living at this place.

16 July, Mark.frezeit.kultur, Salzburg

First show at one of the very cool juhauses around Germany and Austria. Some of us stayed there to relax, and the rest went to see the town. We got good food, good amount of soda, and the sound was decent! Of course my bass cab blew during the opening Gray Years set, and I had to play through the PA. Hate that. Of well. Gray Years all played fussball during Grieved’s set, three of them wearing Grieved shirts. Good nights sleep after losing my mind in a twin bed.

17 July, Klub Rachota, Blansko

Back in the Czech Republic, this time in a tiny town called Blansko. Smoke-filled bar, with only two microphones. Opening were a band wearing cardboard uniforms, and the same band who opened in Ostrava. I ate a lot, but was really bummed out during our show for some reason. Most of us spent the night in the van listening to rap metal, to avoid the smoke.

18 July, Sub, Graz

Fourth (?) time at Sub for No Omega. Cool venue, with barbecue on the roof a regular at summer hardcore shows. We played the same week as most other touring bands played Graz, and the night before Alpinist and Masakari packed the venue full. We strolled around town for a while, and me, Eddie and William went up to the top of the city mountain. Up there was a garden and the most amazing view ever. The show was cool, My Turn opened again. We played a good set, and I talked on the phone with the gf for the duration of Grieved’s set.  Nine Eleven and Aussitôt Mort played after us, and it was cool to see those bands again. Slept in the punk mansion we’d been in with Full of Hell, and Eddie was amazed by the catacombs under the building.

19 July, Atari, Leipzig

This day had one big goal – get a new part for the bass cab at the Thomann HQ. Thomann have this big warehouse/store/office in the middle of nowhere, and we got to go there. After being amazed by the sheer size of the place, we eventually had the cabinet fixed, and came to Leipzig an hour or so late. Our promoter friend had cooked a big vegan feast for us, and we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. Two local bands opened, and the basement was packed. Our show was fine, even though I had the ceiling an inch over my head. After the show we hung out with a drunken metal head who I had to argue with over what the band of Nick Cave was named. He was funny. Went to climb a big monument before bed.

20-22 July, Fluff Fest, Rokycany

I can’t start to describe how amazing Fluff was for us. Seeing a bunch of old friends, half the hardcore bands I listen to, and getting to play the best show of our lives. I’ll just leave it at that, because I’d fill page upon page if I started. But to the people who made our show what it was – thank you.

P.S. – Weekend Nachos, Wolf Down, Suis La Lune, Vaccine and Coke Bust were my highlights. And the food. Goddamn.

23 July, Café Na Půl Cesty, Praha

After-Fluff show, with Self Defense Family, Tangled Lines, Sailing On and The River Card. Solid lineup with very mixed sounds, which is in my taste. Eddie got caught on the way from the festival by the loss prevention man at the local supermarket, which made us and our hitchhiker of the day, Pennie of Goodtime Boys, a bit nervous. But Eddie came back laughing, and we made it to the show in good time. By now I’d started developing a cold that would last for most of the tour, since we slept in tents during the coldest night I’ve ever suffered through. We got vegan kebab at the venue, and hung out with friends in the sun. The venue was in a park, and something that followed the whole show was that half the people that showed up didn’t see a single band, which I can honestly understand. Our show felt fine, but kind of a letdown being the first show after Fluff, which was extremely hard to compete with. Slept at the parents of a girl called Gabriela’s house, who left us there to let other bands in at her apartment. Slept in kids bed with a Spongebob blanket.

24 July, Juha West, Stuttgart

Got there without time to check out the city, so we just invaded the catering room until our friends in Suis La Lune arrived. After a small fit over lost stands, we sound checked without Victor before we had dinner. Our show was decent, but you could tell mostly people came out for Landscapes, who had some proper crowd participation. No Omega as a group enjoyed the Suis La Lune set like hell, and I’ve never smiled more than when I understood their guitarist Karl and drummer Daniel were changing positions for the whole show. That’s talent I tell you.

25 July, Sedel, Lucern

First show in Switzerland, after an amazing falafel. We were a bit worried over the border, but we got through nicely. We played outside Lucern, in what was almost a hillside castle. A big punk palace, filled with practice spaces, and a really cool club. I spent three hours sleeping while the others either tried to get wi-fi or did some touristing. After a big barbecue feast, including huge seitan steaks, we hung out for a while before Grieved played. Our show was slow, and my head heart too much to headbang. Vestiges did a great but tired show after being out for six weeks, but still managed to be nice people. Full of mosquitoes in the room we slept in, but I had a bunk bed so I was happy.

26 July, Katakombe, Aschaffenburg

Extremely hot day, and when we arrived in Aschaffenburg I was starving. Met up with our German friend Mascha, who came along to hang out for a few dates. The venue was a proper youth center, and some of us played video games until we gave up and started waiting for dinner. Opening band Hieroglyphs did their first or second show, and actually impressed me. There’s too many bands that play “dark” hardcore, but these local dudes actually pulled it off. Our set was the worst of the whole tour, with half the audience leaving after a song or two, and half of the people who stayed talked over all our between-song samples (excerpts from readings of the book Ishmael). Sat outside while Grieved played, who, according to Eddie, did one of their best shows thus far. Slept in the van after a late night swimming trip, which took us further away from the venue than expected – and also far far away from when I was warm and wanted to cool myself off.

27 July, Gotec, Karlsruhe

Got early to Karlsruhe where we were playing with Verse, Pianos Become the Teeth, Ritual and Soul Control. We expected it to be huge, and the stage was out in the smoldering sun. A weird metalcore band opened to 10 people or so, and the vegan catering was delayed. We played third, and it was actually one of my favorite shows of the whole tour. A few people knew the words, and there was actually some moshing going on. We basically melted off the stage, even when I had the stage-tech turn off the spotlights… Pianos impressed me, after the shows I’d seen with them before were kind of a letdown. Almost nobody cared about Soul Control, as usual, and Ritual didn’t play too many of my favorites. Verse had some technical difficulties in the first song, and Sean the vocalist said he had a sore throat. He went for the talk-yell style of hardcore vocals, which didn’t meet any expectations of mine at all. Since our sleeping place of this high-end show was the floor of the upstairs bar, we drove to Mascha’s place to sleep.

28 July, G18, Bremen

Came quite early to Bremen, and went upstairs in the house of the amazing promoter collective, where the venue was in the basement. Watermelon and dinner, followed by a small trip into the city for me and Oscar for some sightseeing. Cool place in my opinion. Back at the venue people started showing up, and the opening act played to a lot of people, and the room got really hot during Grieved’s set. I started sweating just putting up my stuff, and could barely move during our show because of the heat. Packed room though! After I had a nice nights sleep, while the others stayed up playing bar or using the wi-fi.

29 July, Raum 2 e.V, Dannenberg

We drove out into the countryside the next day, and came to an old factory where punks know had their home. We set up early, and me, Andreas and Hooper jammed for a bit. There wasn’t much to do but throw frisbee, wait for dinner, and visit a grave for Russian workers who’d died at the factory during the second World War. The show was quite slow, but we had some fun, mostly being inside jokes, and everyone joining Grieved on stage for their encore, playing Cold Hearts. I slept well in an old bed, and the people who smoke weed went out to the grave in pitch dark. I’m glad I didn’t…

30 July, Rote Flora, Hamburg

Early arrival in Hamburg to go have lunch at a local vegetarian restaurant. After first getting a cow milk pizza, I got a pizza with a brown sauce on it. They were pissed we wanted what we ordered. Too bad I can’t remember the name of the place, don’t go there. Spent most of the day hanging out by the venue, after the obligatory vegan ice cream (Nutella and Snickers style, of course). The squat we played had a DIY skate park on the lawn, and I’ve had worse days than watching Eddie getting more and more comfortable doing crazy stuff in it. Next to us most of the drugs in Hamburg were sold, in bright daylight. The show was packed, and after vegan doner kebab for dinner, we set up. In the Hearts of Emperors from Sweden played as well, and I’d never seen them. We played second, and apart from our Fluff set, this was my favorite on the tour, by far. The Emperors were really good as well, and it was nice to meet people speaking Swedish that you don’t already know. The place we slept at was an attic filled with mattresses, walls you could climb, a boxing sack that we put over William who was unable to get it off, and we just did gymnastics and wrestled for an hour or so. Slept goooood after that.

31 July, Block 19 ‘auf der Freiheit’, SchleswigBlock 19, Schleswig

Slept in late, short drive (we were really lucky with drives on this tour, haha) to Schleswig were we played a practice room turned into a nice small venue. Floor show. Next to what apparently was a semi-big German alternative rock bands practice room, who were writing for a new record. Me and Oscar liked it a lot. After a small barbeque we watched parts of the local band playing – one post rock-ish band and one Idon’tknowbutresemblingWeezerorMuseorsomething.

Our show was decent, and we were running out of vinyls by know. You could really feel we were on our way home.

1 August, Sssweet, Kolden

We were early, and hung around the small town of Kolden, eating falafel and nothing more really. When we got to the venue (an abandoned warehouse the state gave them to do culture in), we called Nicholai who put up the show, who arrived on bike in a beard. We set up in a newly painted small room with the stage in the corner. Hung out playing pool and eating more doner kebab cooked by Nicholai and his girlfriend. The show itself was cool. Not too many kids showed up, but they went crazy for our set. I slept in the van, but apparently our host Halfdan announced “whoresmas” up in his apartment. He gave Marcus a bunch of stuff.

2 August, Kraftwerket, Copenhagen

Early arrival in Copenhagen, starting off with weird burgers. The venue was decent, with a really low stage. Met Filip the promoter, aka Vodka prince. Good dinner, trying out a nearby playground. Opening act was a young instrumental tech-metal band, who drew no one. About ten people showed up, outdoing our last show in Copenhagen. Where I broke the head off my bass, and the whole audience smoked in corridor outside the show room. Drove straight from the show to Malmö, where we slept in an indoor skate park.

3 August, Kafe Oden, Karlskrona

Decent weather, arriving early and swimming in the ocean in the outskirts of the city. Then going to the venue, where we meet our friends in Trophies again. The venue was cool, and it being my first visit to Karlskrona I was happily surprised by the turnout. Last show for us, felt ok but weird. Slept when I got the chance to.

4 August, Motala Hardcore Fest, Motala

Got up early to get to Motala, since Grieved was on as second band. Got there, everything kind of unfinished still. Met some friends, followed by food trip into the city for No Omega. One falafel and Trocadero later, we came back right in time for the Grieved set. Slow audience still. After that we had to pack up and go home, missing out some cool bands, but the rest of the band didn’t feel like paying to stay. A couple of hours drive, and then we were all splitting up to go home.

Thanks Europe, see you soon. – Daniel, Andreas, Oscar and Victor

Written by Daniel

DIY Conspiracy

The (International) DIY Conspiracy is the unbroken spirit of the anti-authoritarian and Do-It-Yourself punk culture. The website is an online tool for exchanging information—news, media, columns, analysis, interviews, reviews, archives—about underground culture and radical ideas.
Contact the DIY Conspiracy HQ at: diyconspiracy@riseup.net