Saturday, April 1, 2023

Black Moon Circle- Leave the Ghost Behind European Tour March 2023


March 14th

I am on the bus for Lisboa and an early flight to Denmark in the morning. One day to see my daughter and do a few things I need to do and then the first gig in Malmo on Thursday.  Exciting…  I have my modular, kaossilator pad, monotron and the mellotron so I have a lot of sound options! I recently got the monotron to work well again (bad connection still but a new cable helps) and running the kaossolator pad thru the Echophon you can make really cool spaced out sounds… Out of this world stuff… Have not tried the mellotron but might… 

The guys are really well rehearsed for the tour and excited about jamming for sure.  Seems they want to do mostly the same set but I hope to push them that they always start with a jam and then into Snake Oil or Serpent. Both great opening numbers. Did not hear the new work up of Jacks Cold Sweat but that is a fun one to play!  We will have fun that is for sure and play some great shows.. It is a powerful band and I look forward to meet, hang out and play with Tomas.

I arrived at the hostel about 1930.  When I came in a guy and a Korean girl (Juno) were about to eat and they invited me to eat with them. She made a spicy salad with cucumber and they had fried some pork steaks and had an extra.  I went out and got a couple of beers for us. They were really nice. Andreas (Italian but lives in Berlin) plays drums in a hard rock band called Screams of the Butterfly. They have toured around and last year did 9 shows in the UK but the lost 2000€!  We talked about music, studio, etc… and we all crashed at 21.  

March 15th

All smooth and as usual, TAP flight is 20mins late leaving. Amazing first flight of the day and they can still not leave on time. Fucks up everything for all the flights the whole day now. These new seats in the plane suck. More uncomfortable and they do not recline at all. I am in the emergency exit. Might have slept time bit. 3 hr 45 min flight today.. 

Good news, is I got a message and we got another gig in Kiel now after the first one was cancelled a few days ago!  That is great news. 

March 16th

It was a hell journey to Malmo today. Took me 2.5 hrs to get to the venue. Check in was 16 and I left Jiri´s place at 1430 and got to the main train station, bought a ticket to Malmö and the first train was at 15:07, cancelled, next 3 trains, all cancelled.. So then it was 1547 train and this one was so packed and at each stop got more and more packed and it took ages at each stop.  I was told get off at Malmo C and catch the local train to Persborg station, it is 10min walk or less. Well turns out you should have got off at Hyllie, which is the first stop after the bridge and then it was only 2 stops instead of going into the central station and trying to find the train on another line, etc.. anyway, it was after 17 when I finally got there very tired and frustrated.

Soundcheck went pretty smooth. We played a bit of Jacks Cold Sweat and Serpent. Tomas is still not that familiar with the song until he hears the music, then he knows the song.  I had my mics in a good place and Patrik from Lund, he set up to multittrack, soundboard and film with 3 cameras.. 

Tim showed up… I had no idea he was already back from Scotland playing on the next Ozrics studio album. How cool was that??  Tobias and Jocke also came and Pär as well. So good to see them all..

We started about 2035 I think and the set was:

Jacks Cold Sweat, American Eagle, Cohiba*, Psychedelic Space Lord, Snake Oil, Serpent, Enigmatic Superbandit. About 85-90min set. 

*world debut of Cohiba!

Audience loved it. Tim was up front and dancing and that was so cool. I think there were about 25 people showing up. Tomas(drummer), his girlfriend, set up and sold the merch. The new merch is very cool. the shirt, bag and album. Wow.. The new album looks amazing. Purple vinyl.  Very proud.  I think she said we sold for 2000SEK.. not sure..

It was a great night and I felt like I was totally in the zone and played very well and into the parts at the right times and some cool stuff in the jams. We were all smiling and it was like there had never been a break! Wow.. Tomas, what a awesome drummer and nice person!!  Cool night. Lots of beers and shots and I was tired when we got to the hotel at 0030 to crash out..

Hear the entire show. Sadly, I am mixed very low.

March 17th- Råhuset, Copenhagen, Denmark

I was up at 830 and had breakfast with Tomas. Super nice guy.  Other guys missed breakfast. Tomas is off to spend the day with his dad in CPH and will meet us at the check in. No idea when that is. Partly sunny day and cold..  

Get it is 16 today.. we need to be on time..  We left Malmö after getting shawarma or falafel at a Turkish place near the venue. Van packing went smooth and we were at the venue 1445 and went and had a local coffee. Tomas was waiting at the venue as he had gone to CPH to have a day around town with his dad.  

It took nearly 45mins to decide how to set up the stage and we put Tomas way up off the stage in part of the bar as the stage was so narrow. I felt like he was far away but the rest seem to think it worked well.  We finished Soundcheck on time an 18 and Lucid Grave set up, etc…  Our merch stand looked great. Thanks to Caroline for helping out the these first 2 days. We will miss her on the rest of the tour. 

Dinner was a vegan lentil soup and some dense bread. It tasted pretty good. Had an apple and some crisps as well. I was tired so only had one beer at beer o´c clock (17), one on stage and one after the show today..

Lucid Grave were great and there was a good crowd. Michael Chomski, one of the OSC band camp subscribers who was from Berkeley but lives in CPH was there.  It was so nice to finally meet him…  A lot of old friends, Jakob and Rasmus from Causa Sui, Jesper, Stefan and Thomas, my old friends from Gas Giant, Nils, Knud (Fuzz Manta), my daughter and her boyfriend, Mogens, Jiri, Kasper, etc..  

I put the set list together with Vemund.  Set List: Intro Jam into American Eagle, Snake Oil, Talk, Psychedelic Space Lord (video below), Drum solo, Serpent, Cohiba, Plains.

Well.. it did not go as planned. During the first intro jam, my kaossoilator pad was on low battery must have been on in the bag, the monotron cable was not working so I was frustrated and not playing much and then Øyvin, the fuse in his bass head blew and there was no bass. The rest just keep jamming and we went into some crazy territory musically.. Wow…  Crowd loved it..  Rest of the set went well with some epic musical exploration by everyone. Tomas said the gig was magic!!  Edirol says 97mins.. and we did not even get to play the encore song. We were pretty wiped.  It was the tour debut of Plains with Tomas… 

The club folks, the audience all really dug the gig, Great response. I think we sold for 3000DKK and there were 64 paid people. Great night.

March 18th  Kiel, Germany

Get in is between 17-18 today. Nothing is very clear about this gig at all as it was put together at the last minute.  Plan today is to meet Tomas and pack the stuff out of the venue at 11… Took 30mins to pack last time. We took off at 12 and got gas and were on the way. If we do not stop too many times, we should get there on time or early even. Mood is good. guys were up in the bar til 2!!  Weather is warmer and a bit of rain here and there but driving going smoothly. Asked Tomas about his drum inspiration- Ian Paice, Bill Bruford…. Cool….  Very creative guy with Yodak (drums and tuba), and his other projects.  I am just not sure what to talk to him about. 

No music in the van most of the time as everyone is on their smartphone or trying to sleep.  We listened to a bit of Hippie Death Cult yesterday. Not a bad band.

We arrived at the venue in Kiel on time! Wow… what a cool place…. like a mini-christiania with cool arts places, cafes, wood workshop, food workshop, etc.. The venue was small but very nice,  Mikael who runs the place was very cool. It was 50m to move the gear and you had to lift up thru a window-door. We moved all the stuff in and then had a beer and rest and then set up. It was a bit stressing as the doors were open before we even had a soundcheck… 

Mikael made some nice food- Pasta with tomato sauce. Added chile myself. They had a good selection of beers. Tomas had one of the local craft lagers but it turned out it was a sour!!! He did not like it. It was an acquired taste but it was quite good I thought..  Anyway…. set list was pretty open and we did not plan too much.  Great set up for the mics and video on this night. Young sound guy Willi was very cool and totally into psychedelic music and funk. Offered me LSD, mushrooms, DMT, salvia… funny….   

We started at 2030 and there was 40 people. It was a donation but they ask people to pay 5-15€ at the door.  We opened with a blues jam into Psychedelic Spacelord. that was along cool heavy version.  Jack´s cold sweat was supposed to be next but Vemund started Cohiba!  Only 2 songs plus jam 45mins!!

Set I Blues Jam, Psychedelic Spacelord, Cohiba

Set II  Enigmatic Superbandit, drum solo, Serpent, Snake Oil.  Plains  55mins

In the 2nd set, they wanted an encore and it was going to be either Plains or American Eagle. Øyvin used his pick and put it in one of his hands and let one of the guys choose. The hand with the pick and we play Plains. Empty hand, American Eagle. Plains won! It was a great audience and there were people from the spaceboat as well. Nice people. Really surprised that Tommy and Claas from Komboyant Robotron did not come up and talk with me. Claas for a few mins before soundcheck and then he seem to go…  Good night but what a nightmare after the gig.  

We finally managed to get the van packed and locked up safe at 1220. Then we had to walk to the apartment where we were supposed to play. There was big techno party going on at the club and we could find the apartment or anyone who knew anything so we sat around in the street for nearly an hour. Finally some guy ´Richie appears and says we stay at Wiking Hotel. He takes us there. We get one key for a room, only 2 beds, they have to sort out another room.  130 before we could sleep. I was so tired and unhappy about the situation. 

March 19th-  Rare Guitar, Münster, Germany

Tomas set the alarm for 830. We had showers and then went down to have breakfast. We had a nice talk. Other guys did not come out until 9:50 to eat and we had been waiting around as we were supposed to go to the van at 9:30 and leave by 10 latest.  We are already 1hr behind. It is 4 hrs and we have to get around Hamburg and get in is at 14 and we did not even leave until 11…. most likely we roll in at 1530 or 16 and we are supposed to play at 17.. It is going to be rushed and very stressed… 

We arrived 1550, almost 2 hrs late so it was a bit of a rush to pretty much set up, soundcheck and start to play. Vemund had some issues with a noise in his guitar feed, they tried to sort it out but never really did so he had to just play like that. Sound guy was great and as it is a guitar shop they are going to fix Øyvin broken 68 Marshall bass head. Cool… not til Tuesday..

No one was thinking much about it so I wrote up a set list and Vemund and Øyvin thought it looked good so that is what we played.  

Set List: Intro Jam (very spacey), Jack´s cold Sweat, Psychedelic Space Lord, Serpent, Snake Oil, American Eagle. Encore: Enigmatic Superbandit..  about 100mins.

It was a very good concert. About 30 people and they were really into it. I experimented a lot more with the mellotron today, and most of it was pretty cool. A few things did not work though. I had perfect sound on stage. We were able to film, do a soundboard and audience recording from this gig!!  

As we arrived so late we could not get any food and I was very tired and had only a small sandwich, chips and an ice cream since 1230 or something and thought we would be able to eat by 1930 or 20 as we could just leave all the gear in the store.  But no.. big party and talking and talking and nothing happened until nearly 21 and I was feeling very bad by this time.

We finally got food at 2130 at a place nearly next to the store. Salad and vegan nuggets for me. It was also a pool hall so Tomas and I had 2 games. I won both of them but it could have gone either way. Neither one of us is that good.

March 19- Day off

Cloudy today and I could lay down for nearly 9 hrs.. Uli was up and seems they had a party til 1 in the morning. I crash a bit after 23……. I was so tired…    Was up about 730 this morning. Uli was up in the shower already. I had some musli with dates and honey, a banana, tea and juice and feel pretty good at the moment.. I watched a bit of the video from yesterday. Audio was great and picture clear but distant.

Checking out the audience recordings and they sound pretty damn good. Wow…. at least last night and Malmo. We just sat around most of the day and talked about music. End of the day we headed over and packed the van. Øyvin bought a vintage Marshall bass head and they will repair his old one and he will get it back tomorrow. We had a really excellent Indian meal and the special Vindaloo they made for Vemund and I was HOT!! Vemund was all red and crying but we loved it.. I did not suffer as much… Great food….  We sat up listening to music and drinking beer and wine with our host til 2! I went to bed at 1030 or so…. 

Tuesday March 20th- Day off

I slept badly…. Sent out some promo links for the new Black Moon Circle today… see if we get any reviews…  6 places I think….We plan to go to a big music shop 40km from here after lunch and then go back and pick up Øyvin´s bass gear.  Gray and light rain today… Lots of birds out..  Sue said it was over 20C and sunny and all the flowers are coming out. The dogs are bored and missing me.. 1340 and Vemund´s phone will not charge so this is the high priority for the day now to get it fixed.. Vemund got a new charger and guitar strap, Tomas found a cymbal he really wants but did not buy it but now decided he can not live without it so we will have to go back there today. It is the opposite direction of Hamburg, 40km so this is an extra hr to the trip today..  I tried a lot of synths but nothing I would buy.  

Øyvin got his two bass heads in working condition now and we hung out at the rare guitar shop for 2hrs. Had a beer and I got a couple of cheap CDs (Out of Focus, Sam Gopal, Orchid)..   Øyvin and I made pasta sauce (tomatoes, garlic, onion, beans, red pepper, chile) last night with pasta and garlic bread.. Save us some money. was 16 euro for all the food and some chocolate!  I crashed at 22. Uli went to bed at midnight and said they were still up drinking. 

March 22nd- Bar 227, Hamburg, DE

It is supposed to be about 3-4hr drive. Club is right in the center. We are going to try to get on the road at 11:30 at the latest..  Get in is at 17-17:30….  Food at 19 and doors at 20 and show at 21.. 

We are about 168km away from Hamburg so unless there is terrible traffic, no way we will be late.  Rainy and cold weather.. We are barely moving now. We have been listening to some of Tomas´s band projects- Arabrot (he is just a hired hand), Disfear (thrash metal), Werl, etc…

We arrived in time to go to Tomas´s fave pizza place in Hamburg… Pizza was really good… We got to the venue 1725 about and loaded in and set up went pretty smooth. Sabine was there and it was nice to see her.  Soundcheck we had a lot of problems with the drums and later the monitors but it was ok in the end but very loud..

Photo by Sabine. 

Sebastian, the host had made some very nice chile sin carne and rice but almost no one ate any of it as they had just eaten a whole pizza!  Tomas ate 3 bowls in the end though, 1 before and 2 after. I had half a bowl as well. I guess the other guys ate some after as well.. 

We started the first set at 21 and it was pretty packed… I think there were 50 paid people.  We had discussed the set list but it all went in its own way… There was a huge Hendrix mural above the drums which inspired us to open with a Voodoo Chile jam!! Wow.. crowd loved it..  Then it was supposed to be Snake Oil but stuck with the original idea of Cohiba, then Snake Oil and Serpent.. about a 45mins set.. This was the best show so far on the tour....

Set List:  Intro Jam Voodoo Chile> Cohiba, Snake Oil, Serpent, 

Set II: American Eagle, Jacks Cold Sweat, Psychedelic Spacelord

Encore: Enigmatic Superbandit

Club Void, Eindhoven, NL 23/03/2023

We were up early and hit the road at 10… I did all the driving today. Traffic was not that bad and we had 2 short breaks and stupidly, a long late lunch break til 16 and we were supposed to arrive at 16.  We had 33km to go at 1515 so we could have been there on time. We arrived at 1640. Tomas was sure it would be ok if we showed up at 1630. Stage manager was not happy and the other band was set up and starting to soundcheck so we missed our chance and have to wait to get ours. 

Tomas is a bit sick and Øyvin and Vemund have a bit of a cough as well. I am in the back stage. Super cool venue and totally professional people etc…  All eventually went well and we had a our soundcheck and all was cool. Peter and the guys from DunddW arrived and they were only getting a line check and we agreed I would come on at 2135.  They started at 21:10 and finish 2150.. 

First band Black Night Karma were super nice guys from the UK.. They were on at 8:15, I think and played to like 10 people… 15 at the most. Pity.. 3 guitars, bass, drums…. play a melodic rock music. I thought they were pretty boring overall. Singer and lead guitar player played some cool stuff, especially at the end of the concert. That was the best part.. 

DunddW were really cool. (see pic below) Spacey music that went up and down in dynamics and pretty heavy and then down to almost no sound at all but Huibert on bass pedals. I joined them after about 20mins and that was fun. Added some space sounds. It was cool… I think they enjoyed my contributions.. I thought they were great..

The guys went to the hotel and missed the complete show but were back in time for us.. They had made a very optomistic set list for 1hr. We ended up only playing 4 of the 6 tracks and only material from the new album.. I tried to listen to the advice from Øyvin about not playing so much and the right key for mellotron on Snake oil. I think it went well.  Vemund complimented me on my synth playing afterwards, which was nice. It was a powerful set. Psychedelic Spacelord was the highlight, probably 25-30mins long. Bed at 0100…. too late…

Set List:
Space in> Snake Oil, Cohiba, Psychedelic Spacelord, Serpent. (American Eagle and Plains were on the set list but not played)

Friday March 24th- L´Internationale, Paris, France (The gig we did not make!)

We meet for breakfast 8:30, mood was good, Tomas was still not feeling that well.  We left 905 to pick up the van but could not fit all so Tomas unpacked a lot of it and started again. We had hoped to be on the road at 930 but it was 950 before we left and no one had their GPS working so we drove around and wrong directions and then back, etc.. finally on the highway. CHeck in was 1530 so already no way we would get there in time.

I drove for the first 2 hrs and there was a hell of a rain storm.  All the guys were sleeping. Anyway, just after Gent, the car kicked into safety mode. An hr before the wrench symbol appeared so we stopped at a rest stop. Check the fluid, oil, etc.. all was fine..  Now, we had to pull off the road in Nazereth at a rest stop-gas station-hotel… Vemund called the Sixt rental company…  We had to unload the gear into the hotel and sit and wait. We had a nice lunch and evetually a tow truck came and took the van and then we knew the gig was fucked..  Tomas made a lot of calls and saved the day and managed to get a guy from Leuven to come pick us and the gear up.  We had a beer at 16…  Guy came at 1630 or so and repacked the van and were off. Huge accident on the Brussels ring so we have to go back to Antwerp and around another way. going to take 2 hrs… Fuck… 

We will unload the gear into the venue and then go to the hotel.. Food, beer and sleep!! What a fucked up day.. 

March 25th- Sojo, Leuven, BE

Had a nice meal and beer at the bar with the guys and after Tomas went to bed, we discussed a lot of things. I was in bed for 10hrs. that was good. Had a great breakfast and now, just relax. Check out is 12 and then we walk around the town and then we can get into the club at 14. I was feeling really bad last night, sore throat, snotty nose but better today…  Just relax for now..   Last show..

All went pretty smooth on this day.  So great to see Sara and Benny, Peter Breems (DJ) and other folks I know.  Great food, soundchecks all pretty smooth except Øyvin was too sick to come and stayed at the hotel until 2115. Both Tomas and Vemund took turns sound checking the bass!!  There was a small jam with Peter (Bismut)on drums.  I set up all the merch, microphones, etc…

Shift, a heavy rock duo started at 1945..  Great loud bass playing.. musically like stoner rock without a guitar player.  Half full place. They got a good response. IT was a bit of an older gray audience on this night. 

Bismut, wow….wow.. what an awesome powerful band with strange guitar parts and ultra cool dynamics and bass and drums. Unique!!  They asked me to play on the same track I played with them a few years ago so that was fun and the audience loved it….. 

Place was totally packed now.  Vemund was on fire.. I was tired and tried to be in the zone. The people in the front were so into it.. Wow… Øyvin left the stage for some reason during Cohiba and a punker in the audience grabbed the mic and did some singing and Vemund went a long with it. It sort was ok.. I sat on the floor some of the set and played the monotron as I was too tired to stand anymore.. We play very intense and I have to be very focused for all the transitions once we exit the jam parts…  I think we did a great show though, at least people gave a lot of positive feedback. 95mins.. We sold more merch at this show than any of the other by far!!!  Almost all of the 5 CD box set!!!  I had to leave the guys and go back to the hotel. Got back around 0030 and had a shower and repacked. I hardly slept as the clocks changed on this night and I did not know if my computer or phone would change (and they did not!). I had set an alarm for an hour earlier just to be safe, which was a good thing… I am on the train to the airport. Almost there…  Was a great tour but a bit hard. I am not sure I would do it again..

Set List: Intro Jam>American Eagle, Psychedelic Spacelord, Snake Oil, Serpent

Encore: Engimatic Superbandit

Thanks to all the people who helped make this tour a success (musically)… Pretty sure we did not break even though.  Maybe see you next time.....Just a warning... Do not rent a van from SIXT if you are a band.  Øyvin and Vemund were stuck in Belgium for 4 extra days and had to leave all the gear and fly home. They never sorted out another van in 5 days!!!  Bastards....

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