EURO TOUR 2012 – DAY 7 Kranj, SI – Trainstation

Sitting backstage about to go on in Trbovlje. Last night got way out of hand. Sampling Slovenian schnapps. Hanging out at Jala Jala in Metelkova. They have about 15 different flavors of schnapps one of them being ‘anis’ flavor – seriously. Anyway as tourists I guess we felt obliged to try them all. I actually only wanted to go out for one drink, but it ended up being the largest night yet for me. Oh the gig in Kranj was awesome last night. We love that town!

DAILY DVISM: “I used to make myself toothpaste sandwiches so that I would puke and get out of going to school.”

EURO TOUR 2012 – DAY 6 Ljubljana SI, Gala Hala

I came to the realisation this morning that I am probably not the best person to be doing these tour diaries anymore. I have been drinking so much whiskey before the show “for my voice” that I keep forgetting all the good stuff. Last night we played at Gala Hala in Ljubljana. It was really a cool venue. We saw a lot of our old Slovenian friends again and we partied quite hard afterwards drinking weird Slovenian shooters and dancing at a 60’s rock ‘n roll club until 5 in the morning. Um… I know there was some funny point where Ryan had a face drawn on his balls, but that could have been the night before. It all becomes a bit of a blur.

DAILY DVISM: “Fish Hoek is so deep south its almost north.”

EURO TOUR 2012 – DAY 4-5 EHINGEN, DE – Chameleon Club

Had the day off on Monday and our legendary host, Vitek, took us on a tour through the beautiful city of Prague. It’s really something else and I would love to go back there again to see more of it one day. Unfortunately this day there wasn’t a lot of time and we still had lots of Czech beer to discover, so we spent the rest of the day doing just that.

DAILY DVISM: “They’re not small boobs, they are more like big boobs that have been shrunk.”

Last night we played in Ehingen, which is a small town in the south of Germany. The club was pretty small, but as is always the case in E-town, the people as were extremely friendly and hospitable. We were fed like kings and I was plied with so much schnapps that I almost completely forgot about having to spend the last two days in prohibition era Prague. Off to Slovenia now – can’t wait!

DAILY DVISM: “There is just something weird about sharing soup.

EURO TOUR 2012 – DAY 3 PRAGUE, CZ – Crossclub

Last night we played in Prague. When we got here I was horrified to learn that a day or two before we arrived the Czech government had put a prohibition on hard tack alcohol and it was impossible to get whiskey anywhere in the country (Google it if you don’t believe me). This was devastating news indeed. The club we played was called the Crossclub. The majority of the club is made up of welding sculptures. Evidently the artists work on the sculptures daily so the entire club is a continuously evolving work of art. The show itself went really well. We played with a band called Discoballs that we met in Slovenia last time. Really cool band and awesome guys too. Today we have an off day in Prague. They might not have any whiskey, but they’ve apparently got some of the best beer in the world. We will let you know how it goes.

DAILY DVISM: “I felt drunk when I wasn’t drinking anything and now that I had a beer I feel sober.”

EURO TOUR 2012 – DAY 2 HALLE, DE – VL Ludwigstrasse

Last night was really cool. We played a festival in Halle. It was a bit of an odd scene when we arrived as the place was filled with kids. On stage a kindergarten class was performing a play and there were various other activities for the kids such as face painting, a jumping castle and beer crate climbing competitions. The beer crate climbing thing looked downright dangerous. Kids pile one Sternburg beer crate on top of another and then climb on top, eventually the stack gets too high and topples over. The record was something like 34 crates high and although fascinating to watch, it looked like a lawsuit waiting to happen. Once the sun went down, the kids left and the punks rolled in. By the time we went on there was pretty decent amount of people. Our show was really fun and the crowd went wild. My voice is pretty much gone now, but if I drink enough whiskey before the show, at least I’m not bothered by it anymore. The after party must have gotten quite out of hand as I woke up this morning to find Sean DV and Ryan cuddling in a single bed. I have decided to include on the tour diary Sean DV’s statement of the day. He has a never endless supply of these amusingly profound statements that we call DVisms.

DAILY DVISM: “It looks like a sausage but it sounds like an apple”

EURO TOUR 2012 – DAY 1 BERLIN, DE – LOVELITE

So here we go here we go here we go. Another Hogs European tour has begun, Sean DV and Ryan (Who is filling in for Sean Snout on bass for the tour) arrived on Thursday morning. DV’s symbols were put on the wrong plane in Paris (only the Hogs could lose equipment in Paris on a flight from Cape Town to Berlin). This left us nothing better to do than sit around and drink beer in the airport parking lot the whole morning. Once we finally got our stuff back. I took the guys on a bit of a tour around Berlin where the guys were given a very decent introduction to the Berlin lifestyle such as spätkaufs, public drinking and döner kebaps.

I woke up yesterday morning feeling pretty much like one would expect to feel when one starts one’s day drinking beer in a parking lot before breakfast. It certainly wasn’t the best frame of mind to be in whist trying to organise all the things for the tour I had inevitably left until the last minute. We spent the majority of the day practicing, as we hadn’t played together since April. Martin, a local guy filling in for Ross at the last minute had never even met most of the guys yet, but things eventually didn’t sound too bad considering

The show at Lovelite was pretty average. Luckily the majority of the audience seemed to be South African and obviously knew our music. It was billed as an African festival and in staying true to the theme everything ran two hours late. Foo Fanick & One Root were really cool. The film was well received and apart from a few understandable dodgy moments and me almost completely losing my voice by the 3rd song, we didn’t really do too badly all things considered. It’s day two of the tour, I already have no voice left and we have 37 Euros to our name. Gotta love show business. Now we on the highway to Halle!

Europe Invasion 2011 – Day 25 London, UK – Half Moon

I’m in London. The tour is over. I don’t think that this has actually sunk in yet. In a way it’s a bit sad, but after a day like yesterday, maybe it’s a good thing. So far the tour had been going pretty well. I mean there were definitely one or two hiccups along the way. Our van packed out in Belgium, we lost a bit of money in Dessau and pretty much lost our minds in Amsterdam, but it was all relatively smooth sailing until yesterday. We woke up after hardly any sleep and far too many tequilas on the hard floor of the club in Ulm (for some reason there was a miscommunication about the accommodation and by the time we found this out we were all too drunk to be able to do anything about it). The nice people from the club had very kindly given us an address to the shower facilities, but unfortunately we didn’t have time to make use of them because we had to catch the plane to London. So off to the airport we went, feeling like death and probably smelling a whole lot worse. We made it on time thanks to our driver Freddy. We unfortunately had to say goodbye to him at the airport which was kinda sad – Freddy you’re a legend! When trying to check our luggage in, things got a tad stressful; in fact, we very nearly all missed the flight and in the end our road manager, Ian had to stay behind and bring some of the equipment on the next flight. Ok, the whole thing cost us an extra R1K but at least the entire band was en route to England. Once we arrived we were feeling quite proud of ourselves that we had miraculously all managed to make it onto the flight by a ball hair. We went through customs and it was only when we met up with the shuttle driver who was to take us to the venue that we noticed that Matt Willis wasn’t with us. After waiting around for him for about 2 hours (The shuttle driver was highly unimpressed) we finally found out from immigration that Matt Willis was being held for interrogation. At first we thought he was just getting a cavity search or something cool, but we had no way of getting hold of him so Lee stayed at the airport to wait for him and Ian who was still coming on the later flight and the rest of us went on to the venue so long. On the drive, we got a call from our booking agency who had apparently spoken to immigration and they told us that Matt Willis had been deported, not only that, but they felt it was probably a good idea if we canceled the show altogether because it was likely that the immigration department would raid the London show and deport the lot of us. Luckily our absolutely legendary buddies from Spindle Sect had our backs and not only did they supply us with all the equipment, backline and sound, they also offered to help us out with all the legal grey areas that we might have been involved in with customs. I’m not 100% sure why Matt was deported, in fact as far as I know, no one has actually spoken with him yet. We don’t know if he has been sent back to SA or if he was sent to Germany – which would entail him sitting at the airport without any money or means of communication until Friday. I imagine he could have always busked on the side of the road for food, but unfortunately his trombone is with us in London. Anyway so we decided to go ahead with the show without him. We got to the venue and discovered the first bit of good news for the day – The backstage had a shower! I can’t tell you how happy that made us, especially Sean Snout who could finally wash his hair, in fact for a moment the whole losing a band member debacle didn’t seem that bad. Lee and Ian rocked up just before our set. We were still without a trombone player, but we had a full house at the Halfmoon in Putney and a lot of people had come a long way to see us, so we just had to go on with a member short. Of course it didn’t sound as cool as it could have, but luckily the majority of the audience were all South Africans and knew all the songs so there was still an awesome vibe at the show. It was really great to see all of our old friends again and it really was a perfect show to end off the tour with. It would have been a lot cooler if Matt Willis was with us, but after everything that happened, it was nothing short of a miracle that the show actually went on at all. In the end it was a great tour. It was only 25 days, but it feels like a lifetime’s worth of experiences. We met a lot of really cool people, made lots of great new friends and probably drank enough European beer to get the whole of Cape Town drunk. We want to give a big shout out to Matt Willis and Devon Martindale for helping us out on this tour – it was a pleasure having you guys along. Another big thank you to Timmy and Ian. Without you guys watching out for us… I hate to even think of what would have happened. Thanks to our driver Freddy, Andrej and all our buddies in Slovenia, Leon and the Southern Pulse crew, Ifor and the villa massive in Holland, Amy, Fabio and the E-town crew, Spindle Sect and co – you guys are life savers! Lastly but most importantly a big thanks to YOU guys for coming to the shows, rocking out and making our 2011 European tour such a great party! I’m off to go do some sight-seeing in London now. Hopefully see you all again soon! Matt Willis, I hope you’re alright buddy, drop us a mail and let us know what’s up.

Europe Invasion 2011 – Day 24 Ulm, DE – Hemporium

So last night we played at the Hemporium in Ulm. There were no monitors and the PA speakers faced the band. It was kind of weird, but strangely enough it didn’t actually sound too bad and even though the show was pretty small, most of the people that were there were rocking out. A lot of the people there were people that we had met at other shows and knew the songs, so in a way it was a bit like playing in SA. It was also our last night in Germany so we all went relatively large… I think we might have overdone it a bit on all the schnapps and tequila, but it kinda worked out in our favour because it helped some of us to actually get some sleep on the floor of the club… some of us didn’t though. Now we’re off to London for the last show of the tour. None of us have showered since Friday but it’s day 25 of the tour and, apart from Sean Snout who would very much like to wash his hair, we’re all beyond caring.

Europe Invasion 2011 – Day 23 Onsabrück, DE – Ostbunker

Today is our last show in Germany and the second last show of the tour. It’s all gone by so quickly but at the same time, so much has happened that when I think back to some of the things that went down in Slovenia, it seems like years ago. Last night’s show was rocking, we had a great time. We sold a lot of Cds, in fact I think the only show we sold more was at Punk Rock Holiday. Theoretically this means the crowd enjoyed the show too. We played in an old WWII bunker. Apparently the entire town of Osnabrück was all but flattened in the war and this bunker which is now a community center is one of the few things that are still standing from that time. After the show some of the locals took us to a club down the road. It was kind of strange because a band started playing there at like 02:30 in the morning. They were a cover band, but by that stage no one really cared and we were all rocking out to them. Matt Willis even got on stage and jammed the triangle with them. It was a fun night. We’re off now to Ulm and then it’s off to London. See you all tomorrow for more updates.

Europe Invasion 2011 – Day 21-22 Berlin, DE – Duncker Club

We spent most of Wednesday sightseeing and just generally enjoying our last day off for the tour. Berlin is such an awesome city. Went out dinner at a place called White Trash where we ate some over priced burgers and played rock ‘n roll bingo.Europe Invasion 2011 – 24-25 August – Back to Berlin

Last night we played at the Duncker Club. It’s always quite daunting playing in huge cities like Berlin. The audiences are generally very spoilt and have not only seen it all before but they can see it all again at any given day of the week. Luckily we’d played this venue before in 2005 and there were a few people there that were looking forward to seeing us again. Plus we also had a fairly large South African contingent at the venue so we were ready to rock it. For a change there was an opening band at the show, which was awesome. They were some really cool guys from Berlin. They were also very kind to let us use their equipment too. When it came to show time we needn’t have worried. We had a great show and the crowd was all rocking out from the 1st chord right up until the end of a long and extremely hot and sweaty set. Even our driver, Freddy said it was our best show of the tour so far. It’s always a good feeling being able to win over an audience like that. Now we’re heading off to Osnabrück where the show is tonight. The temperature is in the mid thirties and our hangovers aren’t helping the situation. As I type this, I am lying in the tour van in nothing but my boxer shorts – it’s too hot for clothes. Last time we were in Europe, our show at Osnabrück was one of my favourite of the tour – hopefully we’ll have a repeat of that again tonight.