Today we return to Slovakia - which has been one of the best places to play every single time we've come... fingers crossed tonight isn't total shit.
09:00 – Petra treats us to yet another boss breakfast. This, combined with the relative lack of roof shaking snoring last night, compared to previous evenings, means the morning is off to an uncharacteristically good start… just a shame that this is to be followed by eight hours driving across the width of the Czech Republic.
I don’t know how Dani does it, I lose my shit if a drive takes more than 30 minutes.
Hmmmm, the drive to work each morning is usually around an hour.
This explains a few things.
10:00 – We begin our epic drive – I fall asleep.
12:00 – I wake up to take some photographs – there’s snow everywhere!!
I fall asleep again.
I almost feel bad for doing so, but I’m fairly sure Riley is contributing to 99% of Monster’s profits at the moment, this level of consciousness is unnatural.
13:30 – My slumber is once again interrupted, but the view is especially stunning, so I make a considered effort to stay awake and take some photos.
The photos I take don’t manage to truly convey the scale and beauty of the scenery, so I just take a load which wouldn’t look out of place in a black metal aficionados scrap book.
I fall asleep again.
16:00 – Apparently we’re mega close and are a couple of hours early for the gig, so we make a stop off at Tesco to buy some much needed supplies, which in this case seems to be breaded products and nothing else.
Despite the snow and freezing cold, I am in desperate need of a vanilla ice cream sandwich.
You know the sort? It’s basically a brick of vanilla ice cream, with a wafer sandwiching it atop andbeneath. I’m not entirely sure why I am in such desperate need of something so utterly non-nutritional and a waste of my miniscule funds, so I ease my conscience by purchasing a giant bag of almonds while I’m at it.
As you can probably guess – this has been a slow day.
17:30 – We get to the venue, which on this occasion is Acafe, Cadca, Slovakia. After a breif walk around the town (where there barely seems to be a single living soul, it’s almost as if the populate heard we were coming), we load up into the venue, eat boss food and wait for the noise to begin!
We wait for a long time.
18:00 – The toilet door does not have a lock and my bowels are not in the finest moods. Alex is faced with a similar dilemma, so we elect to put our differences to one side and guard the toilet door as we each lay waste to the porcelain behind it.
We vow never to speak of this day again and leave before anyone has chance to spot us.
RIP – The male bathroom at Acafe, Cadca, Slovakia.
20:00 – Seems the noise was in no great rush to begin, but there’s a decent amount of people flooding into the building as Dopelord take to the stage.
The place is that bloody packed that I can’t get a glimpse of the band, but the sound is as unavoidable as it is identifiable: straight up stoner doom, heavy and distorted as each riff lurches from pounding kick to pounding kick.
I really don’t know enough of this sort of music to say whether they’re good, bad or average, but I enjoyed the show and it was a welcome chance of pace/tone to what we’ve played with so far.
Not that I disliked the other bands, the standard’s been high throughout – I just dig a bit of variety!
20:15 – Since I’m sitting at a table, writing up today’s journal entry, some guy comes over and asks if I would please watch over his pizzas while he enjoys the show.
I am happy to do so, but fail to disclose my love of pizza and distinct lack of respect for the property of others, when said property is the afformentioned cheesey, tomatoey goodness.
He may regret this.
I may end up in hospital.
Based on the smell of these things – tot’s worth it.
20:45 – Just noticed a strange drawing of a robot dog – thing – on the wall.
So I photograph it.
Look – aint it cool!
21:00 – We play – faces are removed. I don’t know what it is about Slovakia, but people here just know how to totally lose their shit.
During the first four or so tracks, I look up and people just seem utterly shell-shocked, with a shared expression which transcends all known language barriers to very clearly communicated – What the shitting hell have I walked into?!
But when we reach the first pause in the set, there is an eruption of cheers, prayers to the dark lord himself and folks are clearly digging this.
What follows (at least from my somewhat limited vantage point) is an absolute war of carnage with every track we play. I very much doubt any crowd reaction will ever live up to the one we experienced at the Honey Bunny club in Zilina (Slovakia) ten years ago, but they’re doing their best to put up a decent competition!
The intro to Communion Of Total Manipulation in particular just seems to infect these people with a lust for wanton destruction.
Which is what we’re all here for, at the end of the day.
Boss show, well chuffed – fingers are definitely suffering for it.
Technique needs work.
21:45 – We drink. Petra brings a shot which apparently tastes like Cucumber. I call bullshit and am immediately fed a bucket-load of humble pie as we knock it back and yes, it does taste like cucumber.
Cucumber which makes you feel dizzy, warm and confused all at once.
Not that dissimilar to my usual experiences with cucumber, now that I think about it.
Drinking continues, while I show people Anna’s photos of wildlife taken during our time in Africa.
The collective response is “Dude, why did you leave this place?”.
I have no retort. My heart sinks, I just find myself looking at the floor and feel a dark hole inside me open up once again.
Then I find a pistachio nut in my pocket and all is well again – take that, life decisions!!
00:00 – Good times continue as we make our way to tonight’s accommodation, very kindly provided by a lady whom I don’t get chance to thank directly.
Fuck me – Slovakia is cold. I mean, yeah, I know snow is cold, but this seems especially cold! My grapes are going wrong hard (ie: the fruit I bought from Tesco, pervert) and it feels like the end is nigh.
The singer/guitarist from Dopelord offers a shot of a drink which is apparently medicine, at something liek 96% ethanol.
I once again call bullshit.
I once again live to regret my hubris.
Everything feels both warm and ethereal.
Bed-time, I think.
Thank you – as always – Slovakia!