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Dortmund

Dear Diary,

when we arrived at the venue, we immediately cared about our small technical problems and luckily solved all of them ;-)

The rest of the day passed by quite unspectacular until show-time. The club was new built and the equipment was very new as well. Catering was really extraordinary… amazing ;-).

Our show was not bad, at least I felt like this. No technical problems, stage was big enough to run… But for some reason we couldn’t really ignite a spark the way we wanted… . Yes, people were listening clapping hands and applauding but the atmosphere felt rather bad. This mood continued when Rotersand entered the stage, but it seemed that people woke up during the end of their set. But even when VNV Nation played you still could identify single hand claps in the applause, so I asked myself why those people go to a concert. I think I’ve never seen 1.300 people that were so lame… what’s going on, Dortmund??? I mean, when we have a quiet audience, it’s okay with me, but

And above all…  the election result… oh my God… if it wasn’t that shocking I would be amused that the citizens of our country sound the death knell for themselves, just like a kamikaze pilot… If, however, the election result was responsible for the lame mood tonight I can accept this… I’m sure we’ll have great fun with longer operating times of nuclear power plants, social abstinence, financial affairs we will not get notice of and an uncontrollable corruption. By the way, I would be in favour of using the kanzleramt (chancellery) as repository for nuclear waste… Mrs. Merkel said it’s such a safe way of power production… well then… The atmosphere in bus was really down the drain after watching the news… good night, Germany!

Magdeburg

Dear Diary,

today nothing to get really excited about happened until the concert started. Well, we tried to buy some smaller pipes for our keyboard stand so that it’s not that big on stage. But we weren’t  lucky.

Because we wanted to start our set with the intro today, we wanted to use a remote control for the first time, which can start the intro from the side of the stage. Frank has programmed it already and we extensively tested it during soundcheck. Everything worked fine… Well, here are the first mishaps ;-) When Frank started the intro we had to realize that it ran far too deep and faaar to slow… I‘m usually  freaking out in such a situation, but luckily Frank always stays calm, thanks to the times when he was a competetive shooter. He stepped onto the stage and could resolve the problem while the intro was running… sounded weird, but unique (hopefully) *lol*. The first song (Hiding memories from the sun) went well so far, but when we tried to start the second song (Stigmata rain) we had to notice that no signal was transmitted on these tracks… A short public guesswork followed *g*, and we checked the tracks for the following song (Sometimes). These tracks worked well so we changed our set list. Thereafter Frank had to move all following songs to the working tracks which took us another funny moment but from now on everything worked pretty well.

Here in Magdeburg we were announced for a longer time and the audience was almost completely inside the venue when we started.  Even if I’ve heard that some people missed our first songs due to the rather slow entrance procedure. We liked the atmosphere during our show pretty much, I’m really keen how the next dates are going.

When our show was over we checked our equipment and had to realize that the new remote control transmitted a few signals too much… Well, I guess we have to update the programming of it… *gg*

After our show I talked to many people, unfortunately I missed most of the Rotersand- show, but VNV really rocked the house again!

I couldn’t stay at the following party until the end, because I was simply too tired and fell into my ‚bus-bed‘ at about 3.00 am. But I’ll be at Factory again next week as a DJ, so there is another chance ;-).

Berlin

Dear Diary,

let’s start a few days earlier… 3 days ago our tourmanager Peddy called me to ask if it was possible to step in for Frozen Plasma for the rest of the tour. There were private reasons that prevented Frozen Plasma from continuing the tour in addition to the singers’ flu. I was quite perplexed, so I asked for some time to check several things and first of all to call Frank to see if he could manage it, because I knew he was in the midst of his diploma thesis revision. Frank was perplexed as well, but he could organize his dates so that we could confirm the tour. Anyway, I asked Peddy several times if there’s really no way for Frozen Plasma to continue. Well, there was not much time to organize everything so we’ve been really stressed out with all the things to manage (next Sunday there are elections in Germany, so we had to vote at the office, taking clothes to the launderette, because they had to dry fast and so on… ;-)

So I went to Postbahnhof on Friday. Frank had to comply with the closing date for his thesis on Friday as well, but he arrived right in time for soundcheck. We’ve been welcomed warmly by the bandst he crew. It’s great to know they’re all glad to have us back on board ;-), even if it’s a pity that Vasi is not with us anymore.

I actually like Postbahnhof. Well, we usually play our Zeraphine shows here. Unfortunately there are these terrible parties on weekends. That’s why concerts have to be finished quite early and bands start to play very early… I cannot count the people who told me, that they arrived too late to see our show. Well, 6:45 is really early for a concert… You can imagine how it looked when we had to start playing… But the hall became more and more crowded and in the last third of our show it looked really good. Atmosphere-wise we know that Berlin audience can be better, but it’s not our concert and in that short period of time it wasn’t possible to promote our appearance (the show was sold-out so people couldn’t buy tickets anyway). So it was really okay for us and we got very positive responses to our show.

Well, sleeping one more night at home and then straight to Magdeburg… we’ve been really too tired to go to the after-show-party at K17.

Prague

Dear Diary,

I woke up this morning right after we passed the Czech border, quite early in the morning. For the first time on this tour the weather was really bad… raining, cold… anyway, at some point it stopped raining.
The venue in Prague is located in the city centre, within a kind of a mall with small shops and bars. Unfortunately the space reserved for our bus was occupied by cars so we caused a tiny little traffic jam. Anyway, we took a look at the club first… Lucerna music bar has 2 floors, the stage is round, rotating and even immersible.  Luckily nobody had the idea to rotate it or to bring it down ;-)
When the bus was parked correctly Ronan invited me for a coffee. Meanwhile Peddy (tourmanager) and Vasi (VNV, Frozen Plasma) joined us and a good conversation followed.
While the stage has been set I’ve had some time to walk around in the city of Prague. Unfortunately Frank was still sleeping, so we couldn’t take any pictures :-( .
The response to our show was really good. Even if it wasn’t as packed as in the other cities the atmosphere was excellent. We’ve met people from Czech Republic (strange, isn’t it?), Poland, Germany and the US and all of them seemed to like it quite a lot.
Rotersand and VNV rocked the place as they always do… very impressive … ;-)

Well, tomorrow (in Stuttgart) we have to leave the tour, because then Frozen Plasma take our position (except Magdeburg). We’ll write again after the Magdeburg- Show which will be the real end of our tour with VNV Nation… Take care :-)

Torino

Dear Diary,
now it’s me (Sven) again. After two (at least for me) very exhausting days (flight from Vienna to Berlin, straight to a Zeraphine rehearsal, sleep a little, driving to Grossenhain, played the show with Zeraphine at about 1.00 in the morning, going off stage at about 2.30, straight into my car, driving 200 km back to Berlin Tegel, flying to Paris and then further to Torino, arriving at 2.40 pm in Torino without any sleep, luckily being picked up at the airport and arriving at the club at about 4 pm) I went straight into the bus and slept for about 2 hours, even though the weather was excellent ;-)

Then it all became very stressful, because there wer some technical problems that took quite a while to resolve. A short time after we finished our soundcheck we had to start our show. Again there were not too many people in the club when we started, but not as bad as in Vienna ;-) But even here more and more people came to the stage, the response of the audience was good for us, they were dancing, clapping hands and what else belongs to it ;-)

Even if our concerts on this tour are only 30 minutes long, it’s quite exhausting, so I went to bed right after we umounted our equipment. Unfortunately we didn’t take a photo in Torino :-(

At this point I’d like to mention that the guys from Rotersand and VNV Nation are really kind and I think we feel a kind of true sympathy for each other *gg*

The next day was a traveling day, that we’ve spent mainly at Backstage Werk in Munich. Because I went to bed very early I woke up at daybreak while driving through the Alps. An unbelievably great sight… every time again :-) There’s not much more to tell, except some guys from Backstage Werk arranged a private barbeque for us. Thank you, Achim!

Rome

Dear Diary,

after the evening in Vienna ended up in a cheerful party we left for Rome very early in the morning. Because the bus driver had to rest we chose a beautiful restaurant in the mountains near Bologna for the break where we could stay with our bus for the next night.

This landscape is unbelievably beautiful. The whole tour group had dinner on a long table in the restaurant. The excellent meal alone was worth the long journey. After a short volleyball match and some nice conversation with the guys of Rotersand my day ended and I went to bed. We continued our journey to Rome very early in the morning.

In Rome we’ve had the first stuck situation on this tour. At the clubs entrance the bus touched the ground and it moved neither forth nor back. After trying several tricks and some broken pieces of asphalt we set it free and we could start setting up the equipment. I’ve had a free day because of the Zeraphine show in Grossenhain, so I immediately went to the city of Rome. The sun is shining, there are 28°C… water, sunglasses… let’s go. After a 6km trail I arrived at the city centre and I went quite aimless through the small alleyways.
After many corners I’ve found a tourist info at St. Maria Maggiore with a map of the city centre where I could arrange my schedule for the day.

Rome

So I started my way towards Colosseum, passing Palatino and Circo Massimo and from there upstream at river Tavere to Piazza St. Pietro which is the main site in front of St. Peter’s Basilica. From there I passed Castel St. Angelo back to the east side of river Tavere. Here you can amble through beautiful alleyways and enjoy the Italian flair. So I went to Piazza Navona, to Pantheon, Piazza Venezia, Via Nazionale and arrived at Piazza della Republica.

Rome

That was the end of my walk through Rome and when I’ve found the right bus stop I went back to the club. There I’ve seen a great performance of Rotersand and a perfect VNV Nation show. My work-day started after the last note was played. The stage had to be unmounted and packed in max 2 hours which was a record so I helped the crew. Thereafter we went straight into the bus and we left for Torino.

Vienna

Dear Diary,

first of all, as promised, the picture we shot yesterday…

Vienna

Yes, in front of Stephansdom… well… we had no work to do so we were kind of tourists ;-)

Today I woke up quite early and went to the city of Vienna, because I had to buy some new shoes. Luckily I’ve found a well-assorted Doc Martens shop ;-)
Because today Rotersand are on stage for the first time it’s been all a little more stressful, but we were done almost in time ;-) When we started our show there were only about 10 people inside the concert hall which was really a dilly sight ;-) Luckily it became more and more crowded and from our 3rd song on it looked way better. The concert hall filled up continously until we played our last song and the vibes became pretty good as well, so the show was really okay for us.

At this point Frank and I go seperate ways. But don’t worry, just for 1 1/2 days, because I had to fly back to Germany to play the Rollfeld- Festival with Zeraphine. So I turn the next entry over to Frank…

Zagreb

Dear diary,

unfortunately the show in Zagreb had to be cancelled too :-( With these bad news we woke up this morning. So we decided to travel to Vienna today and spend some time there. right now we’re sitting in a coffee bar and write these lines for you. We didn’t take any pictures yet, but we will do it in the next minutes. We’ll continue this post tomorrow ;-)

Belgrade

After spending the free days individually we met on Sunday morning in Hamburg to leave for Serbia, finally in the real bus.

Tourbus

Now even Rotersand are complete and we also picked up some of the travelling group in Munich. The evening in the bus was quiet.  I woke up on Monday morning at sunrise (Frank just went to bed) while we went through the beautiful Slovenian landscape. Then we stopped at the border Slovenia – Croatia. The Slovenian part was no problem, but we couldn’t pass the Croatian boarder guard, because they said some documents are wrong and we want to sell our instruments in Croatia… After endless discussions and argues with a Goering- alike dressed customs officer they finally denied our entry. So the show in Belgrade had to be cancelled and we stayed in Slovenia. For many hours at a resting place near the border with thousands of telephone calls with the organizers of the Belgrade and the Zagreb show, even with the German embassy to save at least the Zagreb show. For all of us it was really sad that Belgrade had to be cancelled… for the most of us it would have been the very first time there…

Resting in Slovenia

At 2 p.m. (frank just woke up again) we left for Ljubljana to spend the rest of the day there. At about 4 p.m. we arrived at our car park which was located outside of the city. After an one hour walk we reached the ancient city of Ljubljana where we’ve made some sightseeing and even walked up to the castle.

Ljubljana

Now we’re sitting in the bus again and we will know by tomorrow morning whether we may travel to Croatia to play the show in Zagreb or not. Well then, good night… ;-)

Kopenhagen, Forbraendingen

After the alarm clock rang at 6.00 a.m. and I have slept amazing 2 1/2 hours we’ve had some breakfast in the hotel in Rostock. Then we left for Copenhagen. On the short trip to the ferry Ronan was in a brillant mood and he entertained everyone in the van excellent. Our first steps on the ferry led us to the coffee bar to stay awake. A few minutes after we took this picture it started raining…

SF @ Ferry
The show from our point of view was somehow ambivalent. By now we haven’t been in that situation that almost no-one knows us. So the audience kept a kind of security zone in front of the stage during the first 2 songs. But from song to song they came closer, were dancing, listening and applauding quite loud. Everybody told us that the response was really good for Danish audience. Well, quite a few people bought our album… ;-)

Just like in Rostock VNV really rocked! People became a kind of extatic… After the last note was done we were really stressed, because we had to reach a certain ferry. The loading had to be done in an almost unrealistic amount of time, but we all made it ;-) In the van Ronan and Mark proved their ability to entertain, even off stage n ;-) They’re really unbeatable, no matter how tired they are…

From now on we travel in a nightliner, which means less stress and more sleep. I think everybody’s longing for that ;-)