7.4. free day in Paris
I tried to stay at Instant Chavires sleeping quarters but was kicked out. Notre Dame, Louvre, Seine, some riot cops walking on the streets, supercool jazz band on the street, 15 + celcius and i was still feeling quite sick. But luckily I felt ok enough to spend all day in louvre checking out Mona Lisa and other stuff I didnt check out the last time I was there. I remembered too late that The Last Supper was also in Louvre, i would have wanted to have a glance at that. Although I tried to look I didnt find the Eros & Psyche statue that I saw last time, thats really amazing. After that I met Niko, Pekko and Juho for some falafel in Bastille. Just as I was eating my falafel I glanced to my right and there was a little cute mouse running along smelling his way to the kitchen most likely... Man. Good food though... we got a little something from the shop for our way back to Gent, wine, cheese and bread of course.
8.4. Theater Kikker, Utrecht, Netherlands
Ok first of a warning, in this town the restaurants close down during the day for a siesta of sorts. We were trying to look for a place to eat for an hour. After trying closed doors for about ten times we found this not too rustic german looking place that was serving only sandwiches and soups. It was ok though. We got our bellys full but our culinary stomachs were a bit starved. This was to be corrected soon! At the venue it was the usual wait for the soundguy to mic all our stuff. Theater Kikker is really a theater that mostly has dance or some other art performed there. So they have seats and a huge stage. We had all our stuff just brought on to the stage, sleeping bags, rucksacks, clothes, records, gear. All was just lying there and we decided to go ahead and decorate the stage properly. We found some stuff from all over the venue, balloons, plants, flowers. The stage was just full of our stuff, opened bags, long johns, cassettes, books, passports... all just lying there on stage. At some point one guy from the venue pointed out somewhat angrily: "Should you not move all your personal gear to the packstage!?" We kindly informed him that no, man this our setup... he just sighed and walked away. The gigs went ok as usual, not too much excitement in the audience and we were getting quite tired too. I was quite bored on stage though. Maybe that reflected to the audience. we went out after the gigs into this place called ACU that had this really groovy afro-american dance music. Fela Kuti and stuff. Really really danceable stuff and everyone danced all night.
9.4. Paradiso, Amsterdam
We arrived to Paradiso around noon since we were scheduled to start playing at four. Some of the guys were feeling quite hungover after the previous night. But luckily we were treated like rockstars. We had our own dressing room with our names above a star on the door. There was a fridge full of - gulp - beer, juice and water. Two baskets full of candy and snacks. A shower and towels for everyone! We took good use of everything. Es was to soundcheck first and by this time were so used to soundchecking that it was a 10 minute job for me and Ville. We had time to go out to the city into a record store nearby. I was getting a serious cough by now so I just mostly stayed in the dressing room and drank hot water with ginger, honey and lemon. It helped and the gigs went really well. There was not much audience but we sold a few records and had good response from the people that were really nice. It was also a pleasure to play cause the soundguys were really friendly and professional. Well, all the staff at Paradiso really deserves a big thank you from us! After concerts it was time to check in to the hotel and go out to eat. Being the last night we went to this super gourmet place for a three course menu. We were really hungry and by the time we found the place we noticed Merja and Ville had vanished. But since the group scattering into small groups had become something to expect when wandering around we didnt give it more thought. They would call us if need be. So while we were enjoying our meals at the four star gourmet restaurant Ville and Merja were having tomato soup and trying to find the hotel for four hours. Merja had left her phone behind. Oh yeah did I tell you that Ville's phone was stolen in Barcelona.... Well they did finally find their way home after they asked someone on the street and this angelic figure led them to their door. They were actually only a 3 minute walk away. So all that ends well.. how does that go.
Next day we flew home to Finland. It was fun to be home but our hopes that it would be a bit more of a spring in Finland were a bit too optimistic. It was slushy, rainy, snowy, cold and bleak. Niko had a Kemialliset ystävät gig the same night, Ville was off to do a solo gig the next day, Jukka was oof to work the next morning at 6am and I've been working like crazy ever since my return. So there has been no emtpy moments nor time for nostalgic reveries... yet.
Thank you to everyone who participated in some way on this tour. I really hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!