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In October of this year the time had finally come and the 6 boys from Helsinki sallied forth to tour through Germany for a couple of days, which was the first time within the existence of the band.
Saturday, October 15th 2005
The tour starts with Spiha and Tunes of Dawn in the Tankhaus in Stavenhagen. From the beginning on the musicians were convinced by the size of the stage and the expertise of the local technicians and so the soundcheck was accomplished very fast and in a good humour so that one could get in touch with the others and acquaint with them without ruffle. One could see right away that there is a good chemistry between Spiha and T.O.D. Both, musically and interpersonally they cut a neat team. Unfortunately, the crowd number in the Tankhaus left much to be desired but didn´t influence the general spirit. Both bands were in the mood for rock n roll and gave it „at its best“. T.O.D. are surely a band you will hear about in the future and they surely will forge ahead. The charismatic, dark voice of singer Hagen Schneevoigt (also bassist with Scream Silence) gets under the skin. Spiha were not impressed by the missing crowd either and showed joy in playing and energy. They played a good mix of both albums „Egoreactor“ and „Spiritual Hallucination“ which was released only one day ago in Germany. When the few people in front of the stage clamoured for an encore and humppa Daemon P.A. Volume splashed it out and together with drummer Ringo Deathstar began to sing the requested Finnish songs while the rest of the band joined in leading to uttermost amusement with the crowd and the technicians. Out of the 5 concerts that Spiha played in Germany the first concert in Stavenhagen was regarding light and technics definitely the most sophisticated. It can only be said that all of you who weren´t there really have missed a perfect rock concert.
After the concert we celebrated a bit and thus we sat together in a cosy harmony with one or the other beer and chatted. Fortunately, we hadn´t go for miles that night cause we had some rooms reserved for all of us in the neighbouring town. At a late hour and in a jolly-tipsy mood we started out towards our hotel but somehow we chose the wrong direction and drove about 10 km through the dark Mecklenburg-Western-Pommerania. When the Spiha-boys got a little nervous in the back of the bus and said that it actually couldn´t be that long to get to the hotel I called the driver of „Tunes of Dawn“ and of course the guys were already at the hotel but were freezing their asses off because I had the key. We had driven into the complete wrong direction but about 15 minutes later we also reached the hotel, could check into our rooms and have a good night´s rest.
Sunday, October 16th 2005
Back in Berlin we looked forward to the evening to see the 70´s punk band „The Hatepinks“ at the Wild At Heart, which, in the meantime, is also quite well-known in Finland. „The Hatepinks“ were collectively received well and we also bought a vinyl of them. Henry Lee Rock took the opportunity to talk shop with the „Hatepinks“ singer. I tried to convince the rest of the guys of the delights of a „Snakebite“ (Irish swill) but they rather prefered „Weißbier“?? like „Berliner Weiße“? No... „Weißbier“... oh, you mean Weizenbier (wheat beer). When this was served you could see some resplendent and totally satisfied faces and so the wheat beer had become the official tour drink.
The next 3 days off were marked by shopping on Schönhauser Allee and sightseeing in Berlin e.g. Brandenburg Gate, a piece of The Wall, as well as the Museum of Technology and a visit at the Finnish embassy.
Wednesday, October 19th 2005
In the morning we squeezed ourselves again in the nice little rented Mitsubishi L300 to sally out to Hanover. Ringo Deathstar and I were screwed right from the start and were sitting seriously cramped and squeezed on the two-seat in the front of the bus. We didn´t have much air to breathe. None of the more small and tender persons could be prompted to switch seats with Ringo in the front; so we had to go through this! Luckily for us, the route wasn´t that long and when we arrived at the Bad in Hanover we immediately pitched into rolls and coffee in the backstage area; and waited for the arrival of „Tunes of Dawn“ who came shortly after. After the soundcheck was done we adjourned to the cozy backstage area with a couple of beers. When the first people arrived at the entrance the hopes were raised that some more people than in Stavenhagen would drop by and this was the case to a minor extent. Even though there were no masses storming the locality and you really couldn´t call this a crowd the musicians of both bands gave their best again and highly pleased the attendant listeners.
The journey home turned out to be a little chaotic. A peek at the fuel gage reminded us of an urgent gas uptake and so we turned through the nightly suburbs of Hanover in search of a 24-hour gas station but unfortunately, it couldn´t be found. In the meantime we also got lost on our way to the autobahn Berlin and strayed through no man´s land. It got uneasy in the back of the bus, the looks on the fuel gage got more and more often: “er…we should refuel at some point, don´t you think?” Unfortunately, there were no autobahn signs not to mention a gas station in sight. Finally, with the last 2 litres and intense cursing from my side („fucking Godforsaken hole I thought we are in Hanover and not in the middle of fucking nowhere!“) Junza considered to just ask a cab driver who was standing alone in the darkness at the roadside. He explained that it is only 500m to the next gas station and only 1km to the next autobahn drive-up towards Berlin. General relief was spreading and showed me that my old rule of thumb – in case of doubt always turn left – is not always the right decision. At the gas station the expression „Nachtschalter“ (night desk) caused a general amusement with our Finns. Henry dabbled in the pronunciation of that word whereupon funny words like „Nacktschlachter“ (naked slaughterer) reached our ears. After everyone had stocked up upon the well-deserved closing time beer we were heading towards our homebase Berlin. Now everyone except our brave driver Tom could drop off to a well-earned journey home sleep.
Thursday, October 20th 2005
For Spiha, this day was surely the most important day of their small German tour because today´s gig was in the K17 in Berlin. The day started pretty early and after only a few hours of sleep there was a lot to do before their arrival in the K17, which was scheduled at 4 p.m. So, quickly run to Schönhauser Allee again to buy some shirts and shoes and then a short trip to the music supplies shop because there was an urgent need of drumsticks as well as bass and guitar strings.
We reached the K17 punctual to the minute, the soundcheck was then done pretty quickly and the Spiha boys went for some more sightseeing in Friedrichshain but were back on time for the entrance. The Tunes, whose home territory is Berlin, were supporting for the last time and because of that you could note a more numerous crowd but also some Spiha fans had chosen Berlin as their destination and so, the 2nd floor of the K17 was satisfactorily filled. The Tunes gave their best onstage and could also convince the attendant Spiha fans with their dark mix of goth and rock. When Spiha afterwards entered the stage they were noisily greeted by the fans and once again kicked off with rock at its best. The crowd was enthusiastic and thus the evening in the K17 a complete success for the 6 Finns. There wasn´t much of an aftershow party because we all had to drag our sorry butts out of bed pretty early the next day to make the 600 km to the Sauerland. Nevertheless, there was still a little farewell drink with the boys from T.O.D, who unfortunately wouldn´t come along with us anymore which we all regreted because both bands really assorted well with each other. Parting hurts! After 4 hours of sleep and with pretty swollen eyes we moved on towards Kierspe on Friday.
Friday, October 21st 2005
We advanced quite well and were on schedule and so we believed that we would reach the Rockoko on time but as is generally known it´s not enough to believe only because as soon as we arrived in North-Rhine Westfalia we also arrived at the traffic jams. That´s right, the autumn holidays had ended in NRW and so from Bielefeld on we toiled from one traffic jam to the next. The holdups were received with great interest from the Finns and my question if there´s something like this in Finland, too, was answered with a consensual shake of the head. “You´ve never seen a traffic jam?” “Nope, we really don´t have those things in Finland!” Bomber then made the brilliant suggestion to just pull out at the next exit; which really was a good idea but not on that day because no matter where the traffic jams seemed to go on everywhere. We were just trapped, disbelieving amazement and murmur behind us at every new exit seeing the masses of cars that didn´t move at all. Slowly the guys got uneasy, but much later than Tom and I. At some point every traffic jam gets boring and we still hadn´t advanced further. We finally needed for the whole route, believe it or not, 8 hours instead of the scheduled 5. Correspondingly, we arrived at the Rockoko in Kierspe with a delay of 3 hours. The band Sonorous Din from Lüdenscheid, who were the support for Spiha that day, fortunately were already there and had set up and so Spiha could immediately start with the soundcheck and the pressure of time was gone. The gig in Kierspe was definitely the most attended and so we gladly saw more and more people surge to the discotheque and the rush didn´t seem to end. When Sonorous Din entered the stage the room was more than well filled, in other words about 200 people cavorted in it. And even the Spiha boys seemed to perk up again in the face of the large crowd. The few hours of sleep and the long traffic jam drive had left their marks on all of us. Regardless of that Spiha rocked for all they´re worth and could win some new fans on that night. The room seemed to seethe and the crowd demanded for more. A complete success!
Saturday, October 20th 2005
Continuing our journey 150 km towards Herford. There, the bands Reptyle from Bielefeld and Sepulcrum Mentis from Berlin waited with the soundcheck for us in the Elfenbein; we were, however, marked with fatigue and the strains of the last days. There were not many people present that last night either but this didn´t derogate the high spirits and Spiha gave their best for the last time in Germany with a lot of joy in playing. The band is really professional and knows what to do. Despite the meanwhile more than apparent weariness of some of the band members Henry, Junza and Mr. Ilectric decided to want to paint the nightly Herford red, which could only raise a tired smile from me. I tried to bring out to the guys that at this late hour there wouldn´t be much to see and that Bielefeld really wouldn´t offer an ecstatic nightlife, anyhow the guys eventually went out but were back at the hotel only about half an hour later than us because there was nothing going on. Apart from a ride with a nightbus and some minutes on foot through the pouring rain they really hadn´t seen much and so they threw a party themselves and thus the hard “Neversleeps” got together with some guys from Sepulcrum Mentis and celebrated the farewell. At this point the less die hards Bomber, Ringo Deathstar and myself already slumbered blissfully. Ringo wanted to leave early on Sunday because the local traffic jams had made a lasting impression and Spiha had the bad feeling that they wouldn´t be in time to catch their plane in the evening. The ride towards Berlin went smoothly without any bigger traffic jams and the guys got calmer and more relaxed from minute to minute.
Altogether one can assert that the first German tour from Spiha was a success. It was sad that only the gigs in the K17 and Rockoko were attended really well but the band plans to repeat the whole thing in any case. The good-bye on Sunday was difficult for all; in the course of these 8 days we had grown together pretty well, had become a good team and friends who, unfortunately, had to part now with a heavy heart.