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Charon - Tour Diary 2006

Stadt / City Berlin, Luebbenau, Hannover, Gent, Vienna, Budapest, Sopron, Osijek, Belgrade 
Land / Country Germany, Belgium, Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia 
Web www.charon.fi
Datum / Date24 Feb - 05 Mar 2006 

The story you’re about to read is true and innocent. It was told by renowned drumstick-wrecker Antti and recorded by manager-kind-of-dude Topi. And it has been told they were sober all night long.

Alte Feuerwache Club, Berlin, GERMANY

The Start

After couple of winter days in the tour bus (and on a ferry in the midst of Baltic Sea, too) the first gig was about to commence. ”Shows for the Sinners”-tour landed to Germany with some tension in the air. We had a warm welcome from the Berlin crowd. Considering the excited cries and number of fists beating the air there were some skilled Finnish players on the stage (self praise intended). A very good start for the tour with a great German audience. This promised a lot for the future but much less was to come…

A stereotypical Finnish vodka-tourist somewhere on the road. Concealed identity!

Kulturhof Luebbenau, GERMANY

The Bottom Touch

The second venue was only 100 kilometres away, so we had some time to shop around Berlin in the early morning. After intense teenage-girl-like-shopping we headed towards Lubbanau. During the next hour the Internet connection in the tour bus failed totally. We had to dig up a traditional paper map. What a pain! Finally we found the venue in the middle of silent countryside. The first impression was really confusing. Backline of the venue did not exactly meet our requirements. It was perhaps the darkest moment of the tour since Teemu tasted bad Estonian beer on the Ferry. Because of the inadequate sound equipment we had to give up our backing tapes and build a new set. Considering the circumstance the gig was OK - but nothing to tell my mother back home.

Faust, Hannover, GERMANY

The Machine

The trip to Hanover was coloured by the Olympic ice hockey final match between Finland and Sweden. Despite the dreadful end result the gig was a neverending upward spiral. And this time the sound machines roared like the beasts of hell. Or at least to suffice the needs of our experienced but demanding sound crew who did their best for the pleasure of the Hanoverian audience. The audience was thoroughly great – what more can we say than thank you! The band was on fire and encores crowned the last German gig. The trip to Belgium started in deep intoxication because of generous Hanoverian backstage offering. Work hard - play hard, as they say.

Frontline, Gent, BELGIUM

The Finnish Sisu

It was time to conquer Belgium. Our freshman guitarist had caught some sort of stomach sickness on the way, so the gig was about to be very painful at least for Lauri. Luckily the next day was planned for travelling. It couldn’t be better time to take some time off stage. We soon realised that the Belgian promoter had not done much for us. The audience was small in numbers though great in faith. Lauri’s condition got worse during the gig and the Belgian audience got to witness a vomiting guitar player. However, as a rock hard professional Lauri played the gig to the sore end. If the vomit on the backstage was not enough, the main fuse of the venue blew at the end of the gig deepening the painful atmosphere. We decided to leave encores and start our 1200-kilometre journey to Austria as soon as possible

Monastery, Vienna, AUSTRIA

A day off in Vienna. The city is almost as fresh as these great but ignorant Finnish musicians enjoying some cheap import beer instead of Urbock 23. Left-to-right: Lauri (guitar), Antti (drums) and J-P (vocals).

The Middle

It was time for the longest transition on this tour: 24 long hours in the night liner watching films and sleeping. Little by little our heroic guitarist got better and two days of water diet were history. The next morning we arrived to sunny Vienna and some of us headed to see the beautiful city and tourist sights. In the early evening we headed down to Monastery. A very nice place to play a gig indeed but due to the enormous amount of stairs our road crew was exhausted to death. Despite the overdose of stairs the gig was energetic and enjoyable. This was the last gig of three where Das Scheit warmed our audience. In farewell feelings we threw a small-scale after-show-party. However, we had to be in Hungary in the morning so it was time to hit the road before the party really got started.

MetalMania Festival, Budapest, HUNGARY

The Metalfest

We arrived in the early morning to the Metalfest-arena just to notice that because of the festival-nature of the event the setting was absolutely the highest quality in this tour. Our show time was in the afternoon, so we had to cut our set list down to 45 minutes. There were a lot of crowd and the shorter afternoon-set was a real homerun! We even had time to check the other acts after our splendid performance. Once we had accomplished our duties in the signing session we headed to the hotel and left the festival parties behind. For some strange reason the entire crew had caught hours of sleep debt and there was only one cure for it – a long night sleep in a decent hotel bed.

Hangar Music Garden, Sopron, HUNGARY

The entire Shows for The Sinners - bunch posing on the front of luxurious nightliner in Sopron, Hungary. From left to right: Antti (drums) Teemu (bass), Busdriver, Pasi (guitar), J-P (vocals), Adam (local guide), Lauri (guitar), Japa (lights), Kakke (sound) and Jani (roadie).

The Working Class Party

Once again we started our day in a spirit of travelling. This time the target was the city of Sopron. Moreover, we started this day in a spirit of partying – it was Pasi’s birthday. Some partying was to be done in the honour of our beloved guitarist. The audience was a good many in numbers and we did succeed to warm them up. At some point they even got pretty excited. News hotline: Wild gothic party in Sopron! During the encore we caked our birthday hero. Following the encores the road crew helped us to do a quick exit to the hotel.

Club Bastion, Osijek, CROATIA

The Second Last

When crossing the border to Croatia, we were attacked by a group of men in white space suits. False alarm - they just wanted to disinfect the tyres of our bus because of the bird flu. The club was really in an old bastion as the name tells. Finally we got to know what jail is like! After the sound check we did a short tour in beautiful Osijek. When we returned to the bastion the great number of blue-and-white flags and Finnish appreciation amazed us. People were really friendly and gave us a very warm welcome. Some guys in the crowd were familiar with the notorious Finnish ski jumper Matti Nykänen. Very funny indeed. Well, at least they knew something of Finland though Matti is perhaps not the prime asset of Finland compared with J-P in the international markets… The sound equipment lacked the blast but the gig was just OK considering the jail-like circumstances.

Dom Omladine, Belgrade, SERBIA

This is the end, sinner friend, my only friend, the end. Charon bows to the spectators in Belgrade. From left to right: Lauri (guitar), Antti (drums), Teemu (bass), J-P (vocals) and Pasi (guitar).

The Grande Finale

We were approaching the end of the tour. The alarm bells rang early in the morning to get the bunch out to the city to shop souvenirs for the families back home. After a quick promenade our trusty bus driver turned the wheels towards Serbia. However, our navigator was asleep and we did some zigzag before finding the route via Nova Sad to Belgrade. Dom Omladine was a great venue to play and the atmosphere was about to kick the roof off. Even our sound guy Kakke sang the last song with the crowd behind the mixing booth. The Serbian audience was absolutely the best audience in Charon’s gig history. The tour couldn’t have a better ending. We played in absolute excitement and the audience was amazing! After the gig the party continued at the hotel although the thought of the 3500-kilometre ride home was creeping behind our heads. But that’s another story.

Now it’s time to close the book for this tour. The sequel will be written in the autumn. Follow http://www.charon.fi for tour information.

The Shows for The Sinners crew


J-P Leppäluoto
A. Karihtala
L. Tuohimaa
P. Sipilä
T. Hautamäki


K. ” Kakke” Vähäkuopus
J. ” Japa ” Roukala
J. ” Jani ” Jokela
R. ” Bus driver ” Siuvatti
M. ” Tour manager / Merchandise ” Reif

Antti Karihtala & Topi Hanhela (Charon), translation: Melanie Haack

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