Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Tour - Beartrap/Witch Cult - Europe

Beartrap and Witch Cult will be the next bands to describe the heaven and hell of touring as they are set to travel to every corner of Europe...be kind to them and you'll get mentioned!!

02/24 London, UK @ Power Lunches
02/25 Bristol, UK @ The Gryphon
02/26 Truro, UK @ Live Bar
02/27 Southampton, UK @ The Dorchester

02/28 Reims, FR @ Appart Cafe
02/29 Rennes, FR @ TBA
03/01 Toulouse, FR @ L’emergence Squat
03/02 Zarzuta, ES @ Gaztetxe Squat

03/03 Leon, ES @ Shark Bar
03/04 Lisbon, PT @ Faculdade De Letras
03/05 Madrid, ES @ La Faena 2
03/06 Barcelona, ES @ Distrito Vi Squat
03/07 Marseille, FR @ O Bundys Pub

03/08 Basel, CH @ Hirscheneck
03/09 Lugano, CH @ Csoa 2 Molino
03/10 Milan, IT @ Villa Vegan
03/11 Rome, IT @ Bencivanga Squat
03/12 Padova, IT @ Seven Live

03/13 Ljubljana,Slovenia @ Tovarna Rog Squat
03/14 Zagreb, HR @ Attack Club
03/15 Sarajevo, BA @ Kriterion
03/16 Skopje,Macedonia @ La Kana

03/17 Voloz, GR @ Riot Squat
03/18 Athens, GR @ Kallidromiou 94

03/19 Thessaloniki, GR @ Biologica Squat
03/20 Komotini, GR @ University
03/21 Istanbul, TR @ Peyote

03/22 Plovdiv, BG @ Club Puzzle
03/23 Sibiu, RO @ Bohemian Flow bar and pub
03/24 Timisoara, RO @ Atelier Diy

03/25 Debrecen, HU @ Hno3
03/26 Trencin, SK @ Klub Luc

03/27 Innsbruck, AT @ Cafe Decentral
03/28 Bratislava, SK @ Intergalakticka Obluda
03/29 Prague, CZ @ Klubovna Povalec
03/30 Vysoke Myto, CZ @ Mikado

03/31 Wroclaw, PL @ Crk
04/01 Warsaw, PL @ Elba Squat
04/02 Gdansk, PL @ Infinium Club

04/03 Berlin, DE @ Koma F
04/04 Rostock, DE @ TBA

04/05 Malmo,SE @ TBA
04/06 Stockholm, SE @ Skarpnacks Kulthurhus
04/07 Gotenburg,SE @ Aktivitetshuset Harden
04/08 Aalborg, DK @ TBA

04/09 Munster, DE @ Baracke
04/10 Gottingen, DE @ Juzl
04/11 Nijmegen, NL @ De Onderbroek
04/12 Edinhoven, NL @ Cafe Alloys
04/13 Antwerp, BE @ Envers Swa

04/14 Kent, UK @ Platform 5
04/15 Leeds, UK @ Fox & Newt
04/16 Dublin, IE @ Thomas House
04/17 Galway, IE @ Sally Longs
04/18 Belfast, IE @ Warzone Centre

04/19 Glasgow, UK @ 13 Note
04/20 Aberdeen, UK @ Cellar 35
04/21 Edinburgh, UK @ Banshee
04/22 Manchester, UK @ Gulliver's

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Portugal - No Borders

"No Borders is a DIY Punk/Hardcore booking agency from Portugal situated in Lisbon. Our goal is to contribute to the growth of a real Hc/Punk movement, keepin' it underground where it belongs!!!

We have already helped various bands from all over the world. If you want to play in Portugal, email us and we will be glad to try to fix something for you. When setting up a show we always provide great vegan food, a nice place to sleep, a cool audience, new friends, lots of fun and of course money for the tour!

There's no defined or pre-established border between where No Borders ends or where it starts. We do not have a fixed "staff" or whatsoever, we're being helped all the time by a large amount of talented friends (other bookers, cooks, designers, photographers, and other helpful individuals). Anyone with a DIY spirit and strong convictions could give us a hand anytime, any show. If you think you can support us with promotion, food, a bed, knowledge, or whatever you think you could provide us, please don't abstain from sending us an e-mail. We're all about mutual aid.

No Borders is anyone who feels like doing stuff, and realises the real potential of our lives. No Borders is anyone who doesn't want to depend on greedy promoters and refuses to give them a single coin. No Borders is anyone who can't wait to grab life with one's own hands and get stuff done. No Borders is anyone who thinks that we should take back the music from the big fat corporations, while we crush the whole industry into pieces. We're doing it ourselves, and we're doing it right now.

We believe there's something much greater behind Punk/Hardcore music and we want to multiply it by infinity."


Saturday, 11 February 2012

Belarus 3

Belarus 2

"The independent DIY punk-scene appeared in Belarus at the ending of the 90s. First of all it started up in two Belarusian cities: Grodno and Minsk. Grodno is a city that's located near the Polish border and all independent information had come from there. The first punk-rock band that became the generator of all the anarchist ideas was Deviation. By the way, this band still exists. Minsk is the capital of Belarus, therefore independent punk-rock appeared there quickly too, mostly with the help of a band called Hate to State; the bassist from this band was also busy with No Manipulation distro and published Don't Panic fanzine. And it's not surprising that these things helped to develop and extend new DIY ideas in the country.

In the beginning of the 00s a set of different punk-hardcore bands appeared. But in almost every case, these were bands which existed for a really short time, played just 1-2 gigs and then broke up in less than a year. Sometimes they made recordings. There were many of them, but now almost everyone has broken up.

From the outset of the DIY scene development there were attempts at squatting. Sometimes guys just rented a flat for a really miserable price and lived there. One of the most famous places, which was evicted few years ago, is a squat called Masterskaya, which was active for a few months in 2008.

(eng.subs) Masterskaja / Workshop - The Film (2009) from Anti Copyright on Vimeo.

Today we don't have as many bands as for example on the period of 2003-2008. In that time bands were created even in the small towns. But some bands still exist, we have gigs and it’s excellent! Probably, now small towns have many bands too, but they're absolutely underground and we cannot hear anything about them. So, here is the list of the most active bands at the moment with short descriptions:

Deviation (Grodno) – formed in 1995. As we wrote, one of the first bands. They are playing punk rock sometimes mixed with folk elements. They have a clear anarchist position and really politicised lyrics. 4 full albums were recorded.

Partiya (Minsk) – was formed in 2000 and is also one of the oldest bands of the Belarusian scene. They started to play middle tempo punk rock, but gradually sped up and began to play harder. As a result, they are playing powerful and fast crust punk. The band have played lots of gigs in Belorussia, during 2007-2010 made 5 tours for Europe, and also gave concerts in neighbouring countries. For the more detailed information, discography and for the downloading of records you should check their myspace or Primitive Distro. Their split CD with Agathocles Crust’N’Grind Protest! is available now...info here.

Destroyers (Minsk) – was formed in 2003 and is playing punk-hardcore. It’s one of the UK82 style bands, that are still playing. The band has 3 good albums. Now they are recording a new album. And they visited near and distant foreign countries several times.

Bagna (Grodno) – the band appeared in 2005 after the legendary Grodno band Contra La Contra's breaking up. They are playing melodic d-beat/crust punk with nice politized lyrics. It’s one of the best bands in Belarus at the moment. They have 2 splits (split CD w/I Know from Minsk and split 7” EP w/Skarpetter from Denmark) + unreleased tracks. They visited Europe with tours too.

I Know (Minsk) – the band appeared in 2005 and plays melodic crust-punk with anarcho-lyrics. Several times they visited Europe with tours and they’re known enough there. Discography: split CD w/Bagna, split CD w/Stagnation is Death from Poland, and also 10” and 7”. Now they’re preparing to release a split CD w/ E123 from Russia.

Brud Krou (Minsk) – another band from the capital city. They’re playing something similar to crust-hardcore with elements of the Swedish old-school hardcore. Also, as many Belarusian bands of this genre, they have very politicised lyrics. They have one demo and split 7” w/Zorka from Russia. At the moment the group is not playing...

I Hope You Die (Grodno) – the band was formed in 2006, and is playing melodic hardcore/crust. They recorded two demos and one EP. It's said that band has broken up, but it’s not a fact. The band is doing well, playing music and lyrics of good quality.

All Day Night (Minsk) – young enough, but already quite famous band, they were the first, who started playing neo-crust/dark hardcore here. Excellent sound and excellent lyrics. They recorded their debut album and visited Russia with a mini-tour. Now they’re very active, often have gigs, and I hope that in future they’ll get success.

Kawakami Nightmare (Gomel/Kiev, Ukraine) – the band with the members from different cities. They’re playing noise and filthy d-beat with influence of Disclose. Young enough band, have played some gigs and have recorded one demo and split CD w/Disgod from Indonesia.

Disharmonia (Gomel) – the first Belarusian band, which started to play d-beat/punk here. Young band, but they have perspective. They have recorded one album.

Too Much Brains (Minsk) – another young band (2009), which play punk-hardcore. Sometimes they play gigs. Have recorded a split with the next band:

Damages (from Minsk too) – at the moment they’re in the process of recording songs for split with Ukrainian band Ne Zlamaty!

Vsio Vranyo (Mogilev) – was formed by some ex-members of Sin Puesto – the first D.I.Y. punk-hardcore band in Mogilev. They’re playing crust/hardcore with two male vocalists.

Absurd (from the Belorussian hinterland) – they've been in existence from 2004 and play punk-rock. They have some recordings and some splits.

Monday Suicide (Grodno) – was formed at the end of 2010. They have one 5-song demo of cool garage punk-rock.

Other band you read about on their myspace accounts:

Pull Out An Eye (Minsk)

Face Forward (Minsk)

Sorta (Gomel)

These are not all bands which are playing at the moment. Only those bands that we could remember. Many bands (as stated above) sometimes have formed, sometimes have broken up. We can’t keep track of all events here!

At his moment the more or less active distros/labels (most of sites in Russian):

Primitive distro | label:

Crimechords distro | label:

Road to Freedom distro | label:

Revive! distro | label:

Evil Punk Records distro | label:

Podpol Revolt distro | label:

Some zines can be viewed at Primitive.

Thank for your attention! If you have some questions, propositions or just desire to communicate – write to us.

Eugenio (squatyourself@gmail.com)
Mysh (okpunkrock@gmail.com | www.primitive-distro.blogspot.com)

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Tour - SS20 in China

SS20 website
SS20 facebook

"We left Riesa on Friday at 9 a.m. and arrived at Shanghai 20 hours later. There we met Jing – also called Anita. Shortly after we headed for Nanjing by train - the “Superfast-Train” at a speed of 300 km/h! Later we found out about a fatal crash on this route that killed a lot of people. Hotel check-in: the shower has a door, but the toilet doesn’t. Maik can watch Ronny while he's sitting on the throne. We left for the 61Club. Some energy resources remained, but couldn't be activated after 30 sleepless hours.

Midnight is over and after the “evening” meal it's time to go to bed – time for a 9-hour-sleep. The train ride to Hefei is next. While waiting for the bus we watch barfing construction workers and pregnant women at the bus stop across the street. Still nebulous, if they all stopped at the same motorway restaurant or if the driver didn't know how to use the brake... After the arrival: soundcheck then a short walk through the city district. Tonight's “support band” is the movie “Noise and Resistance”. We played a great SS20 show and got very good feedback. After the concert we had a street snack and went to the next punk club, where they played party games with physical contact and we taught the bar crew a cocktail lesson.

Well rested we took a walk around the block. Our 19 hour drive by train started at 9 p.m., so we visited the museum of local history. Here we got tons of information about Anhui Province in fast-forward and got to know, what remains hidden for a touring band. We even were asked by the Chinese state-run television to present the intro for the weekly culture show. In costumes!
After we snatched our beds in close combat with the other passengers we visited the train restaurant. The restaurant closed at 10 p.m. but after the head of the bar went to bed the bar re-opened for us.

Nothing special was going on when we arrived in Shenzhen. It felt like 30°C in the shadows and we immediately put on our bermudas. After a very kind welcome at the club we did a 1 and ½ hour soundcheck. Then a guy in a 4 SIVIT-Shirt entered the room – it's Vincent from Guangzhou, who had welcomed the SIVITS four years ago. A big Hello and a lot of hugs. Later a nice moshpit in front of the stage. Tonight we stay at Chloe's place, a good friend with excellent connections to Leipzig.

We have to get up at 7 a.m, don't ask me why... But we slept very well, except for the the times we were hunting for mosquitos. We enjoy our two hour breakfast and hit the road for Hong Kong. At the border we met our buddy from Fanzui Xiangfa, Mai Dian from Wuhan. He wants to attend a discussion about autonomous open spaces. After we found the venue, we join the hustle and bustle of the city. But soon we're pissed off, so we have a little dinner and visit the Lady's Market. We didn’t see any more women than anywhere else, there were no women’s clothes and no forbidden fruit. We haven't a clue, why the market is named that. Back in the club we should decide if we want a live recording of our set. Who would say NO?! The space in front of the stage isn't filled, but the few people who are there, give their best. After the show we head back to Chloe's place in Shenzhen.

Because of traffic jam we arrived in Guangzhou quite late. Chloe accompanies us with her video camera. A Chinese woman who is even taller than Rohnny welcomes us. The audience is well-behaved: everyone sits on his/her table. Jazz-Club-Feeling. After the first third Rico wrecks his bass drum. The sound guy holds a lesson about “how to use a drum pedal”. Rico nods politely. Tonight's audience is very international with a big Armenian faction. Later we get a live recording of our last year's show. And there's a Jaegermeister-Promo. The local HC-guys along with Maik and Rohnny do their best in drinking to earn the Jaegermeister gear. Hotel-Check-In at midnight. At 2 a.m. Rico meets Maik and Rohnny at the club – Rico is in search of his camera battery and Rohnny and Maik are in search of more beers. So we found a place to have our beer and talked about the good old days. After almost no sleep we actually wanted to have a snack in a Muslim snack bar but a mouse ran over Anita's feet so we tried the next snack bar. There we had pulverized noodles, that smelled like pelleted fish food. Well: just a short stop.

It took us 4 hours by bus to get to Hezhou. We deposited our instruments and merch at the club. In the hotel Rohnny teaches Maik and Anita a lesson in Knack (a simple game of cards). Anita always loses the game, but she is happy nevertheless. Rohnny goes shopping while the rest of us do soundcheck. We reminisce about the incredible show last year. This year there aren't that many people – but it's awesome again. Almost everybody wants to go to bed early. The unwilling rest are put in a taxi...

The alarm clock rings at 6 a.m. A catlick in the tiny bathroom and then to the train station. The next 8 hours we sit on hard-seats in the train. Only one who has had a hard-seat experience, can understand what that means... In Germany even a DHL parcel travels more comfortably. At 4.30 p.m. we arrive in Nanning, near to the Vietnamese border. On Maik's request we don't go by taxi but by Tuk-Tuk-Motorcycle. Great! Check-In, coffee, preparation for the show. The venue is located in a kind of artsy part of town. Rico will play in a glass box in the corner behind the speakers. Later it turns out to be a hothouse and a torture chamber of sound. At least there's a support band tonight, but with a too short a set. The club is filled well, a good show and an awesome crowd. Later we meet the booking guys in a noisy open air restaurant. It's incredibly loud – we even have to shout at our neighbors to understand each other. The booking guys demands German drinking games. But such games aren't our cup of tea, so we just know one: “quarter in the glass”. For the Chinese there is no holding. Fortunately the beer's quite light. In return they want to teach us something new. Rohnny is the one who gets taught. The real gameplay remains unclear for us, but it's a paper-scissor-rock-kinda game. Rohnny wins nevertheless and his opponent has to puke.

We get up early again. Freshly showered and with clean clothes we team up with the booking guys. Even Rohnny's last night paper-rock-scissor-sparrings partner made it. Pat on our back for the great show again. We are very pleased and cheerfully we start the day. Fivefold security check at the train station. Yesterday we thought there was no lower class than the Hardseat, but this was a mistake. But we survive the ride – it's just a five hour journey. In Guilin we're picked up by Liu Liu, the singer of Fanzui Xiangfa. Three beautiful days to come. After arriving at Liu Liu's place he cooks for us – delicious! Afterwards we went for a stroll through town and prepared for the soundcheck. Today no glass box, but In-Ear-Monitoring. Playing without any monitoring at all is better than this in-ear-stuff! A Postpunk band and our host's local Punkrock band are also playing tonight. We play a solid set, but we are bone-weary and can feel the exhaustion of the last days, so we need some little pauses between the songs. After the concert we pack our gear quickly and get prepared for Anita's birthday. At midnight Anita gets a birthday cake with candles and a little choir who sings a beautiful birthday tune. Most of us want to go to bed quite early. But Rico and Anita prefer some birthday drinks at the bar.

Today no alarm clock. At noon we 're heading for Yangshou, Asia's nature and climbing paradise. We'll play a show in the local reggae bar at short notice. But before playing: sightseeing and a raft ride. Not a moment too soon it stops raining when we enter the raft. The weather god loves us. We take a walk on the tourist promenade and go shopping. In the club we check the backline. There is a children's drum for rico and a bass combo for Madelaine, which is kept together by a fake leather cover. Thanks to Liu Liu, because of his connections the drum is replaced with a better one. The bar is the stage at the same time. On the owner's request we play just a short set. Obviously she tries to spare the neighbor's nerves. We have some technical difficulties, but nevertheless we manage to please the crowd and even to reach the people sitting outside. A big after show party follows. We dance, the light beer streams down, the real winner is a black ale with cacao- and coffee flavor. In the morning we head back to the hotel...

2011/11/08 and 09
We woke up with headache and stomach ache and drove back to Guilin. After a hot noodle snack we spent a nineteen hour journey in the train to Kunming, where we are welcomed by our last year's tour fairy May. We stay at Pinki's place. In a easy-going atmosphere Pinki's mom serves noodles with coffee and tea. But we got the impression that we'll spend the night in a ice palace, because the temperature in the flat was at least 5 degrees colder then outside. And it was unseasonably chilly in Kunming anyway. In the afternoon we strolled to the green lake and tried to play Battleships with two boats. Because of the lacking success, Rico tried to chain the rival boats to the parapet. After the battle we inspect the club: quite big venue, accessible through a noodle restaurant with a French pizza gourmet chef. The crowd wants to dance and demands an encore and nudity. We sell one vinyl 12 inch! That's beyond all expectations. The after-show party gets excessive. Our Chinese companions, May, Anita and Pinki raise the bar!

The Chinese Ladies have just a limited radius of action. Maybe last night was a bit too excessive. Fortunately Pinki's mother is fit as a fiddle and serves a delicious breakfast. With a heavy heart we say good-bye to May, Pinki and her Mom and take our seats in the train to Chonqing. Twenty hours later we check in our hotel, it's just a 2 minute walk away from the club. We have a lot of time, so we visit the “revolutionary prison hill”, where we got a lesson in Chinese propaganda about the heroic communist battles against the evil henchmen of the Kuomintang. After visiting a former detention camp we got enough and decide to take a look at the historic city center. Nevin of FANZUI XIANGFA joined us for the next 2 days – he just flew in from Beijing. The historic city is overcrowded but cute. The temperature is around 20°C and it's nice to try a lot of local treats in the sunshine. Even Rohnny himself becomes a tourist attraction. He allows gawkers to touch his dreadlocks for 20 chinese bucks. Over 250 people showed up tonight, 70% girls – a wild and sweaty moshpit. A lot of students of German language in the audience, who want to improve there language skills after the show. We are patient and polite and repeat if necessary, that we don't give a shit about Germany. Later we we have a night snack, that almost made our bellies burst.

We pack our gear and Rico notices that his drum pedal is missing. Nevin offers to search the club again for the pedal. Later he will join us in Chengdu., where we are welcomed by Ruby, Anita's best friend. One part of the band remembers her, the other part has some gaps in their memory because of too many drinks last year in D22. When we arrive at the club “Little Bar” Rico and the barkeeper realize that they know each other. They share common memories of a long night after the THE 4 SIVITS-show four years ago. We have our dinner in the Hotpot restaurant. In view of a one liter bottle of chilli emptied into the pot we break out in a cold sweat. The first bite numbs lips and tongue and the body gets used to the hot meal very slowly. But we stay brave and eat up everything. Tonight we share the stage with a 90’s-screamo-styled band. The singer brought his own podium. Good show! Rohnny scares the well-behaved sitting couples and gives a bloody nose to ruby's boyfriend in the pogo pit. Maik has some technical difficulties with the amp. Till sunrise we have a lot of fun and drinks in a local beer tavern.

Today's Sunday and we have a day-off in Chengdu. The concert in Miangyang has been canceled. Madelaine's order of the day: “Panda watching!” Near Chengdu there is a huge panda area for panda care, panda breeding and for panda watching. Maik and Rico realize that they already know this panda zoo. We learned that pandas have a very important motto in life: “ eat and sleep”. It's quite bizarre that the Chinese have such a lazy bum for their national animal. Back in the city Anita and Ruby started cooking and Ruby's boyfriend Wen Qiang told us that he's a BMX pro, who rides for Nike. He should take part in a Asia BMX Contest, but the Chinese state only wanted to admit that, when he wears the China jersey. But he wasn't up for that. On his request we taught him the german phrase “you are beautiful” but Ruby only replied: “you asshole!” Mmmhhh.... We suggested that he keep on communicating in Chinese.

The train from Chengdu to Xi'an arrived at 6 o'clock in the morning. The train station's forecourt is crowded with waiting and arriving people, with map sellers and Tuk-Tuks. We saw the town wall and knew, that we were in the old capitol of 13 dynasties. Xi'an is Anita's hometown. Her father organized a little bus we can use for the whole day. We visit the famous Terracotta army and the oldest temple. In the muslim influenced old town we passed maybe a thousand souvenir stands and snack or bakery stalls of the same amount. The hotel is just around the corner from the club. The first band consists of some kids who seem to like the sound of Killswitch Engage. We say Hello to some friends and we do our very best on stage. So the people in front of the stage do too.
Next day: a big feast with Anita's parents. They present the whole spectrum of local cuisine. Circa 20 different specialties are served bit by bit. After the first half we already have had enough and have to unbutton our trousers. Later we board our train to Wuhan. The Chinese taught us again that the order in the queue doesn't equate to the boarding order... After the lights were dimmed in the sleeping car and the beer supplies are used up we visit the “Mitropa” (a.k.a. restaurant car). Time seems to have stood still here. Crystal lampshades hang lopsided, seem to be aluminum coated and are abused as ash trays. Our advantage, that we don't eat here and just drink our last “Papst Blues Ribbons” cans.

Arrival in Wuhan we go by bus to Wane's apartment. But there's big disaster: a bag gets lost in the overcrowded bus right in the moment, when Wane waved to us from the bus stop. Furthermore Rico gets news that his van got involved in a car accident back home. Not a good day, for anybody. We try to do the best in this situation. At least it's 20°C and the sun is shining. Madelaine stays in bed, because her stomach is very sensitive to the scent of Chinese food. The rest of us explore the city of Wuhan. The show is in the club “Folks Hand”. We meet our buddy Wu Wei, the singer of SMZB, who delivers new shirts and tour CDs. Tonight he's the sound technician and is in despair, because he can't get Rohnny's voice loud enough. Funnily enough during the show there's no voice problem anymore. Lots of people showed up tonight, lots of friends among them. The “Folks Hand” is the club on this tour that reminds us of european Punk locations. Wu Wei organized a show in a metal bar for friday on short notice. We really looked forward to this show, because the bar's owner is the singer of Hellfire, a metal band we played with in Wuhan last year and a band we really had a lot of fun with.

Today we sleep in and relax. Everybody strolls around to get some souvenirs for loved ones back home. Late afternoon: we enter the Hellfire club. For the show more than 20 people showed up, not bad for a only 24 hour promotion, especially as the club is located in a “French” shopping mall and only opens for shows. The Hellfire guys start with make-up and coated in metal and leather. We are deafeningly loud, but the sound is good. The crowd is headbanging and the “french fries fork” is shown almost constantly.

Today there is no time to sleep in. We feel quite exhausted and get to the train station. We are weighed down with instruments, merchandise, souvenirs and some personal belongings. In Zhenghzhou we are welcomed by Sha, who already was in charge of our well-being last year. The club changed its address and shares the premises with a book store. Good idea. The book store is well equipped and even has a little punk section. We found “Please Kill Me” and Henry Rollin's “Get In The Van” in Chinese! Anita told us, that a lot of critical chinese literature is also available. Unfortunately no local band tonight. Good show, after it an excessive photo and signing session follows. Later we hang around at the club, because our train doesn't leave until half past 1 a.m. We are indignant about some Chinese who occupied our beds in the sleeping car. We complain without success. Our tickets were valid for the night before – big mistake by the ticket seller. With Anita's help we get a hard seat at least and don't have to leave the train. The train conductor doesn't like our suggestion to take a seat in the restaurant car. Maybe she's worried about the beer supplies. Rohnny does some business talk without any translator with unknown results.

Arriving in Beijing at 6:30 a.m., maybe the arrival we longed for most during the whole tour. We need 2 cabs to get to David in the north of the city. David's a quite successful architect with an excellent taste in music and enough space for us to sleep in his three-story home – a paradise after 5 hours on wooden benches. David's girlfriend cooked a delicious lunch and well-fed we arrive at the club called Mao. We spend the time after soundcheck spending all of our chinese bucks , greeting a lot of friends and evaluating the tour. This last show is a good ending for the tour. A good mix of band playing. First Unregenerated Blood, a Beijing Hardcore band! Then RWK – Social Distortion-style punk with the drummer from Joyside, the singer is one of the first chinese punks ever. We play a good show, but our announcements aren't that fluent anymore. After 2 weeks of touring the english vocabulary falters a bit. After the show we have our last evening meal for a long time in this line-up. Maik and Rohnny embrace our host's offer to have some drinks. At 8'o clock a.m. the sound of empty bottles herald the homeward journey. That's it. We fly home. Thanks for all the helping hands in China and at home, who made all this possible. Thank you so much! There is no sense in name dropping, but pars pro toto huge kisses for Anita, our head of tour, for Seb in Dresden, Hannes in Leipzig, Wane and Mai Dian in Wuhan, Qin in UK and Nevin and Ren in Beijing! Merci!"

US - Stockton, CA

“Stockton CA used to be a lot bigger in the hxc/punk genre with older bands. Nowadays with the new generation we have this bullshit metalcore scene. I mean with cliques and all trying to fight people from being out of town and stuff. Through all that though we have some good bands trying to bring it back and sprouting up with all types of genres.

The band that really represents our scene well I would have to say is Place Called Home because of their work with local owner and promoter Middagh Goodwin to put on some awesome shows and bring bigger bands from out of town.

We also have 51-50 - a great power violence punk band for the fans of bands like Ceremony. They just came up and are Stockton local.

We even have some great bands from surrounding towns and both are stellar at what they do…

Cutting Loose who is hardcore/punk

Indian Taker who is Screamo/Emo

For venues we have the good ol' Plea For Peace Center ran by Middagh Goodwin and really without him and what he has been doing for years Stockton wouldn't have any scene.

We have also a couple of smaller promoters who bring some good stuff like GoldenNoose Promotions. State Faults and Ruptures came down to play (most definitely should check them out ) and there’s work on booking even bigger names.

Finally we also have Cutting Teeth who books in our area.”

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Iceland 2

Iceland 1

“There's not much happening these days but the music is good. The scene has changed a lot, there are fewer bands, less people at shows, less shows and right now it's pretty much only two "collectives" that are putting things out there.

There's the PBP label/artists that are made up by a close-knit and tight group of people and then a band Muck who are quite active and like to mix things up a lot. PBP release stuff frequently and the press is always tiny but all their stuff is available on their site for free downloads.

Muck just got their first batch of their debut LP called Slaves. Check all of this stuff out because it's good and eclectic. Other than that, other bands that come into the fray are somehow connected or on friendly terms with these two entities. At that point they don't sound particularly punk or hardcore but are up for a good D.I.Y. rump.

There's no scene so to speak. I'm not sure how to pin-point it in that regard anymore because everything is in a limbo and in a different place. I guess you could by some margin call different factions/groups in this city a scene but I wouldn't be able to tell you with any certainty. It's interesting and exciting as a result.

Bands that do make a splash however and stay on the radar to a varying degree are…





Swords Of Chaos



Just Another Snake Cult


But I don't follow things closely enough to confidently assert that these bands fall under the prerequisites I just made for them. I'm sure I could be corrected on some of these points. Without a doubt I'm forgetting a couple of bands and not factoring in punk-worthy bands that don't sound very punk and hardcore but are. If you know what I mean. There are probably two reasons for this discrepancy. One: I've got a terrible memory. Two: the missing bands are probably too "underground" for me to notice them in general. Either way, no hard feelings people. Next time.

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Icelandic Hardcore

Reykjavik Grapevine

At this time there are no selected venues that the punks and the D.I.Y. scene relies on and acts as a place for people to congregate in that sense. Additionally there's no booking "agency" of sorts here, rather a few key individuals (usually members of aforementioned bands) that book shows and then it’s the people responsible for Eistnaflug festival and Resting Mind concerts that get things cooking from time to time.”