donderdag 12 juli 2012

July 11th: Aalborg, Denmark - Kristiansand, Norway


As we had to take the 10 o’clock boat, we had to get up early, also because of road construction. The tunnel under the city was under construction, causing trafficjams, but at least we knew it was coming.
The traffic was very smooth so we thought it would be ok, but then we turned the corner and there it was, we had to stop. It became very quiet in the car, you could cut the tension with a knife, and we all kept our eyes on the clock. We felt like our faith was in gods hands now and all we could do was wait. But luck was on our side, and with only 15 minutes delay we could continue, big relief!
Ofcourse we made it to the harbour of Hirtshals way to early, but better safe then sorry.
From far we could see an enourmous oilrig (booreiland) docked in the harbour for maintenance, and it turned out to be next to our boat. I’ve seen tons of those at see, esp when I was a kid and lived in a coastal town, but never one from close, and it was very impressive.



As we were going as foot passengers, we had to find the carpark, and everything was very unclear. The men went to ask, and they came back even more confused. There was no carpark for the foot passengers! They never heard of it, the guy had to make a phonecall to ask someone, and then send us to the nearest public parking. Can you imagine?!
So we had to park the car maybe 2 kilometer away, and then walk back, I’m glad we didn’t have suitcases. Maybe we were supposed to park somewhere in town and take a bus, but it was very unclear.
Arnold was already waiting at the checkin, and to kill some time we climbed on the rocks on the edge of the water to see the sea. Of course I got stuck and had to be helped off by Alessio (thanks Robert!) I hope Arnold wasn’t upstairs filming everything. 




A bus brought us to the boat, we found a good spot and when we left the harbour, we went for a walk, but as soon as we entered open sea, the waves were so big, it was impossible to walk straight! You had to grab and holdon to everything, in a way it was funny, we went in the taxfree shop and at some point we were just standing there holding ourselves to the shelves with chocolates. Arnold walked by and almost landed between the candy :-D
When we enter the harbour, I noticed strange yellow things in the water, first I thought it was garbage and was disgusted, but then I realize it was a school of jellyfish!



The harbour in Kristiansand is located right in the city, it was just passed noon, and we had all the time of the world. I felt happy that we were able to walk around to see abit of the town and take our time for coffee and lunch!
Arnold went to his hotel, and we walked around. I bought a very nice shoulder bag, as I was dragging a plastic supermarket bag with me (as I thought it wouldn’t be convenient to bring my backpack) and looked like a baglady. (also wearing my rainboots) Good idea! Felt much better!
Kristiansand isn’t very big, at least the centre isn’t, but very cute; nice white wooden houses, and a fresh seawind, made it feel very scandinavic :-)  






Also it was summersale, yeeha! Poor men! There were just too many cute and interesting shops. They sure know cute in Scandinavia! For the only time that day, I wish we had our car with us :-)
We also looked for a place to eat, but everything was so expensive! Those Norwegians make a whole lot more money than we poor western Europeans do!
All of a sudden, we saw a guy waving cheerfully at us… we looked again and it was Dave!!
He was eating a sandwich and we went over to say hi. 
We had a nice chat with him, and we explained how expensive Norway is for us (maybe for him too) Then he had to leave for soundcheck, and we went to the MacDonalds! It was only the fist time this tour, and we couldn’t find anything else. The Mac was very expensive too, but Alessio got a upgrade and got everything double for a few crones, so he shared with me. Aww thanks! They also gave us 4 glasses for free, and now we were stuck with them. We couldn’t take them to the festival.




We decided to bring them to Arnolds hotel, and Anne and I went to get stamps. When we got out the men were outside again too, and Robert yelled “look at the van!”
I looked at the van with blinded windows that was making a U turn, and saw Bob Fogerty :-D I waved at him and he waved back. I hope he doesn’t think we’re stalking them, but then he wouldn’t probably wave back.
We still had a lot of time left so I dragged the others in the supercute bakery across the street. We got a coffee and a pie, relaxed a bit, it was such a nice place, nice staff too.
This just felt like it should be on tour, seeing nice local things and taking it easy. Felt very happy sitting there with my dear friends.


More sightseeing, and then we slowly walked towards the festival, that was taking place on an island directly out of the city centre. That was also the reason we left the car in Denmark, everything was in walking distance.
At the ticketoffice, Anne and I took a look at the sandsculptures and the men tried to sell the 3 tickets Jeffreys family handed us (they cancelled last minute) The woman said it was ok to sell them there, so they hung around to wait, and sent us to the entrance to “check out the situation” 





I can do that too!




The doors weren’t open yet, and there were maybe 30 people in front of us, and we got a bit nervous, even though we knew better.
When the doors opened, we noticed they were patting down everyone that went inside! We thought that was a bit over the edge first, and still had a small bottle of Baileys in my pocket, so I thought I would be clever to put it in my rainboot. Bootlegging! But getting closer I noticed that they were also patting in the boots, so I took it out again and just put it in my purse.
Always a smart way to try to get something in a concert: open another bag voluntarily :-D I opened my bag with lunch, the new bag with lots of clutter, volunteered to throw the bottle away, she pat me down and I was in. (she also kept asking in Norwegian “only food?”)



Yeah theres a certain group of words that we know very well in several Scandinavian languages: like food, drinks, (not) allowed, water with(out) gas, bathroom, bar, security, (I wrote securtity first) earplugs, ticket, entrance, doors open at, etc etc :-D
It was quite a climb to reach the festival field, and there were 4 persons standing at the front row, and one of them was Arnold. We joined them, and I called Robert to tell that there was a mob of 6 fans in front, and he said he was just coming our way.
It was a nice field, went up in the back a bit, we looked around and sat down in front of the stage after I bought the dreaded drinkingtickets: 40 CRONES for a water!!! That’s 5,50 euro!! Twice as much as anywhere else! And just as expensive as the soda’s. I think the beer was 75 crones :-S (in Denmark it was 40, and I thought that was enough already)
I decided to get over it quick, bought also some “lakris”, Scandinavian candy that comes in long (maybe 40cm) soft sticks, in all kind of flavours.
Robert and Alessio arrived, and they sold all the tickets! Like the ones in Rättvik, we always sell extra tickets face value, sometimes even without the extra fees. Just before they sold them, a woman even put them on her facebook for them!!! Isn’t that the best?!
This festival was the coolest so far. The weather was good, the atmosphere relaxed.
Robert went for a snack, and came back with a gigantic pizzabox!! We nearly hit the floor laughing, he said he asked the woman “pizza please” and she never asked him “one part or the whole thing,” and gave him the whole thing.


He asked me “I payed 220, is that much in euro’s?” I said “I’ll tell you when you’re finished” :-D as its nearly 30 euro!!
All of a sudden a guy on a bike drove to us and it was one the crew coming to say “hi” hahaha! The truckdrivers have a bike in their truck! Unfortunately the security chased him away. (not that there were many people)


I don’t want to share a lot about this; but I also had a good conversation with someone about what happened in Aalborg, and I do wanna share that made me feel a lot better. Things are not always what they seem I guess. And even if they are…. I don’t wanna make it too complicated, but lets say it just was a good conversation.
There were 3 bands before John, and they were all good!
The first one was sort of Coldplay-ish (if you have to give it a label) they were softrock-ish but not boring. I felt bad for them that there was almost no one there.
Second one was a singer backed up by a standup bass player and some kind of Farfisa organ, Daniel Nordgren. He was sitting behind a unusual drumkit playing guitar! (unusual as he used his feet for everything)
They directly got our attention, and got Anne and me dancing the whole concert. I cant describe their music, maybe minimalistic roots? Country? They didn’t really fit in a labelled box!
Some songs the organ player left, one time he came back smashing a big cymbal.



And he had a very strong good voice!
(we’re listening to one of their cd’s now, extremely good, what a discovery!)
When they were finished, they said they would sell cd’s “over there” so we grabbed our money and went to the corner of the stage/fence, to stand in line to buy one. We bought them both, Robert first wanted the elpee, but we weren’t sure how it would survive the festival.
We had a funny conversation with them, something like this:
Us: “oh wow, you guys were REALLY great!! Fantastic! Do you ever play outside Norway?”
Them: “well, we’re from Sweden”
Us: “oh how cool! And do you ever play outside Scandinavia?”
Them: “yeah, but mostly only in Holland and Belgium”
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!
They just came back from a tour!!
This is really silly, but on the other hand, it would be really nice to see them again.
The 3rd band was called “Raga Rockers” and for a second it looked like it was the typical, pre-John, national drinking music with drunk fans band again, but it wasn’t. There were only maybe 5 diehards in front of the stage, and they took some distance to jump around and dance.
If you want to put a label on it, the band had some Ramones influences, they were punk-ish rock, and not bad at all! I would like them in other circumstances! Well I already liked them, lets say I really wouldn’t mind if they had opened for john the whole tour. They might not be doing something new or special, they were just good old fashioned punk/rock and I liked it.
When they were finished, there was still only the frontrow (with open gaps) and loooots of empty space behind us. We wondered where that was about.
We saw some familiar faces, and a girl in a wheelchair that wanted to stand between us. She and her friend were already drunk (or on their way) still friendly, but maybe not the best idea to stand on the front row of a rockconcert. We tried to talked them out of it, but in the end we moved to the left a bit, the others to the right, and they joined us. The girls “walking sticks” (sorrrrry, cant think of the word right now) where behind them on the floor and every now and then someone nearly felt over them.

Normally I don’t spend much words on the following, but it was just funny in a way. The securities caught our eye cos they were trying to hang a big drape covering the artist entrance. Everyone was looking at them. First you were still able to see something and the guy stood in front of it, but then they managed to cover everything. Everyone in the front rows were looking at what they were doing. On the side was a fence with curtains, but when the blinded glass van arrived, it was too high so we could see the top of it. They opened the door, and we could see everyone come out, and then we saw Johns famous cap too, so we all started cheering.

As soon as the concert started, the place was filled, and all the drunks pushed their way up to the front! Now we knew where they have been; getting intoxicated at the bar!!
OMG NORWAY!!! Cant you appreciate good music without getting completely pissed?? Only the bigger fans we earlier talked to and us were sober, and a few others.
Well, they all seem to like it. Behind us was a girl waving her arms in the air the whole concert, slight problem was she was holding a glass of white wine in her left hand.
John didn’t have a very good start of the concert, he had a cold and was drinking something that looked like hot tea or something all the time, and he didn’t look very happy. We felt bad for him and kept on cheering our lungs out and dancing to support him as much as possible.
First thing we noticed was that Dave and Randy had switched places. We could really see them because the stage monitors (small boxes on the stage) were blocking the view. I only saw Bob Malone when I started jumping up and down at the same time as he did hahahaha!! And he does all the time, and for somereason it feels really cool to join him :-)





This was my attempt to make a picture of James :-D



I think that Lodi normally comes as 3rd song (or its just my numb brain) and when John started who’ll stop the rain I thought “oh dammit, no Lodi” so it was nice surprise it came after that one!
John messed up some lyrics a bit, but to be honest, I don’t think it was that bad. A few times I wondered what he was singing, and I tried not to look to Robert, because he always seems to see it, and I didn’t want play on his nerves.
It was a bit of a struggle to keep your place, and I am glad I was on the frontrow, otherways I would have given up.
I don’t mind enthusiastic pushing people behind me until a certain point, its just a thing that happens at rock concerts; I remember being buried by hysterical guys the first concert in Italy, and it was actually funny in a way.
The girl was rubbing herself to Alessio all the time too :-D (earlier this tour he already had a boobs-to-back massage, hahaha)
My new bag was standing between my feet, normally we hang them on the fence, or even place them on the other side, but the security was very strict about it and so it was between my feet. And off all concerts, this was the one were they were throwing with beverages :-s
Don’t get me wrong here, I’ve had beershowers before, and even though I prefer not to get beer in my neck, its nothing I’ll really get mad about normally. As long as you can get home after the concert, take a shower and change clothes, whatever. But its not funny when you have to spend the night at the ferry office (or try too) or hang around in town all night and cant change your clothes.
So first the beershower, and then later the wineshowers started, coming from the drunk girls glass. At one point I thought “geez just get it over with and throw it on my hoodie, I know its going to happen anyway, and then we can move on”
It didn’t land on my hoodie, but on my right leg, and it was quite a gulp and cold; thanks!
And offcourse it started raining too, you know like real rain, coming from the sky; it wouldn’t have been that bad if we didn’t stand directly underneath the edge of the roof of the stage, so every now and then some gulps of water landed on our heads. Not enough to wash away the beer and wine though :-)
During joy of my life we saw John making gestures to Dave, he did “V” as Churchill, and Dave answered with the same sign, but upside down.
John’s voice got much better again the second part of the show, and he relaxed a bit too.
So maybe it was a weird show, including the drunks and the flying liquids, but great too. We had a great time!


After the show, I picked up my bag and it was soaking wet from the wine. Sheesh!! we talked to the other fans a bit, and once again I noticed how many extreme blonde girls were here! Everywhere! I was just in time to exhange my last ticket for a drink, even though I wasn’t thirsty, I paid 40 crones dammit, I would get the drink, even if it was to use to wash my bag in :-D

We left the festival grounds to walk to the city, and we were surrounded by, guess what, drunks. They were zigzagging across the street and one went straight to the edge of the street towards the water, he nearly felt in. Robert went to pee in the bushes, and there was a guy sitting next to his bicycle (in the bushes) behind a stack of pallets. According to Robert, the only way to get there was to climb over the pallets with his bike?????!

All the party people moved from the festival into town, there were afterparties everywhere. We heard CCR music coming from the bar of A Very Expensive Hotel, and we thought we’d take a look. When we saw the doorguy, we thought we would never get in, like we looked (and smelled probably) but he let us in, and Robert and Alessio just had to take away their caps and bags. It was pretty fancy but everyone was drunk, there was a guy at the piano and lots of people was dancing. I wouldn’t have minded to stay there the rest of the night, especially when we found out the drinks were only half as expensive as at the festival, but Robert (in his shorts and working shoes) and Arnold didn’t feel at home there, though Arnold was the only one who looked like he belonged there :-)
I was wearing those charming rainboots, we we’re all wearing our Fogerty hoodies.
We finished our drinks, and went to look for another party or place to hang out. We saw the 7/11 and another nightshop, the first one had extremely good looking brownies, but way too expensive, so we went to 7/11 where they had a horn of plenty of midnight snacks like for example HERSHEYS!! We just let them where they were. No thanks.
More Tyrkish Peber and chocolate with liquorice, and we went with Arnold, who had purposed to see if we all would fit in his room. He already said it was very small, but we would see.
We managed to sneak in, and noticed his room was… small. But as it was ok for him; it was ok for us, and we all grabbed a blanket or a pillow and confiscated a square meter of floor. 




And some of us actually had a few hours of sleep! I was awake for a long time, thinking about what a nice day it has been.




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