November 7th – Hamburg
After a way too short sleep and a quick refill in a Luxembourg gas station, we start the longest drive of the tour, about seven hours. Altough everyone warned up about the frequent traffic jams on the german highways, we’ll arrive in Hamburg right on time. As we are playing last on a six bands line-up that night, everyone will have time to wander around in the streets around the venue. We’ll all agree on how beautiful and interesting the city seems to be. Plus we are playing right in front of a huge skyscraper which looks a lot like the one near my apartment back home, and this was quite comforting. The venue is small sized, and the turn out that night quickly packs out the place! We are sharing the bill with Empty Handed, a quite well known german band, and the lovely dudes in Earl Grey to name a few. Every band kills it on stage, and you can definitely feel the overall good vibes, wether you’re in the room or backstage. Another thing makes that night very special, a surprise appearance of Mariam (you may know this name, she [one of] the girls running Plug-In!) and Karen, both very good friends of Gaëlle, our tour photographer, who flew from Paris to come to the show! Oh, and they bring us Dunkin Donuts too, what more can I say?
We’ll end up playing at midnight, but most of the attendants stayed around, and although we were all feeling the wear of the previous days, we played what felt like one of our best show of the tour.
It’s getting late, we stay in an apartment twenty meters away from the venue. We decide to load the gear inside of it after a couple of guys told us that the streets in Hamburg weren’t very safe for cars. Stairs and band gear are not a good match, I’ll tell you that!
November 8th – Gorinchem
Another long drive today. Lack of sleep is definitely there (most of us slept for three hours last night, some even less). We are playing a matinee show in Gorinchem, Netherlands, and have to be at the venue at noon. When we arrive, a whole crew is already there setting up the biggest stage we’ll have on the tour, and some others greet us with a very, very welcome coffee. I shower right before soundchecking for the first time of my life – if you read this and play in a band, do it if you get the opportunity, it’s really an amazing feeling!) and then head to the local train station to pick up one of my best friends named Léopold, currently living in Eindhoven for an internship. He’s staying with us for the whole day, it’s a cool feeling to have another glimpse of home around!
Once again, all the bands playing are really good (it included Strains from Belgium and As Mercy Comes, from Italy), and Jurjen, the promoter, makes sure the day goes by smoothly for us despite our intense tiredness! Is the dutch amazing hospitality something we should have been aware of?
Once the show is finished, we head to Eindhoven to bring Léopold back home and do some sightseeing. There is a light festival that week-end so the city is wide awake, with beautiful light shows everywhere. We walk past the Dynamo, a famous venue and stare at old show posters from our favorite bands for a few minutes, take a quick stop at a waffle stand and a McDonald’s (a much appreciated change from the german Burger Kings!) and head back to the venue where we are staying for the night. The place is now empty, apart from the cleaning team, and we’ll chill in the bar watching a movie for a bit.
November 9th – Dijon
Last day of the tour, and once again we didn’t sleep nearly enough! Today, we are heading back to France to play in Dijon. We’ve been there quite a few times before, and those shows are some of our best memories as a band. But it’s the first time we’re playing there on a monday, and we are sharing the stage with just one more band, our friends in Bright Falls, so we don’t really know if things are gonna go as crazy as usual! We play in a bar’s basement called L’Univers, which means another dreaded stairs-filled-load-in.
We spend the rest of the afternoon setting up the room, as we are self-promoting the show. Once we are done, we get back to the bar for dinner, and realize that quite a few people are already there, right on time to give us all a lovely pre-show excitement.
Once again, Dijon doesn’t disappoint, the basement is packed and everyone goes crazy from the very beginning of our show, which will definitely be one of the best moment of the whole tour for all of us. It’s really rewarding to see that there is places where live music works just the way it’s “supposed” to: people coming back to see a band they liked, bringing friends and enjoying it more every time!
Tonight’s sleepover is at Antoine’s, a friend of our singer Clément. We’ll stay up pretty late, watching photos from the past few days and enjoying the last moments of the tour.
This is where I leave you, thank you so much to everyone at Plug-In for giving me the opportunity to share this past week with you guys, I hope you enjoyed reading this report as much as I did writing it!
Photos : Gaëlle Pitrel