In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the hard rock band, The Carburetors, talk about some crazy moments from touring. You can check out the feature, after the break.
Two nights at Lehmitz, that’s all you need!
9. April 2006
Five hopeful rockers from Oslo, Norway piled up in a van and headed for Germany. The mission was to spread the word of Fast Forward Rock´n´Roll, conquer Europe and be the greatest rock band of all times. A young German boy named Andre Bock booked the tour. He was a freelance journalist for a small fanzine in Germany (Ox) and grew to be a dedicated fan after hearing the debut album by coincidence (it was only released in Norway at the time). He got, even more, familiar with the band after doing an interview in the storage room in the basement of the legendary rock club Elm Street in Oslo. André teamed up with his longtime pal Stefan Bautze, and with no experience what so ever booking bands, they managed somehow to book some shows by simply sending emails and making phone calls. The plan was as follows:
10. April: Braunschweig
11. April: Day off
12. April Wild at heart, Berlin
13. April: Meliclub, Rostock
14. April: AJZ Neubrandenburg
15. April: Zebra club Neubrandenburg
Brauschwveig 10. April.
The first thing that met us was a burnt down club. We couldn´t believe it and had no idea what to do next. Then we thought of a Myspacefriend from Hamburg, the only thing we knew was her Myspace name: ” Miss Kitty Bones “. We managed to get in touch with her and asked if she could help us book a show in Hamburg since we seemed to all of a sudden have two days off. Miss K said it would be difficult. After all, it was Monday, it was Easter and she could not imagine anyone booking an unknown rock band with no planning ahead, not to mention any opportunity to check out if they could even play. We told her we were desperate and would do anything just to get a gig. Miss K. said she would ask a few people she knew, but could not promise anything. We decided to drive to Hamburg anyway since we already had heard some legendary stories. If it could happen to the Beatles it sure as hell could happen to us!
Miss K. rang after a couple of hours: ” Hey, I ‘ve found a club that is willing to let you play tonight (cheering in the car). Only one thing, though… The club is in the middle of Reeperbahn and is probably one of the dirtiest bars you can find in Hamburg. It is open 24/7”. We gathered forces, raised our spirits and were once again super keen to take Europe by storm.
We arrived at the club called Café Lehmitz around six o´clock in the evening, and we were shocked! Dirty bars really are dirty in Germany it seemed. The first thing that met us was an indescribably strong stench of beer, urine, shit, broken dreams and all the sins in the world. There was only one guest in the bar, and he was asleep at the counter (he looked like a character straight out of a cartoon series. The only thing missing was the spider web from his head down to the counter. There was no doubt the man had pissed his pants at least once that evening. We introduced ourselves to the owner, a grumpy, unfriendly, uncooperative former Jugoslav. After a few beers, the ice melted, and he guided us over to the corner where the concert would take place. The `stage was jammed up between the bar and the stairs down to the toilet, and everyone who needed to use the toilet had to literally enter the stage and walk past the band. The stench was unbearable. We rigged the gear the best we could and did some sort of line check. There was no PA, just a few speakers for the vocals. Later on, we checked in at the nearest hotel and spent the rest of the afternoon inviting people off the streets and hanging up posters announcing “The Carburetors Live in Concert at Lehmitz Tonight.” Right before showtime the owner told us to do three sets and not to play so loud. We explained we were a rock band and we only do one set, end of discussion. There must have been no more than 15 people present when we started playing.
The magical moment
After two- three songs more and more people stopped by and the bar slowly started to fill up. By the time we finished, the owner was ecstatic and wondered what we were doing the next day. We tried to tell him it was our day off, but he interrupted and said, “If you play tomorrow I’ll give you at least 2 cases of beer.” We looked at each other and said yes without any hesitation. The next day it was sold out with a queue outside and even some groupies from the night before showing up. The place was packed and boiling during the concert, and afterward representatives from several record companies came up to have a chat. Our new friend from former Yugoslavia was so happy he even gave us some euros to cover our travel expenses and wished us a warm welcome back.
Ever since those two nights, Lehmitz has been one of the places we always go to have a beer when we come to Hamburg.
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