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07.25.23 ACTORS EU Tour Part Two
Smooth flight. Drifting in and out of sleep, I listened to Serving the Servant by Danny Goldberg, an audiobook bio detailing his time as Nirvana (and Hole’s) manager from 1990 until Kurt’s death in 1994. I found it to be a really cool listen, full of neat stories and perspectives about two bands that have had a huge influence on me as an artist and musician. Check it out if you’re a fan, a working musician, or interested in the industry workings behind one of the most important bands of all time.
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We arrive in Frankfurt at 8am. All of our suitcases have squeaky wheels from the thrashing of tour and people are smirking at us as we shriek our way through the terminal. Two purebred German Shepherds stand guard at the car rental centre. Welcome to Germany.
The drive is about 40mins to our lodgings in Bad Homberg. We will stay two days to get acclimated, pick up our merch, and visit with Suzy and Andreas from Cold Transmission. We get some groceries, and try to stay awake as long as possible. We eat shredded wheat and waffles. I think we made it until 5pm, and then lights out.
That night there is a wild thunderstorm. While sleeping I feel my eyelids flash white light, the blood vessels visible, and I wake up with the taste of hot electricity in my mouth.
Morning comes, and we walk into town to find espresso and croissants. I slept pretty well; after so many visits to Germany, I’m feeling quite at home. I have my camera with me. I see an Australian Shepherd sleeping in the shade. It’s so hot, I can’t convince the dog to come to the fence for a pet. A man working across the street tells me in German that the dog is as fluffy and soft as he looks. Beware of Dog signs in Germany are charming. They show a picture of the breed and usually, the name of the dog on watch. Sometimes there is a photo or an airbrushed rendering of the actual dog. Cute cute cute.
We have dinner with Andreas and Suzy at their neighbourhood haunt, The Greek. It’s great fun catching up and visiting; we reminisce about ACTORS first show ever in Germany (Cologne), which they booked for us in 2018. They’re part of our band story, and the beginning of our touring in Europe. The cheeky server takes a shine to Adam, calling him ‘Blondie’ every chance he gets. After dinner they invite us to their flat for drinks which has a beautiful balcony space overlooking the Old Town. We sip Coke Zeros and watch the sky go dark on a perfect summer evening with friends, grateful that music has brought us all here together.
We must make a dent in our drive to Castle Party in Poland, so the next morning we’re back in the van. For some reason the language on the van interface is in Korean and we can’t figure out how to change it. We look up the instructions on Google and YouTube but it’s no help, so we resort to violent button mashing, and eventually Apple CarPlay connects, so at least we have music.
On our drive into the heart of Germany, we listened to the Best of Steely Dan and their song Dirty Work runs on repeat in my dreams all night. What a chorus. Jay made a playlist of our van tunes here:
We plan a stopover deep in the German countryside at a place named Arnsgrün, in Thuringia. The dog on watch at our B&B is a short-haired pointer named Darlene. A dry, sun-bleached Maypole looms over the village. Jay and I look at each other and both say “Midsommar”. I made us all a huge pasta dinner on a miniature stove. Butter, salt n pepper, and Parmesan is all you need. Later we wander around the village and say hello to horses, sheep, and llamas. As we reach the top of the hill, a golden pasture appears with a herd of cows. Jay heard somewhere that cows like to be sang to, so he whistles a catchy tune, and a cow replies with a loud MOO, and then their cute little calves start running over to us.
On the morning of our departure we learn that Thuringia is the state where the N*zi P*rty first gained political power, and now the fields seem haunted with history around us.
Back in the van, we cross the border into Poland and make our way south towards Bołkow. Three times we drive up beside dogs that are taking themselves for a jog down the country highway without any humans nearby. Jay rolls down the window and calls to two dogs running and smiling together “Hey there ya hobos!!” They look like they should have their own buddy comedy on the Disney Channel. We decide that dogs walk themselves in Poland.
We check-in at the festival hotel and they feed us an amazing home-cooked Polish dinner. Simple ingredients prepared well. Fish, potatoes, dill, rice, cabbage, lemon.
At Bołkow Castle an excited fan escorts our van to the gates for load in. This is a special festival, wow, the location is stunning. 10/10 green room. No plumbing (it’s a castle after all), but it has the most amazing picture window framing the postcard view. Jay says he feels like he is in Barry Lyndon. Perfect description.
It was an amazing night to kick off the tour. We played directly into the blazing sun and no one burst into flames. A wonderful time was had by all. We return to the castle green room for our post-show dinner at sunset, the sky on fire in the picture window.
Back in the van, we talk about castle life and discuss what jobs we would have in medieval times. Adam decides he will dig holes in the ground because he is strong (maybe latrines? he suggests). Laughing at that, we decide Kendall will be a boss bitch astronomer, Houdah will invent a counting machine and be thrown in the dungeon for math, Jason will be a commander of the medieval army scheming about the future, and as the resident animal person, I will be the one who looks after the horses and the dogs. We conclude that us girls will probably get into witchcraft as well.
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