Teemu Markkula – German tour 2010 with Pintandwefall

Story: Teemu Markkula
 At first the idea was that I would go to Germany and play couple of shows as a warm-up artist for Pintandwefall. Then it turned out that they would need a sound engineer also. I was hired for the job with the condition that I wouldn’t have to work as a sound engineer on those gigs I was playing as a warm-up.
Then it turned out that they would need a tour manager too. I was hired for the job. I just can’t say no can I? Well no problem. A little bit of extra work can’t do any harm. 

6.9. - 20.9.2010

Then, all of a sudden came the day of departure. We were on a boat to Tallinn with cheerful minds I think. We started the tour by walking around Tallinn for a couple of hours before hitting the road towards Berlin. The drummer of Pintandwefall had to stay in Finland due to personal reasons so the tour would be a special one.

Via Baltica: pretty flat Baltic country side, lots of motels and trucks on the road.
We almost drove through a piece of Russia next to Lithuania and Poland because our navigator thought it was the quickest route to Berlin. We told the navigator that we don’t have visas for Russia. 10 hours of driving in the same day and we were in Poland ready to sleep. We checked in a motel in the side of the road, had a good night (or morning) sleep and continued the journey.
Driving through Poland is one kind of an experience. You got to have buttocks of steel. Europe endless.

Finally we arrived to Germany and to Berlin. We spent the night in the accommodation of Esa and Lasse (our record label guys). They were in Berlin because of the Popkomm showcase festival.

Wednesday: Grüner Jäger, Hamburg. The local football team was playing and people were out in bars watching the game.  First gig of the tour in Hamburg in this cosy and great place. The place was packed. Pintandwefall had a great gig as a three-piece band with the help of Mr. Casio (little synthesizer) on the drums. The night was lots of fun. After the gig we drove back to Berlin.

Thursday: Berlin, Popkomm. Showcase gig in Comet Club.  Ilari from the band Jesse came as a stand in drummer for the night. He performed as Death Pint. Good and helpful staff and good equipment. It was nice to work with the sound. This was a really special gig. The drummer had not been playing with Pintandwefall before and they only explained the songs verbally to the drummer and tried a couple of songs in the sound check. Nevertheless the gig was really great and dangerous.

Friday: We started the day by walking in Berlin before we were off to Cottbus, Glad House. It was just 1,5 hour drive from Berlin.
It was a big rock club with a big stage in a big echoing hall and good sound equipment.

Saturday: Bremen, Sitzdisko. The local football team was playing and people were out in bars watching the game. When we got to Bremen and started carrying our equipment on stage we noticed that we had forgotten our snare drum and cymbals in Cottbus. Luckily some local drummer let us use his snare and cymbals. The venue was great! The building was an old bear brewery changed into this culture centre and a bar. The audience was sitting. That’s why the name “Sitzdisko”. The host of the evening was this charming lady who also performed songs and told stories. After the show a half German and half Finnish guy named Felix showed us Bremen. The next day would be free so the night went on till morning. You can get veggie hot dogs at 3 a.m. from Bremen! Great city.

Sunday: Day off.  We walked around Bremen for a while and then headed back to Berlin. Driving in thunder and rain we saw a traffic jam on the other lane which had 20 km of parked cars.

Monday: We were supposed to have a show in Munich but it was canceled. So we avoided one 7-hour drive and had another free day in Berlin. I spent all my money buying records and I also bought this old German drum machine from the 80’s. We also visited Tacheles, the house taken over by artist's working spaces.

Tuesday: Hannover, Café Glocksee. On the way to Hannover we stopped in Cottbus to pick up our stuff. Apparently Café Glocksee has been working a couple decades. Really traditional rock club and the people knew where to come on a Tuesday night. We had a great accommodation by an old mathematics teacher Ralf. We talked with him about politics and the state of the world.

Wednesday: Leipzig, Moritzbastei. This was the first show on the tour that I was going to play and not work as a sound guy.  The venue was an old brick building underground in the centre of Leipzig. It seemed like an old wine cellar or a castle.
It was great fun to perform. Not that many people but the ones that were there seemed enthusiastic.

Thursday: Stuttgart, Keller Club. Again a traditional rock club in the centre of the city. We were stuck in a traffic jam on the way to Stuttgart. German autobahns aren’t really that fluent all the time. It was a good show. People seemed to like our music a lot.

Friday: Frankfurt am Main, Nachtleben. The local football team was playing and people were out in bars watching the game. It was really strange to drive to the centre of this huge city to play a rock gig among skyscrapers. The venue was again underground. It was a good traditional rock club. It’s funny how the clubs are usually the same all over the world.

Saturday: Cologne, Die Lichtung. The local football team was playing and people were out in bars watching the game. We visited Colognes Dome church and a huge music shop. This was the final show of the tour. The venue was underground. Great gig from Pintandwefall and I had a good gig also. I think we were sort of happy that it was the last show of the tour. The atmosphere after the gig was restless and exhausted. We were just making jokes and laughing all the time.

Sunday – Monday: Heading home. We drove towards Finland through Denmark and Sweden and took the boat to Turku from Stockholm.

We were in Stockholm about four hours before check in to the boat. So we drove around and watched the changing of the guards in front of the Kings castle.
Finally we got in to the boat and started sleeping almost right away.
At 7 p.m. we got to Turku and then drove to Helsinki. We switched the navigator language to German. I guess we missed the autobahn already that much.

Two weeks, 7 countries and 9 shows. 7000 kilometres, not enough sleep and lots fun! As I am writing this I am in Budapest. Just went through Via Baltica, Poland and Slovakia. I have a sound engineer gig tomorrow here in Budapest. I really can’t understand right now what it is that makes me want to do this but I am enjoying every minute.

The writer is student of TAMK Media Programme in Virrat

Photos: Ninni Luhtasaari

The tour diary written by Cute Pint from Pintandwefall