Archive for July 15, 2009

Lahannya live @ Wave-Gotik-Treffen, Leipzig – Germany

With the band and Lemmy safely on board, we set off on Friday afternoon, around 2pm, with our first stop being Sainsbury supermarket to stock up on supplies for the English-breakfast-press-album-pre-listen event we had organised for Sunday morning in Leipzig. Half an hour later, stockpiled with eggs, bacon, sausages, baked beans, tomatoes, hash browns, toast and various flavours of crisps, beers and ciders, we joined the slow-moving Friday afternoon traffic to get out of London and head towards Dover…

The next stop was the ferry, which we cheekily used for a picnic in the sun accompanied by a chilled bottle of rose. Then the long drive from the French coast to eastern Germany awaited us, with an overnight stop just after passing the Belgium-Germany border. The drive, however, was never boring because this time we had a free-flying budgie exploring the bus, which kept us entertained throughout the journey! We reached Leipzig fairly late on Saturday evening, picked up our passes and parking permits and headed to the Agrahalle to park up for the night, get some dinner and catch up with friends.

On Sunday morning we headed to the spot the WGT organisers had suggested we use for the breakfast-press-album-pre-listen session. Upon arriving we quickly realised that there were no parking spaces whatsoever and busloads of tourists were being shown around by tour guides armed with conspicuous umbrellas. After searching the backstreets we eventually found a small strip of green with a parking spot directly in front of it and decided to try our luck there.

By this time we had just found out that our PR agent had broken her leg the night before, spent the night in hospital and would not be able to join us to welcome the journalists and photographers who said they’d come. On her way from the hospital to her hotel she also left her mobile phone in the taxi so we had no more way of contacting her to get the expected guests’ phone numbers and tell them about the new location. This required a slight change of plan and we phoned Jason, who runs our UK street team, to come and help us by escorting the guests from the agreed meeting place to where we actually had parked up.

However, beforehand Lutz, Belle and myself had to head off in different directions to procure some items that we needed, no easy feat on a Sunday in Germany where pretty much every shop is shut. We got some paper plates and wooden cutlery from the WGT medieval market, but sending Belle off to get some crushed ice proved to be the wrong choice: he went missing for the best part of the event, leaving at 11.30am and returning – without ice – more than two hours later!

At 12 noon on the spot the first journalists started turning up, catching us only half prepared! But luckily everyone was absolutely lovely and chilled and so the whole listening session, interview and breakfast went smoothly and it was actually a lot of fun for everyone involved. So much so, that we realised only just in time that we had to pack up and rush back to the Agrahalle so Lutz would be there in time for his performance with Umbra et Imago. Back at the Agrahalle then Lutz went off to find the rest of his other band, while I finally sat down to relax and have a late breakfast myself. In the evening, Dave and myself armed ourselves with Caipirinhas and watched the Umbra et Imago and ASP shows, while Belle was lying in a Bloody Mary induced coma in the bus.

And then it was already Monday morning and time to head over to the Parkbuehne. There we met up with Stiefel, our sound engineer, Ronny, our stage tech, and Janina and Candy who were looking after our merch stall. Stiefel and Ronny we had originally met on the ASP tour and Janina and Candy I knew from DJing for the globalnoisemovement collective, which they’re a part of.

It was an absolutely stunning and scorchingly hot day and my worry that our first time on an open air stage it would pour down with rain luckily turned out to be unfounded. At ten to four it was time and we headed out on the stage and the reception we got was absolutely incredible. There were so many familiar faces from the ASP tour, last year’s Nocturnal Culture Night and a large number of UK fans, which meant that lots of people could sing along to our songs. With hindsight, a long sleeved latex and PVC outfit might not have been the wisest choice when performing mid afternoon in the sun, but by the time I came to realise that it was far too late to do something about it!

We only had time to play six songs: Silent Victim and Doors from Shotgun Reality, our first album, Welcome to the Underground and Inside the Machine from our Welcome to the Underground EP and two brand new songs – Dying Inside and Our War – which will be on our second album, Defiance, which is coming out this autumn.

After the show I wanted to go the merch stall, but as soon as I emerged from backstage I found myself facing an unexpected 20 metre long queue of people wanting autographs and photos! After 10 minutes of signing CDs and cards in the blistering sun, however, I just had to head for the shade of the merch area. Soon Lutz, Belle and Dave joined me and we stayed there signing CDs, posters, flyers and bodyparts, posing for pictures and catching up with fans and friends we’d not seen in a while. What an absolutely amazing day! One day like this every now and again makes all the hard work very worthwhile indeed!

After Nosferatu played and it started raining cats and dogs we headed off into the centre of Leipzig where I was booked to DJ at Gothic magazine’s end-of-WGT party at the Darkflower. We were treated to free drinks all night and I played an hour of hard electro and industrial, which was great fun since I don’t DJ regularly anymore. After catching up with some more friends – Martin from Gothic magazine, Udo and Anke from the Zeche Carl amongst others – and losing Belle again either to a mirror or a gorgeous female we finally went back to Mathilda around 5am and fell asleep within minutes…

Photos were taken by either Lahannya (no 2, 6, 7), Lutz (1, 3, 4, 9, 10), Dana (5) and Ritual Art (8). More photos can be seen in the gallery on the Lahannya Web site at www.lahannya.com/gallery.

Lahannya UK Tour May 2009: Manchester

It already seems ages ago as so much has happened since, but our tour diary wouldn’t be complete without an account of the Manchester show and the Wave-Gotik-Treffen in Germany. But first things first, so let’s start with Manchester.

Since we didn’t get much of a chance to spend much time with Dyonisis during the Birmingham show, we decided that our two bands would meet up on a truck stop just outside Manchester and catch up over a barbeque.

We arrived at Satan’s Hollow in Manchester just after 4pm, which should have given all of us plenty of time to set up and soundcheck before 7pm, when the doors were supposed to open. However, when we turned up it turned out that the venue got a new PA on the day of our show, which was still in bits and pieces when we turned up! When it was still in bits and pieces two hours later I have to admit I was beginning to get a bit nervous but no one at the venue seemed in the slight bit stressed. I soon realised that everyone was so chilled because for some strange reason the staff had been told that the doors were opening at 8pm, not 7pm! So I spent the next half hour trying to hurry everyone along and apologising profusely to the crowd that began to gather outside the venue. Luckily it was a sunny day and everyone was still in a good mood by the time the doors finally opened half an hour late!

Despite all the setting up shenanigans I have to say that Satan’s Hollow is a fabulous venue, especially for a club night. There was an old gnarly tree decorated in subtle fairy lights adorning one alcove surrounded by iron bars, there was a huge Satan’s face on one of the walls and the stage / dancefloor was a slightly raised circle surrounded by an iron railing in the middle of the room.

Like Birmingham we had a great line-up at Satan’s Hollow with Dyonisis and Screams of Cold Winter, who both played great sets. Then it was our turn to step into the round and even though the shape of the stage felt very odd and Lutz had to fight with a rather uncooperative bass string, it was a great show because of the enthusiasm of everyone there! After socialising at the end of the show for a bit it was far too soon time to pack up and head south again to change some equipment, pick up Lemmy my budgie and start our journey to Leipzig.

This, by the way, was our first UK tour without getting a single parking ticket! No mean feat with the length of our bus and the stern traffic wardens we’ve encountered in the past…