Norwegian band Arabrot were one of our five bands to watch at the Inferno Festival in Norway earlier this year. The band’s brand of sludge and noise had us pretty instantly hooked, and they delivered live. With the band recently having wrapped up a tour in Europe, the band have agreed to give us a tour diary. We brought you the first entry last week. Here are the last several entries from their tour.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 11th, HALDEN, NORWAY @ FEELGOOD
Halden is a friendly and comforting city filled with sweet and bucolic people. The show is off to a good start. The Observatory (who hail from Singapore) and are sharing this show with us are nice to the ears. I am greeted by an interesting mix of Norwegians, Swedes and Italians chanting the birthday hymn and they even bring in a cake before we embark on the everlasting journey towards the continent. The next few days are kilometers, kilometers and more kilometers.
I am happy to team up with our friends Rabbits (from Portland, Oregon) on this tour. They are good people and a damn good band! They sound raw and gritty and with that beautiful Karp-swing to it that almost makes we want to tap my foot in some dance-like motion. Rabbits are like the blues, noiserock blues that is.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 13th BRUSSELS, BELGIUM @ MAGASIN 4
As we head into Belgium, a past memory from a few years ago plays in my mind. I had gulped down several cups of coffee on the long ride down when we hit heavy traffic on the outskirts of Brussels. After a few hours the liberating view of a service sign came with almost religious annotations: The urge to take a piss had come to epic proportions!
We parked the car outside and I ran in to find the whole restroom area covered in yellow “out-of-order” tape. The sheer desperation led me outside the service center where a grove of trees beautifully encircled the entire gas station area. I found a suitable spot by a huge tree of some sort and zipped open to complete my unfulfilled urges when I noticed the silhouette of someone semi-squatting a few feet away in the bushes. I instantaneously thought of the Eastern bloc truck drivers taking a shit in the back alley of the Texaco station I once regretfully worked at in Oslo.
However I then noticed the outline of another person, chav-like in a track suit, on his knees in front of the first man. I zipped up faster than my own shadow and strolled away. I finally took a two minute piss down by the road and strolled relieved and happy. Next to my car was an equally relieved Belgian business man in his fifties. The boy in the track suit came out the other direction a bit later approaching his next customer waiting in a BMW. I somehow had just taken a turn into the secret garden of gay Belgian gentlemen and this thought will forever occur to me when re-entering Belgium.
The rest of our time in Belgium is less anecdotal. The show at Magasin 4 is great. It certainly kicks us into tour mode. The sound and lights were phenomenal. See you next time, Belgium.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 19 KORTRIJK, BELGIUM @ THE PIT’S
I am eternally and indefinably grateful to bring the MoE-people on tour. They are diligent and effective. They move in a different pace, they are like the Doozers of Fraggle Rock. Last but not least they are brilliant musicians. I feel confident and cool as they back me on stage during this tour. Arabrot definitely sound better than in years.
It’s funny how people perceive our bands. It often seems like our reputation color the impression of us to such extent some people just can’t correspond normally with me. I’ve had people yelling and screaming at me online, probably imagining some crazed Norwegian lunatic living in the deep woods of the North.
However in person seeing a bunch of well-mannered Norwegian gentlemen and women in white shirts and blue dresses certainly turns the impression askew. “No beard?” they may ask. “Not even band shirts?” “They must be part of a cult – probably Satanic!” One guy in Halden greets us and hails: “See you at the next Mass!”
Infamy doesn’t bother me. I am happy to be the occult leader of Arabrot.
I think this is Arabrot’s fourteenth European tour. That is including the first few sorrowful attempts. Musically there has been ups and downs – but least there is always an interesting story to tell. Like the time the promoter in France organized a pigeon shed for us to sleep in. There was also the time in Halle, Germany, when at load-in time two long-haired dudes were shoveling gravel in the basement. Apparently the venue was still being dug out of the ground!
When you’ve been around a few years you tend to recognize a few faces around and in Kortrijk, Belgium on this beautiful Sunday evening a good old friend turns up shitfaced with a frying-pan full of steaks. At one point this friend was the driver for The Murder Junkies – G.G. Allin’s infamous band. We did a show together with them many years ago in Siegen, Germany.
I’ve been a G.G. Allin fan for many years, a fascination initially sparked by seeing a documentary on him as a teenager. Interestingly enough at that point, The Murder Junkies acted sober and clean and more focused on good merch-sales than chaos. We behaved well too but our driver at the time and our friend from Kortrijk hit it off real good with copious amounts of drink and wonderfully excessive behavior, probably matching good ‘ole G.G. in his day.
I have great footage of our dear female driver, topless and blindfolded, onstage next to Murder Junkies’ red and yellow-haired naked drummer. The very next morning I’m awaken by our friend from Kortrijk licking my nipples. It’s amusing how certain people with a spark in their eye have an obsessive compulsive interest in bodily functions. Our friend from Kortrijk was talking non-stop of nipples while snorting thick lines of cocaine from the dinner table. I remember David Yow was the exact same way. I love David. Bless him and his interest in nipples!
[b/w photo via Fred – Shoot Me Again]