Band: JESS AND THE ANCIENT ONES
Gig day: August 30, 2014
Event: Beyond the Gates festival 2014
Venue: Garage (rock club)
Location: Bergen, Norway
FRIDAY, AUGUST 29
I began my journey towards Norway on Friday, with Beyond the Gates festival already raging there with full force. I went to Stockholm from my home forest nearby after which I had FORGOTTEN HORROR guitar rehearsals with Kennet at Södermalm. It was the first time I’ve had a band rehearsal with a cat literally on my lap even when I was playing… Obviously Viivi the cat approves the Forgotten Horror sound!
Later I drove Kennet to RoQ bar and we carried Kennet’s guitar amp there for Thulcandra, who will be playing there tonight at a DISSECTION tribute event. As a true antisocial Finn – actually mostly due to feeling really crappy and having slight fever – I make a ballsy move and decide to head back to Kennet’s place alone and take it easy instead of partying. Gig trips are tiring and since I have a cold on top of that, I figured I need all the sleep and rest I can get before tomorrow.
I’ll put the Recut version DVD of Sin City on before sleepy time though, I want to see it before I go to the movies to see the sequel, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, in the upcoming weeks.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 30: GIG DAY, LET’S FESTIVAL
Woke up around 10 am at Kennet’s place. He had placed a huge wooden penis idol on my bed (couch, actually) while I was sleeping, obviously totally blasted when he’d returned from the DISSECTION evening, hahah! He said he does that to everyone who he catches asleep/passed out at his place. I take it as an ancient Finnish mythological male bonding thing.
The only time I’ve ever been to Norway was a brief stop last year when JATAO had a show in Holland and the connecting flight was from Oslo. So I basically don’t have any experience on Norway, and I’m curious to go and sniff the atmosphere. Let’s see if the cold I’ve caught gets any easier.
After a little hassle to get to the airport, after a delayed flight, and after starting to get more feverish, the vibes were getting a bit nasty. However, the delay with the flight wasn’t a long one and soon I found myself smiling again, enjoying the onboard Wi-Fi on the flight.
The other band members had already arrived from Finland and they were at the venue as I landed to Bergen. I was picked up by a festival crew member Lill-Ann with the festival bus, so no waiting at the airport. She told me that the venue – a club called Garage – and the hotel were in the same building which was really pleasant news for me, I could get some rest if I needed to. Meeting the other JATAO guys + Jess reminded me how much I’ve missed them and gigs in general. The overall mood is splendid and the soundcheck went without any problems; getting a nice sound on stage is one of the many things that have to fall to place in order to deliver that better-than-average gig.
The gig itself went great the crowd was awesome! I enjoyed this one a lot, although I was sweating even more extensively than usual due to my new JATAO stage outfit: black collar shirt + leather vest + t-shirt underneath them. At some point a spotlight was pointing at me from behind so bright that I was sure that my back would begin smoking, it was that hot I swear!
It was nice to notice that we have some fans here in Norway, and some people even came abroad just to see us play. Despite of us not having played live for over 15 months, there was no apparent stage rust whatsoever and I felt connected to the band as an entity in a different way than before. A lot has happened within those 15 months…
After the show we were enjoying the great hospitability backstage. Note to self: We totally should’ve arranged our flights here already on Thurday, now it’s the last festival day and it would’ve been swell to party all night long and wake up to another chance to enjoy this… but well, I went to see Primordial who were doing well despite some problems(?) with the sound. Had a couple of beers more on the bar and I was done, ready for evil slumber in the sweet hotel bed.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 31. DAY OFF IN BERGEN.
My flight home will be 20:25 in the evening but the others left around 9:30 am, so I had the day to chill out and check out the streets of Bergen. I slept until noon, checked out from the hotel and went walking around.
The weather here is beautiful but the women here are even more beautiful. Seriously, the percentage of Norwegian women who are either tall, drop-dead gorgeous or both, is staggering. One after another these Nordic amazons appear from the mountains, each one more pretty than the other… I think I’d like it here in Bergen ;P (No pictures for you, you pervs! And absolutely nothing wrong with short gorgeous women either btw!)
Afternoon and evening went very, let’s say, chilled. I got the transportation to the airport on time so for once there was no hurry, no last-minute hassle with a ticket, no insane cabinet-carrying-death-defying logistic insanity… all went smoothly and thus I end this gig trip, this week and this month of August feeling happy, healed and healthy again. All in all, a great way to end the gig silence of Jess and the Ancient Ones. Much more to come, definitely!
(Edit 2014-09-02: Woke up with fever, sore throat and feeling utterly like shit, so I take that ”healed and healthy” part back.)