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Pit Stories: Stage Invasion Of The Nipple Rubbers

Photo of Heidevolk

Band Photo: Heidevolk (?)

Every week in Pit Stories, a band or musician tells us some of their most wild memories from shows they've performed or attended. This week, Koen ‘Vuurdichter’ Romeijn of Dutch folk metal band Heidevolk tells us of a show in Birmingham that was dangerously full and walking in on the promoter in the midst of a Silence of the Lambs routine:

"To be honest, in this so called ‘Folk & Pagan metalscene’ where we operate, most Pit
Stories tend to end with a smile. You simply cannot compare it to, let’s say, a mosh pit at a
Slayer concert. Now I’m not saying there aren’t any brutal moshpits at our shows, because
that couldn’t be farther from the truth. There’s always a lot of movement going on in the
crowd at our shows, but it tends to be more of a ‘drinking dance’, a celebration if you will,
with people clattering drinking horns and cheering along our tunes.

"But since this item is called ‘Pit Stories’, I will give you a more genuine one.
Back in 2003 I was on tour in the UK with Detonation, a melodic Death metal band. This
particular tour was as ‘underground’ as they get. Tiny van, small stages in shitty venues,
poor turnouts, sleeping on peoples floors after the gig because we couldn’t afford hotels. The
works. But awesome, nevertheless.

"One of the shows on this 10-day tour through the Kingdom took place in Birmingham, apart
from London the biggest city we played. Looking at the shows earlier on the tour, we were
careful with putting our hopes up. And arriving at the venue, that was justified. We walked
into a small pub, a stage the size of a walnut. The venue itself, luckily for us, wasn’t in the
pub, but down some stairs in the basement. Now this was more like it. But looking at how
low the ceiling was (us Dutchies are used to be the tallest people in the room, but this was
ridiculous.), we knew this was going to be a challenge. But at least the place could host a
decent crowd, and the 2-inch ‘high’ stage was actually wide enough for all band members to
stand on. We were happy.

"As the doors opened, and support acts starting playing, we instantly realized this was going
to be a crazy night. The place, with all its limitations, was packed. And with packed, I mean
crammed like a battery cage! If there were any restrictions - and there weren’t any - the place
could probably hold about 100 people, tops. This was at least twice that number.

"When we were finally on, the already worrying situation had reached its’ peak. The entire
crowd appeared to be drunk or under influence of some other sort of substance, and acted
almost like a single organism. Of course, we had our fair share of the underground scene in
Europe and in the UK, so we did not let it interfere with the show and gave it our all, as we
always did. But halfway the first song it started to escalate. There were no barriers between
the low stage and the crowd, so during the song a section of the mosh pit stormed onto our
stage and slammed the microphone straight into my front teeth. And from that moment on
there was no stopping it.

"The moshing got more intense with every song, and a couple rows back I could see a constant stream of people jumping off the bar! Eventually some folks even thought it was a good idea to climb onto the PA system, and use that to stage dive. All this, while I had a guy from our crew standing in front of my mic stand, guarding it with his life, just so I could somehow sing throughout the songs. Crazy. And nothing but a miracle that nobody got seriously hurt that night.

"After the show, I bumped into the promoter in the men’s room. He had lifted his shirt and
was rubbing his nipples while talking dirty to himself. Right there, in the door opening. That
single thing is a good metaphor for exactly how crazy that night was haha. A night to
remember!"

Heidevolk will release their new album, "Vuur Van Vurzet" on January 12th through Napalm Records.

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.

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