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Asrai Issues Post-Tour Report

Photo of Cradle Of Filth

Band Photo: Cradle Of Filth (?)

Freshly back from the Darkest Tour with CRADLE OF FILTH, GORGOROTH, MOONSPELL and SEPTICFLESH, Dutch goth metallers ASRAI wrote the following report of this European tour that took place in December, ending in an unexpected way:

"We were looking forward to this tour for a long time. Finally the Darkest Tour kicked off on Monday December 1st. Early in the morning together with our tour manager and driver we headed in our van to London, where we would meet everybody and go on the tour bus. Everything went well from Calais to Dover, until we got stuck in traffic. And soon we heard that we were not the only ones... Time was not our friend, so when we heard that there was a possibility that one of the bands couldn't play we drove like maniacs through the streets of London. We arrived with adrenaline rushing though our veins, although it didn't help us much... We heard that one band couldn't play... And in this case it was us... Well at least we had all the time to watch all the shows and enjoyed being there.

"So when after the shows finally 52 people and all the stuff found their way in four tour busses, one truck and a trailer we were ready to go to Paris... Peter brought back our van, ready to meet us at 013. After a bumpy ride we woke up in Paris, with one eye open we saw the Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre and it was time to get up... First we drove straight up to a parking space near the Seine, so there was enough room at the Bataclan to unload the truck. After a glance at the Seine we went back to the bus, up to the Bataclan, where a queue was waiting. The venue was beautiful and the breakfast was nice and more than welcome, giving everybody the time to know one another. Hard work to set everything up on time but it was all worth it. The audience was great and it was nice to finally meet the people from SOM.

"Time is going fast when you have a good time, so before we knew it we were on our way back to The Netherlands again, where we would play at the 013. The showers there were much appreciated, but of course that wasn't the only thing... It is always a pleasure to play at Tilburg, where we met Bas Maas who would join us for the rest of the tour. While Gorgoroth was chased by a film crew from Fobiac, we prepared ourselves to go on stage. We said goodbye to Johan who couldn't do all shows, but we're glad he was with us the first three days. The next gig was in Saarbrucken and we would also spend our first day off there. After the show most of us ended up at the pub of the Garage and had a really good time there. Sadly enough we had to say goodbye to Rik, who couldn't get all the days off because of his new job. Of course we would see him on stage again in Belgium. We walked with him to the hotel and took a shower there, which was an unexpected luxury. Rik went back home the next day by the train.

"The tour bus couldn't stay at the venue so we ended up far from the centre of Saarbrucken, a problem that was easily solved by taxi... The four of us took a stroll in a Christmas market in Saarbrucken. Of course we couldn't resist the cuisine of Germany and had breakfast and dinner at the same time! When we had seen everything we went back to the bus and heard that we all got free tickets to go to the Monster Magnet show. So within an hour we were out again, back to the venue and getting a flashback because we ended up at the Garage pub once again after the show. We arrived at Z7 in Pratteln during our sleep, which is a shame because we didn't get to see much of the country side like last time we were in Switzerland. But we were in a good mood and ready to rock!

"We then drove straight to Italy, where there was a lot to be done. But the venue was as cold as the audience was warm! After the show we started looking for a snack and left the venue. It's a shame the pictures we took didn't turn out well because it was funny to see all the black market with t-shirts of all bands with prints that sure weren't ours... We couldn't resist getting some of those!

"Again, not much sightseeing when we went to Vienna, Austria. The next day we played at Pesca in Budapest. We were looking forward to go there and wanted to see the bridges again, but of course we were sleeping when we crossed the border to Hungary. Well we did do some special sightseeing in the park... Besides the dressing rooms there was a big room where we got spoiled by Sandra's cooking skills. We then started to think about our upcoming day off, considering all the nice options nearby like Prague, but in the end it was Dresden. It was a bumpy ride and while we were watching a movie downstairs Manon fell from the stairs. First it didn't seem so serious, but...

"For some reasons we had a long drive so when we finally arrived in Dresden, it was almost 4 o'clock. And with nothing to eat in the bus it was more than a good idea to go to a restaurant. After a nice meal it was time to explore Dresden. Some of us went to the new centre, and some went to the old one. Of course there was a Christmas market there, where we met some guys from Cradle Of Filth. There was a really nice atmosphere there, which even the rain couldn't spoil. Then when it was getting really cold we went to a hotel, where we witnessed the wonders of a (kinky) shower...

"We went back to the bus, which was missing the running engines, so it wasn't the same sleeping in a bus that was not moving. We woke up early the next day and wanted to see Dresden by daylight, so we went to the public transport and to the old centre again. We came back on time for the soundcheck in a cosy venue, with really nice spring water but again really cold. Manon had problems with her foot so she ended up in the hospital. It wasn't broken but seriously bruised...

"The next day we woke up in the white place Weimar, loads of snow and no other way to get to the venue than a walk in the snow or by a car. Well we were lucky it was by car, because Manon wasn't able to walk in a normal way. The venue was totally different than where we were before. Not to compare, but it felt more like a meeting than a gig... Although... Not really actually... At least we had our first warm gig after a couple of days...

"The next day we played in Hof Ter Lo, and met Rik again... It was great to play the show with all of us again... Unfortunately, it was the last show for us. Karin got pneumonia and Manon could hardly walk and needed to rest. So we had to make the hard decision to go home. We had a wonderful time and we would like to thank all the people who made such an effort for the tour..."

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