BASSMAN IN SWEDEN PT 2

So there I was getting snussed up in a bar in Gothenburg talking to a person I never met before about murder.Gothenburg nightlife passed me by, an Indian guy with long hair and beard, guru style, dressed in immaculate black but with a blonde moustache! That dude seemed to sum up the atmosphere.

My crash pad was a 5 star hotel, a pillow menu! Crazy decadence I thought, my brain still managed to defy my orders to shut the fuck up and I entered into a trance like state.

Next day I amble round the corner to Kafe Hoga Nord to meet the guys, day turns to night and sound check is completed, dinner had been served so with time to kill we venture off to visit the studio.

We were near the harbour, the air was pretty raw coming in from the ocean. The exterior of the building looked like shit, if I had to guess I would say it had a utilitarian purpose. Inside was a different story, many rooms crammed with a jumble of instruments, it was shabby, unkempt but perfect, the walls infused with the essence of Rock and Roll.

Jespar was spinning tunes in the backroom, a kitchen area, which seemed to be the place to hang out.A few guests were already around the table. I said to myself before I came away, do not talk weird shit, keep it cordial. So I end up talking about Genesis P Orridge and pierced penis’s.

The studio was a home from home, immensely comfortable, a place where you could hang for hours but for me that was not going to be, showtime was looming.

Back at the venue there is a modicum of back stage chat. Tross are talking about Ginger Baker, the drummer from Tross says to me ‘You must be close to his generation.’ Mortified I say ‘Ginger Baker is seventy fucking seven years old,’ at this point I need a plaster to cover the gaping wound in my self confidence.

Showtime, many mistakes, a huge sub bass rumble, great vocal sound, loud guitar, it was a hard show, sometimes I get right into it but sometimes it can be a frustrating slog trying to remain in synch with the machines.

After the show I watched some Tross, nice tight rhythmical grooves and then got lost in the crowd talking to the many heads.

From what I saw and experienced Gothenburg is a cool place, the tram system makes for a more human city and its role as a harbour and the influx of certain commodities has its influence but it’s not without its troubles, and during my time there I am reminded that all is not what it seems but Hoga Nord and the local people do their best to keep their scene alive.

Stansted Airport, and a mob of people move towards the custom gates, they have devised a ridiculous method of managing the crowd and we shuffle about like mice in a maze. The UK feels crowded, and irritable, at 11.30 in the evening I make it home.

I never got too near to the heart of darkness, Gothenburg and the people gave me too much light and happiness but I wondered what it was all about, it just seemed faintly absurd doing what I do but I know I ain’t gonna shake it off so I call it my Punk Rock and right now in my world it’s keeping me alive.

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