Continued from yesterday’s post, From Düsseldorf to Bochum: A Mini Tour.
I’ve never heard anything much about Bochum, except maybe that it’s a pretty industrial, hideous place. And while it may have a corner of beauty and light somewhere, I haven’t seen it. We’d been invited to play at Wageni, a teeny tiny punk-ish venue that only promotes shows by word of mouth. But the curse was upon us. Everything that could go wrong did, and it quickly became one of the strangest, most stressful nights in recent memory. But! Out of sheer spite we managed to deliver one of our best shows yet—which, like all the best things ever to happen, went completely undocumented.
Around 3 am we were catapulted to a crumbling villa-turned-punk-house by taxi at terrifying speeds where we fell into dusty guest beds and were labeled as weirdos by the man who’d accompanied us back, shocked that we preferred sleep to another bottle of beer. In the morning we saw our quarters for the first time in the light (pictured above). It was a haunted house, horror film nightmare (dream?) of intricate crumbling plasterwork, high ceilings, and dusty stairwells. After another brief fight with the curse, we made it out of the city in five pieces.
On the car ride back to Mainz I thought more about the alcohol debate that had surrounded the Appelscha show. I don’t like to romanticize alcohol consumption, yet as a band we tend to celebrate alcohol: drinking whiskey has become a part of the set, many of our songs reference alcohol, and for the love of blasphemy I’ll occasionally pass out whiskey shots in the communion wine distributer thing I found in the trash across the street. Yet if you listen closely to our (my) texts, you’ll find that hints of criticism tucked into every song mentioning it.
A song that relates the tale of the Beard and I’s journey through America last fall via a mention of the alcohol we drank in each place titled “No Borders But Whiskey” is the newest of the bunch. Sure, we are free, sure we travel, sure we are against state-created borders, and yeah we really like alcohol. But the title is there to remind us all that at the end of a drunken day, it’s the alcohol we choose to drink that often builds other, perhaps equally sinister borders in our own lives.