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  • Writer's pictureJH

Day 22: A Disturbing Conversation, a Great Show, and Even Greater Fans in Fürth, Germany

AVT: 1.5h (Tot. 63h)

ADT: 70 km (Tot. 4,712 km)


"I've never had fun before. This is so good."

- Ken


Well, I think we scared Walter.

The thing about bands that travel together is that the conversations get very personal and very weird very quickly. We’ve clocked over 60 hours in the van together on this tour alone, let alone the others, and we’re together pretty much all the time. We ran out of pleasantries and superficialities in 2017. Now we’re on to the good stuff.

So our discussion of who would eat who and how quickly if we were in a plane crash might have been disturbing for anyone sitting with us.

Dude, the things that have been said in our vans and hotel rooms ….

It doesn’t occur to us that we’re having demented conversations. We wore out our filters long, long ago. And it started innocently enough. Somehow we got to talking about survival TV shows like Survivorman (one of my favourite shows ever) and Naked And Afraid. We all think Deni should apply for a show like that because he’s an experienced outdoorsman who knows how to kill things with his bare hands (or bear hands in his case).

Then someone mentioned the movie Alive, which is about a rugby team that crashed into the Andes mountains and were forced to eat each other.

We talked about this over brunch, by the way.

Anyway, it was decided that I would be the first to go since I offer more sustenance than the others. I tried to reason that I’m mostly tough sinew and therefore less palatable, and that Sarah would probably be more succulent. Sarah offered to just die on the spot to avoid the whole situation. Of course, there wouldn’t be much sustenance there, so likely I would be the next to go. I might be physically larger than Ken and Deni as individuals, but together I’m no match, even with drumsticks.

So one way or another it came down to Ken vs. Deni and the jury is still out on what would happen there. It was thought that Deni would eliminate Ken under cover of darkness until Ken said he would eliminate Deni in the daylight when it was least expected.

Did I say this was our brunch conversation?

Sorry Walter.

We brunched with Walter from Weisses Ross before driving back to Fürth, where we were due to play at a great club called Kofferfabrik. It’s a hybrid between a bar and a listening room. Tables and chairs. Big stage and lights.

We went into full team mode at one point during the load in, when we had to block a busy one-way street so Sarah could back the van to an alley that leads to the club. I took a photo that doesn’t really do the thing justice. We have Deni at the back (you can almost see him) and Ken at the side, blocking intersections. I had the luxury of playing archivist.

Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do on the road, even if that means shutting down a street for a few minutes to get where you need to go. I have it on good authority that The Joys used to carry orange pylons in the van to reserve parking spots for themselves.

After load in and dinner we returned to the club and found it packed like so many others on this tour. We remain surprised and delighted by the fact that European audiences come to shows, whether they know the bands or not. We had a full table of Sarah fans for this one, too. In fact, it was in that very club several years ago that Sarah first met Lexi and Kerstin, so there was a veneer of nostalgia on the whole evening.

Can I take another moment to praise our friends in Germany?

Last night before the show we sat down with a bunch of them to celebrate our friend Dani’s birthday. Imagine our surprise when a cake showed up … for us. Karin the cake wizard created a gorgeous cake for the band. It was kind of a clover shape, with a leaf designed for each of us – the ying and yang representing Ken, angel wings for Sarah, two big hands and four small hands for Deni and his family, a feather for your humble scribe. It was a beautiful and much appreciated cake that we all enjoyed after the show.

Now, before the show began, there came a knock on the green room door and our friend Conny appeared. In her hands she had a goodie bag for Ken’s birthday, as well as two sets of Regal Tip 8A drumsticks for me – something she knew I needed because I wrote about it on the blog a few days ago. I didn’t ask her to get those for me. She just did it. So thank you Conny for having a heart as big as my stick bag! I only had one pair of sticks with me in that weight and I’ve used them more than I expected to. Danke!

The show was really great. A cool club, a good stage and sound tech, and a room full of people. Those are the ingredients for a fun night and last night definitely was fun. The crowd loved the music and the band played well. We even broke out a semi-acoustic version of the Joys classic You’re Beautiful as a request. They called for encores upon encores until at last Sarah went up by herself to sing The Hider from her new album. Powerful song, powerful performance.

After the show we caked with the fans. Later we returned to our hotel and the boys took a culinary trip to Spain in recording the next roadisode for my podcast. Look for that hopefully next week. I’m never quite sure when I’ll be able to process podcast episodes as we’re travelling. I do the best I can with it.

And now, if you can believe it, we’re on another day off already. Time is flying by here. We have a couple of cool shows coming this weekend, so we’re conserving our energy. I think at a certain point you settle into what I’m calling tour fatigue. I think you accept that you’re just going to be tired every day, but it’s not a debilitating kind of tired. It’s just tired. That’s the road. It’s highway miles and hotel beds, tired legs and clouded heads.

It feels great.

Tonight we dine, tomorrow we drive.

The rock rolls on.

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