Friday, January 29, 2016

Catl, European Tour Invasion, Part 9 - BELGRADE, SERBIA

 catl's tour in Europe is winding down, and coming to an more stop to go!

"We hopped in a van to get to Serbia, where we met our first, official, border hassle. The rather large Serb, with the machine gun, asked us for our papers for being musicians. We handed him the only things we had - our very ripped up itinerary, that had been in Sarah's purse all tour. That seemed to be enough, and off we went."
Near the outskirts of Belgrade at a toll booth. An incredible fog had descended on the city, which had lasted two weeks by the time we got there. This is one of many stray dogs. #fogdog

"Our host Aleks was waiting for us on the curb, outside his place in a suburb of Belgrade, called Zemun. He put his arms up, and exclaimed, 'fucking yes!' which made us feel incredibly welcome. He quickly whisked inside, where his mother had made us delicious soup. Aleks chain-smoked, fried us some salmon, and poured us shots of Serbian brandy (Rakija)."
Jamie and Sarah posing outside the venue - Kuglas

Sarah and Aleks, with the poster Aleks made for the show. This man did an amazing job advertising! On a Monday night the place was RAMMED!

"We were then driven to the club in a very small car, with a lot of gear. The speaker in the amp we got was torn, which Jamie thought sounded good; but the sound-man insisted he use another solid state nightmare."

"The show was incredible. Packed out by 10:00pm. The opener was this Serbian guy named Iggy, who was a one-man band/harmonica player, called 'Harp Explosion'. He was a really good harp man...really knew his shit, and sat in on about 4 songs with us. He knew our records up and down, and totally killed it."

Pre-show calm before the storm.

Jamie with the King

"Again, the hospitality was over the top - lots of drinks and shots, and apparently smoking hash in the clubs there is a-ok!"

Post-show, Sarah looking slightly Quasimodo-esque, bending down to sign merch for the outstanding audience.

"Another encore, and the Serbian people would have stayed there all night if we kept playing! Did I mention its a fucking Monday! Sarah blew out her snare and had to fix it (repeatedly) with duct-tape, which the audience loved, because 'that's the way we do it in Serbia!". Funnily enough, that's also the way we do it in Canada!"

Duct Tape fixes everything! Sarah's snare blew pretty early in the show. With every hit, she'd break threw the tape, repairing it again between songs, until it was almost entirely made of tape. The Serbians went nuts, they loved it!
This is what it looked like with all that tape. We gifted it to Aleks for all his amazing work and hospitality. He is truly the rock n' roll king of Serbia!
"We have now sold out of almost all the merch we brought more show to go!"

"We were driven back to the hotel, and wandered around outside in search of pizza, which in Serbia they love to smother in sweet ketchup and mayo. Alright... when in Serbia! We immediately got lost, and were lucky to stumble randomly into our hotel, or we would have been sleeping on the street."

Some of the buildings in Belgrade were crumbling, from days of war gone by, and lack of money to fix up these old gems. Another time, we saw two buildings across the street from each other, that had been hit by bombs, and were just left that way to crumble further. We didn't manage to snap a shot of them. It was mind-blowing.
Lots of beauty among the decay. We would love to see these buildings in the summer, when the ivy is green, and the sky isn't grey

Church of Saint Sava

Another stunner downtown.

"Aleks is the nicest guy in the world, and really knows how to take care of bands top to bottom. Great guy. He calls his promotion/booking company, 'Bad Music For Bad People,' which is of course a Cramps reference. What a cool guy."

Aleks - the man behind 'Bad Music For Bad People.'
"The drinking and constant playing is taking its toll, and we're both on our death beds with bruised swollen livers."

"Off to Novi Sad!!!! Last show!!!!"