TOURDIARY – Singapore – New Zealand – Australia
So… why not start writing a tour diary? For myself, for my family, friends and people that are interested in reading about what i do on a regular basis. What better reason could you have, than going on tour with your band, traveling to countries, which you have never been to before? I’ll try to wrap up from time to time, what we’ve been doing. Good and bad stories included, of course.
We had prepared everything for our month of touring already and were excited to hit the road. For me personally it had been about 3 1/2 years, since touring Australia with my old band ‚War From A Harlots Mouth‘. There were booked shows in Singapore, New Zealand and Australia and Singapore was definitely my first visit to Southeast Asia ever. Our flights were booked on different dates, since Robin wanted to hang out in the sun in Bali or Malaysia and get stung by hundreds of mosquitos, while the others were still working their asses of. 😉
This meant, that Chris, Loïc and me flew out to Singapore on the 20th of March and Damo one day later. At the airport everything went totally fine until Chris brought in his bass guitars as hand luggage and was charged an extra amount of 480€!!! We never had any issues bringing our sensitive gear to the plane, since otherwise we would’ve acted differently. A day later, Damo got charged another 230€ for his guitars as well, which sums up to an extra 710€ just for one flight. Ouch!
After a 6 hour flight and a short stopover in Dubai, we flew another 7 hours to Singapore to be picked up by our local promoter Eric, who surprised the three of us with cold water and a very obliging character. What a great guy! He took us to the place where we were supposed to sleep, which was located right next to the Singapore river.
A nice little backpacker hostel called ‘Prince of Wales’. It was warm and humid and we were sweating our asses of within 5 minutes. After getting refreshed we went out to get some indian food and Eric showed around the city for about an hour like a tourist guide, giving us all the information we needed to survive the next day.
I knew, that Singapore is one of the most expensive cities in the world. What i didn’t know, is that beer is even more expensive than elsewhere due to the very strict laws, that forbid the usage of drugs in general. If you’re, for example, smuggling in drugs into the country, you’ll be executed by hanging or at least put to jail for 10 years!!! In Berlin you can get a beer for around 1,50€ at every late night shop all over the city. In Singapore we spent 80$ on 4 beers, which is converted at around 53€. 53€… Keep that in mind for a second.
After good and well deserved sleep, we headed out to the city again. At first sight, everything seems to be a giant puzzled area of huge bank buildings. Kind of like a mixture between Frankfurt and New York city. Nothing seems to be significantly „singaporesque“, which might be due to the fact, that the „city of lions“ is part of the „Four Asian Tigers“. It’s just a big mixture of all asian cultures and has been an industrial melting pot for years now.
We headed towards the Gardens of the Bay, which is a huge botanical area built between 2006 and 2011 and is, as far as i know, still not finished yet. There were plenty of plants from all over the world and two greenhouse-like buildings, the Cloud Forest and the Flower Dome, which are filled with colorful flowers, cactuses, trees, ferns and whatnot.
Stunning imagery for sure and the purest air you will probably be able to inhale in Singapore. Everything is air-conditioned inside the buildings and you’re always switching between boiling hot and freezing cold, so you need to make sure to take care of your water balance.
We had average chinese sichuan and indian food and met up with Damo and Robin, who had arrived as well and were ready to play the first The Ocean show in Singapore on monday.
Coincidentally the prime minister Lee Kwan Yew, who had build up the country and made it independent from the malaysian government 50 years ago had died during the night at the age of 91, so the day we played was also a day of mourning for all the singaporean inhabitants. Usually in those days of mourning all the events get cancelled, but since our promoter had an official permission, nothing got cancelled in the end.
The soundcheck took about 3 hours. Setting up lights without our light guy Peter, checking sound without our sound guy Chris. We were back to setting up everything by ourselves and the drum kit was a little tricky as well, which made everything take longer than usual, but in the end, everything sounded quite alright!
We went back to the area surrounding our hostel and got some original indian food. It was incredibly good, almost as good as in India itself and our bellies were filled with good Dosas, Naan Bread, Masalas and, to celebrate our remembered indian experiences, some origninal Kingfisher beer. 😉
When we arrived at the venue, the support bands were already finished and people were ready for us to hit the stage. Right after the second song, the snare “carpet” broke. The snare itself moved from left to right, the pedals as well, the hihat clutch broke and the cymbals kind of fell down as well.
Anything bad you can imagine for a drummer to happen just happend and it was a pain in the ass, but people were cheering and enjoying the show so much, that all the anger about my equipement just faded and i tried to make the best out of it.
We packed our stuff, hung out with the local people, took photos and headed back to the hostel to enjoy some final beers alongside the Singapore river. Up next was Auckland / New Zealand and another 7 hour flight!