the civic chronicle #4

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3/6/2010: The nightmarish early morning drive from Hamburg to the Danish ferry terminal where we would take passage to Norway was plagued by bad traffic and delays. Is the Danish government deliberately trying to bait the free-market neo-liberal scum-suckers who run the world by investing massively in highway infrastructure? Or are they just tired of their well surfaced roads and want to spruce them up for no good reason? Who fucking knows.

We had one particularly hairy moment just before reaching the ferry terminal when a small spider wandered across the dashboard of the ATV, causing Aaron to shriek and swerve wildly across three lanes of fast moving traffic. Let me explain.

Aaron is as tough as they come. Despite his emaciated appearance, he is a serious brawler, and would routinely be arrested for Agravated Assault back in the heady Melbourne rock days. His victims were always the meanest of the mean. King Street nightclub bouncers and tattoo slathered speed dealers with axes to grind and early psychosis setting in. Yes, Aaron is afraid of no man.
But he is utterly crippled by arachnaphobia. Even a fucking picture of a spider in a magazine can make him tremble and sob and babble like a goose.

So it was a close call when that harmless little bastard sauntered across the dash, but I managed to sweep him into an empty cigarette packet and launch it out the window before Aaron went completely to pieces behind the wheel at 140kph amongst hapless Danes on their way to Norway for fjord-spotting holidays.

Hammer of the gods, will drive our ship to new lands...

Anyway, we could feel the Viking bloodlust rising in our veins, so we boarded the "Fjordcat" and slammed some Enslaved on our enourmous boom-box to antagonise the other passangers, until we were threatened with being tossed overboard like chum if we didn't turn it off. But our spirits remained high and we sang bawdy shantys as we made landfall in Kristiansand around 5pm. 

It certainly is. But will the ogre staring at me eat us before we get the chance?

As we drove through the relentlessly clean, pretty, orderly streets I began to see the appeal of wearing corpsepaint to the supermarket and setting fire to things. It's easy to see how a youth with a dark imagination living in a place like this could be driven to a world view that is just one big revenge fantasy against everything nice. Aaron probably put it best when he remarked that "Even the fucking trees and swans look like they're straight off a high-tech production line". It's true, they do.

Is that even a real swan? It sure wanted some of my sandwich.

Designer at work! I will soon be launching my hot new clothing label, stay tuned.

So much for that. 

I was gripped by an awful black wave of pesismism when we got to the venue. It was a small, pleasant wood panelled bar attached to a hideous brushed-aluminium steak-house staffed by Barbie dolls. I imagined us playing to a bunch of horrified Nordic yuppies in polo-shirts and loafers. I should have had more faith.
The promoter was a jolly giant called Louis, a charming colossus who infected us with his enthusiasm, so that within minutes of loading our gear in my mood had swung right around. The feeling of good cheer was bolstered by his hip young sidekick Joshua and Mary the bar manager, who was awesomely pretty and also bluff and hale in fine publican style.

My mood improved further when we were given as much beer as we could drink, even though each one would cost an ordinary punter about 4000euros and a kidney, and we hit the tiny stage drunk as mules.
The sound-system was massively over-speced for the room and we drove it hard, but the sound was crisp and I became completely giddy with pleasure, especially when the crowd of local hep-cats and music-nerds who had crammed themselves into the little bar applauded us like we were conquering generals bringing home the heads of Norways' enemies. My satisfaction was complete at the end of the night, when I saw that Louis was so drunk (on fucking white wine!!) that he was in danger of soiling himself, which I took to mean he had enjoyed the evening as heartily as we.

Once again, a fine experience. Many thanks to all involved, especially to the bouyant, good-vibe-radiating Louis. My only regret is not getting the camera out of the car and taking a snap of him at his wined-out worst.

Next stop, Oslo, where we actually DO start setting fire to shit.


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