The Civic Chronichle #9

Posted in by CIVIL CIVIC | Edit
 So yeah, this morning it struck me...

"I was writing a tour diary, wasn't I?"

Yes, Ben, you were. Better polish that shit off before all that Spanish sun and those cheap painkillers turn your brains to slush.
Anyone who has read more than one of these posts would be hip to the fact that I have been writing them more or less at my leasure. The tour was over some weeks ago and I arrived back in the BCN in time to get sucked into the druggy, techy mayhem of Sonar and it's various spin-off parties. It was the last fucking thing I needed, but I made the most of it and in the end I lost only sleep, money and a tooth.
Maybe a few friends too. But shit, easy come, easy go, eh?
All that guff is another, non-Civic related tale.

What concerns us now is an accurate, impartial overview of the final show in our debut Euro Tour.

That tale must begin in Cologne, where, as I mentioned earlier, Manu from Tsunami gave us a hang-over quashing breakfast of eggs, many cheeses and stout Deutscher brot.
Thus fueled we loaded the ATV and blew town, after teary farewells and exchange of emails ect.

I have no clear recollection of the drive. I remember stopping for "Travel Pussy" and Dunkelbrot at a service station before we hit the border, and later begging Aaron to take the exit to the Asterix theme park, but the rest is fuzzy.

I dont know what Euro touring was like before they
invented Travel Pussy, and I don't want to know.

What I do remember very clearly is the nerve-shredding, horn-honking carnage of hitting Paris at peak hour on a Friday, two hours before kick off in the France/Paraguay game.
These people had a hole-plugging, hyper aggressive driving style that frankly shocked me. Any sign of indecision or weakness on our part was swiftly and brutally seized upon and we were getting boxed in, cut off and generally walked allover. It was like being attacked by a school of pirahnas.

I lost count of the number of massive intersections we got stranded in after the lights had changed.
Then we would sit, blocking the whole fucking road, with hundreds of hot, hate-crazed Parisians driving directly at us, swerving at the last minute, leaning on their horns and screaming curses. I think I lost about 5 kilos from when we came off the freeway to when we finally found our hotel. Stress is slimming, they say.

Anyway, we had a night free, so once my hands stopped trembling I went for a stroll and a bad Vietnamese meal, while Aaron went down to the Eiffel tower to watch the football with 10,000 other people, on a screen roughly the size of a football pitch.

Aaron managed to snap this lovely shot, before
heading down to watch the match and do whatever it
was that got him covered in blood.

He still won't tell me what happened down there, but when I got up around dawn for a piss I found his shirt in the bathroom sink soaked in blood and something that smelled like amonia. There was also a crushed fistfull of Czech currency and a pair of very expensive Italian ladies shoes, half covered by that stinking, gory rag.
When I threw one of the shoes at Aarons' head and demanded to be told "the Story" he just giggled like a little girl and pulled his blanket over his face, peek-a-boo style.

That Aaron is such a scamp. He really makes his own fun, wherever he goes, I'll say that for the guy.

Our day then proceded along very standard lines for a pair of young Australian males in Paris. Coffee, crossoints, sightseeing, strip-clubs, scoring weed from Algerians with no arms, making fun of French people and their hilarious accents, losing money at a cockfight, falling asleep in the park in the afternoon on piles of garbage and dog-shit. You know the drill.

With our free time brutally killed we headed down to the Internationalle, our rock dive, for soundcheck.
We were greeted by a tired and peeved looking guy called Pierre, who turned out be a local lighting operator who was serving as a kind of point man for the promoter, Benoit, who was elsewhere.
Pierres' frown was mirrored by most of the staff at first, but I wrote it off as a manifestation of the infamous Parisian "Attitude" and busied myself with routine tasks. Later it was revealed that they were all sleep-deprived and crushingly hung-over, but once the "froth got blown off a few" they all turned out to be love-able goofs. Pierre in particular proved to be a disarmingly affable gentlleman.

Once Benoit graced the scene (he too proved to be, like, a super nice guy!) we dined with the other acts in a local cous-cous joint. Communication was patchy, due to our pathetic mono-linguality, but the whole crew seemed pretty good humored. They were just a bunch of young arty fuck-ups with giant brains, cool clothes and no cash, so naturally we considered them excellent company and fine human beings.

Having eaten and drunk some, we returned to the would be scene-of-the-crime for more drink and bad noise.
By the time we were due onstage the room was packed with Parisian hipster types (being all hip and French and shit) so I was pretty intimidated. Aaron must have noticed, because he gave me a quick, hard slap in the face while I was tuning up. I thought he had finally turned on me, and dropped into a fighting crouch, but he just grinned at me spastically and dug a thick fake-moustache out of his pocket and rammed it onto my face. Then, before I could react, he stomped the little footswitch which starts The Box.

Rockin' the false 'stache, how could I fail to COOK!

A long lost member of Radiohead stares wistfully into the distance.
No wait, right, it´s just Aaron. Phew.

...And we played with balls, if I do say (despite the 100 db ceiling), and got a pretty warm reception from the crowd. I delivered a short speech (Google translated into French and read off a piece of paper) praising the Republic, and this also seemed to amuse the Frenchies (I learned after the show that Google had fucked the grammar up in just the right way to make my toadying rant chuckle-worthy, so I was well satisfied).

After we cleared our crap off stage I went and hung out on the street with the other smokers and 30 or so people who couldn't get into the club. I got in a conversation with a young lady called ???? Flavie, who claimed to be John Zorns' illegitimate daughter and complimented our noise by saying we sounded just like Ceramic Dog. I don't hear it, personally, but ears are funny things.

She bought a t-shirt from us and got us to sign it with lipstick, so as far as I'm concerned she can say we sound like Wham if that's what comes into her head. That's fine.

I actually put the lipstick on my lips and kissed the shirt!
That thing will be worth MILLIONS!!
Once the gig started winding down I ran into a French guy I know from Barcelona who had blundered into our show by accident while on a trip to visit relatives. He was loaded and keen to hit the Modular Records party across tow, so he took me into the filthy toilets to shnort some cocaine. I was open to the idea of the Modular thing, since I was vaugely curious as to what sort of shit Van She deejay, but it was not to be.

Pierre and Benoit had other plans, and hustled us around the corner and into a big, ritzy club full of models and drug dealers and fat, sleazy men with expensive watches. Benoit promoted nights at this den of sin, so we copped some drinks and tried to fit in, but the crowd were too well-heeled. I felt like a hobo who had somehow dodged the security and was about to start hustling for change and pissing in the pot-plants.

So we bowed out after an hour or so of staring at tits and nursing our cocktails and walked up the hill into Belville, to a flat where we were expected to stay the night.

The resident turned out to be another club-promoter type by the name of Clemence. She was tired but never-the-less charming and generous and she turned over her room to us so that we could collapse in our own stink for a few hours, before rising and driving to Dunkirque for the ferry back to England.

That ferry trip has it's own special story, but I'll leave that for next post, when I will also post all our reciepts and invoices in the hope that someone will email and tell us how much money we lost.

In the meantime I'll spare a line to say a big, fat, greasy THANKS to Benoit, Pierre and Clemence for a fine show and great hospitality in the City of Lights. I´ll put a few Travel Pussies in the mail.


  1. Flavie says:

    Flavie my name is Flavie. And you just sound like the unofficial Ceramic Dog!
    Thanks for the pict!

    July 10, 2010 at 12:59 PM

  2. CIVIL CIVIC says:

    You're welcome. we type corrected!

    July 11, 2010 at 11:10 PM

  3. CIVIL CIVIC says:

    My bad. So many names, so few brain-cells.
    X Ben

    July 12, 2010 at 10:55 AM

  4. Flavie says:

    No prob, thanks for the correction :-) and by the way, you do not sound like Wham, sorry guys.

    July 12, 2010 at 12:48 PM

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