From Here To Oberhausen

The road to Oberhausen isn’t that long for me, given I live about an hour and a half away from the city. Having brought my equipment with me ( and again instantly realising I’d forgotten my guitar stand again :P) we arrived in Germany. Before going to the venue, we found ourselves having to obtain a sticker that proved you could enter the city, as the Germans employ almost mad laws to bar certain ‘un-environmental’ cars from their major cities in the west. Oddly enough, my car was banned from the city ( even though other cars from the same buildyear as mine are allowed). After a bit of a discussion with the mechanic who checked my car, we realised that we would park our cars in a private parking lot and that the chances a ticket for driving into the city with a car that didn’t have the aforementioned sticker was awarded, were next to zero. We decided to take our chances and enter Oberhausen.

As we arrived at the venue, about thirty minutes later Haken arrived as well. The poor guys had been on an eleven hour drive to the venue, so they were royally knackered the entire day. Both bands hauled out their equipment and quickly began setting up the stage.

The venue was situated in what used to be an old West-German factory. Perhaps not the most modern of all places, but it could house about 300 people and had a great location in the middle of town. The stage was a bit small, but that was only a minor issue. At one point though, during our soundcheck, I recall telling the band that at one point I could fall through the stage as where I stood ( centre, in front of the drumkit) I felt the stage shake and groan under the stress of the noise we were making. The stage, however, held it together nicely 🙂

The gig came and went quite rapidly. Going on stage in front of a crowd which had never even heard of us ( half of the crowd didn’t even know there was a support act in the first place!) was a bit daunting, but we held it together and, apart from some minor hiccups, we played a great show. Haken afterwards blew the crowd away, even though they had only had a couple of hours of sleep. Kudos to the men for pulling that off!

After finishing both sets and cleaning out the stage, we all drove back home, content with the work done. Here’s to more gigs, whether they’re abroad or not!

Dutch prog rock band Sylvium in Oberhausen

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