PCP, Idem, Xmilk, Subterranean Kids @ Sala Can Recader, Castellterçol SPA 27 February 1998

Ok, this is meant to be a more or less “short” tour/experience-report to give you people some idea of how it went. I’ve chosen not to digress on the many political/social issues, although it was very tempting to write extensively about the Basque situation, Spanish Libertarian movement, squatscene…etc.etc. Maybe some other time. So here’s for the bandshit:

In this line-up, PCP is now together for about 5 months. We are Oene (guitar; also bass for Fleas And Lice), Pelle (bass; also drums for No I.D. and Fleas And Lice), Rommert (guitar; also guitar for No I.D. and Yphobia), Michael (drums; also drums for Catweazle and Tuco Ramirez), Esther (vocals; also vocals for Urinal Cakes) and Margriet (vocals). Yes, we are truly a so-called incestband! We have nothing released yet but will go into the studio sooner than later.

This was supposed to be the 2nd French/Spanish tour for my other band Catweazle. Everything was already arranged and confirmed, when suddenly our guitarplayer got offered his “dream” job. It was now or never for him and obviously he decided for a certain and bright future. It took some effort, but eventually PCP became the replacement.

For this tour, Eva (driver; also vocals for No I.D.) bought a black Citroën C25 van (1984/LPG). The weekend before this tour, we got the chance to check it out with Catweazle and No I.D. but it broke down on the way to the first gig… So the next week was a race against time and Eva did nothing but repairing.

Monday 23/2 (departure)
Departure at 9 am (we have to drive 500+ km) but there are still things to be fixed on the van so we postpone the departure time. Stress! After replacing the dynamo, checking the battery, reparing a door and some other shit, we decide to leave around 8 pm. The van is totally full, a true puzzle. After 60 km it’s starting to rain hard and we get the first problem: the screenwipers break down. It’s too late for a garage so we call the good ole ANWB road-service. The helpful person learns us a good trick with an elastic but after a while it either breaks or doesn’t work good enough so it’s more or less stunting thru the rain to Luxembourg…

Tuesday 24/2 (Luxembourg)
At 7 am and 10 km before our crash-address, the front wheel-axles are behaving strange. We nevertheless make it to Marek’s place and surprise him at 8 in the morning (he expects us at 6 pm instead…). Due to this new van-problem we have to cancel the first concert in Salt (on Wednesday). One of Marek’s friends recommend us a good Citroën garage in France. We will drive there tomorrow to try have it checked/fixed. All the equipment/stuff is dumped in the house to make the van as light as possible because of the weight on the wheel-axles.

Wednesday 25/2 (Luxembourg)
Today is a crucial day. If the van-problem cannot be fixed, we have to cancel the entire tour. With a couple people we drive to France, the rest stays at Marek’s place. The van drives better now it is unloaded. We’re lucky to arrive early. It’s only the left wheel-axle and Eva brought a good spare one with her so they replace it that afternoon. Back “home” (yes, Marek and his grandmother took very well care of us), we prepare for the trip to Saint-Etienne; and I celebrate with a warm bath. At a local scrap-yard, we get an engine for the screenwipers and fit it in our van. We are lucky that Thursday is a day-off; the first concert in Spain will be on Friday.

Thursday 26/2 (Saint-Étienne)
We arrive far too late in Saint-Etienne but fortunately Denis and friends give us a warm welcome anyway and even make some warm food for us in the middle of the nite (deja-vu; just like when Catweazle played back in May 97: same food, same place, same time). We have some problems with the payroads. Most of those payroad-employees charge us category 3 tarifs while we belong in the twice as cheap category 1. It must be funny to see a bunch of colorful punks (by now, we are red, yellow, blue and green-haired) getting out of their black van and bothering employees while a long line of cars is waiting to get through. At a giant supermarket, we find food, vegetables and dairy products in the trash-containers. It’s amazing to see what they throw away while it is still good.

Friday 27/2 (Sala Can Recader, Castellterçol; with Idem, Xmilk and Subterranean Kids)
For this tour, I only have telephonenumbers of the organisers/contactpersons. No maps or addresses so I have to call around 3 pm each day to check for necessary details. My first experience with Spanish pay-phones is not too good. They steal all your money even if someone isn’t answering your call. I cannot reach the La Roca person so we decide to drive straight to La Roca and just see what happens. We are already  late and I decide to do another phonecall. It turns out the concert is moved to another location called Castellterçol, a small village in the mountains. What follows is a crazy small and climbing road. Time to sweat! We arrive around 10:30 pm and see it is a festival that starts around 12 o’clock anyway. After some nice food (very necessary after a whole day in the van), the place, or better yet, the hall begins to fill. Unfortunately I haven’t seen too much of Idem. Xmilk is pretty good and enjoyable and I am very surprised and glad to see that Subterranean Kids are still around. The last time I saw them was in 1988 when they played the infamous W.N.C. squat in Groningen (29/9) and the famous Van Hall in Amsterdam (16/10) with Fugazi and No FX. They now have a new guitarplayer (ex-GRB and a very good driver as well!) and sound brilliant. They even do an old R.K.L. cover so they cannot do any bad for me! PCP has to start around 4 in the morning – Dawn of the Living Dead it is… so we are not that good (understatement). We even receive an hilarious P.A. recording for this show – hahaha! We sleep at Pau’s place in Moia but we lose Margriet on the way without knowing it. The next morning she was brought up safely by the local cops… I’ll make sure to keep my eyes open the next couple of weeks!

A regular sight…
Dumpsterdiving is good!
Plenty of supermarkets in the south
Nice flyerart in Catalunya

PCP (Groningen, The Netherlands)
Idem (Spain)
Xmilk (Barcelona, Spain)
Subterranean Kids (Barcelona, Spain)