So here it is, finally: The Big Revision-Everlife Blog. I promised many people i’d make one, but it takes courage and time to type all those great memories of the past 2 months. I started off in Dutch, but then Sarah commented on my facebook page “I wanna read it when it’s done”. Then I realized it would be a bit hard to make sense of the Dutch uttering and I started over. Ah well, needed to practise my English writing skills anyway. After some great acoustic gigs in September 2008, Everlife decided to come back this spring with a full rock show. With Menno taking care of the planning and management, it promised to be an awesome (and challenging) tour. Menno asked Revision to support Everlife at some of the shows. And so Thursday February 19th came closer…
We struggled our lazy asses in the car to The Hague. It started off with great planning, by having us to be there at 18:00 or something, trough traffic jams and with Menno panicking about the instruments and backline. He planned to leave Velserbroek at 17:00, go to Rotterdam, Utrecht and back to The Hague in one hour. He managed to get some other people to pick up the Guitars, and we arrived just some minutes before Everlife. We were still unpacking our gear, when we heard some sweet female American voices running up the stairs like a herd of wild rhinos. They were a bit in a rush for the sound check, haha. After a bit alien meeting (Apparently, Americans greet by hugging sidewards) we were introduced to Travis (keys and fiddle), Tyler (bass guitar) and Aaron (drums). Time to get ready for the first show. Due to being short on time, the sound check was a bit messy. One of their power supplies got fried because of the wrong power converter, but in the end we managed to get everything ready before the show.
Starting off with Rebelle, people started to slowly fill up the venue. Unfortunately not sold-out, but with over 100 man enough audience to give a good show. For Revision, this happened to be the first show where Mark could use his new keys! It was a success, and so where the new songs we played. We had quite a lot of our own fans in front of us, which always is a good thing. Last but not least, Everlife had a great first show here in Holland, despite the struggle of getting things sorted out last-minute. It was a great night, which was also reported by 3voor12 in their review. (in Dutch, be sure to check it out!) Fortunately there was time to make a short talk with the audience afterwards, in contrast with the previous show here when we were booted because of the next show coming up.
Everlife had some more shows that weekend in regions further away from our fan base, so we did not join them on those. Tuesday in Cafe Stiels was next on the big schedule. Let’s face it: Haarlem is a wonderful city, one of the few bigger cities that has the original Dutch architecture. On the other hand, when going by car, this city is a driver’s nightmare. I think 80% of the cities centre consists of one way streets, small bridges over canals and no parking spots. Furthermore, the road was under construction exactly where we wanted to go, so we have been following the magic “3″ for twenty minutes. Great. At least we have seen the city…
This gig was semi-acoustic, where we used our electric drum kit. Although the sound can’t be compared in any way to real drums, for an acoustic gig the result is acceptable. Especially because you can match the volume of the cymbals to the rest of the instruments. (No Aaron, you can not hit the cymbals softer when your name is Martijn). The soundguy sat undercover in a corner, so by the time we had set up and plugged in everything we discovered his existence. Sigh. Not that he was that much of use, his intentions were good but he started of with saying things like “ehh i dont know bout this cable, that one might be broken too”. You know. After some struggle with short wires we managed to get things going for this gig. Lena, one of the Everlife Merch ladies forced here classmates to come watch this show. Thanks! It would have been rather empty otherwise.
About the music, I don’t wanna talk about this gig too much. Before we could get going, Martijn was stuck on the toilet saying nothing but “AAGHH” and when we started off it was raining mistakes, problems with cabling, monitors, keys, basically everything. Martijn started Missing with the speed of a common funeral song, making it a 10 minute version I guess. You should have seen Allart’s face stretching out those lyrics. Anyway, it was cosy and Everlife did better then we did.
Friday, to Edam! With great memories of the show in September, we headed towards Cafe de Gevangenpoort. We arrived a bit early and with 2 other support acts, plenty of time to get our stuff in and set up. The first band, Deviation, locked their car doors with both the keys and instruments inside, so the whole schedule started a bit late because of the slow start. I wasn’t too impressed with Deviation, but it was not bad. Next up was Rogier, (former) lead singer of Nuclear Playground. (great band!) He decided to start off with a singer/songwriter kind of act, with lots of humour and music from Britney Spears. <3 Great show! Revision was up next. By the time we started playing the stage was becoming a bit hot. Not only because of the lamps, but also the amount of people and humidity of the air. The show was okay, a lot better then the one in Haarlem. We helped Everlife a bit with the changeover and watched a great show. The oven was getting warmer and warmer and julia seemed to be sweating like an otter in salt water. I was really afraid she would pass out halfway… As soon as the show finished, she rushed out for fresh air and cooling.
With some water, rest and sitting down outside in this quite town, Jewels regained strength to go in and talk to some people. I think I have heard her say awkward-awkward-awkward 50x (try it at home, you will sound like a duck) She wouldn’t listen, but everybody inside knew it was wayyyy to hot to be on that stage. Anyway, we left Edam for home and prepared ourselves with a good night’s sleep for Patronaat in Haarlem.
Patronaat is a famous venue in Haarlem, recently moved/rebuild to a new location. We arrived early enough to do an extensive sound check with all of the bands, and get some food backstage. The lineup for this night: Revision, T.I.F.T. and Everlife in that order. So when we started, most of the venue was still empty, bummer. Shortly after starting more people came in, so eventually it still was okay. The sound in that venue is amazing! They managed to get rid of most resonance, echo and feedback from the walls so everything you hear is straight out of the P.A. Combined with good technicians, I think this was the best sound we ever had in a show. I did not see the whole T.I.F.T. show, the only thing I remember is that it is a bunch of arrogant assholes. We shared our dressing room with them and found our clothes dumped on the ground, a cloud of cigarette smoke and their garbage bin was the floor. I almost punched one of them in the face, I was really, really mad when I walked into to that pigs farm. We exchanged some words, and I decided to leave instead of turning the dressing room in to a massacre.
The good thing is, I went down with Everlife to the stage and saw a great, great show. The crowd was joining them by dancing and singing and i took some cool pictures. One of the best shows so far! Sunday was Martijn’s birthday, so we had a mini party at the loading dock. That is, when we finally found him. I remember Sarah and Amber with a grumpy face coming too me.. “Mark, we are missing our sister. We think Martijn.. .. knows… where she is.” It seemed Martijn fancied having his private party with his romance, but after some calls he finally found us at the loading dock. We couldn’t resist cheering at them, resulting in a shy smile on their faces. Happy Birthday Martijn!
Sunday, Starsound studio. We had to get up pretty early, because the sound checks started at noon. Deviation was the first band, with a chance of making a faster changeover then in Edam. Fail. The whole program scheme was delayed by half an hour, mostly because their sound check took way too much time. Everlife had another show later that night, so we decided to reduce the set length of Deviation, Revision and William Wixley. We have played some shows with William Wixley, and I really like their funky music. The show was really awesome, with a swinging and dancing audience. The lighting in that place is very cool by the way. If you check out my facebook, you will see some pictures I shot there. It was still Martijn’s birthday, so Everlife did a lovely “Happy Birthday” for Martijn on stage. I’ve never seen him so shy, and red… awwww
4 days of silence, rest, work, school, anything but music. Friday: to de Nieuwe Nor in Heerlen. What is it with this prison stuff? Nieuwe Nor, Gevangenpoort, I feel like we are a bunch of criminals haha. Heerlen is about 200km away from our base, so we decided to use my van for all stuff needed for tonight’s show. So that’s one van full of people, and one van with stuff, no trailers or extra cars. I left at 10:00 in the morning for Velserbroek, to pick up all Flightcases and the drums. Back to Vlaardingen, pick up Allart & Mark, to Heerlen. We arrived precisely in time to get things going for a sound check. The venue’s hospitality was great, we had dinner in their restaurant and it tasted good. I bet the Everlife crew missed this part, but Allart’s date was there and I must admit she is cute. He doesn’t say much about it, so please bug him for a status report. Both shows were just fine, sound was not that great because of huge bass resonances. I took some pictures with Ambers camera. (which I haven’t seen myself *hint*). It was the last show for now, but we agreed to hang out a bit when Everlife was back from the France and the UK. Driving back was awfull, with a 2 hour drive starting at 1:00 am you’ll need some matches to keep your eyelids open. At least I had company of Mark and Allart, driving me crazy by singing Everlife songs all night long. Thanks, but one show is enough! I don’t remember whether i woke up sunday or monday, but I eventually recovered, I guess.
Two weeks of silence with Everlife gone, and the end of the tour coming close. Menno mailed me for another show in the Immanuel Church in Haarlem. We had a bit mixed feelings about this, some of us are religious, some are not and we don’t want to give audience the impression that our songs are all about religion. But this show was about raising money for some kind of charity-action organized by the church, so we agreed that God would not send Jesus down to kick us out of His house when we are doing something good for once. And if He did, at least someone would have a laughter. Again, we were welcomed very kindly and we put up our gear on the stage. The poor soundguy didn’t know anything about our and Everlife’s setup, so he had to move everything to another spot when we arrived. There was plenty of time for everyone to do a soundcheck.
Menno forgot to tell the organisation that we would tag along, so we went outside to get some dry bread with a glass of water while Everlife was having dinner on this great feast, spread out over ten tables, with candlelight, high quality french and italian wines and perfect desserts. Yepp, that’s the difference between you and the Disney stars!
Rogier once again opened the night with a live performance of the spice girls. He had some new songs too, with one particular smartlap (EN: tearjerker) about Religion and how he loved to be religious. It was very funny, especially because he was singing it in some kind of Amsterdamish-accent. Travis also joined on his fiddle in two songs. Excellent performance. Next up was Revision. With the timid ending of Rogier alone on the stage, we decided to start of with Eclipse of the Sun, to get the audience ears ready for some rock. It was a great show, even though there were not that many people.
I think this was Everlife’s last Dutch show, at least the last one with us. They did really great, even though the audience, of which at least 60% attended another show, knew what was going to be said on stage. Julia was enthusiastic to introduce herself to the crowd, when Amber started thinking out loud: “Pssstsst.. Julia! This is really awkward, everybody knows what we are gonna say!” but Julia just went on “We learned to speak something Dutch, so here we go: Ik ben Amber, Ik ben Sarah, Ik ben Julia, en wij zijn Everlife”. You could hear the crowd mumbling along with those words, pretty funny. But I must admit, this was one of Everlife’s best shows I’ve seen. I think it is mostly because there were so many familiar people in the audience, and it all felt so close. After the show, we hugged and kissed goodbye, as Everlife left for Belgium, Switzerland and Austria and we didn’t expect to see them afterwards.
But we just couldn’t let them go and decided to make some time to wave them farewell at Schiphol on Tuesday. We had been brainstorming about a small present we wanted to give the girls, as a memory of the experience here in Europe and to show our appreciation of the great shows we played together. Martijn came up with this idea to make a “Revision” of one of the acoustic songs on the Everlife EP. We all like Resistance, so we chose that one. A drunk moving-impaired monkey makes better music then me, so I decided to get some work done on the artwork of the box, while Allart, Mark and Martijn made the remix of the song. I was quite surprised by the result, especially when you know they used only a mixdown master of the CD and no multi-track versions.
Tuesday morning, Schiphol airport. We agreed to meet Lena, Dina and Jesper at Starbucks that morning. There are two Starbucks’ at Schiphol, and I could only find one so we walked around for about an hour when we finally got our coffee. Allart was a bit surprised by the choices Starbucks offered, and told the waitress he only wanted a coffee and not a big mac menu. After being stared at for 2 seconds she gave him his coffee and we were seated in this happy Schiphol place to wait for everlife to arrive. Naomi and Marlies also joined us in this good morning happiness. We are blessed by Martijn’s Julia-proximity meter, so we knew exactly when they were here. We went up to the check-in, had coffee, changed money, chatted around a bit and then finally hugged each other farewell. Poor Martijn smoked two packs of cigarettes that morning and there are no tissues to be found in a 15 km radius of schiphol any more. We took some final pictures before Everlife disappeared trough the security gate. Peter’s house is all empty again, and Menno can bring his van back and go back to his car. It has been a great time and i sincerely hope we see each other again sometime.
A word of respect of those who reach these last lines of my blog, i know it’s almost a book. So much has happened and I’m excited about all of it. It’s just impossible to write it all down. These are my memories and I’m looking really forward to read all yours!