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What Is It With Denmark?

By Ginger | December 6, 2009

So, it started when we left the beautiful, strange winter wonderland that is Norway, en route for Denmark.

Denmark, that nemesis of a place that very nearly sapped our lust for life during the recording of our last album. A place with so many memories it’s a shame they’re mostly horrible.

You could say that we haven’t enjoyed a great time in Denmark and you’d be right.

Would this time be any different?

Read on, dear reader, read on.

Turns out that the Punk festival that we are booked to play isn’t actually a punk festival at all.

“Just as long as it’s not a glam festival I’ll be happy” snorted Scott.

Ever wish you’d never said something?

On landing in Copenhagen we are met by a guy with half leather, star filled trousers who tells us that we will not be travelling by the traditional vehicular conveyance that would transport six people, as many guitars, a dozen suitcases and various merchandise. Oh no, we will not take a van or any such thing. We will take the train.

Yeah, I’ve seen the Anvil movie and no, I didn’t think we’d ever travel to a gig on a train loaded with our gear. Turns out the promoter, the guy who met us from the plane, is a confirmed pathological fibber and has been suitably economic with the truth.

“I lie to make people happy, and when they realise I’m lying I lie again”, says our promoter and host for the evening.

So we aren’t playing a punk festival, and we don’t actually have transport to the glam gig we are playing.

“It’s just around the corner from the train station”, he tells us, and after dragging our luggage and equipment around Copenhagen for 40 minutes we can see a theme developing.

After finally reaching the venue in time for soundcheck we are told that we have to turn the amps down onstage. Then, on reducing the volume to half of our usual output we are told once more to turn them down. This went on for a comedic amount of time until a stagehand is dispatched to the amps to turn them down quieter than I play my stereo when my son is sleeping next to me.

And on the strangest shaped stage in Scandinavia we locate the bottle of Jack Daniels, a gift from from our wonderful hosts in Norway, and begin to drink.

After coming to terms with the fact that the onstage sound tonight will resemble angry wasps in cookie jars we retire to our hotel. Or, to be more specific, hostel, where we are expected to sleep 6 in one room, including our female manager. The promise of single hotel rooms being less than honoured we settle for sharing two rooms leaving a 3rd single room for Virpi. Me, Scott and Dunc will be crammed into a tiny cell with barely enough space to fit our bags, and sleep on beds that have not been changed this century.

We continue to drink

It is agreed that the majestic waves of disappointment sweeping through our party will be best calmed by good food and fine wines.

This, however, will not manifest and will, instead, be traded in for a visit to the Royal Palace or, as Scott re-named it Hitler’s Chinese Buffet, which, it turns out, is run by the rudest, most obnoxious, unhelpful and over opinionated person living in a country of seemingly many rude, obnoxious, unhelpful and over opinionated people.

Virpi, who earlier, when asked where to buy guitar leads/chords was sent first to a record store, then a piano shop and a drum shop before finally being shown a guitar shop, is told that if she orders water with her meal she can not drink any drink of ours, not a sip of someone’s coke, not nothing. If you order coke you drink coke, if you order water you drink water, sharing is strictly forbidden. After enduring the charms of Denmark’s most disagreeable man Virpi loses the patience she has been valiantly clinging on to, and let’s him have a large slice of her mind.

In a bid to restore a peaceful equilibrium within the ranks it is decided that we should find a pub and just stay there until showtime, some four hours later.

Further to meeting up with the lovely Maria Anderberg (the wonderful woman who put me in touch with Maria Mckee) and friends we stagger, by this point, to the venue, in the pissing down rain, where we will wait for showtime while being serenaded by a DJ specialising in the worst music that the 80’s had to offer, namely hair metal.

The show goes off pretty well, a healthy reception and a very good natured audience, and after hanging out in the dressing room for long enough to be driven insane by the abhorrent music we conclude that the Danish don’t know what ‘Private: The Wildhearts Only’ means, and that taxi drivers would rather drive around at 90 mph than actually pick anyone up.

We drag our gear back through the rain and arrive at our digs around 4am to see a very high member of a glam band straightening his hair in the corridor mirror. We opt to drink to the death of a very strange day indeed.

Virpi wakes with a strange male member of staff leering over her bed instructing her to “leave right now”, the promised Wi Fi doesn’t work and everyone is still scratching their heads at the previous days activities.

We retire to an Irish pub where I decide I can’t leave Copenhagen with no fond memories and opt to visit the infamous hippie commune Christiania.

A very different face of Copenhagen welcomes us as we enter and take the main drag past dozens of hash and pot stalls hawking the strongest smelling weed these nostrils have ever imbibed. We almost get stoned by osmosis, such is the potency and open use of the local herbal fare.

Christiania is an incredible experience, a social experiment that began in 1971 where the only rules are no violence and keep the place tidy. The entire community muck in together and the enjoy everything from shows by major artists to public speakers addressing a huge tent on the benefits of sharing. There is a strong Buddhist vibe here and everyone is chatty and smiling, a far cry from the grumbling control freaks we’ve met just a few miles down the road. Even the dogs seem unnaturally laid back. You could get a place to stay here for around 100 quid a month. The police keep a respectful distance and the 1000’s of inhabitants live in a seemingly hassle free utopia.

I leave Copenhagen buoyant and so smitten by this strange community that I can forgive, easily, the rudeness of some of the people outside Christiania. After all, it would simply appear that most of the friendly people left the city to live in the commune. I know I would.

I hope to come back here one day to write and enjoy the spiritual balance that seems the true currency of this magical place.

I’d also like to continue my on going quest to fall in love with this country.

Denmark, you crazy fucking bastard.

Gx

31 Responses to “What Is It With Denmark?”

  1. mitchattitude Says:
    December 7th, 2009 at 01:50

    Oh man!I thought that was hilarious.What a read!

  2. ImagesAndWords Says:
    December 7th, 2009 at 06:59

    Haha.. I always enjoy your writing, but this one was extra good. :) Too bad you had such a shitty experience in Denmark though. I guess it doesn’t take much to become an a-hole promoter it seems. Just get the right contacts, and you’re in. Your Danish “promoter” guy sounds like a total airhead. C’mon people, The Wildhearts are worthy of a great welcome wherever they go!

  3. floyd Says:
    December 7th, 2009 at 08:40

    Its been said before but…You really must write a book at some point! Roll on the 17th!

  4. Tweets that mention What Is It With Denmark? | The Wildhearts -- Topsy.com Says:
    December 7th, 2009 at 08:46

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by The Wildhearts, johndissed. johndissed said: A must-read RT @TheWildhearts New blog post from Ginger on theWH.com: What Is It With Denmark? http://is.gd/5eqDu […]

  5. crispian Says:
    December 7th, 2009 at 09:36

    The thing is,Ginger,the promoter most probably saw the 20(30?) year old picture of yer band in Newcastle that’s been posted on your facebook page.He probably thought,”Well,I don’t recognise the others,but that MUST be the Wildhearts…”.Sorry you had a crap time-Well done for honouring the booking,loads of lesser bands wouldn’t have.
    I’m glad,but not suprised,that you enjoyed Christiana tho.The place is amazing.It’s one of those places that used to be MUCH wilder and,ever since it had to make 1or2 rules in order to survive,there’s been an element of,”..oh,you should’ve been there in the old days” or,”…it’s shit now it’s straightened out’.But,the fact is-it’s still a FANTASTIC place which mostly manages to survive on traditional and non’modern’ principles-it’s always good to hear an update on the place and I’m glad you saw it still thriving.

  6. Jenzzz Says:
    December 7th, 2009 at 10:16

    Weird.
    Had almost the same experience. Thought it was maybe just me. Apparently not.

  7. Don Borelli Says:
    December 7th, 2009 at 11:08

    Ah shit, Ginger. On behalf of Denmark, I apologise. Sounds like a really shitty experience. But yeah, I’ve played at The Rock with my band and most of the guys there are clueless dicks. Next time, make sure you play at “Loppen”(the venue in Christiania)…that would be a match made in heaven.

  8. winst Says:
    December 7th, 2009 at 19:46

    lesson learned…now i can book you for a gig at a little place i know called “the mission” at a place called(the mill dam)in the kingdom of “shitsville” the deal is….bottle of jack each,prime accomodation (the pier guest house)guaranteed full house (55 max)and shit loads of fun….please let me know…..winst

  9. Joe Says:
    December 7th, 2009 at 21:37

    Makes exeter look positively wonderful. Which it is.

  10. Dennis Post Says:
    December 7th, 2009 at 21:43

    Hello Ginger!
    It’s the confirmed pathological fibber here´
    First off, the show was absolutely awesome, and I consider it one of the best concerts I’ve seen this year!! I’m sorry you feel “I” put you through hell, but I’d like to give you (and everybody else on this blog talking shit about me without actually knowing me) my version of the story…

    1: You might wanna talk to your management about the conditions of the show since I’ve been more than honest about every tiny little fuckin’ detail in both mail and phonecalls. You could ask him for copies of the mails. I would gladly send you everything if he is ok with it, but given the fact that you consider me a liar, you’d probably suspect I tangled with it, so better get it from him..

    2: I only slept 45 minutes in 2 days to come pick you guys up since I was madly excited about having one of my favorite bands (along a wide variety of Thrash metal, Punk, and GLAM bands;-) NOT because my badass pants and I were contractually obligated to. Because I’m a fan!

    3: We didn’t ride a train! We took the airport metro, and the reason for that was to save an insane amount of time given the traffic in Copenhagen at the time due to the World climate meeting (open random newspaper from anywhere in the world if you haven’t heard about it). You were slightly delayed and I wanted to insure you a desent soundcheck … that’s all.. Nobody told me to fuck off and get a cab at any time whatsoever..
    You also seem to be forgetting that 3 workers from the venue helped you carry your luggage from the station to the venue, and about that taking 40 minutes… well, go to danish googlemaps and dial in “nørreport St. (the station) to Skindergade 45 (the venue)”…who’s, as you gracefully put it, suitably economic with the truth now?
    The remark I made was meant as a joke!! Who the hell would seriously say something like that?… lighten up for christ sake!

    4: Punk Festival? As I said in “1:”, I informed the manager about everything, incl. Winger and Vain being the 2 first confirmed acts, and I don’t know anybody that wouldn’t be able to connect the dots… I mean come on!, the fuckin’ festival is named after a Europe song;-)
    I booked you because I’m a fan, but also to give the festival some much needed edge and variety, which I think you delivered bigtime (along with 70’s inspired stoner/groove rockers “Karma Cowboys”)

    5: After booking you a nice apartment at a desent hotel, I was informed by your management that a 5 person apartment wasn’t acceptable and you needed single rooms which ,2 weeks in advance, would be pretty much impossible to find even if there wasn’t the world climate meeting going on… this was all i could find and I got an “ok”!… well, I guess that once again “1:” says it all.

    6: My job in this was booking you guys, getting you a hotle, and keeping the time schedule for the bands playing, absolutely nothing more!!… EVERYTHING else was something I did because I wanted you to feel welcome and enjoy your time here, which apparently failed miserably…
    If CJ, Scott, and Duncan agrees with your view on me, they deserve an Oscar.

    I wish you would have said something when you had the chance to do it face to face instead of this backstabbin’ slanter tabloid bullshit + I really hope this clears up the the things regarding me as I don’t think I deserve any of this and I genuinely did whatever i could to be a friend.

    Thoughts?

    Hope to hear from you soon
    All the best
    Dennis Post
    http://www.myspace.com/dennispost

  11. Casper Says:
    December 7th, 2009 at 23:34

    FUCK YOU!!!

    what a fukkin’ old fukkin wanker u are.. i helped u guys fukkin carry ur shit guitars, and asked u all if u were okay!!!! and when it comes down to it, it wasnt because i actually cared, since i find u quite shit anyway, but im the type of person who cares if other people
    feels great. now im glad u have had a shit time here.

    -Casper

    http://www.myspace.com/casper666

  12. SteveP Says:
    December 8th, 2009 at 00:04

    well Ean, I think it’s probably time you closed this thread, pending legal action, as I can see this doing nothing but degenerating into a slanging match between the parties concerned.
    Dirty washing in public and all that shite.
    Let them get it sorted in private, this site and the right to reply (via the comments) is not the place to sort these problems.
    Roll on the tour!!

  13. Martin d'Amour Says:
    December 8th, 2009 at 00:07

    I look very much forward to see Gingers open reply to Dennis and the club and country he finds so puzzling.

    //Club owner

  14. crispian Says:
    December 8th, 2009 at 03:38

    I think SteveP has the right idea(even tho the hatefully tabloid side of me is pretty fascinated to find out how this could’ve gone so tits-up)-best not to let this turn into the nasty,mud-slinging screaming match that it could SO easily become.
    I think there IS a right-to-reply question here as regards Ginger and Dennis tho,and an open letter does seem fair seeing as the blog was public,BUT-a/that’s easy for me to say,and b/it’ll be a shame if this thread ends up being the bombsite it COULD be.
    Oh Drama.

  15. Bez Says:
    December 8th, 2009 at 06:07

    That was possibly the most randomly funny wand weird thing I’ve read in a long while blog wise, along with the response from the guy on ur FB page. Good to know u kept ur head up and soldiered on, after all if u don’t laff then ya cry lol. Am sure u’ll hav a much groovier time in Leeds and oh boy that seems ages away 😉

  16. Blade Says:
    December 8th, 2009 at 14:14

    hahahaha…love it when you get both sides of the story. Ginger, I guess its over to you!!!!!:)

  17. iddsy Says:
    December 8th, 2009 at 14:52

    i agree with u stevep,this should be closed now,too many danish cocks coming on here now giving it the big un

  18. Jez Says:
    December 8th, 2009 at 15:20

    Hey I’ve got the next blog written
    ‘What is it with Finland?’
    Ur all c*nts :) :)

  19. floyd Says:
    December 8th, 2009 at 15:52

    Yeah Iddsy what the Danish cock said!!!!! lol

  20. Jonathan Bruus Says:
    December 8th, 2009 at 16:22

    Hey, your fuckin’ wildheart idiot. Shut the fuck up. i was there to see Winger,and Wildhearts. But now i’m glad i didn’t see the Wildhearts, you fuckin dick.

    – Jonathan

  21. Blade Says:
    December 8th, 2009 at 17:17

    Writing a contentious piece alienating the whole ‘new territory’ that you’re trying to develop is probably not too clever, but leaving your OWN website open so people can respond and make you look like an asshole….priceless! But there again wouldn’t that be censorship, which you’ve always fought against!mmm

  22. iddsy Says:
    December 8th, 2009 at 17:42

    there to see winger??? just about sums u up mate :-)

  23. Kass Says:
    December 8th, 2009 at 18:14

    Say Fuck to the police, fuck the goverment, fuck school fuck work, fuck the tabloids, fuck each other if you want, but don´t fuck with your Fans, cause we payed 150,- each just to see You guys. I enjoyed every minute of the festival, You played Fuckin´ Fantastic. I love your music, but I´m not impressed of this badmouthing. Some fans would go through fire for You, if you could just go through a rainey street for them!

  24. Christian Friis Jensen Says:
    December 8th, 2009 at 18:23

    Well, this sucks.

    I can say though, that the 40 minute walk from Nørreport Metro to Skindergade 45 would necessitate at least a 20 minute beer break, but I digress.

    It saddens me deeply, that there have been so many misunderstandings on both sides here, and the situation has gone this sour. Ginger, you’re one of my biggest heroes and inspirations, and I wish I could have thanked you personally that particular night, for how your music and your message has had a positive impact on my life, but still.. I’m having trouble believing that things could have gone THIS wrong.

    Granted, I’ve heard some horror stories about the crew at the Rock, and granted; It is not a “professional” venue in that respect.

    Honestly, NO “rock” venue in Copenhagen is. The scene is just too small, for there to be a venue where everything goes off with such well-drilled precision a SWAT team will look like disheveled bums. It’s all run by people who care deeply about the music, but have to do it in their “off” time, from work or school. Sadly, that’s just how it is here, and that might also explain previous negative experiences.

    However, of course both parties need to be clear on the conditions, so as to avoid a mud-slinging situation such as this.

    How this whole “punk festival”-debacle came to be, is a mystery to me as well, though. Rock The Night has always been the (thankfully) last bastion of Hair Metal, and I don’t believe that’s ever been a secret anywhere. It’s always a great party, mind you, but Hair-spray-infested nonetheless.

    The hotel situation is equally sad, but the COP15 meeting does soak up a LOT of hotel Rooms. but that didn’t start before yesterday, though. The jury’s still out on this one, it seems.

    All of this does seem to be a situation where no side is entirely guilt-free, and it’s very sad to see a battle of words like this erupt over something that (I guess) could have been solved by better communication. The manager being sent around to 4 different stores for guitar cables seems to sum up the situation in a nutshell, and I suspect the language and cultural barrier to be a player in it as well.

    As for you lot (yes, all of you) who are just resorting to name-calling: Shame on you. This is no adult way to resolve something like this, and regardless who’s more right than who, I still applaud Dennis and Martin D’amour for taking this in stride, in stead of throwing a baby tantrum. That kind of behaviour won’t get you, them or anyone else anywhere.

    As for Tato, who so eloquently calls Ginger and co. “Fags” and “Crybabies”: Do yourself a favour, and read Ginger’s journal from around the time of his divorce, and before the first solo album. This man has been through hell, and lived to tell the tale. Most people would not have survived the ordeal of losing your band (just when it looked like they were finally getting their due), your family, your home and having to kick heroin and battle depression, within the space of a year. Context is everything.

    Part of me actually seriously doubts that Ginger really perceived all this as THAT bad, and I am good faith that he is taking this all in stride, and the tone of the blog is just a classic case of non-Brits not getting Brit Humour. I just hope this blows over, and the Wildhearts can return again soon, because no matter what, it was still a cracking good show.

    Peace;

    Christian, the bloke with the beard, slicked-back hair and Agoraphobic Nosebleed t-shirt up front, cheering madly.

    PS: Words cannot express how happy I was you played “White Lies”, Ginge. When Jason & The Scorchers played Denmark, that song was not on the setlist. So if you noticed someone squealing like a giddy schoolgirl when you announced the track, it was me.

  25. Martin d'Amour Says:
    December 8th, 2009 at 18:24

    C’Mon Giner – Let’s get a decent honest respons from you. Save face – tell us that you made your story so much more dramatic to make it read worthy – then close this shit. Right now you’re loosing fans by the minute – and Im pretty sure that was never your intention. Also – bring on a comment from youre so called management – who – when all is said and done is responsible for all this.

    This is getting old for us that is involved – but It’s about to grow out of proportions.

    PS: Oh yes – they are fake <3 😉

    Cheers,

    Martin // ROCK THE NIGHT

  26. mitchattitude Says:
    December 8th, 2009 at 18:36

    The Wildhearts arent losing any fans because of this, and Ginger doesnt have to reply to these moronic messages, especially from Tato Pedersen who is clearly mentally ill. The article was extremely funny and if you don’t like it don’t read it. Simples.

  27. mitchattitude Says:
    December 8th, 2009 at 18:38

    …and they are not cry babies, they are sky babies. Doh!

  28. Angela. Says:
    December 8th, 2009 at 19:02

    This is so imature.
    you should be happy that you even got to play
    at such a cool festival! you guy’s are fucking
    crazy.

  29. Glam-Gun Says:
    December 8th, 2009 at 19:06

    Suck my death dick, you are all a gang of ginger-gays, dont give that little Ginger-Girl any sympathy, he’s just a fucking loser, in a shitty band going nowhere, why the hell would the band ever play at The Rock, if it was a succesfull band, you cunts deserve a china-buffet and a cheap hostel..! But best would be if you stopped playing forever.

  30. Drax Says:
    December 8th, 2009 at 20:00

    Some interesting comments.
    To Christian….its a lovely piece, but you clearly don’t know the people involved (the manager is Scandinavian, by the way!)…just don’t believe all you read, like many bands, over the years 90% has been rock & roll bullshit designed for effect/sympathy/attention…for your benefit…you’d be sorely disappointed and cheated if you knew the truth.
    To MitchAttitude….unfortunately the WHs will lose a lot of potential Danish fans over this…its all been very amateurish and clumsey!
    Sadly, the Anvil movie is closer than you think!!!

  31. Steve Says:
    December 8th, 2009 at 20:09

    It is not acceptable to share even an apartment. I’m a lowly teacher and this is really not on. The comment about lying by the promoter was unprofessional at best. Ginger writes these blog entries and they are very entertaining. Nobody other than the promoter should take them personally; we know he is a grumpy git (aren’t all lyricists?). Rather he expects people to be able to do their job; asking a professional band to hump equipment to a gig is….not up to expectation.