St. Patrick’s tour – 2016.

Captain's Diary

The year’s most important day for us has passed. Since November of last year in our Sunday gahterings we spoke of how great it would be to celebrate it in style, which of course means joyfully, merriliy and, which is most important, all together. We’d seen videos of other bands’ concerts and thought: „Why shouldn’t we do this too?“. To find out how it turned out, keep reading.

Preparations

 

Ever since the first concert in Stari Hrast (Olden Oak) in Čakovec we’d realized that we were a rather specific band due to the different instruments we use. We know, we didn’t sound great, but we found a solution to that problem. A special kind of „drunken sailor“, Daniel, became the band’s sound engineer. Daniel had no sound knowledge of sound engineering (get it?), audio mixers, speakers, monitors or gain, but we have our „Jack-of-all-trades“ Filip who is an electroacoustic engineer and who passed onto Daniel the „secrets of the trade“. Not only did he teach Daniel how to audio-reinforce a band, he also organized the 5 gigs we did in this year’s St. Patrick’s tour. This tour wouldn’t have succeeded without you, our faithful followers, and without your help either. By selling T-shirts with the band’s logo and with a little help from donations of our parents we’d bought the rest of the equipment that was necessary for solo concerts. We bought an audio mixer, monitoring equipment, cables and mike/instrument stands. One more time a great thanks to all of you <3.

By the beginning of November we’d made a timetable of rehearsals and social gatherings and set out on our way. The first rehearsals were difficult because our ready-to-set-sail crew had trouble meeting in one place. But hey, that’s not necessarily bad… We’d found the kind of people we were searching for. The reason for this is that every one of us is special by not only being a member of the band, but also by having a hundred different activities on the side. Sanja, Ivan, David, Viktor, Daniel and Jura are students. In addition, Daniel and Jura have jobs, while Ivan-Goran and Filip have jobs and another band each. We’re all different, but actually more similar than we think. We made a setlist, defined the songs that needed perfecting and started rehearsing intensely. The first few were held in Cezam (The Čakovec Youth Centre, called „Room“ or „Space“), Prostor, which is why we’d like to thank the Prostor crew for their support and understanding. We soon realized that we had to move to a smaller space because the pubs where we planned to perform were not even close in size as Prostor was. We believe a band’s capability to adapt and prepare is important, so we did.

Prostor Čakovec Band practice in Prostor

We started rehearsing in a fire station in Sveta Marija. As you’re already guessing, they were true rural parties. The first few such reherasal were marked by the absence of our Captain’s Daughter Sanja. She was afraid of catching up, her exams were up and running, the sea was stirring, a storm was lurking beneath the horizon and March was marching closer (ha ha). We were, on the other hand, convinced it was a false alarm. The semester ended and Sanja came back to us. A rehearsal passed, then another, everything was starting to sound excellently. In order to understand what it was like to play in even smaller spaces, we held a rehearsal in a small art gallery at Jura’s place in Sveta Marija. It was a dynamical, crammed and wonderful gathering. In the meantime we arranged for a professional photoshoot, but due to our formerly mentioned geographical and physical divergence we didn’t manage to work it off. Never mind, the weather is going to get even better in the meantime and soon you’ll be able to see us in our style. A famous Međimurje photographer – adventurer is going to do a photoshoot with us, but we’ll tell you more about it in another blog post.

probagalerija Band practice in gallery

Novi Marof

 

Here comes March, and with it the first arranged concert on March 11th at the INN Beerhouse in Novi Marof where we were welcomed by the owner Goran Gaić. We filled up two cars, a trailer and went on our way. When we arrived, we were astonished by the size of the space where the concert was to take place, but we’d prepared for everything. We’d taken with us a smaller audio mixer because due to the smallness of the space the bigger one didn’t get a chance to show everything it could do.

innmarof21
Alehouse “INN” Novi Marof

The pub filled up, the concert was on the way, and this set us from the docking bay on our course to a wonderful fortnight’s journey. We did 2 sets of 15 song each for the first time, playing that inevitable encore, Dirty old town as a sort of punchline.The audience loved the playlist, which means it wasn’t a mistake to put the more mid-tempo songs into the first set. Even the newest song, Another bag of bricks, sounded great. Each set
took about an hour. After the end of the regular part, as was the arrangement, we were supposed to pack our stuff and go home, but no… Joyful as we were, each of us took an instrument and a new series of fun began. We could do a wedding gig as well, no problem. After nearly an hour of acoustic playing we packed, thanked the audience and went home to sleep in our cabins. We’d like to thank the staff for the shamrocks they gave us as a gift.

Čakovec

 

Fox bar
Performance in Fox Bar Čakovec

The next gig came the following day, March the 12th. The deal was to meet at 6 p.m., but as we like to socialize, we arrived quite early. The conclusion was it’s very important to have a beer or two before the sound check as dry throats don’t work smoothly. The check was over, and already at 8 o’clock there was no room for the still gathering guests. The irish playlist was set, we’d put on our outfits and started to mingle with everyone who arrived at the docks on time. We invited all of our friends, therefore Fox bar was crammed an hour before the start. The intro started at 11 p.m. We weren’t disappointed when we realized just how readily the audience reacted. The set took an hour, during the break we discussed what needs to be bettered. At 1 a.m. we started the second set, which is louder, stronger and more powerful. There were broken pints, but also empty rakia bottles. What’s the conclusion? Burek, sandwiches and chocolate milk are the best friend in the early hours of the morning!

Novi Sad

 

The next part of the post is about the highlight of the St. Patrick’s tour, the wonderful journey to the city of Novi Sad. .

Do you remember the feeling from elementary school trips? Or the more vivid ones from highschool? We went to our third prom trip on March 17th, the Day of Saint Patrick. We’d rented a van, picked it up, filled it with instruments and equipment and went on our way. A new adventure had begun! The trip was great fun, full of songs, laughter and anecdotes.

kombiii On our way…

We’d taken some rather amusing photos and played bela, a popular Croatian card game. As we neared the border, our excitement grew. During the passing we’d had no problems. We arrived to Novi Sad at about 8 p.m. The first glimpses of the Fort of Petrovaradin thrilled us greatly. We’d parked the van, unloaded and carried on to the Shamrock bar Novi Sad. We’d been welcomed wonderfully and with full beer pints. We took a sightseeing tour of the bar had some beer and were given shirts printed for the occasion of St. Patrick’s Day as a gift.

We had help with the sound check – the legendary Raša, the pub’s sound engineer. Despite too few sound mixer input channels, we solved the problem. During the check the pub filled up and the crowd went wild. Such kindness, openness, a desire for fun and song was a first for us. Everyone jumped around, sang, there were toasts… Our communication with the audience was the best up until then. Between sets we had beer with different audience members, discussed and compared the musical scene in Croatia and Serbia, concluded we were happy to play irish folk. The second set started, the audience is wild and crazy, they sing, dance… We were finished an hour later… or so we thought. Filip took a guitar and carried on with songs of the band Azra – his second band is an Azra tribute. Should we say more for you to understand what an excellently amazing gig this had been? We should.

shamrock After gig :)

After the gig we filled our pints and sang Hladno Pivo, Goblini and KUD Idijoti’s songs. It’s great to know we managed to subdue all the obstacles from the past that came between our neighbours the Serbs and us.

We feel obliged to say, Novi Sad, you’re the best city we ever played in, and all you wonderful people are the best audience we’d ever shared our happiness with.

We only had about 3 hours of sleep because we woke at 8. am. At 9 we were ready to move. We loaded the van with our stuff and left the hostel arranged for us by Daniel whom we’d like to thank with all our hearts.

tvrdjava
View from the Petrovaradin’s fortress

The sun is out, we continue cheerfully with our sightseeing tour. With a gyros in our tummies we went to see the Fort of Petrovaradin. We couldn’t wipe the grins off our faces looking at the beautiful walls and the panoramic view of the city. We may easily imagine what it’s like when EXIT, the famous musical festival of Novi Sad is held. With a certain kind of sorrow in our hearts we take our seats in the van and set the course for home. On the way to the border we stop in Bačka Palanka, in the Old Cellar Irish Pub, to see Filip’s friend Mile. After we had coffee and exchanged experiences, we left our final dinars (Serbian currency) at a store, bought some beer and passed the border, again with no problems.