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Thursday, 22 August, 2002, 11:35 GMT 12:35 UK
Getting Bizarre in Germany
Hundred Reasons
Good afternoon Erfurt: The band size up the venue
Rock band Hundred Reasons pick up their festival diary again with a trip to Germany's Highfield and Bizarre festivals. Bass player Larry Hibbitt reports.

Germany has the dubious honour of becoming the 12th country we've played in 12 months. I think that that's pretty good going.

However, we board the bus in Putney on a bright and sunny Thursday afternoon and get off approximately 14 hours later in a field near a town called Erfurt.

This is the site of the Highfield festival 2002 and I am initially very impressed. The festival is small, just one stage and a capacity of about twelve thousand people.

The stage area is directly adjacent to a lake (it's a habit the UK should definitely pick up on), the sun is high in the sky and breakfast is served. Fantastic.

Larry Hibbitt
Larry Hibbitt at work
We have very little press to do so we spend a little while trying to find out what singles are being released here and when. Nobody seems to know. Oh well, at least it's not raining.

The doors finally open at about four o'clock and people start trickling in. The first band up are Trust Company, they've just got the support slot on the Korn world tour so expect to hear a lot more of them.

Tequila-flavoured beer

They play a solid set of post-emo/metal-punk/nu-rock, get a few fists in the air and entice some very enthusiastic cheers from the sparse crowd. Good work.


We lie back and enjoy the sun, until a stern looking woman tells us to get back to shore - when we get back all our clothes have been hidden

We're up next after a ten minute change over so after a mad rush to get ready we find ourselves playing a frantic twenty minute set under the strong afternoon sun. Although it's slightly messy on our behalf, people seem to be into our interesting blend of neo-punk/alt-emo/rock-core. A good time is had by all.

After the set we head over to the signing tent. There are actually a few people there to get stuff signed which is cool and it turns out to be a lot less embarrassing than it could have been. We hang around there for a bit drinking their tequila-flavoured beer and then we eat lunch.

I spend most of the rest of the day hanging out in the guest bar, which is situated on the end of a long jetty out in the lake. It's still exhaustingly hot at this point so after very little discussion Andy B and myself decide to go for a swim.

We dump everything but our boxers on the end of pier, dive in and swim out to a small diving platform. Feeling immediately better we lie back and enjoy the sun. This lasts about two minutes until a stern looking woman in a speedboat tells us to get back to shore. When we get back all our clothes have been hidden. Bugger.

Paul Townsend
Guitarist Paul Townsend does his thing
The day quickly descends into a tsunami of drunken stupidity. We laugh at the theatrics of local stars In Extremo and I try and get as far away as possible from the stage before Korn come on. The night ends on a four-person swing in the deserted festival site. I still have bruises.

Club date

The next morning I wake up outside the Forum in Bielefeld. We'd played this club previously with Rival Schools and the familiarity is almost comforting.

We play to a very quiet audience and play one of the best sets we've played in a while. It's extremely hot and there's barely enough room on stage for our backline. In short, it's my favourite sort of show.

The night ends quietly with a few beers with some new friends. We all get an early night.

I step out of the bus the next morning to the hottest day of the weekend so far. We're in the middle of an old airfield, and there are runways, hangars and bunkers all over the place. I find our stage in the biggest hangar.

Larry Hibbitt
Larry at rest
I sign myself up for a free back massage, grab some food and go to watch Strike Anywhere. I hadn't seen a decent hardcore band for ages, so it was great to watch them.

I went and got my massage. Even though the guy that administered it looked nothing like the pretty lady with the clipboard who took my name, he did a great job.

The show itself was a little troubled. I was having difficulty with pedals and despite the best efforts of Frank, our monitor engineer, the stage sound was awful.

The crowd were largely lethargic but we managed to get at least some reaction from them. The set was filmed for German TV and it turned out to be OK so I guess we were worrying over nothing.

Locals

After the set we were driven over to the signing tent. There were people there although most were British due to a nearby military base.

A few locals came up and asked if we were selling beer. I told them that we were friends with Die Toten Hosen (today's headliners) and that they considered us to be one of their main influences. I think one of them bought it.
Colin Doran
Singer Colin Doran strikes a pose

We left the signing and Andy and myself grabbed a lift back to our stage with Brandon and Chris from Incubus. We were happy to see some familiar faces and they assured us our set had sounded fine. I'm sure they were lying, but they're too nice to say otherwise.

The rest of the day consisted of lots of hanging around in the sun. At eight o'clock we headed to the main stage to watch Incubus. They were great as always and the forty thousand strong crowd looked amazing.

Next weekend brings Leeds, Belgium and Reading, but not after a few days of rest...

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