This being our longest run so far, I will try and make it as short as possible. Important and fun things will be listed, not so important stuff will be kept short. Hope you can get through it. The protagonists are Nick, Nikitas, Takis, Lepas, Asteris, Orfeas, Mani and yours truly. Here goes:



Day ONE   - Thessaloniki

The eight of us manage to get together and leave on time for the long drive to Thessaloniki. Everything barely (this is very very important) fits into the van, which, even though a 9-seater, literally has no room for a ninth person in it.

The tour is organized well and this time we even have the necessary papers for various border crossings through countries that are not in the EU. After a relatively short stop by Greek customs in Athens and a "no need to cross check anything between your paperwork and what's in your van" we head straight to Thessaloniki.

Like an indication of what the weather will be like during almost all of the tour, we arrive in Thessaloniki and it's raining. The show tonight is with two amazing bands, The Liberation Service from Austria and Crazy Arm from the UK, both of them already half way through their own tour. Having been to their Athens show two days earlier, we know that tonight is gonna be one of the best nights of the tour. Rover bar is packed and the show in total is fantastic; even some friends from Athens are there to set a really nice pit mood. Yoti, thank you for a really nice tour kick off show!

We split up after the show and I'm with the Wish boys for the night. On the way to the sleepover house we get pulled over by cops in the pouring rain and the van get's a strip search. They don't find "anything" and we get to the house and go to sleep late.



Day TWO  - Skopje/Thessaloniki

We wake up on time and head to the center of the city to meet up with the others. Like anything terribly fucked up that you don't expect coming, the unthinkable happens. We are involved in a car accident and, suddenly, the continuance of the tour is at a great risk. We are all fine, but the van is not safe to drive in the state it is in and with the weekend coming up we have to wait 4-5 days until it is fixed. We spend the better part of the day at the garage, outside of the city, trying to figure out what to do. Bottom line is if we don't find another van, the tour is over before it even actually started. I must have spoken on the phone in a day, as much as I spoke on all of the remaining days of the tour combined. That being said, I'd like to seriously thank all of the people that tried helping us find a solution in any way and there were many; huge respect.

Some hours later, we come across what is the only realistic possibility of continuing the tour; a smaller van, ready to go in the early evening. We are forced to cancel the show in Skopje, waiting till the very last minute for the decision to be final. Tejka and everyone involved in the show, as well as everybody planning to attend, we owe you an apology and a future kick ass show.

The van arrives and we are up for another challenge. We realize that we need to share almost all of the equipment we have with us. Guitars, drums, amps and cabinets, pedals, cables and mics. All of the drums actually have to be packed into the bass drum and kept permanently in the passenger cabin. Anything we can leave behind, we must. We even have to fit clothing for two people in one bag accordingly and leave merch behind, let alone fit ourselves into the van.

Fuck it, whatever it takes.

While we all feel exhausted, frustrated and puzzled, a sense of relief slowly kicks in. There is no way we throw 4 months of planning and so much work from people abroad go to waste. We finally grab a bite to eat and go to sleep as closest to feeling dead as possible.



Day THREE   - Kraljevo

We now have to drive twice the distance, having cancelled the Skopje show, plus worry about crossing borders of two, instead of one, country. On top of that, the refugee issue is culminating and all border crossings in the Balkan area (for now) are super alert and more traffic is expected. To our surprise, crossing the border everywhere on the way is super easy and after a long drive we reach Kraljevo. Vojkan and Nikola are expecting us at the local youth center with some excellent food and drinks and after eating we head to the venue which this time (2nd time for Bandage, 3rd time for Wish) is a small bar in the center of the city. We are playing the attic of the bar and a very sweaty and smoky evening is on the schedule. The show is very cool and we get to see friends from Lazarevac who drove the distance to see us. Almost everyone is sort of drunk after the show and the bar owner suggests we sign a small part of a wall in the bar. We totally fuck up the entire wall with inside jokes and even

Greek shit no one will understand. Score.

As we load the van and get ready to leave we somehow end up scratching the door of this van as well while getting out of a tricky parking space and by this point I feel like I wanna kill myself. The damage is minimal so we just skip overanalyzing it. In any case, the nightmare still continues, so we go to sleep.



Day FOUR   - Zagreb

As planned, the drive to Zagreb is a long one. A first time for both bands we are excited to get there. Everything about this show is almost perfect. Beautiful city, amazing venue, best sleeping place EVER, super nice sound guy, free show on a Saturday, cool promoter. Wish the turnout was better, but it happens. Sinke, if you're reading this, it's fantastic to finally have met you.

After the show me, Lepas and Nick are up for seeing the city. We find a pizza place seconds before it closes and get free pizza (seriously) for the pieces would have been thrown out. While none of us knows this yet, this could also be called the Pizza tour. We reach the main square a few minutes later and decide to get more pizza; still unaware this is the pizza tour. We find a huge Cathedral and chill while we eat before heading back home. Zagreb is beautiful.

Nick and Lepas indulge in a serious conversation about whiskey and beer. I think that both of them believed that the other person didn't really have a genuine clue about either of the two beverages, but as the conversation continues, they are quietly stunned and grow mutual respect. We head back to the ''hostel for bands at the venue'' (yes, you read correctly) and have what people call "the perfect sleep on tour".



Day FIVE   - Ajdovscina

The next two days are all about Slovenia. The show tonight is with A Hero Build from Belgium and Darko from the UK. Have really been expecting this show and I believe this is the first night we officially are on tour.

But first, a few words about the awesome venue and its hosts in Klub Baza. Formerly a military compound, the building used to be squatted by young kids in a small town, who mostly wanted to host shows. After being kicked out and after years of the building being of no use, awesome people ask a new young mayor to let them turn the building into something useful and positive. From my point of view this is one of the most organized, well structured and friendliest places I've ever been to. There is a perfect (in every sense of the word) live show room, a bar, a kitchen, mattresses to sleep on, super clean bathrooms. Food is great and the hosts are super nice and friendly. Aljosa and everyone at Klub Baza, thank you so much for having us.

The show is fantastic. A Hero Build and Darko are amazing live bands. But the real story here is the after show. I have never seen so many high and drunken people put together in one space. Oh, have I mentioned I'm on antibiotics for the past three weeks and can't have a sip of alcohol? Even Nikitas (our own personal trainer/drummer) doesn't even care when beer gets spilled all over his sleeping bag and face while he is sleeping and if you know him, a no-response like that is impossible… Nick has intimate moments with the drummer of A Hero Build on his mattress; everybody's singing, shouting and dancing. Orfeas' shoe gets filled with beer. Lepas and Asteris are talking Greek recipes with the bassist of Darko and everything involves Feta cheese, even deserts of course. Shit is out of control. At some point everybody passes out. I think nobody had to vomit though… This is one of the best shows of the tour.



Day SIX   - Ljubljana

Again, Ljubljana being a first for both bands, we decide to get to the city early to catch up on some sightseeing. Ljubljana is beautiful, even in the rain, and we walk through the center across rivers, into pedestrian alleys, over huge squares and pass amazing buildings. I think that Nick is by now officially a 24 hour beer drinker, if need be, and the need is almost always evident. What goes perfect with beer at 11 in the morning? Pizza. Two slices for some of us and some more beers for most later we head over to Urska's house to meet up with some of the incredibly nice people of Cool Kids Booking.

We eat lunch and leave for the venue, Klub Gromka, which is located in this huge, again, ex military area full of buildings that the state has quietly passed on to younger people with a strive for anything art related. The place has three different venues, art shows, available sleeping areas; it's like a huge park of independent action. We are greeted at the venue by Zarja, who explains the Screeching Weasel reference in the name of their booking team and is pretty much in charge of everything 'till the show starts.

Tonight we play with the Mor[r]ons, an amazing Lagwagon-style of a punk band, whom I've checked out prior to leaving Greece and am really excited to see play and they deliver 100%. Awesome music with what I consider being the closest singing voice to Tony Sly himself, that I have witnessed.

After two weeks of not having a single drop of alcohol, I have three beers tonight and can accompany the rest of the group in being drunk. Nick is kinda starting to feel sick, since he has been sleeping with a bed sheet for the entire tour so far. A simple "fuck it" outside of his house before leaving was his reply when asked if he's brought a sleeping bag. His fever kicks in a few days later… He is the only one asleep as the rest of us plan on forming two new bands. Orfeas/vocals, Mani/Bass, Takis/guitar and Nikitas on drums are Weed in our Veins. Jesus Christ I can't even remember what they wanna play; some kind of stoner metal, hence the terrible name. Me, Lepas and Asteris will play punk rock. You be the judge of who would rock harder….

We sleep in bunk beds over the venue.



Day SEVEN   - Bresso

I wake up the next day and the first thing I do is vomit. A little water later, I'm shooting rockets. Something's wrong. We load the van and head to Urska's house to shower. I keep vomiting profusely even without drinking or eating anything. I leave the house and wander outside, not being able to use the bathroom while everyone's showering, vomit all over the neighborhood and at some point we all meet at the van and I fall asleep. To everyone in Cool Kids Booking, you are one of the friendliest and most organized bunch of people we've met. Keep up the amazing work and hope to see you soon again. Sorry I didn't say a proper goodbye…

We head for our only Italian stop of the tour, Bresso. No Reason Records/Booking is responsible for the show and we are playing with the very cool people in GPL; even for a Tuesday, it's a pretty slow night. We do an exclusive set of almost only new songs and leave the venue after a short while to find Andrea's house in a nearby town. Second best shower of the tour and heavy sleep under the sound of rain. Andrea has the cutest dog in the world.



Day EIGHT   - Lucerne


We met Manu and the boys in the Swiss band Cold Reading a few months before this tour happened, namely in the summer, when us and them were looking for shows in either of our countries. We hosted a nice show for Cold Reading in the middle of July in "mayhem" Athens and now it was time for all of us to meet again in Switzerland.

The drive from northern Italy all the way to Lucerne is by far the most impressive one, landscape wise. Mountains, lakes, forests, tunnels, everyone except for Lepas, who if I remember correctly is driving, is staring out the window. Maybe he was doing a little bit of staring as well. The show is held in an actual trailer park outside of the city and the entire scenery is like nothing any of us has ever seen before. Picture a setting from a Peter Pan movie and you'll have a good image of what it was like. Kitchen, toilet and sleeping places are all in trailers, there are tree houses connected to each other with ladders and there's sort of an open air stage set for live shows and a bar. And there are tons of cats. Everyone living there is super nice, food is delicious and Manu is simply an amazing host.

The show is great for the two of us, we are happy to see our friends in Cold Reading again and we hang out for some late beers. While Nick is dissuaded to be the party dj for the rest of the evening, the two bands each have a trailer of their own and another night is in the books.



Day NINE    - Mainz

So, before leaving for the tour, Nick wanted to buy a guitar from this place one hour out of Mainz. It didn't work out mostly due to the fucking capital control's happening in Greece. Keep this otherwise useless info for a bit later.

I don't remember anything about the drive to Mainz. We reach Haus Mainusch, tonight's venue, in the late afternoon. Cornelius, the man in charge of Keet it a Secret Booking/Records is our man for tonight and we are playing with the German band Antario. I do not get tired of saying that everyone involved is very friendly, nice and with a smile on their faces, so thank you for having us! We have what is one of my favorite dinners of the tour and start setting up.

At that point one of the guitarists from Antario opens his guitar case and Nick turns yellow. He owns the exact same guitar model Nick wanted to get. Even the color is the exact one. Karma can be a bitch sometimes, I just don't know why in this case. The show is fantastic, we are all happy as fuck and after getting our shit together we head over to Cornelius' house to pass out.




Day TEN    - Gießen

The city of Gießen is maybe two hours away, but we hear that it has really not much to offer site-seeing wise (sorry Gießen), so we decide to spend the better part of the day in Mainz. Sausages, fish fast food, sandwiches and beers went into our bellies that lovely day.

Tonight we play at the AK44 squat with Tears (Germany) and Dawn Ray'd (Scotland). Both bands have sort of a screamo post hardcore feeling to them and by the end of the night everyone is in a cheerio mood, despite all the screaming. Me (fuck grammar) and Orfeas have promised each other that we will do a vocal warm up every night and it worked out perfectly throughout the entire tour. To hell with sore throats, right Lepas and Nick? Tonight is probably the weirdest warm up we do, since we skip doing it in the car for some idiotic reason and are walking around the quietest neighborhood in the city making weird sounds that definitely made us look completely stupid.

After the show a bunch of people from all the bands and the squat have a drink somewhere and while the rest of us are fast asleep in the squat and can't hear anything, Mani is forced to "break in" through a barely open window to unlock the door for the rest. Wish I had seen that…

Thank you to the people of the squat and to the bands for being so awesome all in all.





Day ELEVEN    - Nürnberg

The last day of our German run holds the best show of the tour for us. Money Left to Burn is a fantastic German fastcore band that has a small practice space/hang out room/party room in the city, which sadly, having hosted some amazing underground shows in the past, has to shut down. Tonight is the closing party. 8 bands are playing, including us, MLtB and Noopinion to name a few. The basement is packed with people from everywhere around the area and cities close to Nürnberg and the night is an unforgettable party. Show is amazing, bands are amazing, people are amazing, everybody's crazy drunk (more than 500 bottles of beer consumed), crowd surfing, dancing, sing alongs, guys trying to make out, a Tom Delonge lookalike and super delicious cupcakes is all I remember; the show lasts from 8 in the evening till 4 in the morning. We literally pass out on the couches in the back room with Noopinion in what could be described as a chaotic house destruction party.

Marschall and everyone else we met and are involved in the band room, thank you for having us and we wish you the best of times with the fresh start you are making!



Day TWELVE    - Prague

We wake up, head to Marschall's house for some breakfast and showers. Today's shower is the best shower I've had in my life. We talk music, tv series, movies, shows, tarantulas and crickets with Marschall and Kessi and thank them for everything before starting the relatively long trip to Prague.

It being a Sunday, tonight's show is sort of a matinee. The both of us are playing at the infamous Café na pul Cesty and it goes without saying that Pavel is our host. By the time we start playing the place is packed and it feels really good to be in the Czech Republic right now. We make some new friends and see some old ones and head to the Youth Center to sleep. Tonight is the only night someone has to sleep in the van and me and Orfeas are on it.

Pavel, you are golden! May the force be with you.














Day THIRTEEN    - Ceske Budejovice

For half of us it is finally time to witness the beautiful city of Prague before heading to the next stop of the tour. The inner city is definitely a sight to see but there are just too many people everywhere. We walk and walk and walk and walk until it's time to eat some pizza. The guys in Wish Upon a Star have actually played in a bar in the center of Prague, so they remember where to get some delicious pizza. Nick buys a weed shaped and weed tasting lollypop and Asteris rides a Segway. One is not because of the other; both are very stupid and hilarious.

We leave for Ceske Budejovice, CZ's third biggest city, if I have my facts straight. We get to the venue, unload everything, eat and prepare for the show. Tonight we are playing with The Loosers, a punk group of youngsters that will be kicking our untalented asses in the future. Half of them are wearing Vodka Juniors T's and are very excited about the show. It's a Monday and the place is packed with people. Another great show, to everyone at R- DIY Booking thank you so much for having us !

Nick is fully sick by now, he still makes it through the show and I think this is the night where Asteris almost breaks his index finger while playing… Me and Orfeas go out to get falafel for everybody and get lost on the way back. We talk about what makes Through Thick and Thin great and, while no one notices (or cares) that we are gone so long (thanx for that), we somehow make it back eventually.








Day FOURTEEN    - Vienna

Before we leave for Austria we have to exchange some Czech money, so me and Asteris look for an exchange office. We skip the dodgiest exchange office-dvd/game store in town and when finally returning to the gang, we find them eating pizza at 11.00 in the morning at a restaurant. Fuck logic, we eat pizza as well and leave the city.

Arranging a show in Vienna was hard as hell. No promoters, no bands, no one available. Dimitris, a good friend of ours whom we met last year, a rapid VJ/DE/63HI fan and a student in Vienna steps up and takes upon him the task of hosting the show. He organizes everything like a true pro and the both of us, the Stereo Bullets and Jack Holmes are good to go. The show is great, we see some of our friends there, the Stereo Bullets are awesome, Jack Holmes is a true stand-up comedian; everything is perfect.

Dimitris, we thank you very much and expect you to someday book Rise Against! We pack everything up, eat some falafel and head home.





Day FIFTEEN    - Graz

We wake up in a good mood, have loads of time ahead of us and get ready to see the city before leaving for Graz. Our plan is to later visit a Laundromat to give our clothes a well needed wash. We get our stuff together and wait for Nikitas and Lepas at the lobby of the building to bring the van over. They are surprisingly taking their time to show up. As some of us go out to find them, we see the duo wandering in the street; they can't find the van. They are not high or drunk, the van just is NOT where it was parked… Panic sets in. Again.

Me, Lepas and Dimitris head to the nearest police station to find out if the van is stolen or towed. As the officer in charge informs us the van has been towed due to being parked in an unloading zone he then bursts into laughter when announcing the fee to get it back; 270 Euros. If you need to explain to someone what a douche bag is, tell them this story. Two metro rides, a bus ride and a 5km walk later the three of us are seriously outside of the city at the towed cars area. For once the Greek style of trying to get out of trouble works and the fine gets cut to less than half. Thank you Austrian public officer; and Greece I guess.

We are well in the afternoon hours now and the plan is to still go to the Laundromat so we don't smell like shit for the remainder of the tour. We manage to wash/dry all of our laundry, get some well deserved cup cakes and some of us eat the best vegan burger I've had in my life. If you're ever in Vienna please do yourself a favor and look up The Brass Monkey and The Swing Kitchen. Just as we are about to drive off Orfeas gives the dramatic performance of his life to some police officers to spare us ANOTHER FUCKING PARKING TICKET.

We arrive in Graz late and in the pouring rain. Cis and everyone at the SUB are waiting on us patiently. We are playing with two awesome bands tonight; Holy Pinto from the UK and Cardiac Arrest from Austria. Sub is one of my favorite places to play and tonight is another great show. Thank you everyone at the SUB for the show, the delicious food and the hospitality. We head to the Chilla Villa, which has now moved to Graz, and get some well deserved sleep.







Day SIXTEEN    - Subotica

While the whole immigrant situation has gradually escalated in the time we are on the road, some countries have completely closed off their borders to everybody. That would include Serbia and Croatia and we're supposed to play in northern Serbia tonight… We are advised to not travel through Croatia, rather to do so through Hungary; their border crossings are now open to Serbia. We leave hella early in the morning to have the longest drive of the tour. Takis forgets his luggage in Austria. Score.

We have a smooth drive all the way to Serbia. Borders are easy to pass and we reach the venue in Subotica on time. I would say that with all the shit we had to deal with, border wise it was an easy tour, so that counts for something.

Tonight we are playing with the Socks, our long time friends from Serbia, whom we've known for three years now, have had over in Greece and are excited to see again. The show is a first for everyone in the city and is the third and last slow show of the tour. The one person, whom is having the time of his life tonight is Uros, The Socks' singer; he gets super drunk, alcohol poisoning drunk most likely. The ride home is an adventurous one but we make it and pass out eventually in the most "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" house of the tour.




Day SEVENTEEN    - Novi Sad

We know Novi Sad is a beautiful city, so we leave Subotica early to go see it. We arrive and eat pizza just to get our system in motion again. A bit later we meet Bojan, a member of The Rebuild Collective and friend from the previous years of visiting NS. We chill at the Rebuild Collective HQ for a little while before heading to the venue. Tonight's show is sort of a festival with 3 more bands playing, Fast as we go far being amongst them, who are performing after a two year hiatus and are legendary in Serbia. Our friends Against the Odds are also on the bill and we are excited to see them once again.

A Serbian reporter from a music TV show is there to do a piece on the whole show focusing on the bands abroad. That's us… Me and Mani each get interviewed; somewhere on Serbian television we both look like stupid rockstars. Hope nobody finds that footage, ever. Our meal tonight is…pizza; the really good kind.

The show is in the top three of the tour. All bands are amazing; there are a ton of people dancing, moshing, singing along, everyone is in top notch mood. To top it off, Deki and Cinica are visiting us from Belgrade and Bosnia respectively and we hug the shit out of ourselves.

Bojan and everyone in the RC, thank you very very much for taking care of us once more.



Day EIGHTEEN    - Lazarevac

The last show of the tour is in Serbia's LA. Nemanja was one of the people who asked to host a show for us before we could even ask him, so there was no way we were not stopping by in Lazarevac.

We drink coffee, say goodbye to Cinisa and treat ourselves to a vegan restaurant in Novi Sad. Number one paid meal of the tour. If you are ever in this beautiful city you must visit the Ananda Restaurant. We stuff ourselves to the death and leave for LA. Early in the evening we meet up with Nemanja and the gang and start setting everything up in the venue for the last time outside of Greece. Tonight's show is with Car Riding Elephant and we have another unforgettable time. The place is packed; Deki, Marijana, Kosta and Marina are visiting and it's such a good feeling to see them again; our last song of the set is Linoleum with Orfeas filling in for Nick. To Nemanja and to our friends in Lazarevac, thank you so much for having us; it's always a bad feeling coming home from a tour, but to play a show like that makes it so much better.

We go to "sleep" and get up an hour later to start the trip to Larissa, Greece's LA.





Day NINETEEN    - Larissa

This is actually the longest drive of the tour; something like 900 km. Big ups to Lepas and Nikitas for doing all of the driving. I think that while Nikitas is taking the first shift of driving Lepas is actually the co pilot… Fuck, that is really nice of the rest of us, who are sleeping heavily in the van.

We smoothly cross the last border of the tour and reach Greece and consequently Larissa in time for some lunch and a breezy load in/soundcheck. Some border patrol officer actually requests a cd from us…

Larissa is sort of our home away from home. We have a ton of friends here, the shows are always great and everybody gets heavily drunk by the end of the night and tonight is no exception. The tour ends on a high note with an amazing show and a great after party where various people get to sort of crowdsurf through the bar. A huge thank you to True to the game for having our backs from day one!

We collapse at various houses; the tour is over. (Sigh)



Day TWENTY    - Athens

The trip back to Athens is, of course, another adventure. We have to return the van to Thessaloniki and find a way to get everyone and everything back to Athens. Thankfully, our buddy Andreas comes to the rescue the night before in a 6 seater from Athens. Andrea and Billy, we owe you big time.

Me, Asteris and Nick take the van back to Thessaloniki and fly back to Athens in the afternoon, while the rest all drive back to Athens from Larissa. Just like that our trip is finished and depression starts to sink in.

However everything worked out I believe that all of us had another life time experience to say the least and have so much to remember. Weeks later there is talk about planning a Horror tour vol. II.

Cheers for reading.

Bandage / Wish Upon a Star