ChInA tour 2002

big show


In summer 2002, Zinctone embarked on a two week stint in China. Here’s maltevr’s tour diary:

Even though it might sound quite unspectacular, it was a pretty successful tour with audiences of approximately 1300 each night, enthusiastic fans, TV showcases watched by millions, and a hell of a lot of fun.

07/15/02, Shanghai:

Arrival in Shanghai in hazy and smoggy weather at temperatures around 37°C. Check in at the Qian He Hotel, followed by some unnecessary rehearsal in a dirty crappy place with consequences on the condition of some tour member’s stomaches, by food, and by a welcome beer.

07/16/02, Shanghai:

The first concert of the tour in Shanghai’s “Chang Ning Cultural Centre”. We are still quite unfamiliar with the upcoming conditions and the bad equipment that will be provided for us (for each show, we get different amps and PA). The concert is certainly not the best.


Our saviour onstage: Mo


On stage: During...

07/17/02, Shanghai:

After a long party we could sleep-in until shortly before noon. The concert takes place in the quite dirty Baogang Theater, which also lacks an AC. I feel eveything but well. Following the concert, we depart at midnight by bus to Xuzhou, about 700 km away. The bus driver is dangerously tired, falls asleep every once in a while, changes alarmingly between the lanes, and has to be kept awake by Sir Hannes, singer and head of Honigdieb. We arrive tired after being squeezed on small seats for 13 hours at 1 pm on July 18th.

07/18/02, Xuzhou:

The hotel compensates the torture of the ride with reasonable international standard. The Grand Theater in Xuzhou, though, is pretty crappy and hazy again. Nevertheless, again we have audience of about 1300, the light show is pretty good, the PA bad. During the Zinctone gig the promoter concludes that he doesn’t like the music and starts yelling at our agent we’d have to stop the anyhow short show. For me this is a reason to not follow the subsequent hypocritical invitation for dinner and to go back to the Hotel. Quite adventurous to drive in the pouring rain with a taxi cab lacking wiper-blades and a driver that doesn’t know his way. Too bad the Chinese audiences are so shy. They did like the music. I’d have canceled the whole event if it wasn’t for the audience.

07/19/02, Wuxi:

The show in Wuxi takes place in a so called “Grand Hotel”, the Taihu Grand Hotel Theater. What a funny place to play at, with people sitting at tables eating and watching a rock show! For the joy of us all, we also stay in the same hotel. Though it first didn’t look like it: The sound is the best until now (for the first time I’ve got a real bass-amp! That will happen only once again.) and the show is very much appreciated by the audience. Finally something relaxing.

07/20/02, Suzhou:

At the end of our way to Suzhou, the brake disc of the bus gets stuck and starts to burn. In such situations the Chinese are still quite helpless, that means they say everything will do fine if you wait long enough... After I made clear that the disc has to be freed first and the bus needs to be taken to a garage immediately, we can go on (nice that there was a fire department close by). The hotel in which we play instead of an arena (!) (the authorities are frightened by large masses and didn’t give us a license to play), is not worth its four stars and the equipment is as bad as it can be, that is, it is broken or simply not there. Additionally, the hotel management creates unnecessary stress and asks for a very short set. We do the best of it and the exactly same persons are quite enthusiastic. However, we are not allowed to sell our CDs: Simply because we shall make no business. What a hypocritical bunch! Nevertheless we are invited to a (bad) dinner and the boss makes a mistake: He says everything’s for free. Thus, his stocks are empty soon, he is more than wasted, and we have a lot of fun. Only until midnight. Then he calls back his invitation, becomes very unfriendly and asks us to leave.

... and after the show.

got rhythm?

Zinctone's rhythm section holding it together in black dress before black background.

the bus

The "tour-bus" and its driver

where's the honigdieb?

The Honigdieb band, consisting to one half of Zinctone members


07/21/02, Ningbo:

The conditions in Ningbo’s Yifu Grand Theater are quite good. The show is sponsored by a local luxurious restaurant, that asks us to do a short showcase in the restaurant in the afternoon. Very classy. Today’s equipment is good, the concert as well.

07/22/02, Shanghai:

After a six-hour-drive back in Shanghai. For a change, today at the Yangpu Theater everything is considerably bad again. I’m shortly before canceling the event. If it doesn’t get better tomorrow, we won’t play. TV-broadcasting and “classy” Theater, or not. We make the best of it and the audience goes wild.

07/23/02, Shanghai:

Today is half-day off until the afternoon. Later in the Shanghaimart Grand Theater, people tell us they’d have gotten better lighting devices and a better PA and we would hae to pay for it. What means, today’s fee would be lost. Money we need for paying the flights. However, the devices don’t seem to be newly installed, and if so, they are not worth the money. It looks badly as somebody wants to fuck with us. It takes about two hours until it is clear that we will only play under “normal” conditions and we can go on. Certainly the success is large and even the TV team is enthusiastic. However the Honigdieb show doesn’t run that well, Guido’s guitar seems to be broken. After the show I meet some very nice fans which are quite curious about Zinctone’s style. That makes my day.

07/24/02, Shanghai, on the road:

A 16 hour long ride by train to Wuhan, starting in the afternoon. Before that I finally got the chance to get a good coffee in the city.

07/25/02, Wuhan:

First complete day-off. Which gets wasted with arrival, city sightseeing tour and shopping. It’s raining cats and dogs, I slip on a flight of stairs, and because my hands are in my pockets, I leave them there for my convenience. It hurts.

07/26/02, Wuhan:

The local promoters conclude they can not afford the flights to Beijing anymore! That means: Tomorrow we’ll have another 14 hour train ride to the capital. Very annoying! The Huanghe Theater is a nice and new place to be, and the shows go well. However, even though we are at the theater since 3 pm, we can’t start with the soundcheck before 5 pm, because nothing is prepared and the place has no power cords...

07/27/02, Beijing:

The frightening 14 hour train ride to Beijing. The air condition is that draughty and cold that is doesn’t take three hours until I got a bad cold and fever. I get some sort of green pills from two very nice old ladies, which are supposed to help (they do not...). I’m looking forward to meet an old colleague from an orchestra with which I visited China for the first time four years ago. Unfortunately, his taxi driver does not know our hotel, so I have to let the bus leave and take a cab to the gig after he finally arrives. Of course the new taxi driver doesn’t know the Oriental Scala Club, where we’ve got a very short show case tonight. Finally we arrive considerably late, the Framers are on stage already. It doesn’t matter that I’m late, because the Framers play “too long”, so we have to cancel the Zinctone gig and with Honigdieb, we only can play four songs. For me it’s the first time that I’m playing electric bass in that band (normally it is double bass) and it turns out to be quite a punk rock show. The dining rooms later remind us of China-Mafia movies. The sort of place where the gang bosses take their drugs and treat each other.