The next day we got on the road to Copenhagen but ended up getting straight into a massive traffic jam, which was the result of a nasty accident somewhere up the road. It took us almost an hour or so to get to the next exit where we could get off the motorway and circle around it through the winding hilly Stockholm backstreets and make it out of town. In total it took us the better part of three hours to get out of the city, by which time we were all absolutely starving and stopped for the only food which was immediately available to us – a roadside McDonald’s. Apparently this was also breaking a band rule, being the first time they had patronised the golden arches on tour as a band. A pretty incredible streak, but needs must and we loaded up and continued back down through Sweden, past Malmo again, back across the truly impressive Øresund bridge into Denmark and Copenhagen.
The venue was in the neighbourhood of Christiania, a truly unique place. An old army barracks and ramparts, which have been squatted and governed at least semi-autonomously since the early 1970s. Christiania has a few common law rules: no weapons, no cars, no hard drugs, no biker colours. We had to break that second one (with permission of course) to load in, but we were warned to drive extremely slowly behind our guide as the locals had been known to smash the windows of cars who did not respect their surroundings. The venue was on the second floor, but thankfully they had an automatic pulley system so we didn’t have to lug everything up a few flights as we’d done in other places. I went for a wander around the area. It’s a truly magical place, especially the quieter, more rural section, where every house has been individually constructed (without having to pay attention to zoning laws or planning permission) and each one is unique. You kinda want to knock on everyone’s door and ask if you can pop in for a cup of tea, and the place does give off the feeling that a lot of people would be chill with that. There’s a real sense of serenity about the place that I haven’t felt in many places.
Of course, one thing that Christiania is notorious for is that in its rules it specifies no HARD drugs and there is a street in the more bustling central part of it where they sell weed openly in every form you can think of. I’m not really a stoner, usually it just makes me sleepy, but I thought I would indulge a bit (when in Rome) and got myself a couple of cookies. I was gonna save them til later but Mike encouraged me to have one so I did, and sat down thinking I would just have a nice chill time for the rest of the night. About an hour later, just as the high was starting to creep into the edge of my consciousness, Jarrett informed me that the hostel we were staying in stated that their latest check-in was midnight and since the gig was due to finish around half-eleven there was no way we could make it there after the show, so I had to go and check-in for the band. He handed me the band credit card and the details of the hotel. Here are a few things you really don’t wanna do when you are rolling up into the full-body high of an edible – cross a city you’ve never been to before at night, hail a cab in said city, check-in to a hotel under someone else’s name, use some kind of self-check-in machine at a hostel, hail a cab again, sign someone else’s name on a credit card receipt for said cab and thus technically commit identity fraud. All of these things are probably not that fun to do without battling through the fog of cookie-induced paranoia. I was simultaneously extremely stressed out, and also giggling to myself at the absurdity of the situation I had found myself in.
But I made it back successfully, and celebrated my return with the second cookie, ready to watch Feels and Screaming Females both smash it again, carried away by the soaring guitar lines and the very strong skunk.