03.05.2009. VAPPU in Switzerland with TURISAS
As you know I drove to Switzerland to cover a couple events, including some promotional photography, ELUVEITIE's release party (see previous blog) and The Darkest Tour part 2 featuring CRADLE OF FILTH, MOONSPELL, TURISAS and DEAD SHAPE FIGURE.
Yours truly is getting really accustomed to working with TURISAS over the last year (for those of you hiding under a rock since November, I was involved in the making of TURISAS's DVD last summer) and any excuse is in order for me to hop in the Clio and make a drive by to the party. This time is no exception with a 'real' excuse to party: Walpurgis Night, which translates to 'Vappu' in Finnish.
Now I'd love to tell you more about what happened, the thing is I cannot remember much apart from the 10 things I learned about Vappu below. This is why I've asked Warlord Nygard and Olli Vänskä to fill in for me instead.
"Except for a handful of balloons Olli had bought somewhere in Spain, there was no clear plan how to celebrate the eve of May 1st when parking up outside Z7 in the morning. As the day went on, it seemed like this year would be a lot tamer than in 2008 when we had pimped our tourbus with balloons and other carneval deco and partied to the max together with Ensiferum in Detroit rock city. When returning back to the bus from the pub I was happy to discover, that I wasn't the only one who had got drunk unintentionally and the parking lot was starting to fill up with people. Many hours later - now intentionally more drunk - Jussi and I embarked on a proper pillaging mission to the nearby closed gas station. With the darkness of the night as our cover, we snuck up to the locker outside the station and pulled out two giant outhouse fire logs between the locked doors and dissapeared into the night again. Well, it wasn't actually REAL pillaging, but more like trading outside their opening hours, as we DID pay for them by leaving a 50 CHF bill in the locker. Back at the buses, we had just got our bonfires going, and were feeling extremely pleased with ourselves and how we had brought all this joy to our whole tour party, when we were told to put them out immediately by TWO tourmanagers. After all we had done! As our good deeds were clearly not appreciated here, we grabbed the burning logs on our shoulders and dissapeared into the dark woods once again. After some time of enjoying the results of our trip by ourselves, people started showing up one by one, and at some point later, everyone who was still awake had joined us around our beautiful fire. I think we were sort of re-inventing "Vappu" in a way by coming up with new "traditions" all night by the fire. An urban workers day carnival had turned into a strange mixture of "Juhannus" (midsummer), tribal nomad dancing rites, and just general odd drunken behaviour somewhere in the forests of Switzerland. How we managed to come through it with only a couple of branded arses and one set of "pubes flambés Anglais" is beyond my understanding. All I know is that sitting down was not much fun for the next week."
"Vappu has these certain traditions that really make the event: Vappu whistle and vappunenä (vappu nose) are no doubt among the most important. With whistles the point is to make as annoying noise at as annoying time/ inconvenient place as possible. I'm pretty good with this, and luckily I've managed to find them abroad as well. I also keep a collection of each year's whistle (although I think last year I lost it somewhere in Detroit). Vappunenä is far more difficult to find. OK, basically it is just a red clown nose, but they don't seem to like them abroad anyway. At least we couldn't find any from Switzerland. We ended up making our own version out of Kinder Easter egg inner plastic core with some duct tape. Not as red, not as funny but nevertheless it covers your own alcohol-swollen nose. We even got Dani from CoF to wear one (although I guess he thought there was a deeper satanic meaning to it)."
For some photos of the party click here.
'10 Things I learned about Vappu in Switzerland'.
First, what is Vappu. In a nutshell: once a pagan equinox festivity, Walpurgis Nacht events involved bonfires and a great amount of alcohol and disorder, until our modern society set it on May first every year, making it at best a carnival and at worst a holiday of communist connotation that celebrates work by... not working. Here is the Finnish translation: Holiday-before-Juhannus-where-you-get-a-day-off-during-the-week, let's-get-wasted.
1 Vappu already starts on the 30th of April, show up on time.
2 Kinder eggs make for great clown noses
3 Swiss gas stations don’t sell alcohol but they sell logs.
4 Finnish men like to drop their pants in public, and Portuguese and Dutch men like to video tape it.
5 Michael Jackson is funnier to watch when you're drinking Martini.
6 Keep a first mate with a video camera handy, you might want to ‘remember’ what you have done, since chances are you won’t remember yourself
7 Never trust Finns by indulging into little secrets like where your bottles of wine are stashed.
8 Expect nudity, sauna optional.
9 Dietikon is not a dictionary-lexicon. It's an incredibly hard to find village near Zurich.
10 Come prepared. You cannot buy alcohol after 10 PM in the mountains.
Photos of the show are available here (Click on the thumbnails for galleries):
DEAD SHAPE FIGURE