Disasteradio's adventures in sound

By Luke Rowell

Chiptune and synth-pop wunderkind Disasteradio is on the final stretch of his 80 Dates Around-the-World tour this month, completing a run of shows that have seen him criss-cross Europe. He documented his adventures in sound for Volume.

Disasteradio plays to fans on one of his tour dates in Europe. Photo / Luke Rowell
Disasteradio plays to fans on one of his tour dates in Europe. Photo / Luke Rowell

Saturday, 2 July - Geneva, Switzerland
We have a show on a boat on Lake Geneva, and we all feel like stains. Clean'n'sharp Switzerland has this effect, especially when you smell like a dog. Luckily they serve lots of fondue on this boat, and that shit stinks too. I'm playing as part of these summer events for 'La Bateau' (it's a boat called 'The Boat') and opening for i-f, a DJ I know through Cybernetic Broadcasting System. He helped to reboot Italo-disco from Den Haag and he wrote the electroclash smash, Space Invaders Are Smoking Grass.

Wednesday 6 July - Munich, Germany
Play with Trans Am at a cool venue called Feierwerk. This is my third show with them, so it's a mega cool vibe. Out of all the bands in the world that have ever existed, they're like a really, really good band. Phil from Trans Am has a new solo album called Life Coach; synchronicity with my business cards.

Sunday 10 July - Cheb, Czech Republic
We jump online for information about Cheb (population 30,000) and there isn't a hell of a lot.

Well, we did find some articles about child prostitution, and all the Czech people we talked to said it was a shit-hole. Of course Cheb is not a shit-hole, it's a small town - small town shows rule! Goulash for dinner came out of nowhere, followed by this custard pie that was epic as.

Tuesday 12 July - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Play a show at Da Nieuwe Anita, the site of my worst show ever. I agreed to do this small mid-week club night so I can exorcise those demons, and it's awesome. The venue is pretty small and all the bands play behind the bar, so it's perfectly weird for me - it's a delicate art but identifying and overcoming the obstacles is so worth it.

Wednesday 13 July - Haarlem, Netherlands
Play a house party with two rad bands, Cold Pumas and Friendo - everyone took their shirts off and things got kind of sexy.

Thursday 14 July - Den Haag, Netherlands
For some reason random New Zealanders turn up to my shows here, and it's awesome, but I don't think they expect my show to be so awesome ... and weird! The venue in Den Haag is underneath a coffee shop - bonus! Low attendance on account of it being apocalyptically wet, but I still play my nuts off and try to make them feel special. I think I played Die Hard Style in my socks tonight too. We stay at a squat in a former downtown school, now filled with workshops.

Friday 15 July - Tønsberg, Norway
We've got a spot on this wicked festival an hour outside of Oslo. Typically Norwegian, the festival organisers pull out all the stops - an all-day barbeque, breakfast buffet, free haircuts. Kids already know Gravy Rainbow and have made signs - the show is one of my favourites of the whole tour. Get back at a reasonable enough time to have a shower and listen to ELO as loud as my laptop will crank it.

Saturday 16 July - Munich, Germany/Innsbruck, Austria
I fly south to Munich, then drive to Innsbruck for the last show in Europe at the Wetterleuchten festival. It's up 2000 metres on a snowless ski field, and the only way in is by cable car. I play a set that feels weird at the start, I break the ice by the third song, and things get awesome - then I'm done in Europe, which is a weird gauntlet of emotions to run.

Sunday 17-Tuesday 19 July - Paris, France
We wake up and race back to Paris, straight to Leno Lovecraft's HQ. We clean the car out and have to buy at least 20 minutes of vacuum time from the gas station, on account of all the sunflower seed husks, pistachio shells, snack dust, human hair and fart particles. The rental guy balks at the 27,000-and-something kilometres we've done on the trip - that sucker isn't new anymore.

Disasteradio is playing the final dates of his 80 Dates Around-the-World album release tour in New Zealand this month.

Friday 7 October - Kings Arms, Auckland w/ Spring Break & Forest Spirits
Friday 14 October - The Archive, Christchurch w/ Glass Vaults & Seth Frightening
Saturday 15 October - Muso's Club, Dunedin w/ MANTHYNG
Friday 21 October - ARC Theatre, Whanganui w/ Tender Moonlight
Friday 28 October - San Francisco Bath House w/ Spring Break & South City Sushi Cop

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