Photo by Tijmen Hobbel
Photo by Tijmen Hobbel

Birth of Joy‘s Gurtjan Gutman list fives things he loves and five that really piss him off.


Irish pubs
O’Neills, Litle Temple Bar, O’Malleys, O’Callehan, Mc. Whatever or just plain: Irish Pub. In every town there is one and it’s always good. Maybe it’s a bit like getting breakfast at Subway when there are good local bistro’s to go to, but sometimes you just need to get yourself a pint of Kilkenny. Free nuts included.

After a seven hour drive it’s nice to get a hot pot of coffee during the soundcheck, a fresh cooked meal with nice wine and cold beer during the show. That’s all we could wish for. Especially in France we often get some really nice local products on top of the usual stuff. That’s ten points extra in advance.

Jamming on stage
After a while it can get pretty boring to play the same songs over and over again, night after night. Most of the solos are different every night, but we have a couple of songs where the whole middle section is reserved for jams. It can be exciting business, because you can’t have a really good jam every night. On some shows everybody is more into it then other nights, but that’s the whole point of jamming live on stage.

Wild audiences
A bit obvious maybe for a rock and roll band, but still. It’s simply way more fun when you’re playing for a deranged bunch of drunken, moshpitting and stage diving idiots. However, it’s cool to see that most of time people, no matter how wild everybody is, take care of each other.

Washing machine in a venue
The smell of dirty socks and underpants stuffed away in your backpack is pretty much unbearable after three weeks. Even if you put it in a closed plastic bag. Opening that bag is only for the bravest of brave. On tour you only have time to go to a launderette on a day off. To prevent fainting band members it is good when there is a washing machine in the venue.


Heineken beer
What’s up with Heineken beer in other countries besides Holland? Most of the people we know in Holland don’t even like it. If you want to get Dutch beer for a Dutch band, that’s very kind, but there are loads of much better beers made in Holland. Grolsch for example. Or the local stuff, that’s even better. We love to try out new stuff. Especially beer-wise.

Besides the flying itself, the worst part of being flown into a show is the rental gear. Nord; thumbs up for trying, but it really sounds like a wet fart in an airplane restroom.

Traffic jams
The only kind of jam that isn’t good.

Formule 1 hotels
Maybe we are spoiled little brats, but Formule 1 Hotels are really horrible. Our old van broke down near St. Lô and we had to spend three days at one of those gates to hell. The only good thing was that it was next to a place where you can drive go-carts, but that didn’t make up for the plastic, stinky rooms where you could almost smell the sweaty couple that were in the bed before you.

Gear that breaks down
Lately we are doing pretty good with the gear, but there was a time that we drove around with three Leslie boxes in the van. All three more dead than alive. Fixing all the stuff before the show with your fingers crossed that it lasts for the whole set and doesn’t break down in the middle of a song isn’t very nice.

Birth of Joy‘s new album ‘Get Well‘ is out now.

Finola Doran – @jukeboxfin