In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the alternative rock band, San Mara, shares one of their stories from being on the road. You can check out the story, after the break.
Now, we’re a brand new band with 1 release under our belt so haven’t toured as San Mara but we have all been professional session musicians our entire adult lives so there are stories, a lot of which probably shouldn’t ever see the light of day or we’ll never be hired again.
This one, however, is worth a mention and doesn’t indict anyone…
A while ago our guitar player/producer, Lael, was touring Eastern Europe with a big synth-pop-rock band. They were a month or so in and things had gone well but, weary after covering Russia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Germany, The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Ukraine they were due to move on to play The National Palace in Chisnau, Moldova.
After a 6 hour drive from Kiev the band were surprised to come across an armed border crossing. The surprise was because they were still 60km or so from the Moldovan border. The guards asked to see paperwork and the tour manager obliged but, to their horror, they were denied access.
They soon found out that this, in fact, was not the Ukraine/Moldova border crossing but they had entered the domain of an unrecognised breakaway state known as Transnistria who controlled a narrow stretch of land between the two countries through which the band and crew had no authorisation to travel.
After some heated back and forth in broken English the guards were making noises to suggest a deal might be struck. Money? Gear? No. Half an hour or so later the bus was on it’s way, a lot lighter, having been completely cleaned out of their merch and the guards and their families were fully decked-out in branded hoodies and t-shirts, drinking tea from branded mugs and listening to the band’s records.