At the time, when our October issue was about to go to print back in August, shit was literally all over the place. Literally, in the sense that these lyrics were in transit somewhere in between Berlin, Helsinki, Riga and Warsaw, where Sean James was managing his crew and Björn Holmenäs was managing his AND the Sk8Mafia dudes (more about that one later in another issue this winter.) In the end, the words didn't quite make it to the printer in time. So in a shocking move, we're publishing the whole article, words and photos, on the site here, while the mag is at the newsstand. You should still go out and buy it.
BEERLIN TOUR 2012: SWEET AND PERUS
Words: Sean James
After the brilliant expedition throughout the Scandic regions last year we decided it would be rude not to make a tradition out of it and continue from our 2011 Tent shitty tour with Sweet, and join forces once again to take care of some mainland Europe area.
After re adjusting from the earlier plan of going to Prague, we elected to have 9 days cruising around Berlin both together and doing our own thing and then finish it of with an entrance to Bright tradeshow. Once again we had a massive crew with people coming and going throughout the days, it was in the interests of our mental and physical health to stick to the one city instead of travelling too far and exhausting ourselves too much. I’m not so confident it worked out like that in the end.
Of course the sweet camp had a nice apartment organized and Perus Crew arriving at different times were posted in various couches/floors/hostels around the city. After the generosity of our friend Phillip needed to be readjusted to his brother and girlfriend, the first Perus soldiers moved over to a Hostel on Karl Marx Strassen called RIX PACK in Neukölln. We discovered there was only one room available that would accommodate us, it should have been warning enough that is was called the Creepy Box. A very strange room at the top floor right hand side, only accessible through a side corridor, It was pretty ghetto even for us, paint falling from the roof, small mould patches here and there, but we had our own kitchen and a big room, so we pretty much were life fucks yea, creepy box 4 life leets go… Turned out not to be such a great idea, after 2 nights my tounge and throat was full of blisters and breathing a struggle, and Foppa really ill, Norro was also not doing too well either. I would suggest giving the creepy box a miss to anyone else.
Though I have been to Berlin many times before, it was on this occasion that it really hit home how much of an incredible city this place really is. Upon descending in the plane with Sami Miettinen, and the Perus graffiti team, the excitement of the weeks to come started sparking everyone to life. Despite all of us electing to stay awake all night in order to embark on the 4.45 am plane, we charged into Berlin feeling fantastic. First a round of KFC and beers for breakfast, then to try and deal with the massive surprise that the package with all our boards, trucks wheels etc was missing and chilling somewhere between Helsinki and Berlin. Thanks again Air Baltic. Fuckin great way to start a skate trip in a city that it is so easy to get distracted from skateboarding…
Being in Berlin is such a massive contrast to us who are living in the heavily government controlled and very bureaucratic Scandic and Nordic countries, it feels like the exact opposite on so many different levels. As Boon said “no one gives a fuck about what anyone else is doing, everyone is just doing it". Which is pretty much what is happening, I feel it is one of the last truly free cities in the world. We were skateboarding inside one of the most central railway stations 25 people deep, back and forth filming lines, dodging pedestrians, grinding the marble and wallriding around before after 45 mins 2 extremely reluctant security guards came and very politely asked if we would mind stopping. Fucking nuts, In about any other place I would give about 35 seconds for that scenario to be allowed to go on.
There were more and more things cropping up to illustrate this point, Jesse Turunen turned up about 4 days into the trip with his missus and a couple of the Crew, their plan was to camp every night, so in the middle of Berlin for about 5 nights, they cruised around and camped dead in the middle of the city, no questions, no problems, maybe they just got lucky?? Who knows, but perhaps the only police encounter I can recall on this trip so far came at the hands of the Graffiti team. The lads finished polishing off a massive Perus piece in broad daylight in the middle of Kruetzberg, as they were leaning back to admire their work they saw a security guard glance at them and then quickly disappear, of course they proceeded to rapidly change clothes, try to wipe the evidence off their hands and stuff the cans into bags for a quick exit, whilst administering the last cans, sure enough 2 plain clothed Pigs turned up and the chase was on through the back streets of the city, They lost them at some point and ended up in a courtyard to hide the cans and themselves. Unfortunately it materialized that it was the courtyard of several people they just had been sprinting past at the local cafes, who returned home to see too dirty Finns hiding in their garden. Too say the least they weren’t too impressed but in the end the lads got away with no consequence and a great Perus piece on a Berlin wall. Big Up yourselves.
By now the days are firing past and everything is molding together, skating all the classic spots with a massive crew, the more business minded creeping from the mob with Boon to get the snaps taken care of before the mayhem really kicks in as the evening descended every night. Evenings were spent typically jamming on the ramp at Yaam and progressing to try and get into panorama, for some reason they had something against a mob of dirty drunk guys with skateboards and never actually let us in, this of course lead to very interesting meetings and parties outside, I believe more than one gentleman found a little bit cozier bed to sleep in from our madness outside the club.
Now the bright week was closing in hard on us and all of a sudden there was a bit of an accommodation problem for the Perus fellas as more guys were arriving. A day spent trying to get an apartment or hostels for everybody was all to no avail, everything full consumed by Bright tradeshow attendees, so I call to our distributor Philipp and explain. After a few minutes he calls back and he’s found a young man willing to let several of us sleep in his front room in Neukölln, this young man’s name is Siggy, he turned out to be a bloody champ, letting so many people stay as long as needed, taking us to all kind of spots on and off the board and shredding the shit out of every spot, look out for him in the tour clip, and maybe on our website very soon.
The Wednesday of the Bright tradeshow beginning was upon us, there was all kind of fairly sporty, straight edge events going on. With the help of the Kippenflow party crew Perus, Sweet, Radio, beers, burgers and champions we decided to perform a demonstration of how to skate, drink copious amounts of booze, hammer burgers, destroy the turntables and dance your ass of at the skate park for all the locals and real crew there, not something just for the corporate rapists of that descend upon that beautiful city twice a year for bright. The bbq had a great turnout and was big success, the next stop for all of us was to wake up in the morning and get over to the tradeshow and watch Lev’s comedy show at the world wallie championships, catch up with all the old friends and shred the skate park, which Josef did quite well apparently, taking third place in the competition!
The most shocking thing we came across in the whole Bright weekend I believe, at least from Sami Miettinen and my self’s point of view was NOT the deejay at one amazing party climbing in front of the decks, stripping down to his speedos?? And getting a spanking from memebers of the audience, just when we thought is couldn’t get much better than that we discovered the massive fingerboarding arena, this is all well and good, but how seriously people were taking it was incredible, there was actually 150€ changing hands because one strapping fingerboarder did a nollie flip tailslide down the handrail????? 150€ for real, because it was so gnarly? Seriously the guy might have cracked one of his knuckles, or split a nail!
Berlin was very kind to us throughout the trip, everyone had a blast, got lots of photos, some good clips. Loads of wonderful encounters, with both new and old friends and places. I’m not sure where next years Perus X Sweet tour will take place, but in order to top Berlin I think we’ll be leaving the continent. One thing for sure were both going to be back at some point this year. Thanks to everyone for all the help with everything!