Visiting a foreign country for the first time can be a little disconcerting. There’s the language barrier, customs that might not be familiar to you, and the general feeling of not quite knowing your way around. Things were even worse for The Ocean, who in a five day trip were involved in a “serious crime scene” and a contract dispute that had them being held hostage at their hotel by management until the German consulate was called. Here’s their lengthy account of their trip, via their Facebook page:
“We are back home safe from India, and those 5 days have felt like 5 weeks. We still can’t believe everything that happened this past weekend. For the moment, we can’t reveal all the details of the story, as we got caught up in the middle of a serious crime scene and we don’t want to put anyone’s life at risk.
But we can reveal some details about the final episode of our short stay in India, which was the icing on the cake… the hotel staff was not letting us go when we checked out, because payment for the hotel bill had not arrived in their account. As a matter of fact, payment had already been made by Kingfisher / UBI, the sponsor of the event, and they sent bank statements by email, but the hotel did not accept those statements – they wanted to see the money in their account. When we attempted to leave, hotel security assaulted us, shouted at the Tuk Tuk drivers and intimidated them so that they would not take us, and finally forced us to go back into the hotel lobby, where we had to wait for 3 hours, while a team of arrogant managers and hotel henchmen were discussing things among themselves, to no avail. In the end we lost our patience and called the German embassy to ask for help. 20 minutes later, it was sorted out and we were allowed to go.
We were not involved with the booking nor the payment of our hotel bill in any way and did not have any contract or even email correspondence with this hotel, it all went through The Great Indian October Fest and their sponsor Kingfisher / UBI – so it makes no sense at all why WE were held hostage at this hotel. We were simply guests that had been invited to perform at the festival, which unfortunately did not happen, as the promoters failed to fulfill their contractual duty to pay our fee before the show on Saturday night.
Because we had travelled all the way from Germany to play our first gig ever in India and because it would have been incredibly frustrating for both us and our fans not to play at all, we organized a last minute gig at Vapour Bangalore on Tuesday night. We were expected there for soundcheck at 4 PM, but because of the issues at Matthan hotel, we arrived so late that this show was almost being cancelled as well. If you’ve ever wanted to poop into a box and send it somewhere, you know where to send it to now. And if you don’t like the idea of doing the hard shitwork yourself, you can also hire the folks from www.shitexpress.com to do it for you.
In the end, we had a great gig at Vapour club on Tuesday night. With only 2 days notice, we had around 150 people in the room, and it was such a relief to finally be able to do what we came for: to play a show in Bangalore. When Loic lept off the balcony into the crowd that night, it was a massive moment of triumph. We had finally beat all the odds, and cleansed our minds and bodies entirely of the retarded amount of stress that we had all been carrying around with us for the past 4 days, during this one magic hour on stage. Thanks to Salman from Vapour for making this happen, and thanks to our Indian tour manager Mayur for coping with all the difficult situations we encountered as best as he could! And rest assured, people of India: we will be back.”
It’s surprising they want to return to India, but at the same time, the shots they took from their trip, as seen in the photo above, makes it look like they had a great time when they weren’t being held hostage. And it wouldn’t be right to have one shady promoter cost the band future visits to the country. Now we need to find out what that mysterious “crime scene” is all about.