Towards the end of March my housemates and I headed back up to Cluj-Napoca in support of Riot Monk’s new video release, of which I’m featured in. Check it out below if you haven’t already.
They were playing a gig at Hardward Pub which is a venue I hadn’t actually been to before so that was a new experience for me. They asked me to try and take tickets on the door but I struggled as I hadn’t practiced speaking Romanian in a very long time, I was almost able to man the merch stand though as people weren’t trying to argue with me there.
As I was staying with a friend of mine, I spent some time exploring his neighbourhood, the Manastur district; this was nice as I got to see some new localities in the city. He took me to an amazing viewpoint which in actual fact was the top level of a parking lot and we also went to a pizzeria/sports bar place and we reminisced about the times when we worked together.
I visited my old workplace, and got to spend time with my former bosses, we even went out for lunch a couple of times which was really nice as it was not a professional atmosphere and just more of a time to catch up and gossip.
As the weather was really nice, I got to see more of the Central Park and I wandered around the streets more than I did when I lived there. It was really nice to see most of the city during the day too as previously I would only really go out during the evenings.
The whole purpose of heading up there was actually to help out with Riot Monk’s tour and so I joined them at their next show too, a gig in Baia Mare. I took the train from Cluj and arrived at around 4pm, just in time to eat my way through a whole tub of homemade sarmale ( I haven’t touched the stuff since though, I’m still full). I didn’t have to man the door or the merch stand this time, all I had to here was to help drop a curtain. As it was a special concert to release their new video, they were playing it on a curtain in front of the stage and to add theatrics to it, they wanted me to drop the curtain as their opening song started. I believe I pulled this off quite well, and I then spent the rest of their show filming bits for a compilation I wanted to produce. Unfortunately, I never got around to doing that, so instead I have lots of unused uncut footage of their performance. Speaking of filming, the next day we took a trip up to Firiza Lake just outside Baia Mare as they wanted to start recording their next video release. I wasn’t part of this one but I just accompanied them to the lake so I could see more of this incredible country.
I only spent one night up in Baia Mare as we all left the day after the show. My housemates headed all the way back to Bucharest but I just stopped in Cluj-Napoca for a few more days.
Overall, I spent just over a week in Romania’s second city before I took an overnight train back to Bucharest. I had to get back in time to see the Folk & Metal Fest V at Quantic. I wrote about that gig, along with the other’s I’ve been to, in a previous article, which you can see here.