…travelling back in time to the 7th September
It is the most gorgeous of sunny days and I’m on the train again, travelling along the banks of the Rhine between Mainz and Duisburg. This ride is truly spectacular – thin towns of grey-roofed, white-painted houses sitting between the river and immediate slopes carpeted with vineyards broken up by rocky cliffs and the occasional castle, for good measure. All of this snaking through the forested countryside. All the train trips I’ve taken in Germany have been pretty affairs, but I’m still to find a ride to rival this one (feel free to write in with suggestions).
What was I here for again? Oh, right – shows!
The first gig back in Germany took place in the historic city of Göttingen. The weather co-operated and we were able to hold the show outside of Das Pools. The crowd was really receptive and it was a great way to get back into German touring life. I shared the bill (and made myself a new friend) that night in the form of one dislocated Icelander by the name of Snaevar Albertsson (Dad Rocks!). His songs somehow bridge that divide between comedy and sad beauty and his low falsetto gives me the shivers.
A briefish train trip took me to Braunschweig and the first of many shows in repurposed industrial spaces. Sören and Vera and the rest of the Nexus crew took such good care of me– I was treated to the seasonal Alsace combo of federweisser (young, sweet wine) and zweibelkuchen (an onion-based version of flammekuche, much like quiche lorraine) which I gorged on with perhaps a little too much vigour. Once show time rolled around the venue was packed. The night was opened by the intensely creative and magnet-like Berliner Allie. His subtle use of looping, textural recordings and quiet dynamics was really inspirational, and gave me a new burst of energy to take the stage with.
I can never say enough good stuff about this place and its beautiful people – the Stempelkissen promoters have been so good to PBS, and are honestly some of the loveliest folks I’ve had the pleasure to meet. My show here in January was one of the best and most memorable I’ve ever played (you can read about the friendly heckler over here), and honestly, I was worried about the return experience living up to that highest of standards.
I needn’t have worried – I was met at the train station by an entourage from the Stempelkissen crew and they spent the afternoon giving me a grand tour of their beautiful city: the magnificent centuries-old red sandstone cathedral, winding streets and market square. I’d talked on my last visit about wanting to visit the Gutenberg museum, being a huge fan of the Police Academy movies, but time was just a little too short, and the day was too nice, so we ate ice creams and hung out on the bank of the river instead. Indeed, summer was back in full force, so in the early evening the folks at the Haus Mainusch venue set to work moving the stage and PA outside. Though the temperature dropped off through the night the huddling crowd gave me a warm reception and a little more federweisser rounded the evening off nicely.
Big thanks go to Inga, Kirstin, Rasmus, Christian and Snaevar in Gottingen; Soren, Vera all the staff and volunteers at the Nexus and Allie’s Flo in Braunschweig; pretty much the entire population of the city of Mainz, but particularly, Max, Seba, Vincent, Mr. Meppelson, Clemence and the rest of the Stempelkissen crew (apologies to anyone I may have forgotten – there’s just too many of you good people), Jobst and Toby for their lovely opening sets
2012 EUROPEAN TOUR DATES
15 August – Reykjavik, IS – Hemmi & Valdi
16 August – Reykjavik, IS – Faktory
22 August – London, UK – the Slaughtered Lamb
23 August – Chorlton, Manchester, UK – The Dulcimer
4 September – Gottingen, DE – Pools Club
5 September – Braunschweig, DE – Nexus
6 September – Mainz, DE – Haus Mainusch
7 September – Oberhausen, DE – Drucklufthaus
8 September – Dusseldorf, DE – Brause
9 September – Bonn, DE – NYX
10 September – Koln, DE – Mosaik
12 September – Paris, FR – Galerie Goutte de Terre
13 September – Maastricht, NL – Landhuis
14 September – Ghent, BE – House Show
15 September – Antwerp, BE – House Show
16 September – Vosselaar, BE – Cafe De Zwaan
17 September – Brussels, BE – Live Music Cafe
18 September – Erfurt, DE - Süße Ecke
20 September – Hamburg, DE – Reeperbahn Festival – Devilduck Records showcase @ Hasenschaukel
21 September – Berlin, DE – Myxa
24 September – Nuremberg, DE – Ludwigs Bar
25 September – Vienna, AU – Fluc
26 September – Innsbruck, AU – Die Baeckerei
27 September – Paris, FR – le Motel