I’m writing this on the train from Göttingen to Berlin. These train journeys are little enclaves of peace on the tour. Today I have 3 hours to just sit back, relax and watch the scenery go by. People often ask me if I get lonely travelling by myself, but the truth is quite the opposite – in the rest of my life it’s rare that I’ll get a few hours alone with my thoughts where there are no pressing commitments – touring for me is a chance to hang out with myself, someone I think I avoid spending time with usually. It might be more of a drag if this was all the touring experience was for me, but in every city I show up in I usually meet some amazing folks who quickly become new friends.
To this end – I had a great time in Mainz hanging out post-show until the wee small hours with my gracious host Max. We shared musical discoveries and a bottle of wine and talked about language. He also did some spot on Flight of the Conchords impressions (I’ve been continually wowed by the general capacities of Germans for English, but this pretty damn good accent mimicry took it up a level). Max also broke the news to me that At the Drive-In had reformed and were going to play some shows this year. I went to bed a happy chappy.
Getting to Mainz was the nicest journey so far. A 3 hour trip, mostly along the banks of the Rhine. I foolishly didn’t take any photos, but if you just google ‘Rhine vistas’ you’ll get an idea of the beautiful scenery and the old towns I was travelling past.
Arriving at the Haus Mainusch venue I was greeted by another Tim who was geared up to shoot a live acoustic session pre-show. You can have a look at the two songs (Wren, and a Jeff Buckley cover) over here:
The Mainz show itself was one of my favourites ever – it was my first time in town, but the place was absolutely packed. I had a loud, but very friendly heckler in the front row. He would yell out things like: YOU HAVE JUST DEEPLY TOUCHED ME! And YOU HAVE AN ABILITY TO TAKE A MOMENT AND MAKE IT LAST FOREVER. Somehow in a way that made it obvious he was actually deadly serious. I think he irritated the crap out of everyone else, but I wanted to take him with me on the rest of the tour. Mainz will be first on the list when I book the next European tour.
I had to dash out of Mainz early the next morning to get to Göttingen, and the train ride was sufficiently long that I got no chance to see either city at all – cause for a revisit, I believe! I had just enough time to soundcheck and grab some blutwurst and sauerkraut in the downstairs restaurant before the show began. I was bowled over for the second night in a row by the turnout and the response from the audience – THANK YOU Göttingen. It was also a pleasure to share the night with a fellow Canadian – the delightful Peter Katz.
I was very well taken care of by the Stempelkissen folks who put the Mainz show on. Big thanks go out to Seb, Max, Amelie, Clemens Ghost of a Chance, Nikolas (the friendly heckler) and even more whose names I have shamefully forgotten. Inga, Andreas, Christian and company at Apex treated me royally, and I can’t wait to return.
Ok, back to my trainride, checking out the alien-looking spherical clumps of mistletoe that dominate the bare winter trees in this part of the world…