Sunday, September 19, 2004

Sunday 19th September 2004

Saturday after noon in germany is usually a dull affair because of a barbaric practise in which all the shops shut around midday.
I head from Stubnitz into Rostock town centre hoping for a post card and lo - a town festival! There are stages every 100yards along the main street with everything from teenage girls singing out of tune pop, to Mystic de los Andes playing outsize panpipes over new age synth sound washes. None of it my cup of tea but a great distraction, lots of people and the shops are OPEN!

It's funny but whenever you have high expectations of a gig they always seem disapointing and then unexpected gigs are the real gems.
I have high expectations for Stubnitz as we had a great time last time we were on board (it's a brilliant boat with amazing decor and lights in the club and bar spaces, it stays mainly in rostock but is seaworthy and heads off for certain outernational events).
Hopes are high after the ham breakfast (we're all veggie), the sound check and the boiled rice and frozen vege dinner. But when on stage the sound is badly distorted and painful to the ears and then something over which we have no control squeals with feedback all the way through the second half of the set I concede defeat. The audience seemed to enjoy and thanks for coming and creating a nice vibe, but on stage it felt like work which was a real shame.

We did get very nice toasted sandwiches at 4am which was appreciated!

That was last night this is this morning.
Feeling like summer is well and truly over.

Proof of the unexpected gem theory; Flensburg where we are playing tonight couldn't give us a better reception - clean, light, spacious with a wonderful feast. It makes such a difference when we are away from home and at the mercy of someone elses culinary imagination, past comments include:
when Colin was on tour and vegan "there is no food for the one who eats nothing"
"what DO you eat then - grass?"
said with pride "I've made you just these boiled potatoes and green beans - no sauce"
(the concept of a sauce that didn't involve meat in some way was clearly inconceivable).
It has to be said that all the above quotes are from cooks in France, the culinary capital of the world (I'm being a little ironic there...).

Anyway Hakey has a plan - to walk to Denmark (we've never been) which is "just round the corner". We head off through an industrial esate, a housing estate then a wood... DJ Perch turns back as he's got to set up the equipment and we've been walking for over an hour - it's always "just round the next corner". We cross a beach another housing estate then walk doewn the side of a motorway! Just when we've decided to give up we see the old border control buildings. Walked over the border, sent postcards to our children then got on a bus which cosmically stopped right outside the venue. Well worth it, follow the man with a vision that's what I say!

Tune of the Day

Famous Blue Raincoat
by Leonard Cohen


Saturday, September 18, 2004

Saturday 18th September 2004

Dear diary.
I am living a double life - one in the past and one in the present.
In my powerbook I have half written entries for July and August which with touring, travelling and life stuff I haven´t had chance to finish, and I am now on tour in Germany catching up with everything but also wanting to write new stuff. So here I am. You´ll have to catch up on the inbetween life when I finally post it...

Left home with my Mum on the night of the 15th September, drove to my sisters in South London, kipped for a couple of hours, got cab to Stansted (picking up Hakey in Hackney) saw my Mum off onto her plane home to Spain and me and Hakey flew to Koln where we were met by Gondor - a glorious German (who bears a striking resemblance to Shrek - but he´s not green) who permanently drove Zion Train on "the Black Box" in the mid 1990´s and who very kindly has come out of retirement for this German tour...
We head for DJ Perch´s studio, load up and drive to Wuppertal for the first gig at LCB (16th September). Thanks to all who came and appreciated and made the first gig of the tour, at the end of a very long day a really nice experience.

Last night (17th) we were at Treibsand in Lübeck which was another lovely gig - small intense club which got very sweaty. Then lay in my bunk in the bus on which we are travelling listening to Leonard Cohen and Orchestra Baobab on the Ipod.

Today we are at Rostock - I am typing in the backstage room on the legendary Stubnitz, very much looking forward to tonights gig.

It is police appreciation day here in Germany (do they have this anywhere else in the world?!) So we have been treated to a display of putting out miniscule fires by the local fire brigade and a police helicopter rescue of a man pretending to be drowning in the river. Quite frankly at the speed they got to him he would have been long dead!

Tunes of yesterday

Bul Na Miin and Jiin Ma Jinn Ma
by Orchestra Baobab