Tales from the Rails part 9: Sex, bunnies and rock n roll

The yellow taxi turns onto the Reperbahn, passed the “Sex Cinema: 3 Euro” shop. It’s full of men and the radio’s blasting out: “She works hard for the money, so hard for the money”. I’m in Hamburg, it’s a Friday night and I’m on my way to today’s home, but the whole trip was really already worth it for that tiny scene that just passed me by. I’ve never been to Hamburg, but it is exactly as I had pictured it. A lot of mal odours fill the air on a Saturday morning and the street is littered with broken glass and cigarette buds and tourists, who are sitting out on the street drinking large glasses of frothy beer. I walk around the backstreets and pass an English backpackers pub called The Welcome Inn, the cheering and swooping and yelling from within spills onto the road and before my feet like a tumbleweed mess of hangovers and football scores. Astrid’s photography keeps swirling around in my mind, the beautiful self-portraits and the stark black and white faces of the Beatles and the delicate features of a young Klaus Voormann…

I’m playing at a venue called “Hasenschaukel” (literally translates as the rabbit swing), which is nice and topical because the rest of Germany is celebrating Easter today. I wasn’t sure what to expect and my mood was in a weird mismatch due to the smells, being alone and the black and white pictures in my mind. The venue turned out to be a really pretty room of pink and green with lots of frilly things and bunnies. My cup of tea even came with a biscuit in the shape of one. The host is as sweet as the decoration of the venue and made me feel incredibly welcome. From 9pm onwards the place started filling up and by the time I took to the stage, all seats were filled and people were standing around the bar and the stage. I was amazed (once again!) at how attentive the audience was; I really did not expect that, especially after the rowdy side Hamburg was showing me the day before. I played for almost 1 ½ hours – Really enjoyed it and of course hope that you did too! If you’re ever in Hamburg, I recommend you visit the Hasenschaukel, it’s such a nice place, even the toilets are pink and glittery! I hope to play there again on my next tour. Hamburg, ihr wart fantastisch, vielen Dank!

So what did I learn? It’s very difficult to find something decent to eat on the Reperbahn at 1:30am on a Friday night and cookies taste better when they’re in funny shapes.

Next stop: BERLIN!! Hurray!

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