Tales from the German Rails – zimmer frames and other unexpected things

The German reunification is well over two decades ago and still there are many stereotypes and derogatory comments made, particularly when travelling from West to East. Cologne to Chemnitz was no exceptions and I was told, in half-jest of course, to prepare for the worst, playing “that far east”. Indeed, Chemnitz seemed pretty scary on arrival… no shops were open and the few people who walked along the vast soviet-style open streets were shuffling along with canes and zimmer-frames (Chemnitz is the town with the oldest average age in Germany..). When I asked a particularly wrinkly lady for directions, I was told to speak up and repeat my question three times before she could understand me.

Amongst the very ugly 1960’s block-buildings (Chemnitz was bombed to bits in the war) are gems such as the theater and I walk from street to street looking for any place that might be open and sell coffee. In the one chain-“restaurant” that was open, I sat down at the counter, which was empty save for one other person, who took a glance at my guitar and then started chatting to me in English… After a couple of moments, the counter had filled up with his band mates: an all vocal group from Israel who were there for a private show the following day… what are the odds. The chap who had started talking to me is called Isato and turned out to be a beat-boxer: So we quickly crafted a master plan! A couple of hours and a quick rehearsal later, we performed ‘Indie Electro Pop’ together at my show and that’s how quickly an imaginary band can turn into a real one!

Despite the unlikely setting and bizarre start to the day, Chemnitz turned out to be one of the best gigs of the tour so far – the venue was so cool and the audience was just amazing – thank you so much for coming along to see me and I really do hope to be back at the Aaltra soon!

The following day I performed in Leipzig, which is rumoured to be “the new Berlin” (you know, like Monday’s are the new Saturday’s kind a thing..). Leipzig really is rather beautiful and the show was lovely too. The audience was SO attentive and the acoustics were great in that cavernous venue, wish I would have recorded the show! Ooh, and as I later found out when drinking and table-footballing with Leipzig friends (I lost miserably!), I’m now a postcard all over town! 🙂
Postcard in LeipzigThe “East Trilogy” was completed with a show in Magdeburg, coolest thing about the Blues Brother’s themed venue (you can even order the Elwood special, which as you’ll know is just dry white toast) was the fact that I must have had half of the university there! The room was packed with Magdeburg Uni kids – so here’s a huge thank you to the university radio for all your support!

Only one show left un-blogged, which is the living room gig is Munich. That totally deserves an entry to itself though, so saving that for later… Here I am back in Berlin and looking forward to the final show in Germany on Friday!

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