Tales from the Rails – camera’s rolling and all the surprises

I’m in a fairy tale again. This time a proper Hans Christian Anderson woodland wonder, just without the freaky shit and with a happier ending. I’m in Kiel in the middle of a forest, but more to that later. Last night I played a show at what’s rapidly becoming one of my regular haunts, the Kultur Cafe Lichtung in Cologne. I arrived midday to blazing sunshine and hoards to football fans already merrily chanting in preparation for the evening’s match. The show was moved forward to an early 7pm start, so as to not clash with this minor sporting event that runs simultaneously with my tour…

The Cafe Lichtung is run by Michael and Michael, one of whom lives around the corner from the venue and kindly puts me up when I’m in town. Although it was 30 degrees outside, it was Christmas in his apartment, due to the fact that a Hollywood blockbuster is currently being filmed there (no, I did not meet any movie stars, they were hiding). After ice cream and a walk along the Rhein we did some filming of our own – a quick live session filmed by some friends of mine, I’ll post the video soon!

I must admit, I did not think it was going to be a busy night. Firstly, we’d arranged the gig at fairly short notice, and secondly, Cologne seemed to have caught football fever and it was blazing sunshine outside… all those factors usually equate empty seats. However, just after I started to play the entire venue filled up rapidly with lots of familiar faces and I was truly surprised. This might sound odd, but I also need to start getting used to the fact that people come see me play. On purpose. And they come back to see me play when I’m next in town. Your stage talk changes if you feel the audience already knows you and your songs a bit. In Cologne people actually sung my songs with me (not just the ‘YOU!’ and ‘WHITE’!), but entire verses to songs off ‘The Real Thing’. Cologne, you made me very happy indeed, that you. The largest of thank you’s goes to both my family members and old school friend who both independently of one another had planned to surprise me at the Cafe Lichtung. Here we are looking happy and surprised:

John Robin

Michael is already used to me and my early Cologne mornings – somehow I always have my longest train journey from the Lichtung, so my 5:30am start did came as no surprise. I had to catch a train to Hamburg and a bus from there to Kiel in order to perform at a Festival in the woodlands of northern Germany. The train, however, was a time machine and transported me back to the 1970’s with a brown / orange colour scheme and a distinct lack of plug sockets and wifi. So what does one do at 7am on an empty train / time machine? One balances ones phone on the opposite seat and films a song with Germany flashing by my window and the rumble of the tracks as musical accompaniment. Again, video to follow soon!


The time machine spat me out into an alternative reality of woodland pixy fairytale-ness (technical term, that). The ‘Waldwunder’, literally translated ‘Forest Miracle’, did what it said on the proverbial tin. With one small stage, five acts and a gathering of wonderful people, we forgot about phones and internet connections for a day. The Berlin band ‘Ilute’ opened the show and blew me away with their harmonies and really clever German lyrics. The world shrunk a little more when the bass player told me I looked familiar and we realised we both went to the same school, only two years apart. Weird shit happens when you time travel. I spent the entire day at in the woodland miracle until I practically fell asleep on a nearby sofa around midnight, while the last act was still playing away into the night.


This morning I awoke in the now. Today I play a living room in Kiel at the ‘Beekeeper’s daughter’ and then it’s back to Berlin for a couple days of rest and merriment before I fly to Italy for further adventures.

One Reply to “Tales from the Rails – camera’s rolling and all the surprises”

  1. Hi Roxanne. Thank YOU for YOUR very fine Kölle Konzert. I did see The Kinks, The WHO and YOU 🙂 Be welome in my living room..see YOU soon..YOUR edelweiß Austrian from the ROCK city of Essen. Come and see me. Real love to YOU YOU are THE REAL THING

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