Tales from the Rails part 10: Berlin Basements and the Time Bandits

‘Tales from the Rails’ now reporting from above the clouds. It’s Monday and I am London-bound after a fantastic weekend in Berlin. On Saturday night I played at a new club in town called “T” and it was, in many respects, one of the best shows of the tour and equally the most stressful. As most of you know, Berlin is home ground for me so getting to see friends and family is always the best aspect of any Berlin trip. Equally, I knew that I’d be playing to an audience consisting to a large extend of familiar faces, which is much harder and more nerve wracking than playing to a crowd of strangers…

I arrived at the venue (which will be an English-style Tee House should the lovely, chaotic owner ever manage to open doors before sun down…) early at around 3pm. It was a day of madness and funnery at its best with a photo shoot, followed by the filming of a short movie, all too swiftly followed by sound check and arrival of the first guests. I was quite amazed at the number of people who came out to see me, some of whom I know well and surprisingly many whom I hadn’t had the pleasure of meeting before or hadn’t seen in years. It’s funny how some people seem to stay the same whereas others carry the last five years in their posture and smiles, like a badge you might be presented with at the Brownies or Cubs “The being grown up badge”. I wonder whether I carry that badge too or whether you felt I was the same person…

The show was in the industrial and semi-illegal basement (in true Berlin fashion) with a set that ran on for much longer than planned. I really hope that one and a half hours wasn’t too painful for those on the less comfy seats! I really enjoyed playing for you; my only regret is that I had no time to warm up before the show. Thank you so much for being such a wonderful, attentive and well spirited audience. I wish I had had the opportunity to meet or re-meet you all and hope to see you again soon in Berlin, this time maybe in a bigger venue: looks like we’ll need one!

So, what have I learnt? Dorothy is right, there is no place like home, but only if you spend most your days skipping down the yellow brick road.

What’s next? A show in Brixton and then off to Bedford for the final gig of the tour at Esquires!

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