Thursday, 12 May 2016

Praying for rain.

It's strange to think it's been ten years since I played regularly with Kelly Pardekooper. If anyone ever went to the Honk Tonk Tuesday sessions at Mickey's in Madison that was his brain child. We also played a handful of proper shows in and around Madison during the short time he lived there. He's an Iowa guy and a great songwriter. He has this tune called Pray for Rain we used to play sometimes and lately I've been thinking a lot about droughts. Not the typical farm related rain drought referred to in the song but the kind of audience drought we're seeing here in Germany. Why can't it just f*#@ing rain?

The shows have been cool but as I mentioned last time, it's been a rash of really nice weather here in Germany. And like the Irish say "make hay when the sun shines", the Germans do "make outside activities a crushing priority over going to some American dude's show that is only in town this one day all damn year"- Josh Harty. Patience is waning.

Hamburg government building
Take last night for instance: We arrived at the venue at the scheduled time of 5pm, 17:00, after spending a way too short time exploring a small slice of Hamburg only to be told the sound tech wouldn't be there until 6:30pm/18:30. So we left and found a little Greek joint to have dinner. We went back at 6:30 and were told we were still early...maybe 7pm/19:00. "Why don't you sit down and have dinner and a drink". Thanks but we already left an hour and a half ago and ate somewhere else. Fast forward to 7:55pm/19:55, 5 minutes before show time. "It doesn't look like anyone is going to come, it's just so nice should have a night off and take a wander around Hamburg". To which I said, "we'll hold out for a while and see if anyone shows never know." Besides, we already had a short wander around Hamburg that we cut short as to be sure to arrive at 5.
8:45pm/20:45 rolls around and not a soul. Again, "you should go have a night off." We packed up and drove the 90 minutes back to Bremen listening to Billy Joel and Fleetwood Mack sandwiched in between German techno while the Audi's, BMW's, and Benz's went flying by at Mach 4 on the way home from their BBQ at the beach.

The gig the night before was semi-outdoors at the Hafen Casino and Truck Stop. A kind of hometown gig for Songs & Whispers as it was their first ever gig some years ago. It was a good time and we had a nice crowd. Tried schnitzel for first time and a curry sausage. There was a fella who was scolded and denied access to the show by the owner due to his propensity to steal things from the bar. Drinks out of the cooler. Salt shakers. He left and returned with a bottle of clear liquor and sat on the stoop across the narrow street and watched the show. He clapped early on all the endings but not for long as he needed his left hand to keep from falling off his perch.

Jess in a Hamburg central square

The Hafen Casino Truck Stop!

When in Germany, do as the Germans.

Tonight I'm off to Walsrode and it looks like they have a French menu. Forecast in sunny and warm all day. I'll bring something to listen to and my driving gloves for the trip back....


DISCLAIMER: Last nights venue was a wonderful place doing great things and the proprietor Tine was lovely. I only wish it had rained.

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