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Archive for November, 2011

!No Frankfurt No!

After A Few Weeks On The Road We Still Get Along

Everyone in Berlin advised us not to, but we set off to spend two nights in Frankfurt.  The original plan was that we would drive to Munich with a stop for lunch in Dresden- but with the beer festival going on, accommodation was too dear.  Frankfurt was a practical choice between Berlin and Paris and was the true dark-horse of the trip.  For it was there we met our second little tour angel, a phd student with heart-warming ideals about breaking the artist/spectator barrier.
After wondering around Frankfurt and checking out venues I had looked-up prior, I decided to catch an opera while the boys set up to play outside a beer garden on the river.  By the time I met up with them they had made heaps of money busking, scored an invitation for us to stay in the country for a few days and sourced a potential gig.
Little did we know the gig would turn out to be two, and the country was actually a city packed full of 150,000 artists and students.  Our strange stop in Frankfurt turned into a launching point for Darmstad; a mere lead up to the best show of the trip.

 

Berlin Berlin Berlin

Berlin Wall, Miss Van and Me

We had this great idea that we would get up really early and drive to Berlin.  We decided to rush straight there and oh how my heart yearned to stop in Dresden (the Dresden Dolls always make me think of my beloved old drummer (and current friend, KB).  Alas we would be coming back through Dresden (or so we thought) on our way to Munich.

One very long traffic jam later and we arrived in Berlin before it got dark.  Berlin was a stange one.  I was so excited to see it and had all these dreams of living there.  But it is so big and hard to get a grasp on quickly.  We had some friends from Australia that we were catching up with there so it was harder still to get a grasp on the place when hanging out with ex-pats.

But we spent an awsome 4 days there and played one hell of a gig.  The best part was doing two throw-down performances in one of Berlin’s best parks.  Check out the youtube video of it- the bass is a bit quiet but we had hundreds of people partying along!

Day Trip in Amsterdam

Even the Street Art Is Happy in Holland

How nice is it to say I had a ‘day trip to Amsterdam’.  But that is exactly what happened.

We checked in with the cops who sent us on a wild goose chase to town hall to get permits.  Unfortunately the permit office closes by noon and so we just missed it.  As we had already scoped out our spot for the day, we decided to chance it and pulled up in the park in front of the I Amsterdam sign.  We had a nice little place beside the skate park and over looking the cute basketball players.  Kit & Con played well and we had a nice little crowed (although slightly younger then ideal).

JJ Symon had been playing for maybe 30 min before the cops came to visit.  In true Holland fashion they were very polite when we explained our dilemma with the permit and managed to call in a special day permit for us to play- helped in part by the very large collection of kids that came to our defence and told the cop that we were good.  Not to push our luck, we finished up about half an hour later and leged it to our show at Skek in the red light district.

The venue was supper cool with this upstairs section with old shutter-style glass. I got some good video footage of JJ Symon in true art-school fashion.  The Holfner was just to much for the PA, so I had to bust out some guitar and we played all these songs we hadn’t played together yet.  Con was whistling and playing the piano and I think I even heard him sing along to Miranda.

All in all a very good night- and a late one as we were back in the car and back to Utrecht.

Hurray for Utrecht

The next day we got ourselves organised and did some street performance.  We are ‘musicians’ and by no means ‘professional buskers’.  And since we play with a full kit and amps it is hard to find the best location.  Although we found it early, we drove around for an hour looking for car access to this little park with a nice square (we finally had to drive 20 meters down a bike path but we got there in the end).

It was supper worth it. We ended up playing all day in a bunch of nearby locations.   The best one was in front of a girl’s school graduation and Con kept getting distracted by all the little girls hanging around his drum kit.  We made lots of friends with the locals who brought us a case of beer and all came out to support the show that night.  Hurray for Utrecht indeed.