After only having been back in England for 2 days following our exhausting Warped Tour experience and still suffering with very bad jet lag, we set off for Germany at 4am on Saturday morning. As we begin the journey we all start asking each other what is planned. We soon realise that nobody really knows any details… – we do know there is a festival though, that we are staying at our lovely friend George’s house (one of the DJs from Coma who we shared houses with at SXSW) and that we are due to play. How many times? Nobody knows…
We arrive and glad when someone actually comes with a board saying our names and thank God – they have come in a vehicle big enough for our bass in a hard case. So far so good. The driver tells us we’re playing on a market square with no PA but that was it as our gig in a pub was cancelled. Hmm. We all start looking at each other. Anyway, after 40 mins or so we are greeted in a lovely market place – very quiet and meet all our new and old friends, including Peter Fast, our guide for the day. He quickly enlightens us that we’re to play in the market and on a boat (which will be filmed – for TV i think) then our gig at the pub has just been delayed to 2pm and ‘yes, it does have a PA’ – relief. We sing and dance with smiling faces as people with bikes stop by, sing and clap.
No time to hang around though, next we’re in the car and on the way to the bar. It is absolutely packed and people are crowding out by the window to listen to the folk act on. Good quality and people are enjoying themselves. Beer arrives. I worry that the audience will leave when the guy stops playing. I start to get nervous – have a couple of ‘sips’ of beer to calm the nerves. However, there’s still a good feel to the bar and as we start to get ready people crowd in once again. It goes off! SO MUCH FUN! As we come off stage mopping our brow Peter tells us the organiser of the festival loves it and wants us to play on a stage near the main stage at the actual festival in between main stage gigs. Right – had better stop drinking the beer. No, the girls I meet won’t let me. Eek. Very out of practice after a rather sober experience in the states.
The festival is great, small and intimate and there’s free beer backstage. Eek. Things start to get a little hazy here but I remember having some bread and cheese. Then we’re on. We load up a tray with beer and rum (of which we later gaffer up and draw skull and cross bones on in absence of the flagon). The crowd starts to gather…everyone is in the party mood…especially me..anyway AGAIN, this time it REALLY kicks off..crowd surfing, accordion players on shoulders and rum dribbling down people’s faces as they jump up and down.
*Some footage of Lorna crowd surfing can also be found here* – Lorna crowd surfs!
Events after this become even more hazy. I remember being told beer stops getting served at 10pm which is when the vodka bar opens. Dan Hep falls asleep in the wrong caravan only be to returned by a production officer, I go awol and may have punched Dan Hep, and I remember Sam furiously looking for his tweed. Messy to say the least and there is some rumour that Sam got to the train station in an ambulance as it was the only form of transport around at 6 am. Hope you’re safe and sound Mule!
Anyway, we had a fantastic time in Germany and if you’ll allow us back in the country, we would gladly be there!
Message from Sarah N (production staff) after Mule’s escape from Haldern….
Dear Skinny Listers,
after finding a stray cat of yours sleeping in my pile of clothes, blankets and pillows in my caravan/camper – fully clothed with dirty boots on and everything – and escorting him back to an overcrowed caravan No.18, I came upon a furious guy called Sam ( I think) with whom I had the pleasure of trying to find his tweet jacket and instrument. That included tracing back the party steps of the stray cat, some sinister cursing that goes beyond my active vocabulary and finding out that he had been given the wrong time for his shuttle. Or maybe he had confused it with the train departure time in the next bigger city, he was suppused to be at at 6.30 yesterday. I got him on a new train connection to Brussels and we drove him to the local train station full speed in an ambulance as there were no other vehicles available. We arrived just as the railway gates had come down and I made him cross anyway to catch the advancing train. I’m sure he got that one. I am not sure he got the connecting train and wether he had enough time at Brussels airport (train arrival was 11.10, flight departure was 12 a.m.) to board. It was quite an adventure. I did not get to see you play – although my colleague from the production office told me you were fab. So do come back next year and I’ll try to sneek off from the production office. Also, should you return next year, tell your touring manager to give me more concrete data on who, when and how many people do need a place to sleep for the night. I could have given all of you a sleeping space in a caravan had I known you were to spend the night. Got to run.
13 August – Skinny Lister
Thanks so very much for filling in some missing details on our evening. I am so very sorry for the riotous behaviour! I think we may have got a little over excited at the beer tap and vodka bar. Anyway, thank you very much for returning the cat (always prone to wondering) and also much more so for helping Sam out! It certainly sounds like an adventure and I hope very much he made it to Greece to see his girlfriend and in an acceptable state! (We’ve heard no word from him).
Thanks also for suggesting proper sleeping arrangements if we are to return next year (which we would of course very much like). We had actually intended to sleep at our friends house but as the chaos unwound this became increasingly unlikely!
We had a great time though (possibly too great). What an amazing festival Haldern Pop is. Hopefully we will meet and yes, hopefully you will be able to sneak away from production to drink, dance and be merry with us…we owe you that at least!
14 August – Sarah N
no worries about your extensive partying. This, as well as Sams wild ride is what the town/village will be talking about among the other things that happened last week. See, its really a bit of a nowheresville but once a year for 4 days rock’nroll comes to town and whatever happens needs to bring enough exitement to last for approximately one year. Also the stray cat was really nothing compared to the young naked scotsman from 2 years ago who had REALLY misunderstood me and skinny dipped into my bed with a truely strange discussion following on wether it would make sense to shag. (It didn’t.) I think a few of the other Vodka-tipi-tent guest were a bit worried about you having a quite tactile argument with anoher musician but I did not hear anything about serious fighting, injuries, damage, etc. We all had a peek at your underwear but I still considered you fully covered. No worries also about Sams swearing it was never directed at me or the festival people and greatly extended my vocabulary. I particulary liked “twat”. Has a nice ring. Should use that more often.