Up at the crack of dawn (or maybe before) – we head to the airport and make our way back to Germany for the second time. Will this trip include lifts in ambulances or other kinds of Skinny Lister fireworks? We’ll soon find out. We arrive at our boudoir on the Reeperbahn which is, for those unfamiliar sex-shop-tastic. Anyway, our place looks like a brothel. There are pictures of ladies, boobs and vaginas (or face lips as the guy promised me) all over the wall and S&M paraphernalia behind the bar. I thought the ‘WC’ neckless was a touch of class.
Anyway, we settle into our room with bunk beds and pink satin sheets and a shower room with no door on (could be the most intimate we’ve ever been!!)…and decide to have a quick practice. It’s not long before the owner flings the door back (good job I’m not on the toilet) and tells us to practice in the bar, which of course we happily do. We sing amongst the tits and bits and I start to get thirsty as everyone in Hamburg seem to smoke right in the face of the smoking ban. I ask for a water but there’s no water apparently only strong beer or vodka.
Soon it’s time to make our way to our first gig which is on the West Stage of the Reeperbahn. It’s a small affair but there’s a bar and anyone can pop in. Soon there is a great crowd and we make the most of the small PA we have. Everyone jumps up and down…phew, good gig.
Next we get a quick bite to eat and before we know if we’re heading to Angie’s Nightclub where our later gig is. It’s deadly quiet. I’m nervous. I’m told there is lots of important people here but I just think there’s not enough. But do not fear! As we strike out on the first word of the first song, the bar fills and off we go. Lots of singing, dancing, hands flailing and we’re having an ace gig. Excellent.
Free drink wristbands and before we know it we’re drunk and near the strip where only fellas over 18 are allowed though (that’s right – no women at all). The boys take it in turns to go have a look at the ‘ladies’ but come back pretty quick with wide eyes whilst I dance on tables and throw peanut shells on the floor (all encouraged by the barmaid, promise!). Not sure how we got home but glad we did as two gigs on a boat the next day.
The water is rough and a worse hangover would not have been good at all. It was lots of fun with press and some other bands signed to PIAS our distributors. We drink, we dance, we sing and we chat. Then we head to the PIAS dinner which was really lovely and great to hang out with everyone on steady ground. Thank you PIAS – you are wonderful!!
Next we are ushered into a minibus and get a free lift to Berlin (Thanks Udo). Sleepy and a little hungover we decide to head out once we get to Berlin. We head to a bar which has heavy techno music on, dim lights and drink Lagerbier Hell. Think we’re done for one day so head to bed (have to say I protested at this – but with busking lined up for the next day and a big gig the boys were probably wise).
Next day we have a slight hangover…I thank goodness I didn’t stay out. We busk around flea markets, underground stations and cafes before getting moved on. Then we head to the bar where we have a gig. Soundcheck complete we settle down for a few ‘small’ beers. Uh oh.
As before, German efficiency is scary…the bar is empty until we begin…but then a nice sized crowd arrives and yet again there’s fun to be had. The rum flows and we all have a dance. Great. More steins after the gig, then we decide to go to a punk bar and play some more. Entering this quiet bar with serious faced people drinking in there I feel dubious but once we get going the bar seems like a good place to dance.
We get given jagermeister shots and then everything goes blank for me until we’re outside a famous techno club being refused entry. Not good. I’m not alone though so we head back to the hotel. Next morning waking up, a little panicked as not sure when the flight is…I check who is present and correct…everyone except Dan Hep. Uh oh. I give him a ring. No answer. Well, we may well have to go without him. One last try and a drunk surprised Dan answers. He seems to get the message anyway as he’s at the airport when the rest of us arrive, he’s laughing his head off, with burger all over his face. We all laugh at him, basically knowing that later that day, the smile will be gone.. ho ho ho.
Miraculously he makes it on to the plane and off we go to nurse our hangovers. Peter Fast and Germany – we love you!!