Archive for the ‘Madame Claude’s’ Category

Monday 13th & Tuesday 14th August 2012
Days off in Berlin
On the Monday we checked out our final two tour venues; Soupanova was closed but looks like a very cool place (and they had the posters all over the bar) & Belushi’s, which is never really closed (Alexis phoned Benny, as he wasn’t about, to check everything was okay for Friday… and indeed it was). So with that done we decided to spend the afternoon in Kreuzberg after getting our Passports stamped at the souvenir place by the East Side Gallery. We found Lexisstrasse and the Utopia hippy commune which actually seemed pretty organised and had a music festival for kids coming up soon (I wondered if they were the kind of kids we seem to find in Paris… Sacre Noir fans).

Alexis at Lexisstrasse

Alexis at Lexisstrasse


We ate Vietnamese food, which was great in a really nice little place and just round the corner from Madame Claude. Alexis had a chicken salad and I had Dim Sum Soup. That night watched the movie ‘2 days in Paris’ – which made me miss Paris! It was a strange film, but very funny and well worth checking out.
On Tuesday we headed out to the Tierpark, which turned out to be the zoo / safari park and not just another great big park as I thought, so we ate lunch and headed to the Treptower Park which was an amazingly pretty (and large) park.
Treptower Park, Berlin

Treptower Park, Berlin


It’s right on the Spree and has a little Island, which in turn has a little bridge – everything was very picturesque & the weather was great too. In a bid to save some pennies we decided to eat in Friedrichshain, which is a bit away from the centre of town and this strategy paid off. Found a lovely café where coffee & tea was 1 Euro each & ate at a little chain restaurant called Nord Sea where you could get a box of battered fish bites, breaded prawns & potato wedges with sauce for 3 Euro 50… now that’s a bargain. These bargains allowed me to purchase new shoes (black pumps with little skull & crossbones by Buffalo London), which were very gratefully received by my tour-weary feet.
new shoes!

new shoes!

Wednesday 15th August 2012
Gig 3 in Berlin, Soupanova
Got up early and did another hand-wash (hopefully the last one of this tour) and then popped out to our newly discovered café for breakfast. We had a very relaxing day before heading over to Prenzlauer Berg for the gig.

Soupanova, Berlin - Sacre Noir Summer Tour 2012

Soupanova, Berlin – Sacre Noir Summer Tour 2012


Soupanova is a very cool venue indeed. Reggae music pumping out of the sound system, awesome décor with cool stage lights (like the ones you get on a dressing-room mirror in a theatre) and best of all incredibly nice staff. We dropped off the gear and went to grab some pre-gig food from Mai Thai Snacks (which was on the same street as the venue). This was possibly my favourite plate of food from the whole tour (maybe minus La Rotonde). Alexis had a tofu Thai Red Curry & I had a similar dish but with veggies instead of tofu. It was truly a great pre-gig meal. Not too heavy and actually fairly fresh and satisfying. We headed back along the road to set up and sound-check at Soupanova.
Carrie soundchecking at Soupanova, Berlin

Carrie soundchecking at Soupanova, Berlin


The venue was quite quiet when we kicked off at 9.30pm, but by the 2nd song was starting to fill up. We just played for an hour as the live music had to be finished by 10.30pm and afterwards hung around the bar chatting to the punters about music & travelling and sampling the house Mojitos (very nice indeed).
Alexis onstage at Soupanova, Berlin

Alexis onstage at Soupanova, Berlin


The German / Spanish couple took up most of my attention (not really a couple but came in together) as they were great fun and I feel like we may see them again at some point. The Spanish girl was called Angeles Vega and she had some crazy ideas about gigs in Spain next year for us. So not only were these the coolest folk in the bar, and had the coolest names, but they might actually end up helping us with more European shows at some point. See it is indeed good to talk!
Drinking with our fans at Soupanova, Berlin

Drinking with our fans at Soupanova, Berlin


The guitar/ vocal covers and quieter moments in the set have been going down really well during this tour, which leads me to think that it might be worthwhile doing some more shows of this ilk. It’s a very different sound to the regular live show, but could be an interesting experiment.
After S-Bahn, U-Bahn, long walk up Magdalenastrasse we were back at the hotel and ready for a snooze.

Saturday 11th 2012
Gig 2 in Berlin – Madame Claude
We had a pretty relaxed day; spent the morning in the Tiergarten and checking out the local markets in the area, before having lunch near the station at Friedrichshain then heading back to the hotel via Alexanderplatz and a walk along the Spree. The weather has been great!

Carrie outside Madame Claude, Berlin

Carrie outside Madame Claude, Berlin


So our 2nd gig in Berlin went very smoothly! Arrived at the venue (very cool indeed), met the sound engineer (Nicolas – he was great), set-up and made sure everything was okay for the show, before heading to the bar to fill out the paperwork and get some beers. The venue is very strange, with everything in the main bar being upside down. There is a live music room, which was pretty normal and lots of little corners with padded seats and plants etc. In the main entrance at the top of the stairs was a little shrine to the Twin Peaks character Laura Palmer… we’re definitely in the right place!
Interior of Madame Claude, Berlin

Interior of Madame Claude, Berlin


Carrie soundchecking at Madame Claude with Nicolas (sound engineer)

Carrie soundchecking at Madame Claude with Nicolas (sound engineer)


The other band that’s playing tonight are a 3-piece from Italy, Raum 149. Musically it’s The Hurts meets Jamiroquai or similar – funky bass, looped vocals and beats. They were very good and had brought a bit of a crowd, which was good to see.
Raum 149 live at Madame Claude, Berlin

Raum 149 live at Madame Claude, Berlin


Our set went down really well. We just played the new LP + our cover of “Time” which always goes down well, and the feedback at the end of the night was great.
You can check out the cover here:

Alexis at Madame Claude, Berlin

Alexis at Madame Claude, Berlin


The U-Bahn runs all night at the weekends so we packed up and headed to the nearest stop after saying our goodbyes. This is definitely a venue we shall return to play at again / excellent vibe, great sound and a really cool place.

Sunday 12th 2012
Caught up with some sleep in the morning then headed over to Charlottenburg where we spent the afternoon having lunch in the Schloss Gardens and lazing in the sun. It’s a beautiful day, hot and not a cloud in the sky, so we decide to stay in Charlottenburg and ate at a restaurant overlooked by the Schloss called Eosander.

The gardens of the Schloss Charlottenburg, Berlin

The gardens of the Schloss Charlottenburg, Berlin


The food was great (we both had fish) and the surroundings very grand. As the weather was so nice we decided to eat outside to make the most of the evenings sun, and although the restaurant sits on a very busy and large road (3 lanes each way) it’s was surprisingly relaxing. I think that because the roads are so big, you never really get the feeling that the traffic is “too much” or “overtaking”. We head back to the hotel around 9pm for a quiet night of catching up on clothes washing and e-mails.

Thursday 9th 2012
Gig 1 in Berlin – Goldman’s Bar
Arrived in Berlin HBF at 8.30am headed straight for coffees and then off to Goldman’s Bar to drop off the guitar and noise making machines for tonight’s show. Feeling pretty tired, the economy of seats on the sleeper train is starting to seem like a bad move.

Alexis @ Berlin HBF "fresh" from the sleeper train

Alexis @ Berlin HBF “fresh” from the sleeper train


After a little reminder of how the Berlin S-Bahn/ U-Bahn system works we made it to Goldman’s and the place hasn’t changed much since we last played in December 2011.
Lunched at Fam.Dang’s – a great Vietnamese restaurant just a stone’s throw from tonight’s venue. Headed to the hotel in Lichtenberg (on the East side of Berlin) for reinvigorating showers and a quick change. Take the U-Bahn back to Goldman’s to sound-check with Andrew – he’s sorted out a projection from the video as our backdrop for tonight. It look’s great and it’s nice to see Emma looking over us as we perform.
Sacre Noir live at Goldman's Bar with projection from She Can't Take It video

Sacre Noir live at Goldman’s Bar with projection from She Can’t Take It video


We played a great couple of sets – it’s always party night in Goldman’s and the beers were in full flow as usual. Highlights of the set included our guitar / vocal version of Outgunned which had the back bar singing along to the chorus. Big thanks to Andrew for having us on as always. Just managed to get the last U-Bahn back to the hotel to wind down and snooze.

Friday 10th 2012
Day off in Berlin.

Alexis on Karl-Marx-Allee, Berlin

Alexis on Karl-Marx-Allee, Berlin


After a much needed lie-in we started the day with breakfast at Coffee Fellows, just off Frankfurter Allee. They give you huge cups of coffee and have pretty fine donuts too.
Donut @ Coffee Fellows, Berlin

Donut @ Coffee Fellows, Berlin


In the morning we headed off to Friedrichshain to find Madame Claude’s, which is the next venue where we are playing and decided to go via the East Side Gallery. This is part of the old wall, which has been left as a gallery space and runs along side the Spree. There was some pretty amazing work on show, from all over the world. After a few wrong turns, the discover of some super-cool ‘Berliner’ style shops and a Record shop that resembled my own collection, we did indeed find Madame Claude’s. It was nice to find the venue had done some promotion for the show and although the club was currently closed and we couldn’t properly check it out, it was good to have a better grip on our bearings.
August Listings at Madame Claude's, Berlin

August Listings at Madame Claude’s, Berlin


Friedrichshain turned out to be a really nice area. We discovered a little park (Gorlitzer), which had a petting zoo and a nice little bar/café, plus loads of lovely shops and restaurants in the area too. We decided to have tea at Aman’s (tasty Indian cuisine) and then head back to the hotel for a quiet night & a movie.
Cool shop window in Friedrichshain, Berlin

Cool shop window in Friedrichshain, Berlin