Archive for the ‘Soupanova’ Category

Gig 14 – Sunday 1st September 2013 @ Henry’s Cellar Bar, Edinburgh
The end is neigh and the final show of this year’s summer tour looms large!
A last minute line-up change is called for after Lewis Gibson goes on a last minute holiday… to the rescue are a drum student, a local guitar legend and a couple of festival performers all brought together by the one and only Ewan Gibson. Naming themselves after a poetry meet The Soul Cypher featuring Mekkah & Twenty20 had a practice in the afternoon before the show and delivered a pretty convincing set (I’d love to have seen them if they were a full-time collective). Along with their sense of adventure the two American MCs also brought a touch of musical magic to the start of this event as everything was so relaxed and in the spirit of making good music and enjoying sharing the results.

The Soul Cypher live at Henry's Cellar Bar, Edinburgh

The Soul Cypher live at Henry’s Cellar Bar, Edinburgh

We get ourselves set-up on the familiar stage of Henry’s and launch into our forty-minute set of dark electronica. The sound is tight and loud and we are pleased to hear that we’ve ‘awakened the goth’ in one enthusiastic fan in particular. It’s a good crowd that includes some familiar faces who are here to support our last show of the tour and check out The Penny Black Remedy. We’re really pleased with the response and happy to have played 14 great gigs stretching back to the first night of the tour back in July.
Sacre Noir live at Henry's Cellar Bar, Edinburgh - Photo by Flare Photography

Sacre Noir live at Henry’s Cellar Bar, Edinburgh – Photo by Flare Photography

By the time The Penny Black Remedy took to the stage everyone in the venue was ready for their unique brand of musical mayhem, and once again the group didn’t disappoint. As with their show in Glasgow they mixed tracks from their debut LP with tracks from their latest release ‘Inhale… Exhale… Ok, Now You Can Panic!’ to great effect and had the crowd dancing and whooping for Keith’s guitar solos.
The Penny Black Remedy live at Henry's Cellar Bar, Edinburgh

The Penny Black Remedy live at Henry’s Cellar Bar, Edinburgh

Looking back it’s been an amazing month and a half of gigs and travelling, playing to the new audiences and hanging out in some great cities. Big thanks are due to all the venues and promoters who have helped along the way; The Banshee Labyrinth, Box, The Vibe Bar, The Arc, Power’s Bar, The Dublin Castle, Belushi’s Gare du Nord and Canal Paris, Le Vieux Leon, Soupanova, Little Stage, Pfefferbett Hostel, Pivo Pivo, Henry’s Cellar Bar, Craig McGee, Plugged In Switched On, Bearsuit Promotions, Ben & Lio @ Belushi’s, Selina @ Soupanova, Alex @ Little Stage, Charlotte @ Pfefferbett, It’s a XXXX Blog Thing and Claire @ Henry’s. Big thanks are also due to all the fine bands we played with along the way; Llennett, Hot Jupiter, Little Love and the Friendly Vibes, Tom Coyne, Sir Spence, The Joy, George Frakes, Andy Docherty and The Caped Crusaders, Dressmaker, The Ocean’s Above, Mickey 9s, The Soul Cypher featuring Mekkah and Twenty20 and The Penny Black Remedy.
You can check out a video below which features footage from the gigs, interviews during the tour and more – a great snapshot into the touring life with Sacre Noir.

Gig 10 – Tuesday 6th August 2013 @ Soupanova, Berlin

Arriving in Berlin is always a joy, unfortunately everything on tour has gone too well for this to last and we encountered a few problems…
1 – our train was due to arrive at 8:28 am – it was over an hour late (we were informed by the guard when we asked what was going on that “the plan had changed” – this wasn’t a great help)
2 – our train was meant to terminate at the main station in Berlin HBF, but in another unexpected twist it didn’t get that far and we were left at a (building site) station further to the north. Again, no explanation from the staff at all and this led to a much more convoluted trip across the city with all our bags.
I can’t help feel this is not the face of German efficiency that we’ve previously experienced. Part of what we love about this city is that everything works as it’s meant to and with very little sleep on the “sleeper” it’s safe to say I was not in the best mood.
We arrived at our apartment in Charlottenburg around 11am and this immediately turned our mood around as it’s really great. Huge rooms, nice and clean & fully furnished, so nothing to moan about there at all. After our host showed us round we headed straight out for a much needed cup of coffee / tea and a visit to Kaiser (supermarket) for some supplies for the apartment. We had lunch in the flat on the balcony in the sun (almost 40 degrees), showered and before we knew it, it was time to head off to Soupanova for the first of our 3 Berlin shows.
Having played at this venue last year we were confident in finding the place so didn’t stress too much about leaving loads of time to get tickets etc… perhaps the 3rd problem of the day. The machines in the station didn’t take our cards and some of the ATMs in the city also refused to give us money. We eventually got the cash to buy our 7 day travel passes (which are mega cheap at only 28.80 Euros each) and headed across the city to Prenzlauerberg.
Set up and sound-check went really well so we headed along the road to eat at ‘Mai Thai’ which was great on our last visit and was very nice again this time round. We played two sets at Soupanova; both quite chilled out, the second more so than the first.

Soundcheck @ Soupanova, Berlin

Soundcheck @ Soupanova, Berlin

In the audience from the start was a girl who had seen us at Power’s Bar in London & enjoyed our set then so was keen to see us again (this is the kind of music fan we love). Not only has this girl seen us at two of our tour shows in two different cities, but she brought her music journalist friend with her, who is going to do a review for us in an online magazine he writes for, but she also managed to convince the bar manager to let us play for longer than we were meant to. The bar is in a residential area and they have problems with their neighbours (just like in Edinburgh), so we were due to finish at 10pm, however after a few nice words from our new (best) fan, we ended up playing until 10.45pm. We did turn the volume down a fair bit and kept our fingers crossed that the neighbours either couldn’t hear us or actually liked the tunes, but either way we had fun!
Feeling knackered after such an eventful day and night and in need of some proper sleep, we headed back on the last tube (U-Bahn) and were in bed by 1am.

Next gig: Wednesday 7th August, 2013 from 10.30pm at Little Stage, Berlin

Monday 5th August 2013 – Travel Day

Today is our last day in Paris so we got up early, packed our bags, had breakfast in Belushi’s and checked out all before 10.30am. Ali let us stash our bags in the office (for safe keeping) so we were free to enjoy the city till it’s time to get our train to Berlin. Last time we were in Paris we ate at a great noodle restaurant called ‘Les Pates Vivantes’ so we decided to go back for our final meal… it was amazing. Homemade noodles made fresh on location (you can watch the chef at work) – you really can’t go wrong.

mmm noodles

mmm noodles

After some great food we wandered by the Seine / Left Bank over to the Institut Du Monde Arabe for coffees, which is very close to Notre Dame, however it was closed to the public on Mondays so we settled for a local café instead and caught the Metro back for a little chill-out time before we had to leave. No stay in Paris is complete without a visit to a good patisserie and so we headed to a nice looking place near Gare Du Nord which provided us with just what we were looking for.
Tarte Au Citron & Opera Gateau

Tarte Au Citron & Opera Gateau

We’d booked the sleeper from Paris to Berlin on D-Bahn and are both very excited to be going back to such an artistic city. Having played in both Paris & Berlin a few times now we’ve discovered that the Berlin venues are more ‘live’ music orientated and also there is a much larger (or even stronger) underground music scene there. If it wasn’t for our contacts in Paris I’m not sure we’d get very far – Berlin seems a little more open to new music.
So with (very) full bellies and plenty of reading material we board the 6:44pm train to Berlin HBF and get settled in for the evening.
Night Train to Berlin

Night Train to Berlin

Next gig: Tuesday 6th August, 2013 from 9pm at Soupanova, Berlin

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.