Posts Tagged ‘Berlin unsigned music’

Friday 1st August @ Power Lunches, London
After catching up with some work and emails we had a pretty quiet morning; we went out for coffee / lunch and decided to just stay in Ealing and not go too far. We had coffee at Farm W5 and had a wander in the area before lunch at Cote on Ealing Green. One of the local parks is named after a harvest festival which was traditionally held on August 1st so it seemed quite fitting to spend some time there.

Lammas Park, Ealing

Lammas Park, Ealing


In the afternoon we went to St Pancras to collect Alexis’s large drum bag and then made our way over to Hackney for the gig. There had been a terrible accident at Ealing Broadway station (someone was hit by a train & killed) so there were some delays and even more people than usual. We made it to sound checks by 6pm and the night ran so smoothly that I think there may be more ‘dressmaker presents…’ shows in the future. Most musicians have a general dis-like for promoters, but if more bands put on nights like this, we’d be doing okay.
First up was Grand Bassam – a solo act for the evening as one half of the band is on holiday in Greece (popular this year as a destination it seems).
With a machine and a mic and a pedal of sorts this one man show was brutal on the eyes (due to the strobe being on for the full 25 minute set) and brilliant on the ears. Original and poetic, unusual and intriguing all at the same time, it was quite an intense performance from within the crowd.
Grand Bassam live at Power Lunches, London

Grand Bassam live at Power Lunches, London


Next up was the band I’d been most excited about play with in London; Tinderdust. From their online content I’d genuinely fallen for the concept of this act and their execution on the night was blinding. Vocalist / front-woman ‘Lovebeads’ seemed mysteriously cool and musically interesting in interviews etc and live the 3-piece band brought the music to life. They are not a copy-cat of anything, so trying to put labels on this band and draw comparisons would be silly, but for me they are one of the most original and creative musical acts I’ve discovered this year.
It’s noise music but not as I know it.
It’s electronica but not as we (Sacre Noir) do it.
Tinderdust live at Power Lunches, London

Tinderdust live at Power Lunches, London


Then it was time for us to take to the stage… with friends & family in the crowd this evening we hoped for a smooth run, but as always there were one or two technical difficulties. Nothing major and the crowd were great at putting up with my chat while we sorted things out.
The sound on stage was great (very loud and bass heavy), the audience were amazing (great reception to songs old & new) and the sweat was running off the walls by the time we’d finished.
Sacre Noir live at Power Lunches, London

Sacre Noir live at Power Lunches, London


It was great to catch up with old friends and band mates (The Duncans) as well as possible new collaborators (Mr Phil M) in London. We have made some great new friends and fans during this tour but it is always great when people you know and trust come to shows and enjoy themselves. So to have family (cousin Muir and Uncle Barry & Ray) coming along to this show was very special indeed.
This has to be one of the best nights we’ve played in London; great acts on the bill and hosted by the coolest band in town – we went home feeling very lucky indeed.

George Orwell one wrote of London “it was queer after Paris; everything was so much cleaner and quieter and drearier.”
Well George if you could see her now – after Paris we found London more dirty & noisy, and I can only imagine London being dreary if you don’t know the right people… we have had a fantastic time in London this year and it has been great to catch up with dressmaker too; can’t wait to have them play in Scotland again.

NEXT SHOW
Summer Tour 2014: Gig 9 Wednesday 6th August @ The Central Bar (Gateshead)
With Jen Stevens & The Hiccups

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Sunday 27th July – Day Off, Paris
After the success of the Paris leg of this year’s summer tour and some much needed sleep, we went into the 10th Arr. & had brunch in a lovely bar called ‘Swinging Londress’. It was great value (quiche, salad, eggs, rice & olives, bread, juice, coffee & dessert for €12), with great service and in a really nice location too.

Sunday Brunch in Paris

Sunday Brunch in Paris


Later in the day we went back to Au Chat Noir as I left my hat & mask the previous night after our show, before heading out into the suburbs for a BBQ with friends and in the evening we ate at an American style café.
Paris street art & AlexisSs

Paris street art & AlexisSs


Having had a pretty lazy day, we went back to the apartment to discover that a local music fan had filmed our show from Friday night at AbracadaBar and uploaded the full set to YouTube. Although we always record our rehearsals and live shows to watch back and evaluate, the angle is usually from the side of the stage and it’s often more like watching again from your own viewpoint rather than that of the audience. As this was all from the audience’s view it provided us with a little insight into the delivery and performance aspect of a Sacre Noir show, which was really nice.

We were really pleased with our set after the show and having watched it back we were pleased to see that everything did indeed sound & look just as great out front. The Tour de France finished today & apart from all the fans in polka dot tops, we managed to miss the whole thing. We were in Paris at the same time 4 years ago (honeymoon) and saw the final sprint down the Champs Elyssee, which was really cool, but I do remember having to walk the long way round the city as many of the streets and roads were closed off, so we were keen to avoid that this time.

Monday 28th July – Day Off, Paris (Alexis’s birthday)
As with all birthdays, I was more excited than Alexis today, but after a quick call from his mum & dad, we went out for the day.

Paris Metro

Paris Metro


Starting with a trip to the Albert Khan gardens and photography exhibition, which involved 3 changes on the Metro. When we got there we discovered that it was closed on Mondays, but as we found ourselves in an unfamiliar and a nice part of town, we decided to stay for a coffee, and after a trip to the supermarket we ate our picnic there too. Keen to spend some time in a ‘green space’ today, we went over to the park Andre Citroen (on the site of his old car factory).
Paris park

Paris park


It was really lovely & peaceful in the park, so we stayed there for a while then went back into town for a spot of shopping near Montmartre.
"I love you"

“I love you”


In the evening we ate at a local Indian restaurant, which was really lovely. It can be very difficult going out for food in Paris as a vegetarian, but thankfully some national cuisines can always be relied upon to provide lots of options.
Back in the apartment for our last night in Paris before midnight (this has been rare on this trip), we caught up with some emails and watched TV and had some birthday cake.
Birthday cake

Birthday cake


It really has been a great trip and we’ll have to make a special post for all the “thank-yous” at the end of the tour.

Tuesday 29th July – Travel Day (Paris – London)
Got up early and headed out for coffee before packing the bags and heading into for lunch near GDN. We also managed to find time for some cake before leaving Paris.
Our train back to London was just after 3pm, getting into St Pancras before 5pm. It was raining when we left Paris, but the sun was shining when we arrived in London. We made it back to Ealing in time for a quick cuppa and a change of clothes before going out to The Village for a small acoustic show with Andy Docherty and friends. We met Andy last year when we played at Power’s Bar in Kilburn (sadly gone now).
Andy (a fellow Scot) is running the open mic at this nice pub on Pitshanger Lane, bringing some of his very talented friends into the leafy suburbs of Ealing. Tonight, as well as Andy and ourselves, one of the other acts who performed was a fantastically talented young lady called Jai Blue – she has a stunning voice and managed to bring the crowd to silence with her beautiful voice and lovely lyrics. Her first song was about her relationship with her mum (who “didn’t raise no quitter”) and told a story of strength and trust – just beautiful. There were a few first timers to the open mic scene but everyone had a great night and the crowd was very supportive.

Jai Blue at The Village Inn (Ealing)

Jai Blue at The Village Inn (Ealing)


The Village Inn is a lovely bar with really great staff (super friendly and full of fun) and I’m sure their ‘acoustic night’ will go from strength to strength. Andy finished the evening with a cover of ‘Hey Laura’ by Gregory Porter, which was a very classy way to end the evening.

Wednesday 30th July – Day off in London
“So I went and sat in Crystal Palace, by the plastic dinosaurs”… and all because of some lyrics in a Brett Anderson song. The park was beautiful & the dinosaurs (which aren’t plastic) were really cool. They pre-date Darwin’s ‘The Origin of Species’ and are really quite different from the more contemporary versions. The song “To The Winter” makes the park sound bleak and dark and lonely, but on a beautiful sunny day, with kids running and playing everywhere and families in small boats in the pond, it was anything but bleak.

Crystal Palace Park

Crystal Palace Park


In the afternoon we went to Camden and had coffee by the lock. I love Camden! It really is one of the most vibrant areas of London with a great mix of bars and cafés and strange sights like the DJ Granddad (who entertained the crowds by playing dance track while his friends did a strange dance routine (if you can call it a routine)… it was very funny.
"People are strange, when you're a stranger"

“People are strange, when you’re a stranger”


We also discovered the ‘Edinburgh’ area of Camden (near Parkway) which is home to a pub called the ‘Edinboro Castle’ and streets called Holyrood Court and Northbridge schools…. Very funny for us natives.
The Edinboro Castle, Camden

The Edinboro Castle, Camden


In the evening we went back to Ealing for a BBQ in the garden to make the most of the beautiful weather.

Thursday 31st July – Day off in London
We went out early in the morning to Holland Park which is really stunning.
Just before you get to the park there is a statue of St Volodymyr of Ukraine with a tribute to those who have recently lost their lives in the recent conflict. It was very emotional reading the stories of how these young men were found or killed, and some are still missing (since March this year).

St Volodymyr of Ukraine

St Volodymyr of Ukraine


Inside Holland Park there are a few peacocks that live there and they were really cool to see up close – very calm and quite friendly with the public and squirrels. The park has a beautiful Japanese garden and loads of natural play areas for kids. It is a really relaxing space in the city, I think because there is no cycling, skating allowed and dogs have to stay on a lead, and as a consequence everything seems very controlled.
AlexisSs in Holland Park

AlexisSs in Holland Park


After a picnic in the park we headed over to Hackney to catch up with friends, Barry & Ray. We started off in their local pub, The Cock Tavern then heading out for food at the Hackney Bureau. Both the craft beer and cider at the pub were lovely and in the bistro the food was simple and fresh. It was great to get together and have a good chat before they gig tomorrow evening when I’m sure Alexis & I will be in ‘show mode’ and not really able to spend as much time with them as we’d like to.
at Barry & Ray's in Hackney

at Barry & Ray’s in Hackney

NEXT SHOW
Summer Tour 2014: Gig 8 Friday 1st August @ Power Lunches (London)
dressmaker presents: Sacre Noir (Dark Female Lo-Fi from Scotland), Introverts,
Tinderdust, Grand Bassam
https://www.facebook.com/events/301947156645961/

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 11 – Wednesday 7th August 2013 @ Little Stage, Berlin

We had a bit of lie in to make up for lack of sleep on the ‘sleeper train’ and woke up feeling fully refreshed and ready for tonight’s concert. It’s not so hot today and I think last night’s storm helped reduce the heat. It’s so nice having such a large apartment to spread ourselves out in and a real treat having tea / coffee on the balcony for breakfast. We headed out for lunch at Extrablatt just round the corner from the apartment, off Bismarkstrasse. We had fish and frites all round and it was tasty and filling.
We went back home to get packed up before leaving for tonight’s show having checked that everything is still working after dragging it through the storm last night. The U7 line takes us all the way to Neukoln, so no need to change on the way.

Carrie and poster outside Little Stage, Berlin

Carrie and poster outside Little Stage, Berlin


We arrived at Little Stage for soundcheck at 5pm and met Alex our American sound engineer and Bert the owner who were both very welcoming. After some drinks we get set-up and ready to make some noise. Everything sounded great and Alex was able to record our set so that we can get the live wave files of the show straight from the mixing desk. We got coffees and juice from a nearby café as we had a few hours to wait before show time and also took a wander round Kornerpark which is just along the road from the venue.
Carrie and Alex (sound engineer) - Little Stage, Berlin

Carrie and Alex (sound engineer) – Little Stage, Berlin


We typed up some blogs and chatted to Mark the barman and Alex until it was time to perform. We’re lucky enough that several fans have come along especially to check out the Sacre Noir live experience, plus some regulars in the bar makes for a good crowd and we felt that we delivered an excellent show.
Sacre Noir onstage at Little Stage, Berlin

Sacre Noir onstage at Little Stage, Berlin


After a few hard disk problems we realised we’d have to return to collect the files that Alex has recorded, however this gives us a great excuse to pop back to Little Stage and check out the talent another night.

Next gig: Friday 9th August, 2013 6.30pm at Pfefferbett Hostel, Berlin

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

Thursday 16th August – day off in Berlin
In the morning we went out to Volkspark, which is the 3rd largest park in Berlin and sits on the border of Prenzlauer Berg and Friedrichshain. It was obviously a very well used space, with volleyball and tennis courts, cycle / jogging paths and the Japanese Pavilion which houses a Peace Bell. You can also see the Fairy Tale Fountain, which contains 106 stone sculptures representing characters from traditional German fairy tales.

Carrie at the Volkspark Friedrichshain, Berlin

Carrie at the Volkspark Friedrichshain, Berlin


The weather was very close and I was hoping for a little rain… I got a lot. In fact it started with a little drizzle around 11am and by 1pm it was really pouring down (and didn’t really stop until late in the evening). We headed to the market at Prenzlauer Berg, which was full of organic foods and other lovely things and then spent the rest of the afternoon hiding out in shops and café’s in the area. We had tea at a lovely Italian restaurant on Kollwitzstrasse (you can’t beat a big bowl of pasta on a rainy day).
Alexis in the rain - Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin

Alexis in the rain – Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin

Friday 17th August – Gig 4 in Berlin at Belushi’s Bar
As this is our last day in Berlin, we sorted out the bags / packing in the morning before heading out for coffee’s and then over to Rosa Luxemburg Platz to drop off our gear at Belushi’s for tonight’s show. There was a board outside advertising the gig and they’d been all over Facebook with the info & links, so hopefully it’ll be a great last night. All the staff were super-friendly, helping us store our stuff and showing us round etc.

Blackboard outside Belushi’s, Berlin

Blackboard outside Belushi’s, Berlin


Spent the afternoon in Mitte / Prenzlauer Berg where there are more independent shops than you can shake a stick at, alongside some well know brands (Made In Berlin & Paul’s Boutique).
The gig at Belushi’s was 8pm – 10pm and the bar was fairly busy throughout. We started off by playing the new album from start to finish, then a mixture of older tracks and covers. It was really a great night and Ian the staff photographer was snapping away all night so hopefully there will be some pictures on their website/facebook page soon.
Alexis pre-gig at Belushi’s, Berlin

Alexis pre-gig at Belushi’s, Berlin


The crowd were pretty responsive to everything we played and again we met some really lovely people… including Dale C from Birmingham, who was on a little European tour with his buddy Jared and showed us some of his very best dance moves. They were also heading to Amsterdam in the morning to complete their trip just as we were, going to prove that it is a small world and we’re all up to the same stuff as everyone else.
Berlin has been great and we can’t wait to come back again, but for now that’s a wrap.
Alexis & Carrie in the park, Berlin August 2012

Alexis & Carrie in the park, Berlin August 2012

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.