Posts Tagged ‘Friedrichshain’

Thursday 8th August 2013 – Day off in Berlin

It’s been go, go, go for over a week now and today we got to have a proper day off; no secret gigs, no travel and no promoters to deal with, so we started the day in a very relaxed fashion, and went out for breakfast at a near-by backwerk (baked goods), this tested my language skills a lot… I think I’m getting the words right, but my pronunciation is clearly very poor as I had to repeat everything to the waitress at least twice before she understood me. This made me realise that the small amount of effort I’ve been putting into learning French recently has really helped (thanks to Lucile for the lessons), and that I’m sure with a similar effort my German could be much better too.
We popped back to the apartment to make use of the washing machine before heading out to do a spot of shopping in one of our favourite areas in Berlin, Prenzlauer Berg. P’berg is in the borough of Pankow and was once very popular with the bohemian Berlin youth, although we discovered that recently it has become a much more expensive area due to it’s popularity – just like in London it seems that the “money” in this city likes to follow the artist community. A special treat for us was to see the Nick Gregson graffiti that we used for the ‘Sinking Into Darkness’ LP cover whilst in the area – she’s still looking good!

Sacre Noir with Nick Gregson graffiti in Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin

Sacre Noir with Nick Gregson graffiti in Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin


We had pizza for lunch at a nice little café and wandered down to Alexanderplatz, which was busy with food and drinks stalls, local clothing and entertainment. There are a lot of mainstream shops & department stores in the area so it was really nice to see some local traders here too.
We’d arranged to pop into Pfefferbett to have a chat with the booker for our show tomorrow night and as they had live music on we thought we’d go there next to check it out. All the arrangements are as agreed and our contact at the hostel is super-cool (as the Berliners say), really friendly and welcoming and excited about our show.
Pfefferbett's secret garden, Berlin

Pfefferbett’s secret garden, Berlin


The band playing was called Halfblind Henry & His Instabilities who describe themselves as Americana / Soulblues / Folk ‘n’ Roll, but as it was a stripped back show I’m not sure we got to see the full range of their musical stylings. The vocalist (Halfblind Henry himself) played guitar & sang and his Instabilities provided backing on a range of other instruments; slide guitar, bass, harmonica, percussion, melodica & sax. We stayed to enjoy their first set then caught the U-Bahn over to Kreuzberg to have tea at a great Indian restaurant we’ve eaten at before called Iman’s – the food is excellent & the service is fault-free.
Eating at Iman's in Kreuzberg,

Eating at Iman’s in Kreuzberg,


It started raining at about 10pm so we decided to call it a night and headed home – easier said than done. The first U-Bahn we got on terminated before it’s final destination, so we had to change a couple more times before we were back on track.

Friday 9th August 2013
Gig 12 – Pfefferbett, Berlin (Acoustic show)

This morning I was rudely awoken by the telephone ringing at 8.30am, then the doorbell at 9am, then the neighbours a little later, something was telling me it was time to get up! We went out the Schlossgarten just up the road and had a nice relaxing stroll along the Spree.

Charlottenburg Schlossgarten, Berlin

Charlottenburg Schlossgarten, Berlin


It’s our last ‘away’ gig tonight for this year’s summer tour and it’s an acoustic show so we didn’t have to worry about taking any equipment – just some stock, a mailing list and ourselves. We arrived at Pfefferbett around 6pm and the sun was still shining so a gig in the garden it is!
Chalkboard at Pfefferbett, Berlin

Chalkboard at Pfefferbett, Berlin


The guitar choices are classical or classical so the sound is very quiet, but the crowd that start to gather on the terrace are very attentive and seem to really enjoy our set. We played for just over an hour and then ate at the venue (Currywurst & frites) before heading along to the ‘open stage jam’ at Little Stage in Neukoln. The talent on show in the bar was great and such a variety of instruments and styles… Alexis had a jam with some guitarists, piano & keys, bass and saxophone (look out for some footage in the tour video – coming soon) and it was great to see him playing drums again. Usually I’m onstage too and I can’t remember the last time I got to just sit back and enjoy.
Jam session at Little Stage in Neukoln, Berlin

Jam session at Little Stage in Neukoln, Berlin


Whilst we were there we caught up with Alex and managed to get the live recordings from our gig, so we’ll be able to mix them when we get home and possibly even have a couple of live tracks to send out to our mailing list subscribers when we return.
1.30am and the U-Bahn is still running so it’s no problem travelling across the city to get back to the apartment.

Next gig: Thursday 29th August, 2013 at Pivo Pivo, Glasgow

It's gonna be a great gig!

It’s gonna be a great gig!

Next gig: Sunday 1st September, 2013 at Henry’s Cellar Bar, Edinburgh
swapping The Mickey 9’s for the mighty Lewis Gibson & The Midas Touch for the final show in Edinburgh – bring it on!

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.