Posts Tagged ‘Sacre Noir live in Berlin’

Saturday 17th August – Wednesday 28th August
Back home and back to work… there are exciting projects in the pipeline though. During this time we caught up with Barry Smith (artist) and agreed a new collaboration, had a meeting with a local film-maker to discuss a Sacre Noir short film project for this winter, attended a friend’s book launch and even managed to fit in a practice with Phil as he’d be joining us again for the final two shows of this year’s summer tour.

Phil and Alexis - Sacre Noir rehearsal at Bainbridge / Iona St, Edinburgh

Phil and Alexis – Sacre Noir rehearsal at Bainbridge / Iona St, Edinburgh

Gig 13 – Thursday 29th August 2013 @ Pivo Pivo, Glasgow
This show was booked & promoted by ‘It’s A XXXX Thing’ blog and everyone was pretty excited about the line-up. The Penny Black Remedy have never played a show in Glasgow but it’s a gig on home turf for the Mickey 9’s! There are some great pictures and a review on the New Hellfire Club website. This is the first time in ages we’ve seen the Mickey 9’s and they had a few new tracks in their set… ‘Berlin’ being my favourite. Energetic and a little crazy, they were as always very entertaining.

Thursday 29th August 2013 at Pivo Pivo, Glasgow

Thursday 29th August 2013 at Pivo Pivo, Glasgow


We always enjoy playing at Pivo Pivo in Glasgow – we finished our 2012 tour with a gig here and it feels good to be back and adding Phil’s guitar sounds to the set. After a few technical problems at the start of the show, we soon hit our stride and play a raucous crescendo of ‘She Can’t Take It’ to finish our set. One song that has been popular throughout the tour is ‘It’s Too Late Now’ and we’re able to really take advantage of the live guitar on this track in particular – leading to a dark, rockier performance.
Sacre Noir live at Pivo Pivo, Glasgow - photo by Gobo Photography

Sacre Noir live at Pivo Pivo, Glasgow – photo by Gobo Photography


The Penny Black Remedy then took to the stage like a whirlwind and blew through an hour’s worth of songs in what seemed like no time at all. Covering much of their very own blend of ska-rock, surf-punk, country-folk-pop stylings, including crowd favourite ‘Bring Back Brando’ (a song written with more honesty than you’d imagine for something so catchy). Keith fronts the band like a true professional and has the audience wrapped round his finger from the get-go, although vocalist Marijana also takes centre stage for a few tracks and wows the crowd. The other band members Wilco and Paul both show a similar enthusiasm and a good night was had by all.
The Penny Black Remedy live at Pivo Pivo, Glasgow

The Penny Black Remedy live at Pivo Pivo, Glasgow

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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!

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

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.