I'll be keeping this one pretty snappy, folks. I've found a new secretary, but she doesn't start until next week, so I'm still typing with one finger and relying on a mouldy old Roget thesaurus to avoid using the words "awesome" and "shit" to describe every single thing in the world.
But who cares? Let's talk about Munich.
Some gigs just look flat-out wrong on paper.
A community centre/restaurant. (Warning lights begin to flash).
Support bands' drummers' house. (Oxygen masks drop from the ceiling).
A...ummm...door deal. (Cabin fills with smoke, engines on fire, people screaming and clawing at each-other).
This is a rough but effective illustration of how I saw the night unfolding.
But it´s in the book, so you go there and you do it. Shut-up.
We dropped Inglis at his hotel and drove to the venue through the wealthy gigantism of Munchen. This is a rich town, an overstuffed seat of old money. Miles of grand public buildings and a big, sleek BMW in every parking space. The trees are already strung with fairy-lights and a berserk, uniquely German Christmas fever is to rip through this grand, brownstone town.
Roasted mushrooms and apfel gluhwein and riding the ferris-wheel at the Weihnacthsmarkt in the bitter cold with your girlfreind while a big, fat ecstasy pill dissolves slowly in your stomach and your parents and relatives scoff bockwerst and check out the carollers, somewhere down there in the awesome, cheesy maelstrom.
Just get through it, man. NYE is going to be fucking mental! Claude Von Stroke and Switch and that acid that Heinrichs' bringing down from Hamburg and .....
ICH BIN SOOOO GEIL!!!!
Shit, what the fuck am I saying now? Forget that last bit. Let's move on.
Sooooo, we arrived at the venue (called Glockenwerkstatt) and had to wait for a while before we could load our shit in, because there was a childrens kapouera class finishing up in the small, box-like room where the gig was being held.
A childrens kapouera class. That is correct.
I rolled my eyes and muttered something poisonous, but the Baaron poked his finger into my chest and demanded better behavior.
"Ne-ga-tive creep!" he hissed. "Why can't you just pretend to be a good-natured, enthusiastic guy, at least in public. If you start laying your doomsday bullshit on these people I swear I will smite thee. Let's get a drink."
The Baaron was right again. This place was actually a little Munchenische treasure chest.
Our drink tickets got us big bottles of rich, brown dunkelweissbier and our food tickets got us some of the best cooking we'd tasted in weeks. The small but powerfull sound system was run by one of the freindliest, most competent guys imaginable, the venue provided a brand new SWR bass amp for me to use and the support band (Soft Nerd) were a bunch of flat-out sweethearts.
Soft Nerd, keeping the streets safe for....ummmm....something..I forget.
After soundcheck I hid from the Baaron in the toilets and trimmed my nails. Andy went to do some sightseeing and ended up getting locked inside a deserted cathedral for two hours, and Von Cuddles went upstairs to work on his complex scheme to bring all the peoples of the Earth under his rule by 2015.
He explained to me once how the band fitted into the larger strategy, but I was drunk. I just remember him pacing up and down in that hotel room, whacking his thighs and shaking his fists and yelling things like "A golden age lies before us, Green. Do you want a seat at the table? Do you want in?"
Thus the maiden of evening slowly made way for mother night, and our thoughts turned to assaulting a bunch of innocent people with a hideous, screeching racket and making them pay us for doing it.
A small but vocal clutch of Munchener misfits turned up and went stone bazonkers during Soft Nerds' bouncy, poptastic performance. Even the guys danced. Andy was released from his sacred prison by a confused Catholic priest, The Baaron fell in love with a tiny Argentinian girl who was hovering around the merch desk and a pair of young women in outrageous, post-hipster outfits had a full-tilt, friendship-ending screaming match in the middle of our set. It was a hoooot!
But it kept getting better.
The drummer from Soft Nerd (Meikel) got us a secure parking spot near his house, which turned out to be a beautiful, old rambling attic apartment with a cosy bedroom set aside for us. We sat up drinking heavily and cracking wise with the Soft Nerd posse for many hours, The Baaron pontificating on modular synthesis and me sliding gracefully into a drooling stupor. It was like having a crew, ready-mixed.
My bicycle-nerdness went into turbo-mode when it was revealed that Meikels grandfather was a champion artisanal cyclist back in the thirties.
It was too short. I could have settled into this vibe for a month. Gigs at Glockenwerkstatt with the Nerds every night, fine food, weissbier, lights in the trees and strange girls shrieking blue-murder at each-other in German. Sometimes people and situations cut straight through the stinking fog of cynicism and hatred that I weave about myself and pierce my very heart.
This was one of those times.
Thank-you, Soft Nerd posse, Glockenwerkstatt and Learn To Swim Shows.