Just over a week ago myself and my band mates departed London Stansted on a brand new adventure; Our first ever tour of Germany as support band to mighty hard rocking uk power trio The Brew! For the past few years I have been told many times over by numerous people just how awesome Germany is for its live music and how we HAD to go there and experience this for ourselves. With this knowledge firmly drilled in I was both excited and nervous! Excited that we were travelling to new territory for us and nervous that it might not live up to the hype! Well turns out I needn’t have been nervous because to put it bluntly, Germany did not disappoint in the slightest, in fact, it fucking rocked!! So without further ado heres a quick breakdown of the gigs and how they went down with a few tales from the road in between for good measure!
Our first port of call was Memmingen in the south of Germany. Upon arrival it became immediately apparent that we didn’t require our big warm coats anymore as we did in the uk as the weather was glorious! After finding the hotel we ventured off into town in search of lunch and found a restaurant/bar thing that supplied us with both beer and schnitzel. A compelling combination if ever there was one! From here it was onwards to the gig which was in a venue which was quite literally big enough to fit a small aircraft in! It was massive! I was wondering if enough people would turn up to make a crowd and sure enough they did! So well done Memmingen for having one of the biggest crowds on the tour! Memmingen also wins the prize for buying the most Albany Down merchandise so thank you very much for all your support! After this excellent introduction to german gigs we hung out with our hosts The Brew backstage and were offered spicy hot schnapps which did exactly what it says on the tin and destroyed all my taste buds for the evening with its spicy lava hot fury!
The second day of the tour saw us driving north for the famous Harmonie club in Bonn. This venue has had some amazing talent pass through its walls and I was really excited for this gig. The sound was spot on! The Lights were amazing and packed crowd were electric! This was one of the highlights for me as I could see from the corner of my eye members of the audience rocking out to our music. Head banging and whooping. The energy they gave us was exceptional and I hope we gave it back just as good as we got! After the show we got to meet a photographer and friend of The Brew who took some amazing shots of the band. Check him out on Facebook here.
The third day was the only day off in the schedule and thanks to the advice from our photographer friend and the brew we headed to cologne to visit the “Music Store”, the biggest music shop in Europe. Maybe even the world! This place was huge! The best way I can describe it is the IKEA of music stores. Well it did have its own cafe with cheap food! Spread across 4 massive floors, each one dedicated to specific instrument and equipment, this place was the cats pyjamas!
I got to try out an octavia pedal for bass guitar which was awesome, defiantly going onto santa’s list. Donna picked herself up a new Paiste cymbal and the rest of the time was spent trying out all kinds of crazy musical delights! We literally spent 5 hours in this shop and could have possibly spent another 5 more but we had to go as there was a brew house in town which had beers with our names on them, literally…
From here we went onto the Hard Rock cafe for some dinner and then onto a Jack Daniels bar which had a jam night in session so naturally we got up and played a few numbers. Was great fun but also strange playing a guitar that isn’t your own.
Back on the road again and the tour strayed ever so slightly out of Germany and into Belgium for this one at the Spirit of 66 venue. Again another prestigious venue which has had some amazing acts grace its stage. It even has a ginormous list on the wall by the gents to prove it! For this show the stage and back stage set up meant it wasn’t possible to use our drums but Kurtis kindly let Donna use his. This was another packed gig and was great to see some familiar faces from our previous travels into Belgium. Read Walters review here.
Onwards we travelled back into Germany and a long way we travelled too! The trip to Torgau was the longest of them all. Fun Fact, Torgau was the last town to surrender in the second world war. Anyways this particular road trip gave me a new appreciation for just how big Germany is. 8 to 9 hours after setting off we finally arrived at the venue and that also included some white knuckle driving as we battled through hurricane gherkin or whatever it was coming over from the UK. The gig itself was a blast! The stage there is set up in a little tunnel type thing, very reminiscent of The Beatles and the Cavern Club! The other great thing about Torgau are the beers that came in giant glasses with handles. Get in!
From here we travelled to Oldenberg to play the Cadillac venue! This place has a massive room and stage and a special mention has to go to the in-house sound and light crew as both were fantastic, particularly the lights! The sold out crowd were enthusiastic as always and made us feel very welcome! We also met many interesting characters here as well including a man who was quite literally a giant and yet another special mention has to go to the venue chef, for it was he who made us the best home made soup I’ve ever had. He was very enthusiastic about cooking and music. A deadly charming combination in my book!
Travelling North we reached Kiel where we had a little bit of down time before the gig to explore the town. Being the juveniles that we are we came across a few signs and stores in german that made us giggle. You can probably work out why for yourself from the pic…
But enough of that silliness as we had a gig to get to. Kiel was for me one of the best gigs of a tour that had already consisted of excellent gigs. Germany just would not disappoint! This was another sell out crowd and I have to be honest here when I say I think both us and The Brew were on fire this night. Both brought their ‘A’ Game and it was really special being able to stand just to the side of the stage and watch them do their thing right up close. It also turned out this was their 10th anniversary gig which made it all the more special. The second to last night also meant it was time to party just that little bit harder after the show. Much Erdinger beer was consumed as well as Jager shots. Somehow we ended up in a random Spanish bar at 2 in the morning with no idea where our hotel was. Luckily some of our super german fans had also joined us and delivered us back safely. Prost to them!
After waking we a sore head it was time to get a move on to the final gig of the tour. It was back to the old eastern Germany and to Rostock. I was sad that this was to be the last gig of the tour as it was so much fun. Luckily the crowd in Rostock gave us a great send off! The sound guy Bernd was an absolute gent and a legend who really looked after us. Following the show we hung out with The Brew one last time, this time in the hotel lobby where the bar was shut, but this didn’t deter us for there was booze in the van and it needed to be consumed. Also the clocks were going back which meant we could stay up just that little bit longer!
So in conclusion all I have to say is Germany freaking rocked! It was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had a chance to be a part of, and I cant wait to go back on tour there again. The people and fans were friendly, the food amazing and the beer delicious. What more could a touring band ask for? Germany! We will be back!
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