So.. a crowd of about 400 wearing band-shirts from Napalm Death, Neurot label bands, industrial festivals, Swans and scandinavian metal bands, & anticipating one hell of a loud feedback distortion trance, watches the support gig.
Which is completely different from the slow torture death metal of the main act & consists of one woman with an experimental cello-like instrument and an eery voice.
And there is utter, complete, silence in the audience while listening to her soft music. And I mean utter silence. No one utters even one word, no whispers, no phones ringing, no cameras clicking. Only sound I’ve heard, standing up front, was actually the opening & closing of the fridge & the popping of bottles behind the bar at the back of the venue.
Now that’s the kinda crowd I like 🙂 Not only open minded when it comes to a completely different style of music, but also showing the uttermost respect for it.
On a side note, my inner organs, bones, diaphragm & the fillings in my teeth are still vibrating from the sub- sub- sub-bass frequencies from Sunn o))). The moment I saw the huge wall of amplifiers on stage I grabbed a pair of the free earplugs… but those only protected my ears 🙂
Warm summernights make this city feel so surreal..
Waiting for the S-Bahn, a young guy, obviously not sober and obviously not happy, so completely lost and out of balance, he risks falling on the railwaytrack. Sits down, head between his knees. Older, obviously more experienced – and obviously also not sober – alcoholic, walks up to him. “You ok? Where do you have to go?” “Ostkreuz. My wife walked out on me.” Train arrives. Older guys picks the young guy up and carries him into the train. And I see how he makes the younger guy sit down, offers a sip of his beer, and starts listening and nodding to his story…
Though it’s probably a sad one, the way someone obviously on the “loser” side of society cares for a complete stranger in trouble makes me smile.
Going to a noise gig in a techno place. Playground for adults made out of old pellets, near the water. Lots of hidden corners, and things to climb in. Just missing a swing. Too tired to actually enjoy the music, so walking back to the local station.
Seeing a couple not only picking up empty bottles, but also cigarette butts with maybe a bit of tobacco left and bickering at each other in some east-european language.
Walking to the end of the platform I see two guys about to start fighting. Fists flying, and the younger one takes out what looks like a club and goes after the elder guy. Weird how I stay absolutely calm, and without thinking, ask them wtf is wrong with them & to take it easy, step in between. And then they actually both start explaining to me what the other one was doing wrong “he started!”. Another guy also steps in, and they split up. Turns out the club is actually a flute.
Shaking my head, I step into the train. (and nope, not for one second I was scared or felt threatened, they were just disturbing my pleasant dreamy mood)
Why go to the movies if you can just drive a few stops in the Berlin S-Bahn..
Flattened & deafened by the Swans, step outside & the thunderstorm was just approaching.
Best strobo ever, the whole sky lighted up, letting my sweat-drenched hair do some independent headbanging in the wind, see bolts of lightning try striking the Fernsehturm, and thunder trying to be louder than my slight tinnitus. Lying down in the rain watching the sky is a wonderful way to cool down until I was soaked to the bones. Was so smart to hug the still very warm stones of Volksbühne to prevent me from getting a cold.
And the beat goes on, and the beat goes on… seems the magick of the past two weeks simply doesn’t want to stop.
Walking towards the “volxmassage” (heck, no way to translate that one… massage for the people?? activist’s massage?? one of the projects in our nomoney-economy collective, massage-workshops for free…), I see this huge queue in front of our neighbors from Supamolly. I’ve never seen a queue there. Guess the gig there was more than sold out.
While I get re-instructed how you should perform a massage – made all the beginner mistakes this weekend.. – we suddenly hear a guitar and drums & people playing in the street. And frikkin good too. & the crowd waiting outside singing along.
Turns out the band playing in Molly felt sorry for all the people not getting in, packed up their gear, and did a spontaneous acoustic set outside. Me guesses the people who didn’t get in got a very special night out there and will remember this as more as “just another gig”. When I got out one hour later, there were still many, many, many huge smiles.
Now I never heard of the band before, but they sure made it in my book….
Luckily this part of the city, the neighbors are not the complaining sort. Yet.
Dancing – & muddying – my new (ok, new for me, I found them in the giveaway shop) vegan boots in, on a favorite band during a spring rain storm in a “wagon-place”, watching the wind move the trees, dunno if my hair is wet from rain or sweat (why did I bother showering beforehand?), dogs & kids running in between a crowd jumping around and having a good time, even after the cops came.
How I enjoy the colourful, diverse, world of this city’s alternative scene. My smiling muscles are aching.
The outdoor season definitively has started. Many more street parties, wagon-place events (heck, what’s the english word for wagenburg?) and “official” festivals to look forward too…
(of course, I don’t mind the dark caves with even darker music such as last night’s semi-official warehouse party, and knowing I’ll bury myself in another dark cave tonight for another probably loud & rhythmic night)
Dang, if anyone in the 80s would have told me, in 2015, when you’re 47, you will be walking through a full-mooned – though not blood-mooned unfortunately – night to dance your head off in one (dark & black-lighted) basement to Skinny Puppy & Cabaret Voltaire, in another room full of “people with exploded mattresses on their head” (thx Urbanus…) to SPK & Virgin Prunes, & most mindfucking, in a third room (with a semi-functioning smoke cannon) to a lot of post-millennium noise, Coil and Foetus… (the 4th floor with the batcave stuff I just took a peak) and leave the party with the birds singing, the sun shining & a straight blue sky, knowing I would probably miss a beautiful day..
I don’t think I would have believed them…
Had like 6 gigs planned for the first 6 days in April.
- First gig – Author & Punisher – canceled. Humpf.
- Second gig – Anemone Tube & others – down with the flu. Humpf 2.
- Third gig – Guts Pie Earshot – sold out. HUMPF THREE.
Wanted to pick up the record I “pre-financed”. so waited outside in the rain – at least heard the band. Doorguy told me to hop in to pick up the record. Few people left, so I was allowed in, yay, and like always watching this band, can’t get the grin off my face anymore, after doing the happily jumping around in a waaay overcrowded & steamy Schokoladen.
That’s how a gig (and an audience) should be, including the “why did I shower beforehand”, the huge grins, high-fives and hippie-pogo with unknown people, sharing drinks, and of course a band that goes 150% for playing their music live (yes, they do play 40 minutes straight without any stops, and then another… and another…).
… and best DK cover EVER
Now still got 3 other gigs on my list
ShitShitShitShitShit… one of the most “lively” and larger premises of Berlin, where many smaller and alternative initiatives found a home has been sold to an “investor group”. And everyone knows where that will end…
Even though it became more and more commercial, & tourist-oriented the last few years, unfortunately attracted also the not so nice side-effects of the party-scene, such as those really annoying dealers or the kiddies who can’t handle alcohol or other substances.
Still, there’s a lot of great stuff going on there, both music- as well as artwise, and it’s also the home of my acrobatics society, so this is REALLY bad news!
Parties, music and art do NOT go well with office buildings or (probably expensive) new housing, as many clubs in Berlin can unfortunately confirm…
2015 started fiiiiine, how I love noise & structured chaos (and ow my poor feet).
Pointing out the right bridge to a horde of dutchies to duck fireworks, see berlin go down in a cloud of powder smoke & prove that Friedrichshain people a. like Bengal fire, b. can’t see a fence without trying to climb over, even on the railing of a bridge, c. know how to friendly take over the streets (no burning cars this year), d. can literally swing a bridge …
Quick excursion to Frankfurter Allee & the usual drunk people in the middle of the avenue lightning whole boxes of fireworks at once, and barely avoiding the rockets going in our direction when one of those boxes fell over. (but really, compared to Neukölln or so, it’s quiet in Friedrichshain..)
Checking the cat and noticing my hair & clothes smell badly of powder-smoke.
Off to Subland (thx for the place on the guest-list people), starting with the deep dark swampy ambient of Swarm Intelligence, followed by Monolog’s bassz & breaakz. Quicky to the neighbouring Kili club, the kinda party that is pre-announced with “please leave your dogs at home”, yup, sounds like my kinda scene, great atmosphere, nice campfire, but musically not as intense as usual.
Back to Subland, to indulge in more great music.. Submerge literally making the air vibrate with live bass, the set from the people from Defce slowly but steadily disintegrating into industrial noise, final track heavily cited Author & Punisher, which pushed me definitively over the edge. Next going deep, dark and sludgy beats with Embryonic & dancing head off, and though my feet were already like “really one more??”, djeez, that final track from the “guy from Ad Noiseam” proved Ministry & breakier-than-breakcore are one hell of a good combination & blew me out of my head and socks again. Had to give up after that, guess I am getting old, and went home – as always utterly sober but high on musick – admiring the heaps of burned up boxes & broken wine bottles in the morning light..
48 hours rest before the Hands night to get my feet to recover…..
So… the one night you find yourself in a small dusty, smelly basement including some old boilers that would any former RKZ-TD-er sigh with nostalgia, dancing to old industrial, watching a doll-impersonating japanese dance performance, and then dance again on some pretty hard breakish gabber, the next evening it seems you can’t wipe the smile off your face after watching an acoustic former black metal band telling a dark fairy tale with puppeteers, professional dancers and the most amazing projected animations..
I guess I’m out of hibernation again.. and this sure is one of the best cities to be awake…