Monday, March 18, 2013

Nurse the Hate: Bremen

3.6 Bremen

I climb into the van wondering if something may have died in my mouth last night.  The combination of that horrifying liquor, sekt, and three kinds of beer has resulted in me feeling a little, shall we say, foggy.  The drive to Bremen isn't too bad, and we arrive with enough time to check into our apartment prior to soundcheck.  I stayed here before a couple years ago when we played a club that was hosting some sort of freshman dance party for the large university in town.  I recall with great clarity how I freaked out on some people at a wine bar down the street, bought a bottle of Cote du Rhone to go, and still have that very bottle sitting right now on my dresser holding up the Leo Puppet.  An older woman owns several of these units not far from the club we played, and they were decorated in what I recall as a quirky style.

The apartment we are given this time is quirky as well.  Three large bedrooms, a winding staircase, two fully outfitted bathrooms, and a bunch of crazy artifacts you would never expect to find in a rental.  What's with the creepy masks on the wall?  That clown by the window is sort of freaky.  What is that metal thing?  I like all the stuff as I think it is interesting, but Sugar seems on edge, especially when Leo and I put on the masks and speak to her in gravely voices.  Leo and I have been speaking in this voice for days now, referring to a guy we met on a Cowslinger tour that always got drunk and wanted all the men in the room to take off their shirts.  It wasn't some homosexual come-on, it was some sort of odd idea he had like we were Vikings.  Now Leo and I keep walking around saying, "Yes.  Sugar.  There is no need to fear us.  We are your friends.  Watch us now take off our shirts.  Like men.  Yes."  Although we never actually take our shirts off, anyone that we come in contact with is pummeled with nonsensical conversation about "men taking off their shirts".  It's one of those tour jokes that now has a life of its own.

We are playing Sinners, a new club that proves to be almost impossible to find.  If it is hard to find with very specific directions and a GPS, what is it like for actual patrons to find?  While searching for the club, we ask people that work in the area where the club is located and none of them have a clue.  As it turns out, most of them work within steps of the place, and have no idea it exists.  Uh-oh.  Is that a good sign?  We finally find it in the middle of an industrial park that has been converted to artist loft spaces.  While the physical space is great, I have learned a few things about the nightclub business over the years.  Location, location, location... Being located within stumbling distance to where lots of 20-40 year olds live?  That's good.  Being located where there doesn't appear to be any housing or public transportation anywhere nearby?  That's bad.

Soundcheck takes a long time as there is a glitch in the board software taking away Leo's monitor.  While they work it out, a terrific meal of roast pork, vegetable bake, and scalloped potatoes are brought in.  Since we are in Bremen, home of Beck's Beer, it is all Beck's all the time.  After last night's party-o-rama, I'm on the wagon.  I have never been a big fan of Beck's as it seems every time I have one it is skunked.  After ten days over here I have now gotten so snotty about beer that I turn my nose up at the unlimited Beck's available to us.

Beer is handled over here like we handle milk.  While Beck's and Warsteiner are available all over the place, most towns drink their local brewery beer.  It's always fresh, and in most cases the brewery has been cranking out quality product for hundreds of years.  When you walk into a bar, they don't have 50 beers.  They usually have the local brewery pils on tap, a dunkel, and usually another brewery's wheat beer.  For some reason, most breweries that makes pilsners tend to focus on that and maybe a dark beer.  The wheat beer guys tend to just make that.  Whatever the system is, they do a good job.  You rarely get a bad beer over here.  I love trying each town's local beers and have noticed distinct regional tastes, probably due to water and yeast strains.  The Northern part of Germany tends to have crisper more bitter beers.  The south has more full bodied smoother drinking beers that to my palate are superior.  Give me my Farny or Rothaus.

The large club has, not surprisingly, modest attendance.  The room is cold.  I'm really tired.  I can't see the polite crowd because of the glare of the stage lights.  I feel like I kind of suck tonight, though the band is playing well.  Gary really kicks ass on the last ten or so songs tonight.  The people, who have been almost like mannequins to this point, want an encore which we provide after a brief discussion.  After the show I speak to the people, who are very complimentary and apologetic about the light attendance.  After all, the show is happening midweek in what is by all appearances a secret rockabilly clubhouse.  I just appreciate anyone that is interested enough to come check us out.  I have no idea how the numbers work to keep this venture going into the future.  The guy that owns it is really great though.  He definitely is a big supporter of the music.  Maybe he knows something I don't.  Lots of people do after all.

We head back to the monster apartment.  Leo, Sugar, Antje, and I have a beer while I grill Antje with questions.  She is great.  I love her quirkiness with an overriding German sensibility.  She totally reminds me of my cousin Nancy.  I lay back on one of the daybeds listening to the conversation, and the next thing I know it is morning.  I must have fallen asleep immediately after putting my head down.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home