Tour Diary 02-03/2015 with Ken Stringfellow
On the road again… More adventures
Thursday I packed the van and drove to Hamburg to pick up Ken Stringfellow, who flew in from the US. He arrived Friday noon, jumped from the plane into my van and of we went to our first show of the tour in Wietze at the Stechinelli Carré.
I played there during the Songs &Whispers Circuit in August 2014. It was one of my favorite venues during the circuit, a beautiful assembly of old barns, carefully restored buildings in a beautiful park in the middle of nowhere. Martin, the owner is a great host and it was a pleasure to meet him again.
And of course – the dog is on tour with us again… and the load in to the venue was very country style
The show was wonderful, they have a grand piano on stage and it sounded just wonderful.
Next day I woke up, sun was shining, I took the opportunity to play my new (vintage) fantastic guitar (Golden Eko from 1961) the whole morning (Stage was still set up at the barn – this place would be a perfect studio/rehearsal room!). At noon we hit the road to Bremen, playing at the Villa Sponte. Show was packed and it was wonderful to be back again. Many familiar faces, people loved the show, we played some duets. Great night!
Sunday morning of to Cologne. Ken Stringfellow is always working, always busy, not only as a musician /singer but also working on several projects as a producer. Sunday we had a day off and he recorded some tracks with Mimi Schell, a singer from Hamburg in my home office. My boyfriend Markus and I prepared dinner for the four of us and we had a wonderful evening.
Monday we drove to Düsseldorf to give an interview and play some music at NRW TV. I played dream of me, we played Ken’s duet “Doesn’t it remind you”. I was nervous but it all went well.
And when it was over I thought: Wow, that was cool! Rockstar! It felt good to have Ken by my side, he is sooo experienced and relaxed…. The weather was a mixed bag, first it was raining, then it started to snow in Düsseldorf and in the end the sun came out!
We drove to the BRAUSE , a tiny venue in Düsseldorf. André who runs the club recommended a little Turkish restaurant around the corner, very good food. And, again: great show, great audience. The vibe was totally different from the night in Bremen, a bit more rough and loud. I decided to play more songs on the electric guitar instead of the acoustic more folky versions of my songs.
Ken wrote a very detailed wonderful blog entry about the first days of our tour here:
Tour Diary 11/2014 with Textor & Renz
After playing my CD realease tour in June together with Textor&Renz and Markus Pieper we decided to play some more shows in Freiburg, Saarbrücken and Hannover.
We met in Stuttgart to rehearse in a fantastic huge rehearsal place owned by a friend of Holger Renz, had some great food (Linsen with Spätzle at the Buschpilot, I highly recommend this when you are in Stuttgart).
In Freiburg we played in a small café, very nice place, and then we drove to Saarbrücken to play at the Sparte 4 http://www.sparte4.de/ , one of my favorite places, they have a very interesting mix of theater and concerts.
Christoph Diem always sets up great shows there and I was really proud that he invited us to play.
We stayed in a hotel that seemed to be strictly from the 70ies, all orange, green and brown. A shame I didn’t take a picture. Being there is like using a time machine…
Next Stop: Hannover, Sofa Loft. It’s a furniture store and we played in the warehouse. We were invited to take some stuff out of the showroom to decorate the stage, and this is what we did…
Tour Diary 10/2014 with Ken Stringfellow
The very first idea for this tour was to play one show in Cologne singing some duets with Ken Stringfellow http://kenstringfellow.com/ on a Sunday afternoon “Tea time” at King Georg in Cologne. Inspired by the boy friend of a famous doll my friend Rebekka designed the poster.
I know Ken from his release tour for his album Danzig in the Moonlight (great album by the way), where I joined him for a duet when he was playing in Cologne. And then we decided to play some more shows so I organized a little tour in the south of Germany.
We met in Munich and had a great time, sunny weather and lots of fun. Ken is an amazing musician, his songs are great, very entertaining, funny guy. I started with a few songs, then he took over playing his songs, I came back, in the end we played the duet and he played keys on mostely all of my songs without any rehearsal. Wow.
After a good night of sleep we drove to Ulm, playing a lovely living room show, packed our stuff and quickly drove through the night to Konstanz, my home town. The KENtertainment system was on, keeping me awake while I was driving through the dark Schwabian night. We took the ferry from Meersburg to Konstanz and then: to my mother’s home and sleeeeeeep
Woke up, sunshine on my face, spent the day at the lake of Constance, and then arrived at the Klimperkasten, one of my favorite clubs in Konstanz.
Of course the place was packed, lots of friends and fans came to see me and Ken play. We had an awesome show, so much fun, Ken played a maraca solo on one of my songs…. Hahaha (if you want to read Ken’s version, this is the link to his blog.
After we finished the show we had a drink (or four or ten?) and went home pretty drunk, fortunately with the promising perspective to sleep in the next morning. And then: sunshine again, I went jogging and swam in the lake, in October! It was so warm… Yeah.
Back to the Klimperkasten – to load in and say goodbye to the lovely people who run the place – and of the road to Mainz.
We had a very interesting conversation on the way, learned another duet. Time passed by really quickly and we arrived at the Hafeneck. A friend of mine had organized this show, great venue but it was so sunny and warm that we were a bit worried if people would show up. But at show time the house was packed! And people loved what we were delivering. Sold a lot of merch, packed and then on the road again to get to Cologne.
Cologne, a sunny warm day and an afternoon show? Difficult. But a bunch of people made it and saw another good show, we played several duets.
The most amazing thing to me was the fact that every concert was so special, different from the others, all worked really well! After the show we had a lovely dinner with some friends, then more wine in my apartment, listening to the songs of Eva Auad, a CD that Ken produced… will be released in 2015
Tour Diary Circuit 08/2014
Lox in Bremen. This is the place to be for someone who is playing Sofa Country: Sofas, Armchairs – a very welcoming place.
Thomas, the owner is great and I was happy to play with The Castros again, it is better for my voice to not sing 90 minutes every evening! Even though I do my exercises that Kirsten Schötteldreier told me. When I play together with my tour mates, each party plays about 45 minutes. Relaxing. Again, the venue was packed. People love the Songs and Whispers free entry shows. Hat was good, merch was sold. Happy.
The good thing about the artist flat in Bremen is that you have a lot of free time during the days before you drive to the venue in the evening. So during the day I am taking piano lessons, do yoga exercises, go biking. It is good (and necessary) to invest time to recover from the daily shows. I wonder how other musicians do that for months, touring with a night liner or staying in different hotels every night. Exhausting! The flat is small & simple but it feels like coming home in the evening.
Next day on the way to Hannover. Beautiful venue but the owner was very skeptical if someone would show up. It is more a “winter venue”. And this is exactly what happened. So I played a short set in front of a small crowd and took the train home to Bremen (happy not to drive). Time consuming. You never know what you get on this tour. I would love to play there in winter when it’s packed…
15th Aug I drove to Villa Sponte in Bremen, an old villa at the river Weser, big garden. Thomas and Ida run the place. They live upstairs on the second floor and have a big room for concerts, exhibitions etc. on the ground floor. I was invited for dinner with their friends and really felt very welcome. Thomas is a musician, too, and Ida is a painter and sculptor. At show time every seat in the concert room was taken. Great.
Watch me play “Act of Grace” at the Hafencasino.
Tour Diary Circuit 08/2014 – Blog Entry 2
Today there was a lot on the agenda… Starting with an interview/liveshow at the local radio/tv station Radio Weser TV, next a one hour promo show at a huge shopping mall – the Waterfront in Bremen and then packing all the gear in a hurry to set up the stage at Hafencasino – playing a show together with #The Castros.
First time I brought the whole stage setting into action. Means instruments: acoustic git/electric git./e-piano plus stage design: the black dog (a Rottweiler), the tree and the birdhouse.
Most of the time I travel alone, so I am tour manager/roadie/sound & light engineer/artist at the same time. This is a lot to carry around. Heavy stuff. At Hafencasino, Heiko from S&W, his girlfriend and The Castros help with schlepping, Heiko did sound/light and I was really thankful and happy to play just a short set after a long day! And people really liked it. On stage, I wasn’t tired at all but full of energy and excited about the crowd that showed up. I sold a lot of my CDs, so all in all: a very successful day!
At the Radio/TV-Station
Next day I drove to a farm, they have a little zoo and a very extrovert peacock. I got a warning that this bird is very sensitive to sounds and will start screaming when the music starts – and this is what happened a few times during the show. It was fun (gives you an idea how the Beatles felt in the 60ies when girls SCREAMED for the whole concert).
Almost 50 people showed up – something I didn’t expect – weather was great, so again, I played outside. Very attentive crowd and Susi, the lovely woman who runs the place, made this an evening to remember.
The next shows where, well, I would call them “restaurant shows” so no real concert feeling, people were eating, chatting. Moneywise it was o.k., food was lovely but as a show for the artist not so satisfying. It feels like playing weddings to make a living. I went to “radio modus”, not spending too much energy to a chewing crowd but still delivering a good show.
On the 11th Aug. I played at Beppo’s in Oldenburg. This was great, house was packed, people were there to see the show. More of this, please!
Tour Diary Circuit 08/2014
It took me two hours to pack the van with all the stuff I will/might need in the next three weeks. I can’t remember being away from home for such a long time… This is awesome! On the tour bus radio: Pretenders, Eleni Mandell and Ron Sexsmith.
Before I drove to the venue in Mechelen I visited the beautiful city of Antwerpen, the place where I sang my very first open mic show when I was 15. I couldn’t find the bar but still Antwerpen is a beautiful city worth visiting!
The first venue of the #songsandwhispers tour – Zennegat 13 is a tiny bar/café at a canal. Took me some time and two calls to get there (comment in the tour book: “hard to find” – now that’s helpful ;-)). Finally I made it and played an acoustic show outside in the sunshine. Great audience.
Next day I travelled to Bremen – long ride, traffic jam – instead of 4,5 hours it was almost 7,5 hours, quite stressful day – played a show in Verden at 14.30 and another one in Vangast (at the sea shore – one more hour to go). Beautiful venue, too. People sitting in deckchairs at the beach, drinks in their hands… very relaxed atmosphere. Unfortunately after I started there was another band playing open air behind the venue – very loud so it was hard for me to get through with my singer songwriter #sofacountry and also hard for the audience to get sounds from to different sources. First I thought it is a karaoke event because the singing was so bad, but it was a charts cover band playing there on a Saturday night..
Sunday I set up my new home in the artist flat of songsandwhispers. Played a sunny afternoon show in the garden of a museum in Syke. Talked to a journalist who wrote an article about the show. Thank you Majanne Behrens
I am on the s&w circuit 08/2014 together with The Castros, a lovely couple from Ohio – well, she is from Ohio, he is from Costa Rica. Very nice and kind people, happy to tour with them! Check out their Facebook page here:
I picked them up at the station and now we will jump into 3 weeks of touring, making/writing music. We are all exited… Tomorrow we will play our first show together at Litfass, Bremen