On Tuesday 8/28, we played in Hamburg. It was a bit of a drive - six hours from Offenbach. We played at Freundlich + Kompetent. F and K is a nice little bar in below a shopping mall in Hamburg, staffed by people who are both friendly and competent. This couldn’t have been more convenient, because I split my only pair of pants two days prior. So, our friendly and competent host Sarah told me where to shop upstairs, and I happily bought some new pants between load in and soundcheck.
Sarah made us feel at home, and Nicholas and Julien were brilliant sound engineers. We shared the bill with Anin Rose, a London based singer and choir director. She grew up in Hamburg, then moved to London about six years ago. That night was the first time that her parents would hear her live in about 6 years. She runs a women’s gospel choir in London and can’t visit much.
Regarding our set - We were loud. I had fun. I’m getting over a cold, but boy did it feel good to be loud. It was the most fun I’ve had on stage this far in tour.
As we drove away, he asked if we wanted to see his favorite place in the city. So, of course, we agreed. We drove across a bridge over the harbor, with lights lining up and enormous ships docking below us. Windows down, we did a u turn and hopped back over the bridge and got to his apartment. He moved there three months ago to teach German to foreigners (like us!).
We met Andi’s girlfriend, Barbara, who is just as kind as he is. Andi made me a few bits of bread with cheese, meat, and sweet mustard. Barbara insisted that this is not how I should remember Hamburg - this kind of food is totally Bavarian food, not northern German food.
No one eats sweet mustard in Hamburg. No one.
Andi and I responded to that by by drinking Bavarian beer until 2 in the morning. Talking about songs, hearing bits of a record that he’s sending to mastering, and our hopes for songs.
Barbara went to bed early, but before she did, we talked about growing up. Andi in Bavaria in the Western side of Germany, and Barbara on the Eastern side of Germany. Andi shared stories of eating three liters of ice cream in one sitting, and Barbara told a story about eating yogurt one spoonful at a time, lasting an entire week. They still behave differently today. When there’s chocolate in the house, Andi snarfs it up quick until Barbara tells him to stop. Then, bit by little bit, Barbara makes the rest of it last for days. Nobody talked about the differences like they were terribly unjust - just a different way of growing up. And a cute way for two people to live together.
Andi left on a train to Bavaria to see his family the next morning. And we left in a car to Berlin.