Lörrach and Karlsruhe

Ok, I’ve been a bit lazy with this blog since I arrived in Lörrach, probably because I’ve had such a nice time so it slipped my mind. On Monday I arrived in Lörrach to play a couple of shows, and also to hang out for a few days before heading to Karlsruhe. The first concert was a house show and it was actually part of the Kickstarter campaign for ‘Rhythm On The City Wall’. This was a really special night, not only because the gig was perfect but also because I got to meet, hang out and catch up with awesome people. I was supported by our host Claudia and her friend Tammy. It was their debut performance as a duo but you wouldn’t know it. They played and sang beautifully and their songs were well crafted and had some super catchy melodies. I couldn’t have asked for a better support act and it set things up nicely for my set, which went very well. Actually I didn’t want it to end but you have to have some discipline and know when to stop playing sometimes. Afterwards we went to a bar in the centre of Lörrach for a few drinks and some Flammenküchen, which is like pizza but with créme fraiche, onion and bacon as a topping. Very tasty!!! 

The next evening I played at Cafe Rosengarten, which was situated in a beautiful garden/park. It was cool to be able to go and chill out by the lake before playing, the nicest backstage area you can imagine. Quite a few from the house concert came along so it was nice to see them again. I decided to try out lots of new songs so they could hear a different set from the night before. Again, I met some great people and enjoyed the set a lot. Will definitely be heading back there at some point.

Following the Rosengarten gig I had 3 days off, and I used it to work on some ideas I’ve had knocking around for a while. Going through the voice recordings on my phone I realised that there’s probably an albums worth of stuff, it’s just a case of whether I can finish them all. I managed to finish one and made some progress on another 2. I probably would’ve done a bit more but I decided to enjoy my chill out time, and I kept getting kidnapped by Sandra. Sandra had been at both the Lörrach gigs and she’s someone I’ve met on my previous German trips. The reason I say kidnapped is because they were unplanned trips that happened very last minute. But we had a cool time together and I’m very grateful that she took the time to show me some new places. The first day she took me to Basel for a walk (and a pint) by the River Rhine, as well as a little boat ride. Claudia came to meet us later on and then we went back to Lörrach for some food. On the second day I got kidnapped again and this time we went to a place called Badsäkingen, a little town on the Rhine with a very cool bridge leading to Switzerland. We walked across it but then decided we wanted an ice cream. Everything’s cheaper in Germany so we went back across the bridge back to Badsäkingen. 

Karlsruhe palace, nice!

Karlsruhe palace, nice!

Yesterday I travelled to Karlsruhe to play at the Mapa cafe, which is a hip little place on the edge of the city. I met Tatjana who took me on a little cycling tour of Karlsruhe, which despite a lot of restoration work is a nice a city, with peaceful parks and an amazing palace (see below). The gig then followed, which was a relaxed outdoor show. It was very hot so we decided outside was better than making people suffer indoors. At the gig I was surprised to see a familiar face from Cambridge. Christian is a German guy I used to see a lot of when I worked at Hot Numbers Cafe in Cambridge. He now lives near Karlsruhe so he came along to see me. It was a nice surprise and good to catch up with him. After the show I got to try the infamous Mezcal. I’d been warned about this drink by both Tom Copson and Joseph and Maia. It’s a Mexican drink, and as Tatjana is from neighbouring Guatamala, she seems to have decided to be it’s ambassador in Germany. I got a good lesson on the history of the drink and tried a couple of different types. It has a really smoky flavour to it, and though it comes from the same plant that is used to make Tequilla, it tastes a lot better. The traditional way to drink it is with ground and dried up worms and grasshoppers. Though I wasn’t that keen on the idea it actually tasted good and I found myself going back for more. 

Today I’ll be heading to Mannheim for the final gig of the tour. I’ve no idea what to expect but I’m told it’s a cool place so I’m looking forward to it.