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Germany. Karlsruhe. Substage. 15th Dec.

December 16, 2017

Following as it did, a day off, there was no mad rush. I didn’t leave my room beyond going to the hotel breakfast lounge. We are situated in a residential area and there is not time, neither energy, to wander far.

We left for our hour and a half drive at 2pm
I wanted to arrive early to sort some things.
3 stage dresses that I had washed in my bath the day before were still damp too. I needed to hang them out for the wardrobe case.

Inside, the auditorium is a concrete square.
A club.

It has a bar the length of its right wall and there are chunky pillars cutting the view for some, I’d hazard.
At the back there is a balcony, but it looks from my vantage more of a corridor with openings. At night it will be lit.

It feels good.


The club is accessed by a rather pleasant courtyard.

I don’t dally long to inspect it.
Dougie hurries me in.
He says ebay’ers are hanging around.
Those that turn up for any ‘cleb’ in every town at any show.
Not your fans or ticket holders.

They trade in signed items and truth be told, I try to avoid them.


If that makes me a bad person, I am perfectly comfortable with it, so long as I don’t have to say it to their faces.

I am righteous with a polite disposition.
It’s a pathetic combination.

Inside, the building has a practicality that is to be found in many German municipal buildings, in my experience.

Tiled walkways. Easy to clean when boots tread in evidence of outside inclement weather.

My room is square and simple, but it is warm and joy of joys, lit like a summer’s noon.

My new audio book is Iain M Banks ‘Use of Weapons’.
My preference is for sci-fi and fantasy or historical drama novels.
I have been a long time lately in various ‘My Liege’ worlds.
It’s taking me a minute to adjust to ‘future speak’ again. I have listened a couple of his Culture novels, though, and I know I will fit with it soon.

I get my curlers in before sound check and stretch over my beanie before heading down to soundcheck.

The sound is a bit tricky.
Not horrendous.
We can get a great balance up here but the room will steal onstage nonetheless.
We don’t have side fills.
It’s never going to be as safe as a show equipped with your own optimum gear and we are travelling relatively light.
Eric has filled the room with mist (that not what it’s called, but I can’t think of the word. Not smoke – not noxious – but to that visual effect.).
It hangs heavy in the air.

Good for the lights to infuse.
Later when we go on, I remark that it looks here like London fog in a Film Noir.
I want to sing Spinal Tap’s ‘Saucy Jack’, but I don’t know the lyrics beyond ‘he’s a naughty one’.
It’s ripe.

Ossy Hoppe, my charismatic German promoter is here.
It is the third show in this German leg he has attended and his enthusiasm for it, and his feedback, is uplifting.
It is a confident Turn, consequently, that will take the stage tonight.

Our warm up is high spirited and we go on eager to play our set.

Tonight runs tremendously well.
I stop a song because I don’t like how I started it. As when eggs split, better to start again.

The club had a great atmosphere and the people that have come here to listen are engaged and interested and primed.
Up for it.
This time, happily, it was a rare light that shone out from their phones. This, appreciated.
I loved playing for them.
With them.

Straight into the car.
Another fair drive back to the hotel.
I think I am coming down with something.
I am grateful the seats in this hire car are heated.
I hope I can hold this off for this last week, and then too for Christmas, at last, time with my sorely missed family.
After that, Lord of the Bug, you can have my new year.
Floor me.
I don’t care.
Two weeks.
Two more weeks, please.

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