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Blog: The Validators Tour Germany: Part Two

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We got up on Saturday morning to find that Tom has brough his TARTAN SUIT of pyjamas with him, and that Tim had been out to be BREAKFAST SUPPLIES. We feasted heartily on various breads, tea, jam, cheese, and tomatoes, it was DELICIOUS. I thought we were being picked up at 12.30pm, so we had to DASH out of the house when the phone went at NOON, and we went outside to meet Kati, who was going to look after us. Kati was GRATE, and would later attempt to teach us several German Phrases to use on stage. "ARSCH FACKING KALT" was one such gem, which I think means "really rather jolly cold" but made people GASP when I said it.

We got a taxi to a train station, had a cup of coffee, and then met a man with a van. We weren't quite sure what was going on, especially when two random other people got in the van with us, but I _think_ it was some kind of Ride Share scheme - he, and the other two passengers, all had various appointments in Dresden, so we all went together. We managed NOT to get stopped by the police this time (things were picking up!) and a couple of hours later found ourselves in our hostel in Dresden.

The four of us were all sharing a single room, which was actually rather COSY and once we'd set our beds up we met Kati downstairs again. She was VERY excited - as the largest group of people there we'd won their Advent Calendar Prize, which today was a STOLLEN!! We'd pick it up the next day and eat it back at the flat - it was DELICIOUS!

Round at Ostpol we met The Lovely Eggs and Skint & Demoralised, the latter being slightly alarmed when we WHOOPED WITH DELIGHT when they said "We think we're in... The Artistes' Flat?" This was where, two years ago, me and Tim and Frankie has shared a mattress, but we later discovered a) they were staying in a hostel and b) the "flat" had been done up a bit in the interim. There was no a shower room, sofas and a heater, and the MEZZANINE floor was still a single mattress but they'd filled in the gaping holes in the floor. It had, we thought, lost some charm!

We were STARVING, so went up the road to the kebab shop. Tom was wandering what to have so I said "You could always have falafel." "Falafel?" he replied, "What's that?"

The rest of us stood AGOG. "It's falafel Tom!" we helpfully pointed out, but it turned out he had never even HEARD of falafel! In the 21st century!! We were thus privileged to see him try his FIRST falafel kebab, and ENJOY it. We had massively increased his takeaway options!

Another oddity in the kebab shop was that, while we were there, ALL of our football teams playing that day went a goal down whilst we ate. It was STRANGE.

Back at the venue there was chat to other bands, who all seemed DELIGHTFUL, and then soundchecks. I find it WEIRD doing soundchecks these days, having not really DONE them for a couple of years. Every time I spend the first five minutes thinking "This is AWFUL! It sounds TERRIBLE!! Who IS this idiot? The whole thing is DREADFUL!" and then being amazed when it all starts to sound better - you know, almost as if someone has been CHECKING the SOUND.

When all was done we sat down for TEA which at first seemed to be MEATY BOLOGNESE. I was actually quite happy to have Pasta And Parmesan, but it turned out to be VEGAN so we tucked in. Whilst doing so Frankie issued a CHALLENGE. "Do you DARE" he said "eat a whole spoonful of parmesan cheese!?" "Er... yes", said Tim, "It's quite nice". So we all had a small level spoonful of parmesan. It was quite nice, but afterwards we thought that maybe we weren't quite living the rock and roll lifestyle as it is meant to be led.

The gig itself kicked off with Wickes, who were BRILLIANT - I'd never heard of them before, but they turned out to feature parts of Sweet Baboo, who i HAD heard of, and Voluntary Butler Scheme, who I've nearly played with at LEAST four times. Towards the end of the gig they pointed out that no-one was anywhere near the front, so Tim BRAVELY stepped forward... and then everyone else did too. They then said "We're going to do a Simon & Garfunkel song!" and Tim shouted "Keep The Customer Satisfied!". They looked a little surprised... and did "Keep The Customer Satisfied." It was SPOOKY!

Next were The Lovely Eggs, and so began our OBSESSION with them - we would end up singing their songs all weekend, ARGUING about the lyrics. If anyone in Germany heard a heated debate about whether on not a house can be in a yard, or vica versa, then that was us.

And talking of US ... we were next! Suitably relaxed by one or two free BEERS we stomped on stage and did THIS:
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • Theme From Dinosaur Planet
  • A Little Bit
  • Family Wedding 2021
  • Better Things To Do
  • Don't, Darren, Don't
  • Please Don't Eat Us
  • My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
  • Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
  • Do The Indie Kid
  • Easily Impressed
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths

  • Hey Hey 16K

  • It was a big old long old set, but people seemed to be pretty into it. I was DEFINITELY into it, and spent much of my time onstage thinking "I'm doing EVERYTHING CORRECTLY!" although for some reason everyone else thought I'd messed some bits up. I'll just point out that THEY had been DRINKING and that clearly their JUDGEMENT would be impaired, and leave it at that. Although I did nearly fall off the stage at one point, when my foot got TRAPPED in a guitar lead, and at another point knocked the microphone stand into the audience before rather SUAVELY leaning forward and saving it.

    The highpoint of the gig was possibly Family Wedding 2021, which we'd practiced ESPECIALLY because last time a chap called Sven had requested it, singing the whole song at me (you can see him singing it to me on YouTube, in fact). Sven was there again and seemed very pleased with the dedication, and I must say it sounded pretty darn GOOD, I reckon. My REMARKS didn't seem to go down massively well, but the only explanation for that, surely, is the language difference?

    I think we might have gone on a bit too long, as Skint & Demoralised DASHED on after us, and ALSO were ACE - lovely chaps too, as I would find out the next day. Before then though there was a whole lot of MINGLING to be done, chatting to the other bands and bumping into people generally. For instance, Tim got TOLD OFF by someone who didn't like the fact he was drinking POLISH BEER, while I ended up in a long conversation with a bunch of chaps which ended with us all necking EISLICKER or "Egg Nog" as we know it, in KRAZY little chocolate/ice cream cup shot cups that you then ATE. There were also some SQUADDIES at some point, but things were getting a bit bleary. Certain Other Bands were ordering SHOTS, and not wanting to appear FUDDY DUDDY we had joined in (although Certain Other Bands were BARRED from drinking any more Jaagermeister - young people are LIGHTWEIGHTS!) so it was all rather WOBBLY.

    At one point I thought it would be a good idea to write in the GUESTBOOK, which we'd been looking through earlier and marvelling at how many PALS were already there. I clearly remember it being VERY VERY DIFFICULT to write ANYTHING, but DID eventually finish an illustrated message. Wonder what it said?

    By four o'clock we'd agreed we'd had enough... all apart from Tim, who had found someone to talk about THE SPECIALS too ("last time I talked to him about The Fall" he reported the next day) and insisted that he'd just got another beer and so had to drink it. Once we eventually prised him away we STAGGERED back to the hostel, where Tom was briefly accosted by a man who said "aha! you have a violin! I too have a violin!" he said. Tom was not in the mood to CHAT, so we hustled in.

    Once in the room Tim said "It's...all... spinny. I feel sick" and then lay down to sleep. I too collapsed into coma, waking only in the night to go to the loo and get horribly horribly lost on the way back. Tom and Frankie, meanwhile, report that they were both kept awake by hideous snoring. I don't know what they were on about - neither me nor Tim heard ANYTHING.

    And so our day ended in noise and fury - in far too short a time we would need to be up and off for our return to Berlin!

    posted 16/12/2011 by MJ Hibbett

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