Tour of Germany 2015
After a long drive we arrived in Augsburg around 9pm. Both Martin and John went straight to bed. I met up with Alexander Möckl and we went for a pizza and a beer.
Alex had made contact with me through my website, he is also a musician and has played in several bands over many years. He also has a small recording studio and has been a fan of Martins right from the beginning. He asked me if Martin would be interested in meeting up and was also prepared to organise a private concert. Martin was up for it so meet up we did.
The next morning after breakfast Martin, John, and myself walked to the local shopping centre. On the way we walked through the park where there was a table tennis table. At the shopping centre Martin went straight into the sports shop and bought two table tennis bats and some balls and on the way back to the hotel gave John and myself a lesson and a good thrashing at table tennis. Great fun.
Alex came and picked us up and we went for lunch and then on to the studio where John and Martin recorded a surf instrumental track. Also great fun and very interesting to see the guys working in the studio. After a rest at the hotel Alex again picked us up and drove us to the location for the evenings private concert. Martin and John play another great set.
The evening was a little dampened by the fact that the venue has a second function room literally next door and they had not told Alex that the room was being used that evening by a dance group. The loud music coming from the adjacent room was some what distracting for Martin and John and downright annoying for the people watching. Another warning for me about private concerts.
DAY 10 AND 11
Today we have a free day and we first drive north to the small village of Treppendorf, In beautiful country side and in the middle of nowhere. We are paying a visit to the Thomann music shop. Like I said we are in the middle of nowhere and you crest a hill and turn a corner and you see the massive Thomann shop and warehouse.
This place is an Aladdins cave for musicians and you can try just about any instrument they have. I got completely caught up in it all and ended up buying a ukulele even though I have never played a note on anything in my life. A couple of quick lessens from John and I’m up and running. I shall book myself as support act for next years tour!!!
After lunch we drive the short distance to Trautskirchen to meet up with Stefan Sell. Stefan is also a musician and he also wrote the feature on Martin in the Folker magazine. Stefan also hosts a radio programme on Radio Z in Nurnberg and tomorrow Martin and John will do an interview for the coming weeks programme.
After a nice afternoons rest we meet up with Stefan and his lovely wife Gelinde and we are invited to dinner at a local restaurant. After dinner Martin and John return to their hotel and I stayed at Stefan’s house. I spent a pleasant evening with Stefan and Gelinde discussing plans for next years tour and music in general and finally got to bed at 2am.
After a late breakfast Martin and John come over and play and record a session with Stefan, they ask me to join them on the ukulele but I decline as I don’t want to show anyone up.
After lunch we drive the short 30 minute drive to Fürth where The guys are playing the Kofferfabrik. If anyone can speak a little German you will know this is an old factory where they made suitcases. It’s a nice venue and the people are really friendly.
Martin and John are by now playing a routine 2 sets with a break and pretty much the same songs as previously listed. At the start of the second set Stefan joins the lads on stage for several songs. After the show we say goodbye to Stefan and Gelinde and head for our very nice and comfortable hotel.
After a lazy breakfast we set of on the relative short drive in the direction of Frankfurt. We stop off at my place for a spot of lunch and pick up my Daughter before heading off for the nights gig at the Wunderbar Café in Eppstein.
This is my local club as I visit here often. I have had some great musical evenings here and have got to know the owner Ralph very well. He works really hard and always has top bands and artists and I have yet to meet anyone who works as tirelessly as he does when it comes to promotion. I knew right from the start that this was going to be the best gig of the whole tour.
The Wunderbar was absolutely full with over 100 people inside. We had one old daintees fan who had travelled all the way from Austria and another 3 of Martins fans who had made the trip over from Ireland. Apart from my Daughter, my partner made the trip and several other friends as well as many of the regulars at the Wunderbar that I have got to know over the years. Our old friend from the music press in Frankfurt Detlef Kinsler is also on hand and he will be reviewing the show for the Frankfurt Journal.
Photographs by Detlef Kinsler
When Martin and John hit the stage the place was really buzzing and I could tell that they were feeding off of this and absolutely loving the moment and they give by far and away the best set of the whole tour. If only I could have booked a gig like this every night! In the break Martin comes over to where my Daughter Holly is selling CDs (keeping it in the family) to sign copies and it proves difficult to get him away to continue with the second set. We sold more CDs at this one gig than we did at all the other gigs put together.
It was really late when we finally got back to the hotel and we had to be up fairly sharpish the next morning as we have a relative long drive back up to Berlin.
Tour of Germany last day
After the long drive up to Berlin we just have enough time for an hours rest before heading off to the gig. The gig is at the Petrus Kirche, a lovely old church in the suburbs of Berlin.
Gem Andrews who Martin has recently worked with recording her latest album and who has recently relocated to Berlin is playing support. I got some shots of the church and of Gem before the battery on my camera gave out as I had forgot to charge it the night before so for the last gig sadly no photographs of the lads.
After Gem’s short 30 minute set Martin and John arrive on stage for the last time on this short tour that I booked. Have to admit to having a strange feeling about it all coming to an end. It is a lovely room at the church and the sound and atmosphere is really nice. Martin and John play a quieter and more subdued set than the previous evening but a set befitting the beautiful surroundings. There are about 50 or so people in the church, almost full as I guess about 60 would be the max.
Two really good friends of mine made the trip over from the UK to spend a weekend in Berlin and come along to the gig. After I go for a few beers with them, not getting back to the hotel until 3am and then missing my alarm call I finally get woken by Martin. The guys have already had breakfast so it’s a quick coffee and a roll for me before I have to get the lads off to the airport and then a lonely 5 hour drive back to Frankfurt alone.
All in all being and as I had never done anything like this before I guess I did an o.k. job. The booking has been the hardest thing I have ever tried in my life and I know if Martin is to return next year I need to do much better. What you would call a fast learning curve.
The two weeks has been a great experience and a lot of fun but man was I knackered when I finally got home!!!!!!