Kategorie ‘David Young’s Blog: Rosbif with Kraut. Tour 2010.‘

11.02.10 Dresden

Donnerstag, den 11. Februar 2010

Got here somehow through the great snowstorm. For this last show of the tour we combined the contents of our two buses into one, all riding together after sending the other bus home, packed in like tired but happy sardines.

This is our second show in Dresden on this tour. The first was sold out and this one put on, as they say, by popular demand. This second show is also sold out even though our labelmates Rammstein are also playing tonight in Dresden.

Anyway, I hurt my leg by falling on the ice in Offenbach, and have spent the last part of the trip in a daze of painkillers, so I’m going to stop writing now and get ready to take myself home to see a doctor. It’s been a pleasure, on the whole, writing this little diary, and if you’ve enjoyed any of it, I’ll be a happy man.

Til`next time, DY

09.02.10 Wien

Dienstag, den 9. Februar 2010

At last we are back in Austria, Felix. A few days have passed since the last entry in this diary so I recapitulate briefly: Hamburg; we played in the vast and airy (and cold) Alstersporthalle. We enjoyed it and so did the punters. If you don’t know what ‘punters’ means, I’ll give you a clue: people who pay for tickets. Onwards we drove, to Bremen, where we were housed in The Park Hotel, a hostelry with a very strong sense of its own importance, enough of it in fact, that it might irritate sensitive people like me. Show in Bremen, v. good, and a party after, to entertain the family and friends of the band’s most famous personality. Then the big one, the Arena in Berlin, Element of Crime hometown, starting point, place of business, home and school for all, except me, a Londoner. OK, Sven comes from Bremen and he went to school there, but the rest is true, with a few exceptions and conditionals and economies with the truth. Got it? Obviously truth and literature don’t sit easily together. We were all astonished by the number of people who showed up, slipping and sliding over the Treptow ice to hear EoC play ‘the soundtrack of our lives’ as someone put it. A great moment for all, and Thank You. On a monday I found myself in a hotel near the Ostbahnhof, the others having gone off to their families. What I needed was an SD card (don’t ask what it is) so I set off to get one. I was suddenly out, out of the tour and lost in the bitterly cold streets of Friedrichshain, surrounded by identical appartment buildings dating fronm the socialist paradise. Only ice visible and the slow drip of the fall of communism. And then, suddenly, a huge pink blob in front of me. The Alexa. Shoppers paradise. The shoddy triumph of capitalism standing mighty in its unbelievable ugliness, with its streams of warmed air and millions of halogen lamps and a kind of stage where Westlife were sitting, signing autographs, along with a thousand identical shops. Like the socialist paradise but with more electricity. I rushed back to the hotel, in fear and panic but with an SD card, and jumped onto the next bus to Vienna. The bus happened to contain the EoC crew, kind enough to give me a lift. What gentlemen they are, the Sine Qua Non of the whole enterprise, offering me Brandy after my scary shopping trip, and making me feel very much at home and happy. Unfortunately we have only three days more of their company. Tomorrow: The Käsekrainer.

05.02.10 Hamburg

Freitag, den 5. Februar 2010

No blogging yesterday because my brain had turned to cheese. No partying, I swear, just wear and tear on the synapses. I remember we were somewhere with bulky dark red brick buildings and a connection to the British royal family. Hannover I think it was called.

The stage was narrow and reached up to the open sky where I could see Sirius and Ernst the Hunter looking down curiously at us as we carried our guitars onto the boards of fame. It all went well for about three seconds after the count-off. I started to feel uneasy; something was hiding in the dark. Suddenly an enraged B Flat chord struck me between the shoulder blades. I staggered forwards only to receive a sharp blow from a bar of 6/8. What was happening here?

The music, usually so friendly and loving, was turning on us, its friends and employers. I have to get out of here, I thought, before I am put to death by an insane cadenza or a blazing fortissimo. Springen! Jetzt musst du Springen! I tried to leap free but I was fixed to the floor by Da Capo. Suddenly the ropes leading to the sky tightened and I was being stretched, stretched and twisted, first right, then left.

I called to Ivan. Help me! but he was motionless behind his console, maybe dead already.

Then Joshua stuck his trumpet in my ear and started to blow down my cranial Jericho. Enough! I give up! I’ll tell you everything! Anything you want to know! Sales figures? Of course! Pol Ydor, near Kabul, Pol Ydor! Pol Ydor, Kabul…

Dave ! Dave! Wake up! (Ralph the road manager) You’re on in five minutes, have some coffee…

03.02.10 Bochum

Mittwoch, den 3. Februar 2010

For some days now we ride in darkness. We drive during the day from one venue to the next, but there is never daylight, never darkness, only a low grey cloud eating up all visibility that comes near us, and replacing it with snow, snow, snow.

Some people think that this winter shows that global warming is a lie, that a new ice age is coming. To others, the extreme weather proves that warming is here, and dangerous. I think the terms of the argument are too narrow, and that whether we are brought down by heat or cold it will be the semi darkness that does the final doomy deed.

We left Bielefeld behind us. Many brave British soldiers died of boredom there, protecting us from the Red Menace, leaving the world Free for Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld to do their thing. Nice work guys.

We tried to check into our hotel in Bochum, The Renaissance, although it seemed more like the Two Seasons to me. Who are you? Your rooms aren’t ready, you can’t leave your luggage here, and so on. Usually I’m on the room list as a Mr Joung, sometimes more exotically as Mr Yang (once Yang San) but in the Renaissance I was listed as Mr Ten Long Dong. I found that charming, if a little mysterious, and if anyone sends something backstage to be signed after the show tonight, you can be sure that Mr Long Dong will make a signatory appearance.

02.02.10 Bielefeld

Dienstag, den 2. Februar 2010

I’m under pressure here. People are asking for my blog. Three times today someone or ather has asked me why it doesn’t appear every day, or why it hasn’t appeared yet today. My answer is that if I can’t think of anything to write I don’t expect people to read my thoughtless thoughts. There’s enough crap like that on the internet already.

So that’s it for today except for this: Sven and Jakob use a total of five guitars during the show. Each guitar has six strings giving a total of thirty strings, and ech string is tuned three or four time during the show, giving a total of between ninety and one hundred and twenty tuning operations (TUNOPS) every evening, and that’s not counting all the TUNOPS during the afternoon and the soundcheck. ( I made up the word TUNOPS, it doesn’t really exist). All this tuning and other guitar care is done by a young well dressed man called Uli Rummel. Uli is great, and you can see him on stage every night taking care of business. Now I’m in trouble because I can’t mention Uli and not mention the other twenty three people involved in the show. Between now and the end of the tour I’ll try to namecheck everyone involved.

I have been told by a well informed person that I am involved in a blogging war with a Mr S.R. who is blogging everyday on the TAZ website. Apparently he is winning the blogwar, or so he (sorry, I mean the well informed person) tells me. I will try to find out what a blogwar is. Is it something to do with Facebook?

I will ask the webmaster to switch on Comments.

01.02.10 Köln

Montag, den 1. Februar 2010

I think I might have found an important truth about success in football. If any Chinese gambling consortia are interested they can call me directly, while the rest of you will find it here:

Fron time to time on our travels we find ourselves in the same hotel as a football team. In the Interconti in Stuttgart I saw Jürgen Klinsmann. He isn’t really a team but he is medium sized and shiny… Sorry, I lost the point of my story for a moment. To continue, a few years ago, at the Park Hotel in Bremen, we found the players of Werder Bremen, relaxing before or after their game. To my surprise they were both young and small (not to be confused with the EOC song of the same name). They had a tiny 14 year old goalkeeper, two or three brazilian boys from the barrio, and some other child workers in both attacking and defensive positions. Very interesting, I’m sure.

Yesterday we had a day off in Leverkusen. We stayed at a hotel inside The BayArena, where Bayer Leverkusen were in the process of beating Freiburg 3-1 in order to take back their place at the top of the table from Bayern München. Very interesting, I’m sure.

This morning at breakfast in this BayArena hotel we saw the players from the defeated Freiburg team. Having based my idea about footballers on the tiny fellows from Bremen, I was surprised to see that these guys were not only much older, but also much bigger. And much lower in the table than Werder. So my theory is this: the higher in the table the team is, the smaller the team members are. I know this is true because the players of Beyer 04, table leaders, were not to be seen at all. Being table leaders they are too small to be seen with the naked eye, and take up very little space in the breakfast room.

My conclusions are in accordance with Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity, as outlined in my posting from Bern 21.01.10.

And now it’s time for a soundcheck.

30.01.10 Offenbach

Samstag, den 30. Januar 2010

Yesterday’s blog from Dresden was realy good, or so I thought, until I noticed it was empty, and that I had in fact forgotten to write it. Well, tough luck, you can’t have everything, always.

My life as a bass player has been interesting these days. We are now playing in some big rooms. Generating low frquency audio signals with some Kilowatts of power in such a room is like farming dinosaurs: they just will not do what you want them to do, and anyway, first you have to train the sheepdog, which is about the size of two sperm whales. Of all these boomy creatures I am probably the least intelligent, and not ‘adapted’, as Darwin would put it, for works on this scale.

The goal of the bassist, as he or she is called, is to somehow organise these great mountains of air into a form where they can be understood as ‘music’, whatever that means. Traditionally the bass player got the job not because of any musical ability, but because he (as it was back then, until Suzi Quattro and Carol Kaye) happened to own a Ford Transit van, by far the most important bit of equipment for a young band. No Transit, no gig.

The biggest part of the bassists job is to not make any mistakes, because mistakes on this scale are BIG, and tend to upset other members of the band. Let me put it another way: the aim of the job is to not upset  your colleagues. Is that it? Is that all? Better not to have bass at all I sometimes think. But there IS a positive side to the thing, which is that the bass is there to hide the mistakes that the other members of the band make. You can shovel a ton of mistakes into any simple bass figure. In fact, the simpler the figure, the more mistakes it will hold. This has to be balanced by a need not to simplify so much that the audience goes to sleep: they like a bit of Dinosaur action, and can sleep later.

Next week: the role of the Fender Bass in the cave rituals at Lascaux.

28.01.10 Leipzig

Donnerstag, den 28. Januar 2010

Recently I have been given several suggestions for blogging topics. Write about the hotel, no not the hotel. More on depression, that depression stuff was a mistake,  I lked the thing about Ricci’s flightcase, man was that Ricci bit stupid, and so on.

In Leipzig, the first thing that comes to my mind is The Devil, Satan, Old Nick, The Horned One. Him, and his rep Mephistopheles doing a deal with the greedy and ambitious Faustus in the Auerbach Keller.

A few years ago I joined the Dark Forces here, in the form of the Leipzig Wave and Goth Treff. I was playing in the Veljanov band, and we appeared at this festival of the Gruft along with about 100 other bands. We arrived the evening before the show and checked into the festival hotel, The Sheraton I think it was. The next morning I came down for breakfast, too late to go into the normal restaurant, and was directed into the Festival Breakfast Room. What a sight! A room about the size of two football fields, entirely filled with Goths, punks, dwarves, trolls and dragons. I was dressed as I usually am, like someone who works in a second-hand bookshop. I don’t have a gothic bone in my body and have never worn black. When I entered the room a heavy silence fell as all these freaks turned to study me, trying to identify which circle of hell I might belong to. Most of them got it right immediately: here is someone who works in a second-hand bookshop, and they did their best to make me feel at home. Grufts are always friendly.

Another time In Leipzig I came across the Auerbachkeller and had a meal there so I could tell my grandchildren I had been there, deal with Devil etc. Unfortunately I forgot that I was there so all that money and time spent on my grandchildren was wasted. I did, however, manage to make a recording of the restless spirits trapped forever in the keller. Listen here:

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27.01.10 Erlangen

Mittwoch, den 27. Januar 2010

I have been told that the first railway in Germany ran between Nürnburg and Fürth, giving Erlangen no claim to fame in the history of German rail. However, having been here before, I have seen with my own eyes a great transport spectacle. In the railway station of Erlangen I saw, one tuesday morning about six years ago, more bicycles parked than I have ever seen before, or since. Also, Kevin Coyne used to live here, and Adidas and Puma started here, back in the upper paleolithic.

At night we live in hotels, some better than others. I have a system for finding out how good the hotel is. Unlike the setup in your own home, hotel designers like the guests to be able to control all the lights in the room from any location in the room. In the Hilton in München, for example, you can switch on the light in the bathroom whilst lying on the bed, and the bedside reading light can be operated from the shower. Sometimes the wiring system becomes so complicated that it goes rogue, like Sarah Palin, and can’t be operated at all, switching on the TV when turning off the bedside light, or suddenly turning off all the lights as you walk from the bathroom to the bed in the middle of the night. My hotel quality check system part one is: can the light switching arrangement be learned before checking out the next day? If not, the hotel is unsatisfactory.

There is also the matter of the little dish that holds, or fails to hold, the fragment of soap that the hotel issues to guests who want to wash themselves while bathing or showering. I will go into this in more detail some other time.

If you happened to be standing beside the Autobahn this morning you probably heard us go by. We sounded like this:

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26.01.10 Stuttgart

Dienstag, den 26. Januar 2010

In another part of my life I was a book reviewer. I reviewed books about birds for a magazine called Bird Collector. I know nothing about birds.

One of the books was a memoir by a pigeon handler who travelled around North Africa behind General Montgomery’s army. This has been a land for warfare since at least the time of the ancient Egyptians, so this fellow was doing what had been done by military animal handlers for millenia before him. The reason they were there this time was that they were looking a missing person called Irwin who happened to be the father of the by-now ex-mayor of Stuttgart. Which brings us to…Stuttgart!!!

I like the place. I especially like the Stuttguardians with their drill-like feet and their little helicopter hats, so they can drill down or rise into the air as the geography demands. In their pockets they have mouths and in their mouths they have pockets and both pockets and mouths taste good because these people know how to live. And live well! Hurrah for Stuttgart!!! Franklin, our busdriver, tells me that they don’t look after the roads properly. But why should they when they have such wonderful tunnels? And mouthpockets? And helihats?

Also there is the world’s largest Underground Station. Or was it a station underground? So much mystery about the place, so much to learn, and so little time.