Sunday, 30 March 2008

Willkommen in meinem Leben


Did I say yesterday that we'd be up fresh and early for an appointment with an estate agent today?

Ah, that was before we poisoned ourselves with too much of the madness juice that is Caipirinha.

No way could we make it to an appointment at 10am. No way could we make it outside into Alexanderplatz. Even to the bathroom was a hazardous journey, but was somewhere we had to visit quite often. Never again! never again!

I couldn't even get my head together enough to talk to the estate agent (in German). So I chickened out and texted his mobile to cancel instead.

Not a lot else happened for most of today. It's a good job the room is so nice.

But in the evening, now recovered, we went to an Unheilig gig at Columbia Halle near the Luftbrücke monument next to Tempelhof airport (in remembrance of the Berlin Airlift in 1948).

The venue was about the size of Rock City in Nottingham (if that means anything to you) and had a similar atmosphere (and similar dress-sense - black it seems is compulsory). Our friend from South Africa and boyfriend had backstage passes and were in the guest enclosure near the front (jammy so 'n' so!), so we didn't actually meet up with her.

The event was being filmed for a DVD and as a consequence I imagine Der Graf put on an especially good performance for the cameras. He's always good for a show anyway, looking like Nosferatu's handsome younger brother in a natty black suit and staging his set with an arch of large church candles.

The playlist was mainly from his latest album Puppenspiel (puppet show), which was fine because it is a very good album. But he also did his earlier stuff, engaging lots of audience participation with for example 'Freiheit'. His international success 'Sage Ja' was saved for the final encore, natürlich. The audience was handed out glowing red light sticks to wave for the slower numbers, though a few die-hards still waved lit cigarette lighters in contravention of Health & safety regulations.

Der Graf threw his all into the performance and always politely acknowledged the applause with many vielen Danks after each song. 'Berlin ist der total Hammer' he shouted, and the audience agreed.

Unfortunately, we learned afterwards, Der Graf totally exhausted himself at the concert and has been instructed to rest his vocal chords until 6th May, canceling the rest of his German/Austrian/Switzerland gigs and the whole of his Russian tour. We have tickets to see him again at Sheffield Corporation on the 16th (with many thanks to our South African friend who gave them to us for free); I hope he is well enough by then, but won't be too disappointed as we have our Berlin memories of an excellent concert and we wish him to make a full recovery.[Edit: sadly Der Graf wasn't sufficiently recovered to do the Sheffield gig, which was unfortunate because I was looking forward to seeing how well the Steelers coped with Unheilg's (German language) audience participation. Not that I wish to disparage Sheffielders linguistic skills, but I have trouble understanding them when they speak English!]

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