We all sleep fractiously after a late leave and a lot of stopping. I slouch off the mothership into a concrete compound containing some rubbish hoppers and a crowd of old cars waiting to be souped up or scrapped. A man is waiting to have a pile of things signed and I realise the need to perform my ablutions is too urgent to spend the first five minutes of my day scrawling my name over images of my own face. I get back to him later without remorse for my rudeness. How would you feel if there was a guy standing outside your bathroom in the morning with a pen and a copy of one of your old school photographs?
I meet a friend around two and we have a coffee before getting the U train to the Memorial For The Murdered Jews of Europe at the Brandenburg Gate. I missed this last time I was here. A field of grey concrete oblong monoliths, all of different dimensions. are laid out on a grid affording tight passage between them. The central paths take you down into the earth so the slabs begin to loom over you like a brutalist forest. I’d feel no compunction criticising such a monument in spite of its subject but it’s entirely successful as a concept. It has profound seriousness and spectacle. It’s not subtle and neither it should be. And it’s both ugly and aesthetically pleasurable in the right way. I’d like to spend more time there. When in its depths it frames the sky, making it seem itself a perpetrator.
Our stage tonight features two iron pillars making getting about a bit of an obstacle course. I find myself casually leaning on one as if waiting for a bus. The club has a tiled floor and looks like a drained swimming pool. The toilets are painted black and a pale sickly green and have pink strip lighting. It’s all a bit Nicolas Winding Refn. One senses imminent slaughter.
After the show I sign a few setlists, CD sleeves and tickets on my way out for food. I pass Mustafa’s kebab van where Andy queued for an hour and a half earlier, only just having time to scoff his food before going onstage. The line at eleven thirty looks about ten minutes long. Unless they’re yet to catch the sheep. I go next door for a Currywurst mit pommes frites, most of which I shovel down on the way back to the bus. The night has the bite of autumn now. Goodbye, Berlin.
4 Responses to “Berlin”
I enjoyed the gig in Berlin a lot, one of the best that I’ve attended and many thanks to you and to Iain, Andy, Kris and Jim for the music and banter. I was one of the people that you met after the gig. It’s been a pleasure to meet you. You’ve been an utter gentleman and I thank you very much for spending a couple of minutes chatting to me but I did not get a chance to thank you. Del Amitri’s music and your solo music have helped me through tough times in my life and for that I thank you and the band very much. The music gives me a reason to get out of bed every morning and something to look forward to at the end of the day. Now that the European tour is over it is time for rest and recuperation. Look after yourself and be kind to yourself most of all.
Since the superficial communication of Twitter & Co. is often accompanied by ambiguous energies of sarcasm, I wanted to express at least a few deeper feelings here: I am very impressed and touched by your visit to the memorial. When I pass by there, I always have many films and feelings in my head that give me goosebumps all over. What a terrible past of my country that I could never really understand. After the last 2 years, I can. And I understand – I think – lots of what is happening now and happened around the world. Maybe one day in this life I’ll understand more about this whole “Dangerous Liaisons-style” Twitter affair when I am able to put more big pieces of the puzzle together. Personally complete clarity is what I wish to have before I leave this world. As I’ve already written, many thanks for the 3 wonderful concerts in Oslo, Hamburg and Berlin. I would have loved to be in Munich too and to have a short clarifying talk, but it was not to be. All my companions (friends, aunt and daughter – old and young) at these concerts were very impressed by your live performance and your music. So I hope you regain plenty of energy through lots of rest, enough sleep, good food, positive energy from people and nature around you for your further plans and wishes. And please stay alive happy and active as long as possible. Besides I am not a chess player rather a fighter for justice! Whatever had to happen, I’ll continue to work on vibrating positively. Anything else would be a waste.
My daughter and I travelled from Edinburgh for the gig. The pillars were indeed strange for a stage. But the show was fantastic. I managed to get one of the set lists too. Many thanks Justin and the rest of the band for a great night.
Enjoy reading theses Justin
Thank you for taking the time out 👍🏼