I sit in the back lounge listening to Sky and the Family Stone’s There’s a Riot Goin’ On until I’m weary enough to insert myself into my perch. The long drive rocks us through deep sleeps and we hop off the bus refreshed in the light rain. It’s Sonntag, sleepy Sunday in Bavaria. I walk over a river and pass the Deutsches Museum but don’t feel the cultural pull. As I move into town I spot much lederhosen action, unsure if this is normal. There are old guys in the full Bavarian — leather shorts, long socks, hat with feather. The younger guys wear those lapel-less Beatle jackets with their hand-tooled leather plus-fours. Women too are kitted out in Heidi-type garb. It’s like a New Romantic convention. I meander down a typical wide pedestrianised thoroughfare, all shut chain stores and lonesome pigeons. Where once hooves clopped now skinny jeans and trainers tread. The weather is against me and I feel the dressing room’s comfortable appeal.
I find out the reason for the traditional apparel from Lizzy, the promoter. It’s Oktoberfest already. I understand. This is why I heard so much English being spoken on the streets. Andy reports of having lunch in a pub full of amateur drinkers one of whom slaps a waitress on her buttocks. Come to Munich and commit sexual assault. Fuck me…
I walk into the chilly evening after a less than usually fraught soundcheck. I take a wooded path that leads down to the River Isar. The palatial state parliament building towers over me like a frowning wedding cake. I pass more monumental government buildings and the Museum of Fumf Continents. I thought there were sieben. A creeping sadness crawls through me. I don’t like endings and I don’t want to consider the future. Who does? All this wandering is the perfect distraction. Home can be such a prison.
Locals are drifting out into the twilight for food and drinks. The roads are being repaired. The river slides through the city in search of a faraway sea. Tonight we drive to the channel to go under the water, back to that grubby island, where everyone is arguing and shouting and weeping. From a continent of adults to a the realm of spoilt children. Where nobody’s listening, just gawping at the gaudy parade.
8 Responses to “Munich”
Hi Justin. I’m pretty sure you won’t answer this but whatever. Nothing ventured etc. I’ve been a fan since forever. And I’m the editor of Pindrop Press, a poetry publisher ‘based between Glasgow and France’. Your lyrics are poetry, always have been – ever since I saw Del Amitri play The Barrowlands circa 1994, and again circa 1996, and then with your own solo stuff (circa the Dordogne where you played a gig a few years back. Not that enthuiastically as I recall).
I’ve just been listening to some of What Is Love, The Great War, Lower Reaches and This Is My Kingdom. And thinking, you know, this guy’s a brilliant poet and maybe I should just contact him just in case he wants to do anything as pretentious as publish some poems. And even if he doesn’t, well the stuff he talks about and the places he’s been, you know they sound a lot like my own stuff and places and where’s the harm in reaching out and trying to make a connection?
Yours not obsequiously,
On a break at present. Forgot to bring a book. This tour diary has filled the gap admirably.
‘A creeping sadness crawls through me. I don’t like endings and I don’t want to consider the future. Who does? All this wandering is the perfect distraction. Home can be such a prison’
Here here Justin the comedown will be difficult, those feelings are entirely normal. Hopefully it won’t be long as you’ll be out and about going off on adventures next year Down Under, something to look forward to.
Beautiful words of encouragement Yazmin 💕
Took the missus down to the Munich gig last night. Enjoyed the intimate venue, the odd gaffs, the odd improvised moments, the occasional slightly bewildered looks shot between band members.And of course the wonderful music. It’s clear through the tiredness that you and the band are all still true music craftsmen. You and I have crossed social paths through a mutual friend at few times over the decades and I didn’t think you looked very well last night. I wish you some peace, happiness and good health in your mews downtime. Oz and New Zealand in Autumn is probably just what you need.
Greetings from another bus, also making its way along the Autobahn up north. Albeit less comfortable I assume, being one of many crowded sardines but not in the ever so pleasant way of shuffling along a stage. The last two weeks have indeed been a perfect distraction. While I’m trying to shake off another (similar?) kind of sadness creeping in, maybe the somewhat solemn realization of the last 2 weeks’and 6 gigs‘ giddiness running its course, my phone shuffles in “It’s Feelings” and I take the hint. Time for sleep instead of teardrops.
Hey, you are not wrong. Gutted we couldn’t make the European gigs. Hoping for a rescheduled Dublin or at least a pre Christmas Glasgow. Le cúnamh Dé.
“Gawping at the gaudy parade”
Some other sucker’s parade I’m guessing…