Old Smoke, Jazz Piano and Strong Coffee
Photo by Mel Bötcher
Rees, Sunday April 30th, 2023
Where did I leave you? I think on the train on from Bielefeld? I hope somebody turns you in at the lost and found. Friday night I played in Rees at Kätzchen – Cafe & Bar. The venue was gorgeous and full and the people were generous listeners. It was my first gig in Rees since the death of my friend Andrea Collins. It was very moving to have my great friend, John Andrea’s husband, and their daughter, Lizzy in attendance. I played songs spanning from 2007’s ‘The Future Tense’ right up to the forthcoming album, ‘The Patience of Trees’. Lizzy requested some older songs that I was glad my fingers knew how to play.
You can hear the entire concert on my Patreon page.
The next morning I played at a small French cafe in a small German town. I’ve played there many times over the years. The owner Sylvie greeting me by pulling at the grey in my beard and telling me I’d gotten old. Merci und Danke Sylvie, das weiss ich schön. I love daytime gigs, and it always feels like a bank heist for me to earn some daytime money. Afterwards I talked to with retired teacher who reads fairy tales to the elderly.
The stage in Rees and the world’s biggest tip bucket.
Full of coffee, french breads and cheeses, me and my old man beard, climbed into the back of Mel and Ulf’s car and together we drove to Bremen. The gig was hosted by Kulturlicht in a great artists cooperative space called ‘Zentrale’. This is my third time playing a Kulturlicht event. All of them have been different and all of them have been great. Thank you Sven and all the team. I learned that the 100 year old industrial building used to be tobacco processing plant. Now it houses a darkroom, several artists studios, a small bar and a performance space. It was really magical. An incredible jazz piano player Björn Jentsch played as the guests were arriving and later accompanied me on ‘ May 12th, 1916 – A Song for James Connolly’ and ‘It’s a Beautiful Life’. Björn is well known and beloved by locals for his silent movie accompaniments. He was truly phenomenal and it was an honour to have him join me.
I met a lot of wonderful people, I sang my heart out and slept soundly on an L shaped couch.
Tonight I play an 18th century church. Can I sing ‘Fuck it” in an old church? Let’s find out.
The Patience of Trees is out everywhere June 2nd and available to Pre-order now
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