My first show was on Friday night at a restaurant/bar called Maximilian. I played on one end of a large patio area, and since the weather was perfect everyone was sitting outside. I played two forty-minute sets with about a 50/50 mix of covers and originals. Overall people seemed to be enjoying it, but a few people at the table closest to me were really into it. After I finished they bought CDs, we hung out for about an hour, and they’re going to host a house concert later in the tour. While we were chatting they told me “In northern Germany, we usually do not show enjoyment with dancing. We may seem to look stern, but we are dancing in our minds.”
Saturday was my first night playing with JeConte and the Mali All-Stars. (The previous night we were scheduled for separate venues). I have to say I’ve really enjoyed hanging out with them, listening to their music, and they even let me come up on stage and jam with them during their set. (Videos to come later). Through their songs they seek to speak peace into the current turmoil in Mali (read more here). They have a new album available on itunes which you should really check out.
We played at a venue called “Big Buttinsky”. When we arrived we had a hard time finding the venue because it was right inside a movie theater, located directly across from the ticket booth. It isn’t owned by or affiliated with the cinema, it’s just a really cool venue that happens to be in a movie theater. For that and many other reasons, I found this venue to be fascinating. They treated us extremely well, even giving us a place to stay for the night. But the thing I was curious about from the first time I perused the list of venues was “Why are they called ‘Big Buttinsky?'” I had a chance to ask Carson, one of the owners, and he told me that 6 years ago when they started the venue and were trying to think of a name which would give them the number one spot on any Google search in any language. Somehow they came across the word “buttinsky” which means “A person who habitually butts in; an intruder or meddler.” So after trying different words and combinations of words on Google searches, they found that “Big Buttinsky” did the trick.
Sunday we headed for the Netherlands and played at a Venue called De Nul. Very cool venue and staff who are establishing a place for independent musicians to play. They gave us all t-shirts before we left. I would love to play there again. After we left De Nul we went a few blocks away to another ‘optional gig’ at a place called Lambooijhuis, where we had dinner, played for about an hour, and called it a night.
Now we’re back in Bremen and have a show in town tonight. One thing I’ve wanted to accomplish during this tour is to really develop my original songs for live performance and I think that is definitely starting to happen. I’ll post some video soon, stay tuned.