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  • Writer's pictureJH

Day 26: The Band Strips Down and the Drummer Takes a Solo Turn in Lippstadt, Germany

AVT: 2.5h (Tot. 72.5h)

ADT: 166 km (Tot. 5,433 km)


"I blew through your Tums like a bag of Cheetos, bro."

- Deni


Truth be told, it’s the strange shows that you remember in the end.

Yeah, you play club after club after club and they’re great. You plug in, you play hard, you bounce around. Maybe you rotate a few songs in and out of the setlist, but on a tour like this those nights blur together. It takes something unusual to stamp a show on your memory.

Playing in a castle.

A stuffed hare pointing a rifle in protection of a patriotic and topless American mannequin.

That sort of thing.

Last night we played a show in Lippstadt, Germany – God’s country – that was very strange indeed by our standards. It was in a great little restaurant called Apotheke (I gather the building used to be a pharmacy). My thanks to Ralf and the staff for taking such good care of us!

It was a rare Sunday afternoon show, so scheduled because the neighbours didn’t want a bunch of noise disrupting their day. With that in mind, we turned it almost into a record store gig. We sat down in a semi-circle, turned it down low, and did things acoustic-style.

I think it was a nice change of pace, especially for the fans who have been to so many shows this time around. There’s a different vibe on a show like that. It’s more intimate. More personal. More relaxed. I played brushes on my kick/snare set-up and the whole thing was really fun. The audience, including many of our German and Dutch friends, was treated to what’s been described as a treat: Sarah and I singing a duet called Good Heart that is on her 11 CD.

Now, we haven’t played that song in two years. Nor have we discussed playing that song in two years. It was a request from our friend Anke, who mentioned it to me a few days ago. I’ve written about this song before, but if you’re new to all of this, the male vocal was recorded by a fabulous singer named Daniel Hallgrimson. I’ve said before and will say again that I’m no Daniel Hallgrimson, but when we first started working this song up to play live I offered to try to sing his parts.

Fast forward two years and we decided to give it a shot for Anke. I do a lot of singing in terms of harmonies and back-ups, but I still find it somewhat disorienting to sing leads. I think we more or less pulled off an acoustic version of the song, though, and the travelling fans were treated to something that was novel if nothing else. Sometimes that’s the best thing you can do for them.

The show was over by about 7:30, which was also disorienting. Normally we’re not even going on yet at that time, but suddenly we found ourselves with the work day done (feierabend) and a whole evening ahead of us. Not only that, we knew that we would be back in the same venue in the same style today, so there was no packing up or loading out.

What to do?

The werewolves had the pleasure of a wonderful little late dinner party with our friends Tanja and Heike, the queens of Lippstadt. We met them for the first time two years ago and they have both become such a big part of our story. Yesterday was beautiful here and the evening was warm for October. We decided to sit outside on the patio at the restaurant beneath our hotel, enjoy good food and even better conversation. The lady running the restaurant gave us soft grey blankets. Deni put his around his shoulders and looked like a Confederate veteran of the American Civil War.

It was over dinner that we began discussions of what we would do not just with today, but with the day off that comes tomorrow. We’re in Lippstadt for three whole days. When you settle in one spot for a little while you realize how much time you spend driving. When there’s no drive, there’s suddenly a lot of extra time to work with (a few hours feels like a lot of extra time on tour). I don’t know if it was the romance of Lippstadt or the post-show high or the company or what, but we started talking about a pretty exotic tour diversion for our day off.

We’ll see it if actually happens.

After the party, Deni and I had another party of our own. We’ve taken to watching stand-up specials on Netflix at night. Last night it was Norm MacDonald and Tom Segura. We love this stuff. Both of us have fantasized at times about doing stand-up comedy. There’s an old bit of wisdom that says all rock stars want to be comics and all comics want to be rock stars. I’m neither, but I do love comedy. I expect Deni actually will try it at some point. Maybe me too.

Who knows?

For now, we’re enjoying a free afternoon before we play a private party tonight. I don’t really know what that show will entail. What I do know is that they treat us like gold at Apotheke. The dinner they made for us last night was a highlight of the tour and I’m certainly looking forward to eating there again. At this moment I’m typing away in another classy room in another nice hotel and I can hear pigeons outside my window.

Man, a decent sleep and a hot shower can change everything.

I’m going to cut this one a bit short today, gentle reader. I could wax poetic about pigeons until the Kühe come home, but there’s a day to enjoy and sunshine to soak in.

Until tomorrow … and Happy Thanksgiving, Canada!

*Live photo by Dani Smile. Poster photo by Tjitske Uitterdijk

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