We wake up in Kühlungsborn. Tillmann has an AirBnB in their house that they let us stay in. It’s super cute and has a loft bed. Tracy and I sleep cozy and don’t want to get up but I got a message saying “come over for breakfast.”^
Not only did the dude make us dinner at his restaurant last night but today he has made us breakfast in his kitchen. Across the street from their house is a cafe that they also own and run and I mistake his “come over” for the cafe and so we cross the street looking for him. His wife Pairat runs the cafe and I message him back and says “bring m wife with you.” So we all sit down in their kitchen and eat poached eggs, Thai rice with pineapple, rolls and cups of coffee and tea.
I don’t even know how long we ate breakfast for but I know that I didn’t want to leave. The incredible conversation we had and the learning about so much. They have the cafe across the street and this year it’s really picked up. But there’s no tangible reason as to why now. It has existed for almost a decade but now it’s busy. I don’t know why either. Tracy and Pairat go outside and pick some apples off the tree and as we sit and watch Tracy cut the apple with a knife I mention to Tillmann that I hate watching Tracy use a kitchen knife as I think she’s doing it wrong and it makes me nervous for fingers. And he says the most amazing thing to me - he tells me how he has spent a lot of time in Thailand with his wife and seeing how other folks do kitchen things, like cutting things with knives, and how they are positioned - on the floor or sitting low - it changes what is “the right way” to do it. Because you’re not standing up or have what we think of as a “traditional” cutting area. So what is “right” is not standard everywhere. I’m doing a shit job of explaining it but it was insightful.
Pairat gifts Tracy a scarf and some fabric and it’s so sweet. We have to get going now and just had an amazing stay in this little corner of the world.
Today we are driving to Walsrode and Bernd and the Church with the flying Angel. It’s about a 3.5 hour drive but today we will do it in 5.5 because of traffic thru Hamburg, construction, a couple of accidents as well as an off ramp that we can’t get to that Google apparently doesn’t know about.
It’s a lot of driving in stop and go and by the time we get to Walsrode we’re both feeling a little woozy. I feel slightly carsick with a little bit of dizziness and I don’t like it. We set up in the church and meet with Bernd and we have cups of tea and feel better.
Now I feel kind of oblivious about some things like - what denomination of church this is. I’m pretty sure it’s Christian based but beyond that - I have no idea. Seventh day, twelfth night, Adventist, latter day, monitors? No idea. And this is like my 4th or 5th time here so it’s way beyond when I can ask. I’m sure I was told once.
It is one of the few that still has the working angel for baptisms. It raises and lowers from the ceiling for the ceremony and that’s pretty cool.* (see pics from Sonja)
This is one of those shows where you’re sitting there hoping people show up. It’s a church in a little town. Are they really going to show up to hear us? Yes. Is the church full? No but I count 50 people that have come to hear us here and that is amazing.
We put on a good show. Some big songs, some quiet. We unplug and perform one song just in the room with no amplification and I felt like I was levitating. We finish up and get an encore and again during the encore I really felt like we were soaring with the angel above our head. Was magical.
At this point I should say that my buddy Boris is always giving me shit for not recording any of these shows. He says things like “they just get lost to the ether.” And he’s right but at the same time - we are in this moment. If I’m concerning myself with capturing the thing, I’m going to miss it. And being in the moment is what it is all about.
And there’s a lot that goes into touring and performing and if you add in setting up a camera to video the show to the list, something else is going to be lost or forgotten. I am not capable of performing AND being videographer.
Folks are super nice here. We sell some cds and sign them and there’s a couple of folks that saw Riddle & The Stars perform here 6 or 7 years ago. That’s amazing. And they share their pics and remembrances and how they saw me here last year…
We pack up the gear and drive the 100 meters to Bernd’s house and I’m remembering walking this street with members of Rivers of England after a very whiskey soaked night. Robin and I were both pissed off at all our band mates as we were the only sober ones and had to drive back to Bremen after the show.
I’m very happy to be sleeping here tonight.
Bernd has made us homemade pizza and he is graciously sharing some of his recent whiskey and favorites. Daisy Chapman is on the stereo and he talks about the whiskey and where it comes from and the subtle notes and how they are distilled and barrels and casks and we drink a whiskey/sherry combination that is two bottles, one is the sherry and the other is the whiskey that was stored in the sherry cask after the sherry was distilled out of it. And I don’t really drink whiskey or sherry for that matter but this is all amazing. The Nick Drake album “Pink Moon” has just finished playing and he puts on a Gary Moore solo album. I ask him “Did this come out in 1987?” He looks at the cd and confirms that date. We all have our skill sets. From here I tell him about recording techniques that make the sound of this record sound like 1987 as well as a short explanation of “gated reverb.”
Bernd is a fascinating dude. I tend to think of pastors as being kind of stuffy but Bernd breaks all those preconceptions. Just recently he was working at a Heavy Metal festival and he plays us some Arch Enemy “eagle flies alone.”** and tells us how he got into a discussion about a Rammstein song that is a nice song about religion but is theologically wrong.
It’s great when your preconceptions get smashed to bits in front of you.
Tracy and I are pretty much falling asleep in the chairs and I don’t even remember getting into bed.
Whiskey dreams of gated reverb.
^Tracy and I also have a discussion about which toothbrush belongs to who and I lose this non-argument and concede that I have been using what is technically the “wrong” toothbrush. Enough years between us, neither one of us is surprised or disgusted by this discovery.
*While waiting to start playing Tracy and I discuss, for possibly too long, the engineering behind an angel’s ability to fly and how they don’t have dorsal feathers or anything acting as a rudder so it seems unlikely that they would be able to fly with any sort of agility like a bird. And having wings AND arms is also quite a different biology. Like I said, we analyzed it for far too long.
**Look it up on YouTube. Some things will be expected and other things will not.