By The Talks, Jun 3 2015 08:28PM
The Talks May Germany Tour - Blog 2 (04/05 - 06/05)
By Iain Allen
Regensburg. We're quite surprised to find rather a large number of unsavoury looking guys kicking around when we emerge at the venue from the traditional, winding, Bavarian streets. Hence, during load in Titch is in the back of the van dragging stuff forward and out of nowhere a red faced, clearly 'all day on the booze' kind of chap in a padded rain coat and stained trackies is singing to himself whilst moving our gear. Pete, expecting the worst, narrowly avoids giving him slap and sends him on his way. So we're at the venue - Tiki Beat; a cool, bright, artistic place with two huge tribal carvings made from tree trunks behind the bar, a grand mask sculpture at the back of the stage and paintings, decorative art and interior design of the same style throughout. The place just propels colour and vibrancy. We got to the venue early so plenty of time for sound check and a little run through of some new tracks that we're thinking of trying out tonight. It's Monday so it's a bit of a guessing game what tonight's turn might be, but spirits are high, and after all, for us this gig is a bonus of filling in the gaps, the bookers nightmare, awkward as hell Mondays. Myself and Joe Holt had just about fully recovered from Marburg's Saturday night experience now and this is greatly prevalent in Joe as by 6pm he's sinking beers like the national supply is about to run out.
Sound checks and stage sorted for the show we were taken for dinner. Brauerei Kneitinger, two doors down from the venue. A kind of bar, come restaurant, come brewery, but none the less successful at all three. The beer, Kneitinger, was incredible, probably the best lager/pilsner/helles we've ever tasted, they had just two in-house ones on, a light one and a dark one and they were both absolutely belting. And then the food.. oh the food. Some of us had leg of roast pork with dumplings and sauerkraut and it was truly delicious. The meat was as tender as it gets and I've never liked sauerkraut in the past, pickled stringy cabbage has never been top of my culinary agenda, but this was a game changer, I'll say it was the best meal we've had as a band (sorry, probably the most pretentious sentences I've ever written but really wanted you to know - smiley face). Although not as full band unfortunately, Titch stayed back at the venue as he'd come over feeling a little peaky during sound check, the colour had rushed from him and he said he felt as light as a feather so went for a lay down in the van. Back at the venue, in the kitchen green room with literally crates upon crates of beer and Joe Holt exercising his basic motor skills. Pat went to check on Titch in the van and it was at about this time that Titch got up, left the van and projectile vomited across the alleyway where the van was parked. Whilst Pat was gipping at the sight of this at the other side of the passage, borking to the nines, it was Pete who came, armed with a few bottles of sparkling water, to console Titch and wash the sick away. The gig was good, a vibrant atmosphere for a Monday night, all feeling for poor Titch even whiter than usual.
Later we decided to go explore Regensburg with a few folk from the venue. Another lively cellar bar; some of us outside smoking, the rest inside doing the rounds. Joe Holt found a group he'd spoken to earlier in the night, amongst which was a girl that had a striking resemblance to Ronnie Corbett, who, well oiled on the pilsners by now, was asleep, faced down on a table, occasionally swaying from side to side. Joe, kind soul that he is, went to see if all was ok, at which point she woke up, out of nowhere proclaimed "I'm sorry, I can't have sex with you, I am too drunk", rapidly clattered her way through the bar, taking tables and glasses with her, flung out of the exit, fell up the stairs and literally took flight across the road and head first into the opposing curb, managing to kind of aquaplane the top of it and somehow surface. Joe later said "I can honestly say that I've never been turned down before by someone that I'd not cracked on to whatsoever". Eventually finding our way back to the hostel, with dead phones and ancient alleyway after ancient alleyway, we dismounted into the 12 birth room. Jody and Pat were in the corridor when a timid, frightened looking young couple from the neighbouring room asked them if they could sleep in ours due to some dodgy, angry guy who was endlessly walking around theirs, banging on walls, in the dark, telling people he was going to fuck them up. The lads obviously obliged. A few minutes later I went to loo and was joined by him at the urinal. He was middle aged, overweight, had long dark hair, a wiry beard, scruffy, stained clothes and a pungent aroma about him. He muttered something to me a few times so I told him that they were "my sentiments exactly mate" and went to bed. The room in full snoring orchestration by now, like a dawn chorus of truck drivers and tramps, I considered my options. So i went downstairs and found a kitchen with a sofa in it. I laid there for a few minutes and remembered the nutter from upstairs, thought better of it, got the van keys and trekked across town again.
I woke in the morning as dry as a bone. There was a Netto at the bottom of the alleyway, so I went to buy water. Got back to the van, opened it and it was sparkling, surprisingly, and it fizzed up out of the lid and drenched me. I then found myself in dire need of a gypsy's*, so set off to find somewhere. The venue hadn't yet opened and public toilets aren't on the agenda in Bavaria, so i walked and walked and finally, really bursting at this point, settled on a wall along the banks of the Danube. Mid way through I glanced to my right, around a slight ridge in the wall and realised I was about 3 meters away from a young couple having a picnic. I avoided eye contact, finished up, zipped up and briskly walked away.
We set off for Munich. Heading further south the landscape really starts to open up here, the hilly views from the autobahn laden with vineyards. Tonight's gig is the Backstage venue. An vast, unique complex with 4 venues of varying size, set within tiered beer gardens and hidden bars surrounded by wild plant life. A lot of waiting around here as we'd arrived quite early, so we were trying to avoid lathery. We were supporting California's 'The Interrupters' who had the right idea and turned up much later than us. We played a cracking show, one of the best on the tour so far and the atmosphere was pumping in the cool, neon, 80's reminiscent Backstage venue 3. The Interrupters followed with a full throttle attack of 2-Tone and Californian street punk that smacked a couple of your teeth out and sent you ricochetting around the room from the off. High energy stuff, a well drilled show. This shows rider contained a lot of Whiskey, so after the show we went up to a roof garden a couple stories above where we were staying (accommodation at the venue - always a means for a raucous one) with Aimee, Kevin, Jesse, Justin and Alen and drank the lot. A great set of guys. Pat nearly fell off the roofs edge and Joe Holt fell asleep at the table. The next morning, we avoided the shower because strange white gloop seemed to be coming up from the plug hole, Titch got shouted at by one of the managers, we loaded the van in the rain and left for Jena.
* gypsy's kiss - piss