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Blogs, News & Tour Stories

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

By The Talks, May 25 2015 03:16PM

Blog written by Iain Allen.

The Talks May Germany tour Part 1

So we disembarked. Onset for Mainz for pre May Day celebrations. Van packed, crew packed, brains assembled, or thereabouts - due to the 3am start appearances were a little disheveled, fully equipped with sleep lines on faces. 3 o'clock, A63 bound, getting up to speed. And getting up to speed. Trying to get up to speed. Oh, no speed. 50 miles an hour, and labouring. Opinion poll - "it's gonna be pretty hard to get Germany like this". So back to Hull. The van had undergone ongoing repair work for the past month - apparently that's how long it takes - but we were assured that everything was now hunky dory. Not the case. So 4am, back in Hull. Luckily Mercedes are 24 hours in Hull, and we dragged the limper over. The turbo was jiggered, hence the lack of thwack on acceleration. So 3 hours sat drinking coffee in the Merc showroom in a haze of backward lethargy, and the stead was still no better. Apparently the parts that they had supplied (the engine) no more than a week ago, wasn't right and the turbo was a dud. Nothing could be done till dinner time so it was home again until further notice. Dinner time came and went and it became apparent that we weren't going to make Reduit in Mainz for the first gig. Mainz was the first show we ever played in Germany and one of our favourite parts of the country. Saddened by this we waited for news. Midnight came and back to Hull Merc, with fingers crossed; exhaustion starting to rear it's head now. The Van was fixed - all singing, all dancing, all guns blazing. One of the most joyful moments in Talks camp for a while.

So we finally disembarked. With the van purring away we journeyed on the standard route toward the Eurotunnel, no hick ups, just the natural trying to get some shut eye where possible. On the continent and the 7 hour jaunt to Hannover for the Mai day faust, an outdoor city festival in an urban, bohemian part of Hannover - bicycle sales being a profitable industry here. There's always a really positive atmosphere about these kind of German festivals, it's like the whole city gets behind it without judgement or prejudice, and really praises the event for the good that it does for a community. So a few Gilde Ratskellers in the catering areas to dust off the cobwebs then on stage. This was a good opening show for the tour. The crowd digging straight in from the word go. A few more beers later and it was to the hotel for some exceedingly overdue kip. I think I got a solid 9 uninterrupted hours in, which is almost unheard of.

Spirits high and heads well enough rested we sprung off to Marburg, but not before a quick tyre change. On the way to the previous nights gig we'd noticed a flat spot in one of the front tyres, so the next morning, Saturday, we went to buy a new tyre - "just straight down the road and turn left", not open. Onto the industrial estate, all closed. It was becoming apparent that tyre merchants were averse to opening on Saturdays in Hannover, not on the agenda. We found a car park next to a garage, managed to use some air against the will of two disgruntled German mechanics and changed it for the spare. Onto the Autobahn. About 30 drama less minutes and then clunk, clunk, clang. What was that? Followed by Pats high pitched volcanism of 'pull over Jo' then higher still 'pull over Jo'. Another tyre had gone, one of the rears. So tyre changing skills at the ready and this time on the side of the motorway - the no speed limit autobahn. The feet had been ripped off the warming triangle so Titch had stand 50 yards up the hard shoulder holding it in the direction of on coming traffic, in hindsight, probably not a wise move. This time we (well, Pete) swapped the one that we'd taken off the front for the burst boy at the back. On the way again. By this point the van has had more work done to it than Joan Rivers after a disastrous skiing holiday with Vanessa Feltz, and no less aggressive in the aftermath.

We arrived in Marburg. Marburg is a very authentic German city, steeped in heritage with a sought after academic University. The gig was, again, a success, KFZ was pumping from the off. Then to the hotel, before Joe and Iain decided to sneak out to explore the local night life. Into Marburg's old town and a bar called Delirium. This part of Marburg had a very medieval feel about it, and Delirium was no less so, with it's narrow corridor and additional cellar bar. The beer was exceptional and flowed with haste. We got talking to some of the locals, mainly students and struggled to find anyone actually from Marburg. A chap called Fabian told me that the Brits had made a pact during WW2 not to bomb certain German cities, and Marburg was one of them, the Germans had done the same with the likes of Oxford and Cambridge in the UK - none industrial places where education flourished seemed a little immoral I suppose. I smoked with him then went back upstairs to find Joe.

On foot to the next bar and we came across 5 unsavoury looking guys in baseball caps, who took a disliking to us. A bit of swearing and shouting later we decided to exit the street and disengage - the guy wanted a cigarette which I refused. They followed us in to the bar which we then decided to loop a group (of students) and exit again, giving them the slip this time. The old town is on a hill and we cut through a winding stepped alley way and found a Keller bar (still nameless to us as recollections get hazy here) and proceeded. We drank more and made friends. We decided at 6am it was probably time we called it a night. The next day, the day off, was inactive to say the least. The hotel was outside of the city, in between the motorway and the countryside and comparable to the Kidderminster Travelodge, it had about much activity as Walsall's bus station on a Sunday afternoon. I think we were the only guests in the entire hotel. Monday morning couldn't come around quick enough and as Pete put it we were pretty happy to "gan our lads dean and get the flock out of dodge". Not before another little trial, as we only actually booked two rooms for the second night, but just decided to stay in all three and see what happened. So what happened was, Joe and I had to climb out of the room window to narrowly avoid the receptionist who was on the war path about the mystery of the third room - she should've worked Sunday. So out the window, through the gardens, and a little orchard and to the van. Onto Regensburg.

By The Talks, Jan 16 2015 01:21PM

We're really pleased to announce we are releasing a free live album from Kendal Calling festival last summer. You can watch the full concert on Youtube on link below, Or download the full live album from this link - http://bit.ly/TalksFreeDownload

So if you were wondering how the gig is live? you can have a butchers....

With love from The Talks x

By The Talks, Dec 16 2014 01:13PM

Well the day is finally here, and we're very proud to say that our new album is finally out!

It's been an amazing few months in the build up to this, the European tour was just off the hook, We got to see so many beautiful countries and was left totally dumbfounded by the amount of people that came out to see us on the tour.

2015 is gonna be a busy year for us and we can't wait to get back out there and play more tracks from the album.

But for now enjoy the album and keep your eyes peeled for some videos coming soon

The Talks




By The Talks, Apr 1 2014 01:58PM

Well.....Lots of stuff happening. We now have a new album "Commoners, Peers, Drunks & Thieves" Ready and recorded. We just have to sort out the release date but we will let you know as soon as its sorted.

But First.

We have a new single "Don't Look Behind you" which will be available for download from the 28th April.

here is the video link.


Massive thanks to Charlie Hogg for the visual goodness!

And see you on the UK tour

Much Love

The Talks