Friday, 10 December 2010

Better days!

Wow, that last one was a laugh wasn't it! It's weird here, you notice the ups and downs perhaps more than when you lived at home. Been working away on the 'This Scissor Disaster' EP that I plan to release on Feb 14th. I'll have a launch party/gig to celebrate the release on the 12th Feb and hopefully, fingers crossed, legs crossed and thumbs pressed, Graham is gonna come to Berlin and play an acoustic Voo set to boot! That would be so good and it would make me the happiest little sausage in the whole of East Berlin, and that's saying something because Germany is a place where the sausage is king of the kitchen. Germany's national dish is a giant sausage in ketchup with curry powder on it. Germany! Power-house of Europe! Not in the culinary globe you're not! Anyway, so yeah, that will be great if he can make it over. I've slowly but surely been assembling a band too. Very slowly. When I told people I wanted to get a band together when I first moved over here back in April, nearly everybody said exactly the same thing...'you're in the right place, son.' or 'you'll have no problem finding musicians here, they're EVERYWHERE.' Let me tell you right now...I've been here for 8 months now and I've met 3 to 5 musicians. That's not counting the lunatics doing things like sitting on the floor with a sampler looping their painful wailings whilst having a fit. So it's taken me a bit longer than I anticipated. But I think I've found a bass player who is also a good mate and a I think I might have found a Violinist and a Flute...I've just realied that I don't know what you call somebody who plays the flute...hang on...ok, now I know that a Flautist is somebody who plays an instrument in the flute family, such as a piccolo and loads of other types of flute. So I might have found a flautist. Hopefully, when I get back home from Liverpool after Christmas i can find a drummer and maybe a piano player or an accordian player and we can start rehearsing. Boss!!

Worked a couple of long shifts helping to build the new ikea here this week and I'm djng on Tuesday night at a bar underneath a hostel.

Some more good news...Liquidation Berlin, which I've been trying to get off the ground basically since I came here to no avail now has it's first night booked!! After all the emails that I sent without reply I finally got a call from a club that is dead into the idea and on the 3rd Feb 2011 the very first LIQUIDATION BERLIN will happen. I was so pleased when I got the call I could have started crying but fortunately I didn't as that might have ruined everything. I really can't wait for it, Jules is gonna come over and dj it too.

I finished recording this today, I'm very pleased with it.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Blog gone wrong

I've been fairly busy the last couple of weeks or so. Last weekend I went back to Liverpool to play with 28 Costumes at Toria Buzza's birthday party. It was boss to go back and I managed to cram alot into the visit. Drinks with mates, footy on Saturday morning like the good old days of 7 months ago, an acoustic set in a hairdressing salon, the party and the afterparty. I think I pretty much managed to see everyone who I would have liked to have seen in the space of 2 days, which was great. When I left though I realised I'd left my phone in Paul Jones' house which is a massive pain in the dick - it's still not arrived yet and it's been a week since he sent it. This is crap for loads of reasons - Edda left to go to Köln for 4 weeks so without it I'm totally unable to get in touch with her, I can't work without it as the company I work for call me when I'm needed. Also, I was meeting Jules, who came to Berlin for a few days just now, at the airport on the Sunday so I was totally freaking out although I didn't really need to about that. Been really good having Jules over though, we managed to sort a few things out regarding Liquidation Berlin, which is defo going to happen soon, plus have a whole lot of fun too.

I've just decided to not continue writing this blog entry. It's not funny or interesting, although funny and interesting things definitely happened but my head isn't working properly today and it hasn't really been working properly for the last few days. I don't know whether it's because I'm really worried about money (as per usual), or I'm really missing Edda\hate being on my own in the flat or just in general worrying too much about what is I'm supposed to be doing here or in Liverpool or anywhere - just generally. Obviously 28 Costumes and Hallo...I Love You! aren't doing much right now what with me being in another country a thousand miles away and Silent Sleep, my new thing I've just started here is going well but slow and there's not much banter and laughs when it's just you practising. I haven't got a job so to speak, well I have some work occasionally but it's not enough to call a job and the club night, which I'm excited about, has just taken loads longer than I thought. It's difficult to try and always write funny and interesting blogs to let people know what you're up to when it's not always DEAD GOOD and GOING GREAT like most people want their friends to think. I mean, alot of the time it is but obviously there are going to be shit days and today is defo pretty pooey. I miss my family and I miss Edda and I miss how easy it was when I lived in Liverpool but I know this will pass and tomorrow I may feel tonnes better so I'm going to sign off until tomorrow and write something ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS then.

However, I will write this before I go: I spent this morning chasing a Brazilian dancer around Berlin in the pissing down rain! In't life MAD!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Good Week

I just had probably one of the best weeks ever in the history of me. Starting in Trier and playing that gig I was on about in the last blog, then coming home to Berlin and playing again on Saturday night at what was defo the busiest gig for me yet. It's not saying that much really...I normally attract a crowd of approximately 25-30 people but on Saturday night, at Laika, there was probably about FIFTY! YEAH! I'm doing it!! I'm DOING it! I enjoyed the gig so much, although my decision to knock a couple of songs out on the piano was almost certainly not my best ever decision but it was still fun and I enjoyed making loads of mistakes and ruining my own music. It was terrific amounts of fun and I hope to play more like that.

Yesterday, a little bit fuzzy in the head from over celebrating after the show, I went to the Blarney in Kreuzberg to watch Liverpool F.C. demolish Chelsea. I'm proper gay for Torres - sometimes, if you see his face on a flag and you see the flag from behind, it's easy to mistake him for a fit girl so it's not that weird.

On the way home I stopped off at a Vietnamese takeaway place and brought home some tucker for me and Edda and it was just boss! Looked a bit iffy from the outside but I still took a chance and the rewards were delicious.

Just a mega weekend.

I'm cracking on today with recording the first Silent Sleep E.P. which will just be a series of demoes of new songs that I'll record in my flat.

I'm going to Liverpool on Thursday to play a gig for Toria Buzza's birthday party which will be amazing mostly just because I'll be seeing all my best friends all at once in the same place having fun times.

I'm almost halfway through reading 'The Complete Works of Reginald Perrin' which my friend Claire Heaslip gave me as a leaving present and I think, after the Adrian Mole books, it's my favourite ever thing. I've just finished reading 'The Unbearable Lightness of Being' which is also excellent but made me feel really uncomfortable and a bit awkward the whole way through and I was relieved when I finished it.

That's it.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

a little hiya aus Trier Exhaus

I'm in Trier right now at an internet cafe next door to the Exhaus, which I've just realised, after 6 years of coming here to play, that it's actually called the 'Excellenzhaus'! I'm no german but I reckon that means 'House of Excellence' in English. I got to Trier last night after a delayed flight from Berlin and I realised that since the last Ryanair flight I took, which nearly freakin' crashed upon landing, that I'm now terrified of landing. This one was fine but the last 30 seconds before we hit the ground I was gripped with fear.

My head stinks. I've had my big dear stalker hat on for hours now because I refuse to take it off in public once it's gone on. The hat smells a bit wrong now because of this mad rule I've bestowed upon myself.

I just soundchecked and I think it sounds really good...I'm using Alex's lovely telecaster instead of the usual acoustic and it sounds dead sparkly and crisp and different. Infact it sounds exactly like Billy Bragg's guitar does which is gonna be weird when I cover St. Swithen's day later - I'll have to try and sing it differently. An octave higher maybe? Like a young girl. Or me when I was 7 singing 'We're walking in the air' or whatever it was called off The Snowman. I used to have a brown Fisher-Price tape recorder, probably like most kids my age then, and I captured many a glorious moment on it. From that song, which I remember recording, walking around the house in Hartsbourne Avenue, to a recording of The Clash's 'Should I Stay or Should I Go' which I was obssessed by even at that age due to the fact it was on that Levi's commercial at the time. It consisted of one of the preset drum beats and one finger on the dirtiest sound the keyboard had (probably something like harpsichord) doing the chord bits. Oh yeah and me singing like a posh girl over the top of it. I even hit the '16ths' drum pattern in the should i stay or should i go now bits. I brought it into school on the Monday too and showed everyone.

Marius and Hanso have been cooking up some delicious vegetarian tucker nextdoor so I'm going to go and eat that now and then play the show. I'm really nervous - this is the first gig I've ever done where I haven't got anyone else with me, no band, no girlfriend etc. I'm 29 years old so I know that's totally stupid, but I am all the same.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

birthday vizitz

Last week was my birthday and I had some visitors in the form of my family. My mum, Mike and my brother and sister Josh and Chandre came over to Berlin to visit little old me on my birthday. It was dead nice too! I haven't really seen them properly since I came here - when I went home in the summer I mostly spent the time staying at friends' houses and it was especially nice because my mum and Chandre and Josh had never been to Berlin before. We had a super-cool time and did all the usual sightseeing and what have you and then on the evening of my birthday we met up with Rolf, Edda's dad, who came all the way from sleepy Saerbeck to big, crazy Berlin. We had an absolutely delicious meal at a restaurant called Kirk Royal which is just on the bridge over the canal that links Kreuzberg to Neukolln. It's freakin' incredible. You should go. Twice. One of the things I loved most about it was the fact that they didn't force smokers outside to smoke in the freezing cold, au contraire!! You got to go in a dead amazing room downstairs under the restaurant with log fires and leather couches!! It was incredible! I well should have ordered myself a brandy and had a cigar.

It was dead sad when they left and my mum started crying, which is horrible to see. You don't wanna see your mum crying! It's too upsetting. Anyway, I felt really homesick over the next few days and it kind of sent me into a hole al through last week that I just couldn't get out of. At one point I think I lost the ability to speak at all - I just could not think of anything to say whatsoever...I don't know how Edda put up with it sometimes.

We're totally moved into the new flat now, too. It's boss, it really is nice. It's definitely the nicest flat I've ever lived in. Plus, I'm quietly proud of all my DIY achievements and whenever I go past the sink, I actually give it a little shuffle of acknowledgment and sometimes, when I just turn on the light switch, I have a little smug chuckle. That really happpens.

I'm getting into this playing alone lark too. I played at a place in Neukolln the other night and it was maybe the busiest gig I've played so far. I mean, it was still only about 30 people or so in a tiny little cafe (which, I think, used to be a butchers??) in Neukolln. Next week I'm going to fly to Trier to play with Geoff farina in the ex-haus. Feels dead extravagant.

I'm also going to start to record the Silent Sleep album next week. I don't know what it will turn out like, but I just want to get the songs down and out there and move on to either doing this 28 Costumes EP or the Hallo...I Love You! EP/Album. I have 10 Silent Sleep songs that I'm pretty pleased with, so for now I'll crack on with that and hopefully have it out by Jan/Feb.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Things I've been thinking about today.

1. This

2. This, which was my first ever Bicycle. It made mad space noises through a dead hi-tech computer and looked well MEAN.

3. This...if you move the video curser along to 7.33 and press play you'll be able to hear ol' macca making a right bonkers noise not too dissimilar to the noise a horse makes whilst grazing in a pleasant field on a balmy summer evening. With an Owl.

4. And finally this which is what I intend to end all the Liquidation Berlin nights on...

Friday, 8 October 2010

I thought I might D.I.e?

I played another gig seperate to the other one I did here in Berlin! That's 2 whole gigs now in nearly six months! I'm exhausted! I've got some more booked though so I'm really looking forward to them, especially as this last one was mega amounts of fun. I love playing really small places. I always did with 28 Costumes too...I love being able to talk with individual members of the audience and although it's a lot of fun playing in front of loads of people and obviously as a band you want to be playing to more people as opposed to less people, I still love those gigs. I filmed this particular gig just on my macbook and the quality of the footage and the sound is surprisingly swell so have a look below...I cut out the jibber-jabber between the songs as I think I spent more time telling rubbish stories and having banter than I did playing music. There was one song, a 28 Costumes song, that was interrupted by a fire alarm (I think?)'s called Fraudulent. I'm going to try and get a residency here at this place 'cos it's so freaking ace. I've got another one here on Nov 16th but before that I'm off to Trier (flying, don't you know) to play with Geoff Farina who used to be in Karate. I had the chance to play with him before in Liverpool but I missed it and Graham did it on his own and Paul had to give him a lift to Liverpool airport after the show so it's mad that I'm doing it now.

Edda and I finally found a flat too last week! We're chuffed to bits like, it's really nice too, the communal hallways make it feel like a proper fancy hotel and the flat itself has such a long hallway. Seriously, it's about 9 metres long! It's got its own weather system. I've been doing some 'PROPER MAN D.I.Y.' there too, wiring in light fittings and what have you. I was genuinely scared that I was going to get really badly electrocuted all over the place. I have no experience of electrics (I got a G in my CDT GCSE - wow, that could be a lyric if I was a rapper) so I researched by scouring youtube for clips of people showing you how to do it. The best I could find was this so you might understand why I didn't feel that confident.

I'm full of cold and I feel crap. What did I do to deserve to be sick twice in the space of two weeks.

My mum and Mike and my brother and sister are coming to Berlin next week for my birthday! Hooray!

Tuesday, 21 September 2010


I'm making my first pan of scouse out here in Germany right now, as we speak. I always thought it was impossible for some mad reason. I just thought that because I lived in another city that scouse couldn't happen. I don't know why I thought that - I know I'm a bit stupid so it's probably alot to do with that.

So yeah, I got some lamb, some onions, carrots, spuds, beef stock, thick white bread, butter, red cabbage etc and it's now simmering beautifully on the stove. Edda got sent home from work today because she couldn't stop throwing up. It's been a good week for vomming here. The best yet infact. I bought Anna Karenina on DVD for 4 quid the other day so I'm watching that now. I bought the book years ago but somehow Paul Green ended up with it after our Texas jaunt in 2007 and I keep forgetting to ask for it back. Not that I would have read it, mind. It would almost definitely be sat on my book shelf with all the others that are in the queue. I do read them really, it just takes me literally about a year to read stuff like that. Whilst I was reading The Idiot, I also read about 5 not so challenging books (Jackie Collins, Harry Potter, Hannah Montana etc). Anyway, the film seems alright so far, and it's got Alfred Molina in it and he's ace.

Last week I had a chance meeting with a lovely fella called Will who, it turned out, used to play the bass in Spiritualized and Spacemen 3 and is now currently playing with Brian Jonestown Massacre. He offered me some work doing up a flat for an Italian woman, which I pounced upon (the work, not the Italian woman) and I'm going to play a little gig with him in a couple of weeks on the 14th October. That's the day before my birthday, actually, and for the first time my mum and mike and my brother and sister are coming to Berlin to visit me! My mum's never been to Berlin before infact none of them have apart from Mike who used to work here in the 80's.

Hung out with Pete B and the dinner ladies, Rob, Steve from EYH fanzine and Anton yesterday along with Philipp and we spent the day walking around Berlin drinking beers and yet again I took them to same Pizza place I take EVERYONE to (du forni) when they visit. It is fucking good though. Really fucking good. I'll take you there too one day.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Big, dirty explosions.

Something dead horrible happened to me the other night. I met up with James to go and watch Pete's band play at Wild at Heart and we had a thoroughly enjoyable time! The gig was great and it was nice to see Pete and catch up a bit. As soon as the gig was over, we went to sit outside for a little bit and I started to feel ropey. I thought that maybe I've just been drinking too quickly or something (I'd only had 3 pints at this point by the way) and that it would soon sort itself out but it definitely didn't and it definitely started to get worse. My stomach cramped up badly and there was so much movement inside me that it felt like what I imagine it would feel like if everything inside your body suddenly became loose and fell down. It felt like my body was crumbling from the inside. I was talking to people, trying to forget this was happening but it was impossible to such was the severity of the movements. I was half way through a conversation with somebody when I had to excuse myself and basically leg it to the bog as fast as I could. The toilets where full of drunken rockabilly guys and they were all shouting mad stuff at each other and being really boozy and rowdy and banging on the door whilst I was in the only cubicle, sweating and having a really sad time upon the toilet. This, I realised, was a horrible situation because it was around 2am on Saturday and I was nowhere near home - it was going to take me at least an hour to get back. I left without saying goodbye to anyone as I was in so much pain by this point and I walked up to Gorlitzer Bahnof where I had to get my first train from. It was a 7 minute wait. That's not too bad I thought, it could be worse. Everybody around me was pushing me closer to the edge of explosion - they were eating kebabs and drinking wine and smoking and they were all making me feel so, so sick. I got on the train to Warschauer Strasse. From here I need to get a train one stop to Ostkreuz and then a train 6 stops to Prenzlauer Allee and then from there walk. I couldn't imagine myself completing this journey without either being violently sick or worse absolutely shitting myself. I made it onto the train to Ostkreuz and by this point I just could not look at anyone - the best I could do was hold my stomach in pain and stare at the ground. I felt like crying, I was dizzy and sweating and I really wanted to cry. When I got to Ostkreuz I saw a train on the next platform and everybody was running for it and in my desperation to get home I ran with the people for this train too, making it on just as the doors were closing. 'Thank the lords above us' I was thinking, I'm going to be home in about 20 minutes. I can do this. I can really do this. But then I realised that I'd gotten onto the wrong train going in the wrong direction. Words cannot get anywhere near the despair I felt at this point. If I felt like crying before, right now I just wanted to curl up at the bottom of this empty platform, this empty crappy station and just let it all out. Everything. From everywhere. I held it together and told myself to stop being such a maggot and waited for the next train back but there was nothing for about 20 minutes and by now I think I was basically crying. Maybe there were no tears but I was definitely moaning and sobbing.

I walked onto the street and hailed a taxi (I should have done this to start with but I only had €16 euros on me and a taxi would have meant spending all my money on getting home when the trains are free at that time). I got in and I think Edda thought I had been shot in the stomach. I lay in bed for about 15 minutes in total agony before it all started. I legged it to the toilet and I can honestly say that I've never been so violently and powerfully sick ever, ever in all of my life. It was frightening. I though my head was going to explode. Then, immediately after this ended, it kicked off down the other end and this too was equally as powerful and frightening. These big, dirty explosions continued every 20/25 minutes until about 8/9am until finally it came to an end and I could get some sleep.

I was destroyed all day yesterday - everything hurt, my pride and dignity included. I stayed in bed all day sipping water, terrified that the slightest bit of food or water would kick it all off again but it never did and thankfully it seems to be all good now. I missed the Liverpool v Man Utd game though which is a shame because I'd arranged to watch it with a load of people including Pete.

I don't know what the fuck it was that happened to me the other night, maybe Pete Bentham and the Dinner Ladies did it to me with rock and roll music? It also occurred to me that maybe it was the same thing John had when he was here...the symptons were exactly the same but how could I have caught it off John when he left nearly two weeks ago? I remember John saying 'This is the most ill I've ever been' and I can say the same man, it was horrible! Properly truly horrible and I'm glad it's over.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Bentham's in town!

Last weekend was boss! Tony and Toria and Mikey and Toria's friend Kristin were over and we spent the weekend ragging around Berlin on bicycles. That's definitely the bery best way to get around Berlin - I've pieced together so much of Berlin by getting lost loads of times and figuring it all out like a mad real life puzzle on a bike. We went to Hops and Barley which is my favourite pub here. They brew their own ales on site and they're most delicious. It's good fun to get well boozed up in there and then cycle home 5 miles or so. They also do amazing sausages dead cheap.

I worked at the o2 arena this week fixing up their ice hockey pitch for the game this weekend. I didn't enjoy it one little bit. They always say it's going to be about 8 hours but it's ALWAYS well more. My back is still killing me. Got up the next day dead early and went to play 5 a-side in the hassenheide park in Neukolln and the went to view a flat there which was really nice so I think we're going to apply for it.

Today has been pretty uneventful so far. I miss Soccer AM in the mornings on the couch with a massive cup of tea, then going to Cronton to play a match then coming home and going to DJ in Liquidation.

So far I've eaten 2 pieces of delicious bread. One with jam on it and one with cheese and tomato on it, some crisps and a bit of chocolate.

Tonight should be a laugh though because Pete Bentham, a good mate of mine from Liverpool, is over with his band Pete Bentham and the Dinner Ladies to play at Wild at Heart so i'm hopefully gonna catch up with James and go down there later to see some Bentham style punk 'n' roll and then spend the night drinking booze with Pete and then tomorrow hopefully watch Liverpool smash Man Utd in the gut with soccer power!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Last few days of tour. Buckle up're going for a ride!

The last week of the tour was both absolutely amazing and utterly, utterly shit.

The last few gigs were great. The venue in Offenbach was probably one of the best venues I've ever played in - from the outside, it looked like a huge warehouse in the middle of an industrial estate way out of town but upon closer inspection it became apparent that it was actually a sort of magical hub for magical things. There was an outdoor cinema with hundreds of seats in the field opposite, there was a small farm with some sheep in it, we were shown to a room with about 8 beds in it and a fridge which was full of beer and on the stove was a huge pan which contained a massive delicious Thai curry. We were ready for all of this, especially the beds as we'd spent the last week on couches and blow-up mattresses. After we sound checked, the heavens opened right up and all the rain the sky had to offer came pouring down. We were worried that this would mean we would be playing to an empty room but when it came to the actual gig there was enough people in the room to make it a really nice gig.

One thing I enjoyed lots about this tour was playing twice a night, once with 28 Costumes and then again with Voo. Tony let me use his set up which was dead nice. It was ace to use his massive Gibson 333 for the Voo sets.

We were almost at the end of the tour now, winding our way to Berlin via the penultimate gig in Cologne. I think the Cologne gig was probably the best Costume gig of the tour. It was a kind of mini-festival with the Go! Team headlining (who were amazing to watch, actually, and thoroughly lovely people). James Slater was also there to film them so that was a nice surprise and Philipp, Edda's brother came along too with his friend. In the middle of 'Walking at pace uphills' the sleeping bit in the middle ended up being more of a screamy bit in the middle - it was fucking dead fun!! I kind of encouraged everyone to roar as loud as they could. A bit like primal scream really worked. I felt good about things after it. We were given a flat to stay in after the gig so I took what I could from the rider (Bread, Meats, Cheeses, Waters for the morning) and headed back. We stayed up til something daft like 6am, or some of us did( Paul Jones, Did Spoons and myself) and then left for Berlin.

It was a long, long drive - I think it took us like 8 hours or something. It was great when we got there because Claire, Gray's girlfriend, Leah, Paul's girlfriend and Edda were all there in Berlin waiting for us. It felt a little bit like we'd been away for years, possibly at war or something. It was nice to see everyone and we had a boss night out in Berlin.

The gig in Berlin was a bit of a let down if I'm honest as I dropped a bit of klanger with the venue. I couldn't get anywhere to play before we went and I was trying loads of different places including places we'd played before but nobody was getting back to me so I panic booked and it was a place I'd never seen before which turned out to be some tiny basement, TINY basement with a tiny P.A. which had no mics. Paul Jones had already flew home because he got his dates mixed up so DAVID SPOONS stepped up to play bass in Voo for a few songs and did really well!! We spent the morning learning the songs in mine and by the time it came to playing them he was there, already on the next page. We actually ended up having really good gigs, despite the less than perfect situation/venue and headed off to get the fook out of dodge. In the morning the guys would be leaving for Liverpool and the tour would be over and this made me feel sad because I enjoyed this tour lots...especially after living in Berlin for the last 5 months and not seeing that much of my best mates.

It was around this time that things got really shitty. Both metaphorically and literally. John spent the night in ours after gig and from around 4/5am he was strapped to the bog. He was being sick alot. It sounded chilling when it happened. It really did. When the rest of us woke up it became obvious that John wasn't going to be travelling anywhere in any van. He was totally ill. We let him sleep for a bit hoping that he would feel btter after some rest but after a couple of hours he got up and told us to take him to the hospital. It was the right thing to soon as we got him there the doctors told him and us that they would have to keep him in over night. Possibly two nights. In isolation. John had caught a norovirus which was highly contagious. He as ok by now, he was put on a drip to rehydrate him and was being looked after. Meanwhile back at the flat we were using all the disinfectents we could buy to make sure the flat, our van and anything else that had been in contact with 'the infected' was clean and safe. The van smelt like a hospital by the time we'd finished with it. It was alike a god damn zombie movie.

Paul Green and David Spoons stepped up to the plate and decided to leave in the van that night, without John in it. I think they drove something like 32 hours to get home.

John came out the next day, weak as a kitten but looking a lot better (the day before he was definitely very grey in the face). He was greeted with happy faces from Tony and I. Happy faces and smiles....from afar. We were paranoid about contracting this awful, highly contagious disease. We had dinner that night and John left Berlin by plane the net day.

Then there were 2. Me and Tone were still both very paranoid that we were still going to become infected...things were intense. Tony went to stay in a hostel to make sure.

As it happened, thankfully we were fine and went on and had a truly brilliant weekend biking through Berlin and drinking amazing lager with Toria, Tony's girlfriend who had come to visit and some other friends but I reckon that's enough for one blog so I'll leave that for enother time.

I enjoyed playing music again. I hadn't done it in anger for ages and it felt good. I think 28 Costumes will aim to record an EP before the year is out and play some more live shows soon too. We enjoyed it all too much. When Graham got home he called me to tell me the test pressings for the new album were there in Liverpool and he said it sounded off the charts. I did an interview for 6music about Hallo...I Love You! yesterday too so I should be feeling really good about things and I mostly am, but now it's time to get stuck into sorting what the fuck I need to do in Berlin to stay goes.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

day 7

I'm sat in the living room in Alex and Katrin's house right now and David Spoons is sitting next to transforming Wuppertal SV slowly but surely into european contenders on Football Manager and Graham is writing in a book (actually he's not writing, he's just drawing pictures of dicks). Paul Green is showering listening to Madonna, Paul Jones has just returned after getting lost on a bike, Tony was doing some exercise upstairs and I haven't seen John Wallace all morning but I think he's catching up on some sleep.

We had a really quiet night last night. The night before we played a kind of acoustic show in Katrin's Dad's basement which was really incredible. We had such a laugh. His basement is basically like a little bar with loads of guitars and amps and a piano in. We mixed up all the songs so some were voo songs and some were 28 costumes songs and we played erika on the piano. When we finshed all our songs we covered a few and did Hungry Heart by The Boss, Aside by The Weakerthans, Blue Suede shoes with Katrin's dad on guitar and no-one else by Weezer.

When we got back to Alex's place we had such a boss was mental! We were all dancing in the living room and going hell for leather on the booze. I think we got to sleep around 8 or so.

The gigs have been such good fun to play so far. The Ex-Haus gig was great and we made some more friends there I reckon - we invited a few people outside after sound check for a game of kubb. One of the lads was unbelievable at it.

Tonight we're playing in a cafe/record store in Trier and then tomorrow we leave Alex's house in the morning to go to Offenbach. I didn't realise that we would be staying here for so long, it's been a week now, but as always Alex and Katrin have looked after us so well and just been the perfect hosts and I genujnely feel lucky to be able to count them as friends.

It's a bit subdued in here today...everyone's either had to much sleep or not enough but we're leaving the house in a couple of hours to go the cafe...

Also, just had an offer to play another gig in Berlin with The Boss Hoss. They're a dead massive german band that dress like cowboys. GOD!

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Day3 of tour

Yesterday was a dead good day - we went to grab some boss pasta with Alex and Katrin and then hit the park in Trier for some Kubb action. Kubb is one of them games that you just can't help but get totally involved in emotionally, spiritually and fucking fiercely when you play it! Needless to say I lost every game we played! It was Tony, John and me against Paul J, Gray and D.Spoons who tonked us every game. When Katrin and Somaeh turned up we grabbed them to play on our team and they can throw a kubb stick. It was dangerous and people nearly died. We played a wider and longer pitch which made even more exciting when you did actually throw successful Kubb.

I spent the morning learning new Voo songs with Gray and then teaching him how to play Inside/Outside, which took about 3 seconds. The we watched the highlights of the liverpool game then listened to paul play the keyboards to Erika which sounds mega and all that type of stuff.

Tonight we're playing in Luxembourg and we're leaving in a minute so I better go and help pack the van.
Last time we played at this venue they had one of those sound limiters that knocks all the gear off if we play over a certain level. It went off before we even played a note last time and the police turned up half way through our gig. One thing that was boss about it though is that the promoter took us to this amazing Italian restaurant and got all of us some tasty meals and delicious red wineand then me and gray wrote a sexy song in the back of the van afterwards. I hope it's as exciting this time.


Friday, 20 August 2010

Tour Days 1 and 2

We started off the tour of Germany with a gig for Voo in Tunbridge Wells at The Forum. It was a dead special gig because it was supporting The Wedding Present which is, for me and Paul Jones, one of our favourite ever bands. They were incredible and I also think it was the best we've played, certainly since I've been in the band. We had a good chat with David Gedge too afterwards who is just a lovely fella and boxed us off with a few beers from their rider to boot!

We left the next morning and arrived in calais at round 2pm and made it to trier at around 10pm after getting a bit lost and ending up travelling alongside a canal for a bit, complete with fishermen and everything. It defo wasn't the right way to Germany.
The van is small there's not much room to be swinging cats but luckly for us were not after that, we just need to sit in it. It goes and it goes well (so far) which is the most important thing. We stayed up til 4 or 5 last night drinking boss german lager and having a laugh and right now we're going to go into Trier. I'm still half asleep so apologies if it's not that funny or interesting...hopefully after a cup of coffee I'll perk up a bit. Or a beer.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010


Haven't got much time to write this so just a quick one. I've been to Wuppertal, Munster, Saerbeck, Dusseldorf and now I'm in Liverpool. I've been on boat to party, been to watch a game of football, seen Philipp, Carmen, Rolf, Briggitte, Udo, Udo's son and his son's and his wife, taught Philipp and his friends the Fernando Torres song and sung it non stop for 3 days, seen Dan Hanks and Claudia who should be back now but we're staying at our place and had a dead nice coupla nights with them, said goodbye to edda (boo) for three weeks...
Now I'm about to go out to meet gray and practise with voo.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Owls are NOT stupid.

I'm sat in my living room. It's 8.58am local time and I've just ate a Brotchen (cob of bread) bought minutes ago and baked an hour ago from the shop downstairs. I'm considering whether to go and make a coffee but I've just remembered that we have no milk so that puts an end to that consideration. I'm also considering ending my blog right here. Nah, I won't do that but I haven't felt like writing this much the last week purely because I haven't really done that much. Work has dried right up and I'm still waiting to be paid so I've not had any money to be going out so much, although Edda has taken me to a few decent of them being the zoo! I haven't been to a zoo since I was dead young...definitely more than 10 years ago. It was magic. The bestest bit was obviously the monkeys but the brown bear was also boss. It's definitely a bit sad though too - I know some of the animals wouldn't be alive it weren't for zoos and stuff but when the masive birds like owls and eagles need to fly, not live in a cage. They eagle in particular looked very sad. i kept on imagining my friend John Wallace doing his impression of an owl when I was looking at the owl because he does such an accurate impression of an owl in flight. I thought of that and I also thought of Alan Partridge too which is funny because sometimes John is alot like Alan Partirdge. John hates owls.

One good thing about not working so much recently is that I've had loads of time during the day to write new stuff so I've been doing lots of that. Mostly for Silent Sleep, which is the project I started just to do some gigs on my own out here. They're all really sad songs and really quiet too. I'm off my head though because one hour of the day I'm writing these songs and getting dead excited about them and playing shows but then the next hour I'll start planning some 28 Costumes stuff and get dead excited about that but then the next hour I'll be thinking about Hallo...I Love You! and then thinking of new ideas for that. I can never stick to one thing for more than an hour or so. My concentration span is tiny. Like an owls brain.

I'm going home soon which is going to be nice. First off I'm going to Wuppertal to watch the first game of the season against Munster, which is kind of a derby I think and then we're heading to Saerbeck again to see Edda's dad for a few days and then I'm flying from Bremen to Liverpool. I'm really looking forward to seeing all my mates and my mum and my brother and sister. It's weird - I feel like I've been away for YEARS and it's only been 4 months. Playing a gig on the 12th in Mello with Voo and then on the 18th we're supporting THE WEDDING PRESENT!! I still can't actually believe this is happening. The Wedding Present are on eof my favourite ever bands and loads of the reason why I write songs the way I do and we're supproting them. It's going to be off it's head. The day after this Voo and 28 Costumes are going to Germany to tour!! It's going to be such a good month. When I get back I'll be shooting the first video as Silent Sleep too for a song called 'Come! Let us run away!' and it's a really sad and fairytaley affair.

Dan's coming this week...YERSE!

Friday, 23 July 2010


Nothing too clever or funny or anything today. I played football for a long time this morning and I feel exhausted. Boss though because we've started playing on a proper astro pitch as opposed to either the park or the muddy pitch

I went to the melt festival over the weekend with an old friend of mine and of 28 Costumes called Sophie...she lives in Berlin now too. I was too-ing and frowing whether or not to go as I didn't really have any money to take with me. i got the ticket for free so it wouldn't have made a difference like. I'd spent the week before the festival at Edda's dad's place over in Saerbeck, near Muenster and it was amazing. So nice to get out of the city and the chaos and just be in the countryside. Of course,it helped that Rolf (Edda's Dad)'s girlfriend has a massive garden with a swimming pool and stuff! we spent a few nights there having bbqs and late night swims which was mega. It was also nice to hang out with Philipp, Edda's brother. We get on dead well and it was boss seeing him and edda together because they have a dead nice relationship. So yeah, it was kind of hard deciding to leave all that behind and get back to berlin to the festival but after quite alot of thought i decided i'd be mad not to go.

We left on friday afternoon in a ford KA. That's 4 people, 4 massive bags, 3 tents (i didn't have one) and everyones food and stuff. It was a horrible journey there cos it was so hot and so cramped in the back. i think me and marius might died if the journey was any longer than it was. Once we got there we headed to the camp site and I was still unsure what to do about my sleeping arrangements as i didn't have my own tent. However, there was an area for people who paid €50 to sleep in these sponsored tents and have breakfast and stuff so i just went there and pleeded with them to give me a tent and told them i'd just realised i'd left mine at home and i cant believe it and it's so, so sad and in the end he gave in and let me take one of these tents.

Saw loads of boss bands like the shout out louds, blood red shoes (were amazing), yeasayer, the futureheads, fucked up, darwin deez, the xx (bit bland), dj shadow, foals, hercules and the love affair (dead gay), hurts (dead crap and contrived) and danced to loads of mad techno stuff too. one thing i've noticed actually is that all the indie kids are mad into techno too. its weird cos i remember being a bit younger than i am now and it kinda being one or the's boss though! i like it that they're into loads of different stuff.

had geoff stay with us for a couple of nights too and had some fun...went swimming in a lake not too far from where i live which was ace and it had a massive fountain in the middle that you could swim too and sit under.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Decent days and nights

So I biked all the way to Mickey's Bar on Fuldastrasse in Neukolln and waited for the man with multiple noses and alas he did not show. I can't say I'm surprised to be honest. I sat down outside Mickey's and while I waited another man, a big stocky fella with Terry Venables style brushed back grey hair and a salmon coloured Eldorado-style shirt on which was largely unbuttoned revealing a large amount of grey chest hair underneath a large gold medallion, came and sat opposite me. He was studying a map of the Berlin U-bahn lines. This was Mickey, the proprietor of Mickey's bar, naturally. Mickey was about 60 or so and had moved to Berlin 14 years ago from Southampton. He sat and spared no small detail as he told how he came to be here. In a nutshell (if i told you exactly we'd be here for literally days) he came here to work as a builder, he met a woman, not in a sexual way, he lived with her for a bit, she rented him a room, he spent so much time on the wrong side of the bar he decided to buy a pub, he bought a pub, he paid LOTS of different people amounts of money to make this happen ('every cunt had their hand out, waitin' for me'), he'd been to jail so he wasn't sure if he would get his license, he got his license, he wasn't sure if people would come to his bar, people came to his bar, he bought another bar, he threatened some dutch people because they were going to trash his car, his daughter knows a dentist, he doesn't miss Southampton, his friend Mick supports Liverpool, his friend Mick was in jail too, his barmaid works hard, beer is cheap, he isn't tied to a brewery, the capacity of Mickey's is 28, he has 30 or 40 regulars who come 3 or 4 times a week...this went on for ages but between every sentence was about a 30 second gap in which he would take about 4 long drags of his filterless ciggies. Don't get me wrong, he was a fairly interesting chap and he bought a couple of beers whilst he was telling me all this and I did find it interesting to be honest...just a bit long winded. Anyway, I listened to his stories for a couple of hours and then made my excuses and said goodbye, promising to return soon.

I made my way up Kotbusser Strasse to get myself some food from an amazing kofte place. They do these absolutely wonderful Kofte baguettes with rocket and fresh mint on this delicious bread for €3...if you are ever in the Kreuz-Kolln area you should well check it out, it's just past Sander Strasse. I'll try and remember the name which would probably be useful.

From here I headed towards home but the sun was shining and it was suddenly dead hot so i changed my mind and went back on myself and went to the Sommerbad which is a massive outdoor swimming pool in Kreuzberg (Prinzenstrasse Ubhn). I fell asleep for an hour and a half and got woken up by these kids who were playing a game where they jump over the sleeping man on the floor, dripping water on him to see if he wakes up. I don't know how many times they'd jumped over me - it might have been the first time or more embarrassingly it may have been 4 or 5 or 20 times. Anyway, I woke up and felt stupid and cursed them in English and dead quietly because i didn't want to get into a fracas with some children who were just having a laugh and would probably have battered me because there were maybe 12 of them. I eventually jumped into the pool (literally jumped in, dead ugly, i can't dive, it always ends horribly) and swam for about an was dead cold in the pool and it took my breath away for a bit but once I got going I enjoyed being outside and in the water - it was dead refreshing. I done about 20 lengths (about 1km) which was enough for me and I got out and got showered and dressed and left.

It was the germany vs Spain football match later that day and I went with Edda and James Slater to this place in Prenzlauerberg to watch it. It was really cool - it was outside an antique furniture shop and they'd put all the furniture from the store out in front of the store for people to sit on and they put a big telly in front of the window and had a bbq too. I met some lovely people too who were dead funny. We all had a splendid laugh and then Germany went and ruined it for everyone by getting beat at football. Oh well, it's only a game isn't it. I don't think Edda was too sad although she did seem a bit sad. We said goodbye to James and our new friends and hit the road on our bicycles. We were really close to home by this point so it probably only took us 7 minutes or something. When we got home me and edda had a glass of milk and some chocolate and then watched a billy bragg interview on youtube before turning the lights off...

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

mad fella

Last night i met a strange man with three noses and he offered me a job. I couldn't quite make out all of the details but the three things i managed to understand from our conversation were 'renovation', 'pirate party' and 'Bruce Sprinsteen'. I'm going to meet him at noon today. I've got a feeling that he's either going to be mental and a lunatic but I'm going to go along anyway to find out. He was a guy maybe in his mid to late 50s who obviously had enjoyed a life-time of drinking and specifically drinking whisky, judging by bizarre nose which appeared to have 2 other noses growing off it. It was difficult to look at him in the eyes not just because he had such an odd nose but because he had 2 pairs of glasses on. I don't even know why I'm bothering to go because after re-reading this he's clearly insane. Only thing is, when he spoke to me about the job he sounded like he was dead serious and fairly intelligent. I guess that's why I'm going really, just to see. It could be interesting. I think he mentioned something about helping him renovate something or another. I don't know...I'll let you know later on. If I make it back. He might be a massive psycho and perform a murder upon me.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Lazy bagazy

There was a huge storm last night here. I remember the rain waking me first because even that on it's own was deafening but then a massive strobe of lightning struck followed almost immediately by the loudest thunder I have ever heard. Honestly, it caused an audible pang of fear from me. It was scary as hell!

I played my first gig here on Friday night and it was amazing...I enjoyed it so much. I played withmy electric guitar and did some 28 Costumes songs and some Hallo songs plus a new one I've written since I've been here called 'Come, let us run away'. It was a dead nice atmosphere because it was only in a tiny basement that maybe held around 25/30 people and it was full too. The room was actually perfect for the gig - I played all the songs as quiet as I possibly could and it worked really well so I think I'm gonna do that for future gigs too.

I bought a bicycle on Saturday. It's already made such a big difference and it's so much better than travelling by tram or bus or train, especially in this weather plus it's easily the best way to get to know a city.

Yesterday I worked a double shift at the Rod Stewart concert in the o2 World which was really easy and today I'll work on the Prince concert.

I feel really tired today and my head feels all confused and dizzy so apologies for not making any effort to make this blog more fun. I can't be arsed to be honest.

Friday, 2 July 2010


It's so fucking hot here right now. I think the weather forcasters predict that the temperature will reach 39 degrees tomorrow and it's about 35 now. It's just so fucking hot. Even my beads of sweat are sweating. Sweating and crying. My sweat is crying.

I've spent the last 2 weeks working like a dog. Sometimes the working day has been as long as 18 hours with a couple of hours sleep before starting the next job and all the jobs have basically been carrying heavy things from one place to another. This weekend I'm working at the Rod Stewart concert and then on Monday I'm working at the Prince concert. I hope to god I get to see some of Prince. I didn't see any of the AC/DC show at all which was disappointing but nothing compared to the sadness I will feel if I'm actual inside the same concert arena as Prince whilst Prince is on-stage being Prince and performing Prince songs and I don't see any of Prince at all.

In one hand I feel relieved that I've managed to find some work here. It was a tough first couple of months and nobody likes to be financially dependant on somebody else for a long period of time. Even if the other person doesn't mind and is completely understanding about the situation. It's just not a pleasant feeling is it? So yeah, on one hand I'm grateful that I've find work and there is lots of it for me to have. On the other hand I'm finding myself so exhausted by the work and so consumed by it that it's not leaving any space for me to do other things, the things that I would like to do here in Berlin...enjoy being with my girlfriend, write some new songs, maybe get a band together to play the new songs with, play some shows, start the club night with Jules here. All of that has just been put on a back burner somewhere out of sight and out of mind. I don't want to get caught in a vicious cycle. You need to earn money here, or rather I need to earn money here. Back in Liverpool you know through experience what you need to do to get money to live off, to feed yourself with, to drink, to go out, to buy necessaties like guitar strings and what have you. You know you can do a few DJ jobs, sign on, get housing, do bits and pieces of other work as and when you need to in order to survive without falling to kiss the mouldy feet of a job that will make you unhappy for the rest of your life whilst your dreams and ambitions and ideas get put on a big, blazing bonfire, along with your happiness and your dignity. I don't think it's so easy need money not just for eating and drinking and stuff but for things like health insurance - you're obliged to buy health insurance as there is no NHS or similiar. Health insurance isn't cheap either. You need to pay the rent, obviously and the normal deposit for flats here is 3 months rent upfront which can be around €1,500 obviously depending on what your rent is. You can't sign on here unless you've been working for 6 months. not that I want to sign on - I just don't want to spend the whole of my time in Berlin working myself into the ground...I could do that very easily back in Liverpool. So this is something that i need to figure out and fast before I start wearing blue dungarees and own a fully equipped tool belt.
I had my cousin, Stephen, here last weekend. He came with three of his friends who are also my friends but more his friends and we had a really good time and I think they really liked Berlin. we went to one of the outdoor swimming pools here on Saturday which I can heavily recommend for making hangovers vanish. We did alot of drinking and went to a few clubs and on Sunday we watched the Germany vs England game at a massive public viewing in The Kulturbrauerei in Prenzlauer Berg. I honestly think that out of the 2,000 people there watching the game we were the only English people there. The lads all wore their England shirts too but decorated themselves with Germany florets as a gesture of goodwill. The moment of the weekend came shortly after we bought these floret things and we were walking to the we got around the corner there were about 40 Germany fans we had to walk through and as soon as they noticed the England shirts they chanted, very loudly, 'You're goin' home, you're goin' home, you're goin', England's goin' home...' to the tune of 3 lions. It was both hilarious and frightening. It was good craic though and the lads made a few deutsch friends, although I'm not sure it would have been such a friendly response if England would have beat Germany.

I've got my first gig tonight. I'm calling myself Silent Sleep and it's just gonna be me and my electric guitar...I'll probably play some 28 Costumes songs and some Hallo...I Love You songs and maybe a few new ones. The gig is at this place called Madamme Claude and it has chairs and tables and what not on the ceiling to make it look upside down or something and the room holds about 17 people. I'm really nervous and I don't really know why because I've played lots of gigs and even loads of gigs on my own. Half of my mind, the nice side, is telling me I've got nothing to be worried about, after all it's only going to be around 17/18 people. The other half of my mind, the nasty little bugger side, is whispering 'It's sold out to capacity...17 people means you're playing a SOLD OUT show, Chris'. It's a right meanie sometimes.
I'm really unprepared too - I just practised once here in my living room and then I couldn't be bothered doing it again so when it all crumbles live on stage later on I can think back to that exact moment and call myself a big cunt.

I've got to go, the sound of my sweat crying is deafening me.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Updated lizt of songz

Low - Over The Ocean
Elliot Smith - Waltz no.2 (xo)
The Flaming Lips - Do You Realize?
Elbow - Powder Blue
The Wedding Present - Spangle
Cinerama - Wow
Alton Ellis - I'm Still in love with you
LCD Soundsystem - Someone Great
Talking Heads - Pulled Up
Billy Bragg - Sexuality
Hefner - Hello Kitten
Pixies - My Velouria
Jeff Buckley - Last Goodbye
Radiohead - Black Star
Big STar - Thirteen
Weakerthans - Aside

Working 5-9

Sorry I haven't been writing much recently. Work started pouring down upon me like a tropical storm. I worked around 60 hours this week. I signed up for this website called and basically they provide big events with local crew to help set up and what have you. On Tuesday I worked at the AC/DC concert which I think would have been more fun if I'd have had more than 3 hours sleep the night before. It was mad though - they have 30 trucks touring with them, all full to the brim of the things needed to perform an AC/DC concert. That makes my trips to poundland for glitter and party poppers and balloons half an hour before a 28 Costumes sound check sound like...well, exactly what it sounds like I guess. It's all been fairly demanding physical labour work so I've spent the hours that I've not been working just sleeping because I've been too exhausted for most things. Sometimes I haven't got the energy to sneeze and I've got hayfever pretty bad.

My cousin is coming to visit today with some friends so I'm looking forward to the weekend - especially Sunday's football match...going to be interesting!

Met some more nice people too who are in the process of opening up a cafe and 2nd hand clobber store. I've been painting the walls and ceilings for them...decent folk, them.

My brain is half dead right now so I'll write more next week.
I bought flowers yesterday and arranged them in a tray out on the balcony.
Here they are. Plus, a photo of me on the AC/DC stage with
a giant train in the background. I mean, a giant train is good and all that but you can't beat hitting a girl in the lip with a lollypop for an exciting rock concert.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Stu's visit

One of my oldest friends, Stuart Monteith, left yesterday afternoon after spending four really, really nice days here. I'd say the two of us spent roughly 83% of the time sneezing and blowing our noses but it was great all the same. I first met Stu at the auditions for my Popular Music college course. He was waiting in the canteen with an orange Fender Telecaster and I sat on the same table. Another lad joined us on the table and got talking to Stu and it became apparent that this lad was definitely a bit mad and it also became clear that he smelt of vomit and I think that was because he might have had a little bit of vomit perhaps on his jumper or maybe on his shoe, I don't know. Anyway, he asked Stu if he could have a go of his guitar and Stu politely told him that as he had to use it for an audition in 5 minutes he'd rather not, but the guy insisted assuring Stu that he would be super-careful with it. Stuart reluctantly passed the guitar over the table and our vomity little friend starts absolutely thrashing out Wonderwall by Oasis as hard as I've seen anyone play the guitar. It was the angriest and smelliest version of that song I've ever seen and heard and smelt. Stu looked on in sheer horror until inevitably a couple of strings gave way and snapped violently. I don't think I'll ever forget the look on Stu's face at that was kind of a cross between disbelief, panic and murder and disgust.

First night was boss - we just got a load of sausages in and had a little BBQ outside on the balcony. it was a really warm and balmy night and we stayed up for ages just catching up. In the morning I took Stu around all the usual sight-seeing attractions and what have you and we spent pretty much all day just walking around Berlin. Edda, the poor little kitten, had been sent home from work ill so we briefly met her up to give her the keys and then left her to sleep in a park where shortly after we left her she would be circled by a strange child.

I had to leave Stuey to his own devices on Thursday as I had been offered some work as a stage hand at the Olympia Stadion, helping them set up the 'fan meile' - the public viewing screen for the world cup games. It was fairly tough going, mostly because from 7.30am until 4am we were all totally exposed to sun and it was so freakin' hot and sunny and all day. I pretty much burnt myself and came home looking like somebody else. Stu had spent the day in Berlin Zoo and showed photographs of all the animals when we met up later that day. I want to go to the Zoo because they've got a shark. We had an awesome pizza at one of mine and Edda's favourite Pizza places in the evening. It's called Due Forni and it's on Schoenhauser Allee. It's a little bit like the record store from the film High Fidelity if it sold pizzas and not records - the staff are aloof at best and it takes an absolute age to both get served and have your pizza on the table but it's absolutely worth the wait if you're into pizza. We spent the rest of the evening just sat outside an off-license drinking for a few hours...that's not as scummy as it sounds though. It's not like buying a bottle of White Lightning from Bargain Booze and sitting on the steps of the bombed out church in Liverpool, they had a few couches outside with a table and inside they serve over 140 different bottles of beer really cheap so it's a totally acceptable and civilised way to spend a super warm evening in Berlin.

On Friday Stuart and I went to play International Super Soccer Fussball down on Tempelhof - the old airport place I was on about and I played pretty rubbish but that's mostly because I couldn't stop being a massive snotty mess due to my allergy to nature. Boss BBQ ensued with sausage, chickens in a delicious marinade made by Nick and Mic (footy founders and all round good eggs), small pieces of steak and pretzels. We then watched the first game of the 2010 world cup on some screens in the park which was nice and we also ate loads of haribo and shared them with a child who consequently went nuts because of all the sugar we were feeding him.

We said ta-ra to Stu on Saturday afternoon after getting some photos done in the photoautomat on Kastanien was really good to see him and I think he enjoyed himself alot.

That night Edda and I (edda had recovered from her illness by this point) met up with Ronan, Ilene and her daughter Paula, Vitaly and Matt to watch the England v USA game in an ace bar which had a big screen outside which allowed us to bring our own booze. Afterwards myself and Matt and Edda went to this MTV party somewhere or another which was full of more booze and added dancing. Unfortunately, I recently seem to have regressed to my 15 year old self when it comes to drinking and I was so drunk that yet again I had to leave due to feeling like I might vomit upon some hipster.

I think I may be working at the ACDC concert next week and I've also got some more bits of manual labour work coming up. I quite like it to be honest, it means I don't have to go to a job every single day so I still have time to do things like write and record and play footy and all that type of stuff. Hopefully this work will be fairly consistent now.

My knees are super-sore today after playing soccer yesterday with a load of german guys who were definitely a little bit hostile toward me at the start of the game but I think they warmed to me a bit as we played more...apart from one guy who just point blank refused to shake my hand after the game! What a nob'ed!

Whilst Stu was over I listened to the Ted Leo and The Pharmacists song 'The Unwanted Things' alot. I've been listening to a lot of Ted Leo recently actually. Ted Leo, Weezer and Elliot Smith have been played to death almost exclusively. Actually, I listened to Low whilst cooking yesterday. Mega.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010


Later on that day (following on directly from the last post) I went to meet Nick and Ronan and Matt, who are some lovely people I've met through playing what I now call 'International Super Soccer'. I met them in Tempelhof which was this time last year a functioning airport! They closed it down and after a while decided to turn into a huge, airport-sized park! It's so amazing...the runways are now used for cyclists and in-lane roller skaters (is that what you call them) and skater kids, the airport building and the hangars are used as venues formusic festivals and the grassy areas that surround it all are full of people just sitting off and having bbqs and beer and what have you. In the park they also have the cleanest public toilets I have ever used. I would never normally consider having a poo in a toilet in a park but here (although I was kind of forced into a corner, shall we say) I didn't hesitate and went straight in and didn't even line the toilet seat with half of the toilet roll like I usually do. Even at home.
Anyway, it was a lovely day and ever since then it's been really hot.

I've secured some work this week too - it's just manual labour work but it's fairly well paid and the first job is working at the Olympia Stadium helping to put up the huge screens for public world cup viewings.

I also had my first DJ gig last Friday. It was really, really fun but it was clouded by the fact that I went and put it on facebook that I was DJng with Terry Hall. I put this as the status on my facebook because the lady who organised the evening put on her facebook that he was...'Guest DJ Terry Hall and Chris McIntosh' plus she put a link to a Specials song. I thought this was totally believable. If she wrote 'Guest DJ Andy Gray' with a link to some punditry then I might have raised an eye brow. Anyway, Terry Hall was not DJng and before this moment, I've quite happily let my facebook friends believe that last Friday I did indeed DJ with Terry Hall. So please take this as an apology for letting you believe I was doing something awesome. Especially to Jules who almost booked a flight to come here on the spur of the moment. Thank fuck you didn't. Also, the reason I was DJng there initially was because I'd agreed to lend my guitar to the guy who was playing that night. He was a guy from Los Angeles called Philip Seymour Hoffman...I won't tell you how excited I got at the prospect of lending my guitar to Philip Seymour Hoffman, the famous actor.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Silent Sleeping and sun and choc balls

One of the things I love about living in Berlin is the fact that you can take a guitar to a park on a gloriously hot and sunny day like today, on your own, and play and write stuff without feeling like you're about to be battered or at least called a goth or a hippy some angry children. You might look like a dickhead, like, but you won't be confronted by angry children. I remember one time actually, a little but relevant, when 28 Costumes and Voo were playing at this awful gig in North Wales and we'd gone to a pub after soundcheck to watch the Liverpool game somewhere. On the way back to the venue we saw these youngs scally kids, probably about 12 or 13 years old and I think maybe they looked at us and laughed as we drove past them so Graham hung out the window and shouted 'YOU'VE GOT NO FUTURE'. They just looked dead confused but we were all laughing our dicks out because it was probably true. When we realised it actually was probably true we didn't find it funny anymore and we were all felt really sad.

Another thing I love about living in Berlin is the fact that I can buy a 1kg box of choco balls (Germany's cheap version of coco pops) for about 3cent. They taste amazing but honestly, the sound they make inside my head whilst im chewing them is apocalyptic! I have tinitus by the end of the bowl. It's damaging.

I've been writing some new songs recently, loads's been nice having so much time on my hands in one way because it's allowed me to write loads of new stuff. I've been writing stuff that I know I'll be able to play on my own on an acoustic guitar or on a piano so I can play some gigs out here soon. I really wanted to do something with a band but that's gonna have to go on the back burner for the time being, it's just not practical - I don't know anybody yet who would like to be in a band and even then it's gonna take loads of time and stuff. Plus I haven't actually got an amp, so that could be a problem. So yeah, I'm going to start doing some shows on my own hopefully by the end of June/middle of July. I think I'm going to go under the guise 'Silent Sleep', which is the name of a Hallo...I love You! song and it sounds so much better than Chris McIntosh. Anyway, tomorrow I'm going to do a photo shoot with a friend called Leena who takes really nice pictures and last night I met up with Hendrik and Franzi who have a really amazing idea for a video for the first song which I finished writing on the tram on the way to theirs last night. I'm really excited! It's called Come! Let's Run Away. I'll try and get it up on that internet soon.