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.