THE BLOG

German Tour Week One: The Osnabrück Experience

24/02/2014 00:10 | Updated 25 April 2014

One week ago yesterday we started our tour across Germany with Ryan Sheridan and his band. The time has gone so fast, and there are still two full weeks to go. The highlight of the tour so far has to be the two days we spent in Osnabrück.

Osnabrück is a city in the Niedersachsen region of north western Germany. We arrived there on Wednesday night, after a great night playing at a place called Kultur Fabrik in Krefeld, another city in the western area. We drove straight from Krefeld into Osnabrück and arrived at around 11:30 in the evening. All four of us, Steve (electric guitar), Kirsten (tour manager), Alan (cello) and I, were shattered and went straight to be.

The next day we headed for the Rosenhof theatre, Osnabrück. The first thing you notice about the place is the decor. From the outside it looks like a 60s movie theatre that's seen some better days. But on the inside it's something like a jazz café. The hanging curtains of beads falling from the ceiling reminded me of those curtains they used to use to separate one room from another in homes during the 80s (maybe some people still use these... Not sure). The beads were accompanied by globe like structures and mirror balls. The whole effect was inviting and special, the right side of homely. It was something like a really big juke joint, if ever I'd thought of imaging one.

The setting was perfect for our set. A few tables at the front accommodated a relaxed atmosphere, and a slick bar to stage right was never too noisy or intrusive. The venue was pretty full when we went on, and at 855 capacity that was really great. Like many of the shows on this tour the audience were quiet and respectful. The biggest laugh in fact came when I thanked them for being so attentive, it seems to be the done thing here. It was a thoroughly enjoyable half hour.

Afterwards I went round to the merchandise desk, where there was a queue waiting for me. After a bit of a CD signing, Kirsten drove the gear back to the hotel and we watched Ryan's set for the second time on the tour so far. His set is really upbeat and fast moving and the rhythms and stage craft are pretty faultless.

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This show at the Rosenhof was going to be followed by a day off, so after the show it was party time. The backstage area of the Rosenhof was perfect, a large greenroom with plenty of catering and a crate of beer. Unfortunately however, Steve, and Alan and I stared our party while the band were still on stage, and we managed to finish the crate of beer before they'd finished playing. So quickly we went to find the venue representative who kindly delivered a second crate of beer before the band came off stage... Phew!

During the next few hours I managed, however, to plough through a bit too much of Ryan's brandy, copious amounts of Haribo (that isn't a euphemism), and a few more bottles of beer. After that, well, we were suddenly in the Sheridan tour bus heading to a club. Then we were in the club, and then Kirsten was helping me into a taxi and back to the hotel... I'm told that was around 2am.

I woke up at around 10am the following day, and having missed breakfast I managed to eat an apple and some rice crackers, which I had in my bag. Then I went back to bed and slept until 3pm.

I knew Steve, Kirsten and Alan had gone into town and were by this time exploring a few old churches and galleries (my usual pass times when visiting nice cities, rarely being the one with a monster hangover). So I got myself together and decided the half hour walk into the centre of Osnabrück would be good for me.

And it was. Firstly, I found a music shop and bought a few packs of new guitar strings. Then I sniffed out a MacDonald's to cure that hangover craving you get for crappy food. After that I took a stroll around the town. I walked by the university; the beautiful town square, home to Osnabrück theatre, and lastly I explored the market area, an old historic section of the town. Then it started to get late, so I called Kirsten to find out where the day had taken my companions. They were drinking German beer in a quaint little boozer not far from where I'd found myself.

It was drizzling and a bit hazy and I took a few panoramic shots of the town as the street lights came on. Kirsten found me and we went to join Alan and Steve at this smart little pub named the Osnabrück Potato Haus (rough translation). Once there they regaled me with tales of the night before... All the things I'd missed while I was being ferried back to the hotel in a stupor.

We've played Magdeburg and Kiel since then. So now it will be a Southward journey through Germany as we play Lüneburg, Freiburg, Tübingen, Nürnberg, Dresden, Hamburg an Berlin before returning to the U.K.