I seem to remember going to bed at around 6.30 in Berlin and leaving for Hamburg at 12. By the time we arrive delirium had taken hold.
We were welcomed by a beautiful TV presenter who surprised us by interviewing us in the back of a Limo that drives around the Binnen-Alster, an artificial lake, past the banks, fancy hotels and designer shops of the downtown district as we talk.
But oh ‘tis a life of extremes this touring game… half an hour later we were sitting on the Reeperbahn in the rain waiting for the venue, Molotov, to open. The Reeperbahn is a long strip of sex shops, bars and fast food restaurants, and one street away is the red light district. The place is full of tourists visiting a wax works that has the worst model of Robbie Williams that I have ever seen in its window. In fact it’s the only wax model of Robbie I’ve ever seen. But it’s still shit.
There is an enormous open air stage in the street so we seized the moment to jump on and play some Beatles covers for the drunks that we sitting in front. They actually gave us money… I’ve never been given money before by someone who begs for a living. Strangely inspiring.
Just as in Berlin, Hamburg is a town that is rich with the mythology of popular culture. The Beatles are only the most famous example. We visited a bar next to the famous FC St Pauli stadium, Hamburg’s legendary Anti-Fascist football team. The punks that we meet here are impressive people. They are engaged in a movement that is genuinely dedicated to liberty and humanity, and they express this foremost in their incredible hospitality. Punk, like any popular movement, has its fair share of hangers on who value style over substance, but these folks know exactly what they are about.
The club emblem is of a skull. We are told that this represents the skull of a famous pirate who was killed here. He told his executioners that they could cut off his head, but that they would have to spare the lives of anyone of his comrades that he managed to touch after he had been decapitated. The pirates were lined up, there poor leader had his head chopped off, and in a display of legendary strength and general hardness, he managed to walk all the way to the end of the line, saving the lives of all his comrades. Unfortunately the captors went back on their word and killed them all anyway.
Our gig at Molotov is a sweaty, crowded party where we use our unhinged tiredness like a drug to let the music take hold.