Champagne kisses

We’ve now been living in Berlin for little over 9 months. When I think back to when we first arrived at the turn of the year, it was getting dark at 4pm, temperatures were below freezing and we had no idea what the year ahead would bring. We’ve almost gone full circle.

Over these past 9 months, we’ve learnt a lot about what it takes to pack up your life and move to a country where you don’t speak the language. It’s been hard. Quite tempted to write a post highlighting some of the changes we’ve gone through.

But, enough of that for now. What have I been doing since the last time?

Emma and I both ran in The Great Berlin 10k at the weekend. It was the first race we’d run in since last year’s Battersea Park 10k. I managed to get a new PB, finishing with a time of 48:22 which I was very happy with. Many people have said that running in Berlin is good if you want to achieve a quick time as it’s predominately flat. We’ve now got the urge to enter another race.

We had a weekend in Dresden which was very nice; a place we’ve wanted to visit since we arrived in Berlin.

I’m not sure if I mentioned it, but I decided to leave the job I started back in April. It wasn’t quite right for me. I’ve spent the last few weeks searching for a new role, and fingers crossed I will have something sorted in the coming weeks.

Anyway, what have I been listening to over the past month?

Personal favourite, Shout Out Louds returned with their 5th record Ease My Mind, and what an album it is. The title track is strong, as too is ‘Porcelain’ and lead single ‘Oh Oh’. Very much looking forward to seeing them in Berlin this weekend!

Another band also released their 5th album the other week, The Horrors returned with V. Need to give it more attention, but from what I’ve heard of it so far, it’s sounding great.

For me, Saturday and Sunday mornings are about getting up, making some coffee and listening to Mary Anne Hobbs on 6Music. I’ve found some excellent new music by listening to her show. She recently played a track by Hello Skinny which caught my attention. I’ve been listening to his self-titled debut album a lot, and very much looking forward to his follow-up, Watermelon Sun, which I believe is out next month.

Of course, I’ve been listening to As You Were, the debut LP by Liam Gallagher. As an album, it’s what I expected from a Liam Gallagher release to be honest. By now, you either like him or you don’t. Lead single ‘Wall of Glass’ is the standout track for me, ‘I’ve All I Need’ and ‘Bold’ are decent. All in all, I like it.

As I sit here writing this, big brother Noel is being played on the radio. New single ‘Holy Mountain’ is sounding good.

Shout Out Louds - Ease My Mind
Shout Out Louds – Ease My Mind

We’ve also been playing the random album generator game I’ve mentioned in many previous posts. Among the albums this month, here are some that have randomly been selected:

  • The La’sThe La’s [1990]
  • SlavesAre You Satisfied? [2015]
  • The RaveonettesChain Gang of Love [2003]
  • Regina SpektorBegin to Hope [2006]
  • The Handsome FamilyOdessa [1994]
  • Pink FloydThe Division Bell [1994]

Of course, there’s been a lot more than that. I’ve been referring to Last.fm a lot over the past few weeks (yes, I’m still using the platform), looking at my listening data since 2006 – the year I created my account. I’ve found ways to segregate what I’ve listened to between 2 dates, so now you can look at every album I’ve listened to between 10th September (the date of my previous post) and today, 10th October.

Liam Gallagher – As You Were
Liam Gallagher – As You Were

Gigs? Yep, there’s been 2 over the last month…

Jessie Ware – Wednesday 27th September 2017 @ Lido, Berlin
So, so good! I’m already looking forward to her returning to Berlin next March. It’s just a shame that it won’t be at a 600-cap venue like this show.

Playing material off forthcoming album Glasshouse, this intimate show was a great platform for Jessie to road test her new songs. Alongside the new stuff, the set also included a lot from 2012 debut Devotion, and follow up Tough Love.

Very chatty between songs, Jessie asked everyone to kindly put their phones away whilst she performed ‘Say You Love Me’, to which everyone gladly obliged. During ‘Champagne Kisses’, Jessie received a welcome surprise from one audience member by having confetti thrown at her midway through the verse. Unable to sing the first chorus due to laughter, she distributed handfuls of the stuff to her band and more members of the audience. Didn’t quite work second time around, but it was a funny moment.

Until next time Jessie.

Liam Gallagher – Saturday 30th September 2017 @ Tempodrom, Berlin
A few weeks prior to this, I saw a tweet from Liam which simply read “BERLIN AS YOU WERE LG x“. How did I miss this?! I was gutted. But after searching, it turns out he hadn’t played over here. So perhaps it was just a visit, doing promo work for his album.

There was no sign of any upcoming Berlin date anywhere. A handful of people on Twitter mentioned Liam was playing at the Tempodrom at the end of September, but even this wasn’t confirmed by him anywhere. The Tempodrom website listed an event for Radioeins (Radio 1), celebrating 20 years, and on the lineup was Liam Gallagher, playing the main stage before a secret headliner. Without hesitation, we bought tickets.

With the exception of The Boxer Rebellion, I’d not heard of anyone else on the lineup so we weren’t bothered about getting there early. We did manage to catch Wanda who were on before Liam. Credit where credit is due, they did manage to get the crowd going. Aside from that, I thought they were terrible. But who am I to judge? After their set the room emptied, which left me rather bemused. Liam Gallagher is on next, where are you all going? Fair enough, we’ll just walk straight to the front then.

Unfortunately I won’t be in the UK for his tour at the end of the year, and even if I was, I doubt I’d get as close to the front as I did at this gig. No one seemed bothered. A mood which also reflected on the band too, did they really want to be playing this? I doubt it. Still, his 40 minute set was full of material from As You Were. Opening with Oasis classic ‘Rock ‘n Roll Star’, ‘Slide Away’ made an appearance half way through the set, and finishing with an acoustic rendition of ‘Wonderwall’. That’ll do me. I enjoyed it.

Now who is this secret headliner then? After Liams set, we got speaking to a German guy who was there with his dad. He’d lived in Manchester whilst at University and didn’t have a bad word to say about British music. Even he didn’t know who the headliner was. No one did. Germans take things very literally. If it’s a secret, it means it’s a secret. This guy mentioned to us that listeners of Radioeins are of the elder demographic, which wasn’t at all surprising to me. I felt like one of the youngest people there, and the most casually dressed.

Anyway, Emma and I were thinking that it had to be someone current, someone popular in Germany who is currently on the touring circuit with a new album. We thought of people like Depeche Mode, Gorrilaz, Arcade Fire, The Killers… you get the idea.

Oh how wrong we were. On walked a German band who sang in English and performed cover songs. They kicked the set off with God Save The Queen by the Sex Pistols. We looked at each other with that “Can you be bothered with this?” look. The next song was a Nirvana cover.

We headed to the bar to return our plastic cups, receive our 1€ deposit and left promptly.

Liam Gallagher performing at the Tempodrom in Berlin. (30/09/2017)

Not sure I have anything else for you right now. As you were. AR x