Germany Tour Day 10 – Munich (well Ottobrunn which is just outside of Munich)
Waking up in Germany is one of the greatest experiences, especially when you're staying with people. Max once again proved to us that Germans know how to breakfast and how to treat their guests. He got up before us, went to the bakery and set up an array of bread and even got me a donut (I'd been doing my JFK "Ich bin ein Berliner" joke since I arrived).
We had to leave pretty early as we had a good 7 hour drive ahead of us, but both Joe and I were sad about leaving Berlin and Max in particular, but I knew we had a good day in store, so it was a nice sadness to have.
Today's gig was the only one that I can claim to have organised. When I say organise, I mean my friend Kathy organised it. In April when I was touring Europe with Danny Gruff, Kathy arranged a gig for us at Murphy's Irish Bar in Ottobrunn and we spent a couple of days with her and her sister having a great time exploring Munich and the surrounding area. I was very keen to go back, so I asked if she could organise something for Joe and I. In truth, this gig was well out of the way. Munich is considerably further south than the rest of the gigs we'd played, and the fact it was the last date also added a massive inconvenience to our journey home, but I was adamant that we should play this gig and visit Kathy.
The drive was long, but the scenery was wonderful and we got through a fair few CDs. It amazed me that Joe and I were still able to find so much to talk about even though we'd been in each others pockets for the last 9 days.
We arrived at Kathy's house at about 6pm. We dropped our bags into her flat and then went round to her parents house, where we joined them for their family meal. It was Kathy's mums birthday, and we'd gatecrashed. She made us a typical Bavarian meal of white sausages, mustard and pretzels. Something I feel everyone should experience at least once in their life. The way that this wonderful family welcomed us is just incredible, and it's so difficult to fully express what I mean by this. Kathy and her sister Leni speak English but their parents speak only very broken English (although much more than Joe and I speak German), and yet they treated us like we're part of their extended family and tried to do everything they could to accommodate us.
After dinner we headed to the bar. We set up and it looked like it might be a pretty quiet night. It was really nice to see some familiar faces though. Some from when I played the bar with Danny in April and some who I met briefly at Lost Evenings in Camden in May, as well as the wonderful staff at Murphy's. Martin the boss is a real character, and someone I wish I had time to get to know better. Once again the hospitality of the venue was impeccable. This is the last gig of the tour, and there was a huge part of me that didn't want it to ever end, just because of the way that the German people treated us the whole time we were there.
We played our sets, the audience was incredibly generous and we had our best night financially of the whole tour, which really meant the long trip south was not a waste of time in terms of money, but even if this had not been the case, it would have still been a memorable day for the right reasons. My friend Evelyn even made the journey from Stuttgart (which is a few hours away) to come and watch the gig.
After the gig, I promised Martin that I would come back for a weekend gig in December so we can party and then we headed back to Kathy's house. We got to sleep straight away as we had a ridiculously early start in the morning. It's a shame that we didn't have more time to spend with Kathy and Leni, or to go into Munich and explore, but alas, this was just a fleeting visit south.
Day 11 - Driving home.
An 18 hour journey driving through Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium and France, a quick journey on a train (still in the van) through a tunnel and then back in the UK. There's very little to say other than, by the end of the day my lips and my feet were both swollen. We ate the worst we'd eaten across the whole tour on this day and having spent so much time on German roads, getting back in the UK and having every motorway that we want to use be closed for roadworks, and to have get stuck in a 40 minute jam when we were 2 miles from my door, it's safe to say that this was not my favourite journey home I've ever had. I also nearly wet myself in Belgium, it was very close, and that's probably a good way to close out these blogs.
Thanks to Joe for organising the tour and for taking me along. I want to go to Germany again. Lots. It's incredible. If you're a singer/songwriter and you're reading this. Don't delay, just book it up and go. You won't regret it!
Thanks all the venues, to everyone who put us up and to those who came and watched us sing. I'll never forget this tour.