Although it’s Week 5 now, I’m writing about events that happened a few weeks ago. I often need a little time to reflect, and because today I unexpectedly find myself with a day off, I have the time and energy to write.
From Berlin we drove back to Hamburg then headed north as far north
as you can go before boarding a boat for Denmark, Flensburg, Moin Moin. "Moin moin" is a typical greeting unique to Flensburg. Also unique to Flensburg is Lars Hansen, bass player and my dear friend, and organiser of the show. Many of Lars's friends and family were at our show, including some of his old school teachers. Lars graduated only a few years ago! Steffi (Lars's wife) joined us on stage with vocals. Steffi’s a fine, fine singer with a successful musical career. I’ll keep you posted on her next album, to be recorded in my hometown, Victoria BC. The show was very special, the hospitality legendary! Heinz's two daughters joined us at the show and it felt like family as we munched on delicious green room food before and after the show. Why is it called the Green Room, I wonder?
Lars gave us the tour of his town, featuring all the places that meant something to him: his soccer pitch where he scored all of those memorable goals (unverified), his school where he passed all his exams with A+ (again unverified), the street named after him (yeah yeah yeah), and his very own brewery (oh come on Lars!).
Sat. Nov. 8
We The Band drove back to Hamburg, then myself, Heinz and the girls travelled to Cadenberge, the home of my friend Wolfgang Hess (The Listener). This is the sixth time I’ve played Cadenburge, the last being December 2013 with The O'Brien Family — a sold out concert in the big church, with an even bigger Christmas tree. I had a great night in Calle's venue, playing as a duo with Heinz. Afterwards we drove home to Hamburg completely unaware I had left my bag with my passports at the venue!
On Sunday night, 30 minutes out of Hamburg, we played a sold out show in a quaint church in Handeloh. A fabulous evening with the most wonderful audience, and a place I would love to return to. It wasn’t until I got home after the Handeloh gig that I looked for my bag and passports, to find them… gone. I spent a panic-filled hour searching before remembering where I had left them. The next morning I was due to get a train south to Grevenbroich, but now first had to get the train north to Stade, 90 minutes in the wrong direction, then back again of course to Hamburg. My humblest thanks to Calle for meeting me at the station. There’s nothing like losing your passport in a foreign country to help you get the adrenalin flowing.
— Paul O'Brien
ps. Join us in the Go Left Club if you simply can't get enough of Lars