Great venues, great friends and great soup

The 2014 Long May You Sing Tour has begun… the screaming fans, pestering paparazzi, overbearing company execs wanting to endorse their product, earnest TV reporters pleading for the exclusive interview, all of them! Not here, which I think is best!
Jutta soup served in Gaenstedt

The joys of Jutta soup

Erich and Little Erich in Gadenstedt

Will the real Erich please stand up

I’ve played Gadenstedt before, and one of my clearest memories is the kindness shown me by Jutta and Erich who manage the venue. I was not mistaken, Jutta is the perfect host. She made a delicious soup, and the show was sold out. Bernd Brockman opened with solo guitar to kick off a great night had by all, including Erich, and Little Erich, and my buddy Bjorn.

After Gadenstedt Lars, Heinz and myself headed south to Cologne, Grevenbroich specifically (which is a very, very hard name to say). I've been trying now for five years and have made very little progress. In fact, I think I'm getting worse! My old friend Stefan was at the gig which was again sold out. Last time I played Grevenbroich solo, I fielded the strange request to sing Billy Joel's "Piano Man". No one had ever heard me play piano, which was most conspicuous given its absence. But I did it, if only to make Billy feel better since so many of his fans keep bugging him to sing my "Sacred Line" song, which I’m not sure he ever has.

Serving sumptuous salmon in Marbach, Germany

Now serving sumptuous salmonmmmmm!

Whilst packing for the tour I remembered all this and threw in my harmonica on the remote chance I would get the same request, and would you believe when I asked for requests Monika in the front row came through. I did it, however, as soon as I started I realised the harmonica was in the van. It wasn't my most professional moment (stopping the show and searching the van) but the audience patiently waited and Monika was pleased nonetheless.

From Marbach, Lars and I drove to Munich to stay with Lar's friends David and Christina and their scrumptious 19-month-old twin boys. It was such a treat to experience family life while on the road, although watching them chase the boys completely exhausted me and reminded me of the days when I had little ones at home. Magical times though, and it keeps you fit!

From Munich we drove 400km northeast to Zietz. I’ll end my diatribe here because Zietz deserves its own blog entry… and it's going to get one!

Paul O’Brien

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