Day 3: Shangl Hangl

April 12, 2013

Day three found us in the magnificently named Shangl Hangl. Arriving, we weren’t sure if we had the right place. There were a few blokes sat on a low sofa engaged in some kind of community guitar workshop. By the stairs a man made inexpert crepes, the detritus from several aborted attempts flung around him. Downstairs was more like it. A tiny Berlin cellar bar with a red strip light and a rudimentary PA. Another warm welcome, the offer of free drinks. Us and two Berlin-based Londoners, Robbie and Elsa. My heart sank a little – it was a...

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Day Two: Passports and Quiches

April 11, 2013

Day two was a trip from Vienna to Berlin on a long, slow, easy train after a frantic start brought on by a forgotten passport. Richard Kapp to the rescue again, smiling and joking even as we imposed on his morning off. On the train I felt like a permanent fixture among a rotating cast of Europeans: Viennese already familiar from half a day in situ, the Czechs slim and carefully dressed in cheap clothes, solid Germans with laptops and glasses. I slept for four or five hours, catching up on sleep from late nights and early mornings getting...

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Day 1: Richard Kapp

April 10, 2013

Richard came out while we were still unloading our bags and instruments from the taxi and offered his hand. There was a little flash of white in his beard that I’d not noticed in the photographs. A warm smile and a cigarette-husky voice. He grabbed Cara’s guitar and led us into his flat for a quick tour. Here is my beautiful toilet. There’s food and sandwiches in the fridge – help yourselves; we can cook later, after we’ve played, if you’re still hungry. Here’s the bedroom, where you’ll sleep. And here’s the room where the music happens. A small...

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