It was probably the full moon that prevented me from staying in on Sunday night, when all I really wanted was a glass of wine and to sink into bed. Berlin had just experienced a week long stretch of hot days but now the temperature had dropped a bit and some fine rain had created a giant double rainbow across town, which you could see on everyone’s Facebook profile.
I was even asked to go see Glasvegas who played the Postbahnhof that night but after a long weekend that included The Fall (old hip), Creep (cold hip), The Black Lips (rock hip) and Holy Ghost! (hot hip), what more could there be? Scottish whiners? When I finally stepped out of the house and sat in my car I just drove off with no particular aim- well, I drove towards Postbahnhof first just to see if I was still on the guestlist (having declared I wouldn’t come by SMS two hours earlier). And when I wasn’t I sounded just a bit too happy and loud in replying, Oh, that’s OK, no problem! And walked off, swinging into that deep blue Berlin night.
Back in the car I passed Alexanderplatz (the only two high buildings in Berlin looking amazing in contrast to that deep azure sky) and continued to White Trash which promised Hugo Race and band… what? I immediately knew that this was an ideal Sunday treat, some itty-bitty Aussie flavour on top that would be the perfect end to my week. On top of that it was only 3 Euros to get in.
Shame on you who didn’t turn up because the place was full with a branch of well known Berlin tourists, those who order pink cocktails with a huge stick of green selery innit, except for a chosen few, who were sipping beers in black shirts with or without tattoos and pointy boots that are worn winter as well as summer. Also, I haven’t seen Hugo for ages. Last time must have been a quadrillion years ago, or at one of those shitty Kulturbrauerei performances, where the Senates’ money drips from the ceiling and there is no atmosphere to be found.
But this is White Trash and the first time in years I have seen Hugo face to face is met with, “How are you doing Ollie?” accompanied by a flabby handshake and eyes directed somewhere else, as if my ghost hasn’t been with me since. This is typical. No invite or nothing, not even an answer to my broad response “Waddaya mean man, just tonight or after all these years?” It even took me a while to spot them at the table and half a beer to even move over and sit down. It took me while to remember how you deal with the real but then it was cool.
The fun started when Nick and Dave from Melbourne turned up and things started to roll. “There’s a lot of bitching and backstabbing” in Aussie talk we concluded and if the news were already out on Lady Gaga’s Dildo-heels, it would have made for another topic all night long.
Just for the record, Hugo also played. The Irish-Chinese-rubbish-kitsch interior of White Trash’s restaurant upstairs made a good backdrop for his swampy voodoo blues, somewhere between Blue Velvet’s underlay and mainstream rock. Yep, rock ! Hugo’s two muso-partners comprising Antonio Gramentieri on guitar and Diego Sapignoli on drums made more of a mystery moon than ever, dangling all kinds of tribal percussion over some sort of steady backbeat, while Gramentieri played the basslines on a Tele, when not pitching high notes over Hugo’s constant riff picking. Hugo’s soulful voice snarling and purring like dense mist laying over a deep mountain lake under that full moon. If this show was typical, there’s more accessibility than ever in Hugo’s tragic approach, something that you should find on Hugo’s newest release entitled “Fatalists”.
Still, Hugo, who couldn’t help but tell us where he bought his remarkable pair of shiny black boots, is an enigmatic sort of guy with who makes big claims and generates high expectations. His music still gets you in your deepest dreams and lets you walk off like a sleep-walking sailor, or as we put it, lets your consciousness follow your footsteps half a mile behind.
The rest of the evening was spent telling jokes, talking cars or girlfriends, something I haven’t done for ages. As well as reminding me of it the next day for some reason, which reminds me to hop off again, and get ready for this new week.
Listen and buy Hugo Race “Fatalist”: http://www.hhv.de/hitem_232897.html