The Lion And The Wolf in Rosenheim / Schloss Zeil in Leutkirch

The Lion And The Wolf in Rosenheim / Schloss Zeil in Leutkirch. 25th August 2014.

Morning after the Leutkirch gig Matthias took us up to the castle Schloss Zeil above Leutkirch for a walk around. Only increased the feeling that we were somewhere out of a fairytale.

That evening’s gig was in Rosenheim at Asta Kneipe. Sven was putting this gig on – Tom had done some work for him for Timezone. Made it over to Rosenheim, Sven took us for a good Chinese (I think I remember I ate a sharing platter of veggie gyoza on my own… mmmmm…). Went to the supermarket and stocked up on various junk food for the drive to Kiel the next day, we were basically in the far South of Germany and had a 1,000km drive to the far North the next day. Stopping was not going to be on the agenda.

Gig and venue was spot on, as with pretty much every one on the tour.

More photos from the castle and video of the show after break.

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The Lion And The Wolf house show in Leutkirch

The Lion And The Wolf, Jimmy Broomfield, Mr Instead and Michael Stelzm├╝ller house show in Leutkirch. 24th August 2014.

Today was going to be one of the longer trips of the tour, we had to get from Essen in the Ruhrpott to Leutkirch, which is just before the border with Austria. Before that though, we needed to stop off in the middle so that Tom could randomly look at a guitar (I think it was a friend of a friend was selling it). Jimmy liked the sound of it as well, so the solution was probably going to be a knife fight. Get there, Tom decides he doesn’t want it, but Jimmy has that look of sheer love on his face from the minute he picks it up. Kind of appropriate, because the guy selling it was the absolute spit of Jimmy as well. Third guitar added an element of jenga to loading up the car, but we managed it and left. Then turned back, got the correct Jimmy and headed to Leutkirch.

Confession time, because I’m English and crap with foreign languages, I didn’t realise that Wohnzimmer was German for living room. Got all the way there before realising it was a house show. Anyhow, we got to Matthias’s family house, and it was like something out of the Sound Of Music. View across the valley to the Alps, balcony, castle above the village. One of the guys originally was going to leave early, so it turned into one of those evenings where each of the acts does a few songs in rotation. After everyone was done Matthias took us all up to the top of the hill above the village for some stargazing and party guitar. Really special evening.

More photos and video after break.

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Stefan Flanders at SpecOps Network in Munster

Stefan Flanders at SpecOps Network in Munster. 23rd August 2014.

After our crazy night of spreadsheets, the Lego Movie, non-alcoholic beer and vegan kebabs we had another short drive. This time we were heading from Hamm to Munster. Tom had played a different venue in Munster before, so we decided we’d head there and just hang out. Admittedly, did find a park to play in before that. Just big kids really. Anyhow, the cafe had Club Mate, which Jimmy had been telling me I’d probably like. Had a 500ml bottle, liked it. Had another bottle. Had a third bottle, and then got a fourth. That’s when Jimmy noticed I’d been to the counter a few times, and asked in a concerned voice if I knew that it was about as caffeinated as Red Bull. Think I spent most of the rest of the day with a death grip on various tables and slightly twitching. That stuff is good.

Name of the venue had been niggling me, because it sounded familiar. Turns out it’s named after the organisation in Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next books. It’s almost half bookshop, half social organising centre, half venue and half bar. Which makes it two things as a whole, but it did over achieve a lot. Headlining that night was Stefan Flanders. Finished up, then headed back to Essen to sleep.

More photos and video after break.

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The Lion And The Wolf at a wedding

The Lion And The Wolf at a wedding in Germany. 22nd August 2014.

Today was possibly the day looming largest in Tom’s mind over the first few days of the tour. Mainly because he’d been asked to play a wedding. A wedding is traditionally a happy day in a large number of people’s lives, and The Lion And The Wolf is… erm… not exactly party music (“folk punk from the sadder end of the spectrum”, “thought provoking reflections on themes of painstaking love, loss, and homesickness”, “fragile emotion memories of sadness and loss”, you get the idea).

Of course, me and Jimmy were supportive, and in no way repeatedly mentioned this in the car, on the ferry, in the hotel room, while we were getting breakfast with Tommy. None of these.

It actually turned out to be fine – the most German looking of venues in the countryside. Tom had a bit of a warm up in the field beforehand, and then me and Jimmy played football with a little kid. We got wedding grub as well! All finished up quite early, so we checked into a cheap Hotel BB for the night in Hamm. Total Lads On Tour free evening – we got vegan kebabs, watched The Lego Movie, Jimmy watched the golf, I had alcohol free beer, and Tom did his spreadsheets.

Lads.

More photos after break.

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The Lion And The Wolf at Cafe Zogel in Dusseldorf

The Lion And The Wolf, Jimmy Broomfield and Major (One Eye Open) at Cafe Zogel in Dusseldorf. 21st August 2014.

Next day after De Villa we had a short trip to Dusseldorf, so we had some time to kill. Took the option to stop off in Baarle – it’s a place where Belgium and the Netherlands have enclaves within each other and enclaves within those enclaves. You can walk along a street and cross the border three or four times.

After that we headed to Cafe Zogel in Dusseldorf to meet up with Tommy. Tommy plays in One Eye Open with Major, and Major opened up the gig. Played a bit of Ingress beforehand and ended up meeting one of the German Resistance (I’ve got an Enlightened take on life).

More photos and video after break.

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Doghouse Rose at De Villa in Rijkrvorsel

Doghouse Rose, The Lion And The Wolf and Jimmy Broomfield at De Villa in Rijkrvorsel. 20th August 2014.

So, back in August I took a few days off from work to drive Tom George (The Lion And The Wolf) and Jimmy Broomfield (Jimmy Broomfield) on tour around Germany and Benelux. I love going out on tour when I get the chance – it’s a great way to see places you wouldn’t normally see, bands and acts you wouldn’t have had the chance to see, and make friends you would never otherwise have met. I didn’t actually know Tom before the tour, but decided this would be fun on the basis of a random Facebook post from Jimmy (I heartily recommend taking on random ideas from Jimmy).

Tom and Jimmy stayed over the night before, we loaded two guitars, sleeping gear and bags into my Ford Focus and headed off to Dover early on the Wednesday morning. Over the channel, through France, and then into the traffic jam otherwise known as Belgium. The show that night was in an awesome American style cafe in Rijkrvorsel called De Villa owned by Dietrich and Sofie. Chickens out the back, bands playing on an outdoor stage, good food and atmosphere. Headliners were a Canadian rockabilly/country band called Doghouse Rose.

More photos and video after break.

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