What are the options? Screw them all!

Martin and James – Rosenhof, Osnabrück; February 4th, 2012

After a good night’s sleep everything went smoothly for R. and me. We arrived in Osnabrück in the afternoon, found a Kebap House right next to the Rosenhof and sat down for food, met up with K., B. and N. and decided to freeze for a bit outside the venue. It seemed a lot colder than the previous night so we were really happy when they let us in. To my surprise, our bags weren’t checked at all. We were the first to enter and secured a spot front row center. The venue is really beautiful; an old movie theater that still has the stage and some of the decoration. It was a lot less crowded than at the Luxor and we had room to move.

Jim Kroft started on time, once again with Jonas Lieber supporting him. He even had brought a guitar this time around. I found myself singing along to a few of the songs and realized I really wanted his CD. I quite enjoyed his set. A few more times and I might actually remember the names of the song too. There are a few I enjoy a lot, but as of now I cannot yet name them. So Jim Kroft has really grown on me over these past few days and I’m glad to have given him a second chance.

By the time Martin and James started, the place had filled up a bit, but the crowd was nowhere near as big or enthusiastic as it was in Cologne. The setlist remained the same, but the performance was different. With less feedback from the audience the guys had to work considerably harder to get the show going. The fans in the front row tried their best to clap and sing along and cheer them on.

The light was great so I took quite a few pictures, trying to capture the show with my camera. It always amazes me how effortlessly they switch instruments and places without ever losing track of what to play next. The fact that they now play drums too made me fleetingly think of street musicians with drums on their backs, but the thought went by quickly. I marvel at their skills every night and sometimes wonder how many more instruments they are able to play. Lucas is a good addition – he does not only play the double bass, but the piano as well. The different instrumentation and the changes gives the entire gig a lot more structure and drive. There is always so much to watch and no matter which side in front of the stages someone is standing on, you always get a view of both guys.

The new songs get better every time I hear them. The lyrics are still mostly lost to me, but I understand bits and pieces now and I am finding favorites. So far they seem to change every night. ‘Life’s a show’ really sticks out of the bunch, because t is so much slower than the other three. Because of the music, ‘Cynical Skin’, ‘Hard to cry’ and ‘The Rope’ seem to be much more upbeat, but the little I grasp of the lyrics tells me a different story. They still like sad songs (as they always pointed out last year). That goes well with my liking of melancholia and does make me happy. To quote one of my favorite Doctor Who episodes: “Sad is indeed happy for deep people.” 😉

At one point I had to laugh really hard but I cannot remember why. It had nothing to do with the songs, I don’t think it had anything to do with what was going on on stage, but I had a really hard time to stop. Also, James cracked up laughing because there was a screen opposite the stage where they kept projecting ads for upcoming events and one of them was this weird picture of two guys on a bed.

I really enjoyed the gig, clapped and sang along. It was great to have wonderful people around me to share this with. For some odd reason everyone behind us was keeping their distance. Either we must have smelled really bad or they just did not want anything to do with the crazy people at the front. Either way, that didn’t spoil our fun and for ‘I have to fall’ K. even got the Tambourine and played along.

After the gig we had a nice chat with Jim Kroft, who hugged me when I told him he had won me over during those three nights. Martin and James signed my pop-art poster and were quite happy when I gave them a copy. I told them I had missed “Waltz” and that for us the song has always been called “With you”. They answered that the song went by different names and that they could not include it because they had a curfew. Shame, I hope it will make it back on the setlist. We chatted with them for a bit before they left. Once they were gone, we just sat on some stairs and talked until it was time to go and catch a train.

3 gigs down, 4 to go. Next stop: Göttingen

She’s light guiding
Turn it up
Maybe it’s time

Wrong directions
One way forward
You’re a window
I was blind
Bad Dream
Live Wires
Love’s not a Fight
Cynical Skin
Hard to cry
Little bits of Light
Life’s a Show
The Rope
All over the News
Crashing into Love

I have to fall/Twist and Shout/ You shook me all night long


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