Not dead yet

Lost Evenings – Columbia Dreieck, Berlin; September 15th – 18th, 2022

More than two years ago, somewhere in early 2020, I had spontaneously bought tickets to Lost Evenings, because it was supposed to happen in Berlin and why the hell not? It never did happen that year, but when it was announced it would finally come to Berlin in 2022 I did not hesitate for a second. It just sounded like so much fun. So off I went to Berlin, to see what it’s like to celebrate music with Frank Turner and lots of other bands.

Day One (15.9.)

It all started at Silverwings, where I caught two open mic acts, before the festival was officially opened. Singer/ Songwriter Dan Thomas not only made me laugh when he explained how to find him on social media (Dan short for Daniel, Thomas like the tank engine and solo like Han Solo), but also played some great songs. When he played one about his ex, Dan joked about feeling like an asshole after listening to Grace Petrie’s ‘No Woman ever wants to be s Muse’. For his final song, he even got a sing-along going.

Amanda Rose Riley (not to be confused with the Canadian country singer Amanda Riley) played some beautiful compositions. Especially ‘I don’t love songs’, about “obsession with music and also depression” hit home with me. “Music’s made me fall in love with everything again and again. It used to be my reminder that I am alive.” She also covered a German song and it seemed like I was the only person in the room who didn’t know it. I really enjoyed her set.

Soon after, the man himself, Frank Turner, stepped on the tiny stage to officially open the festival and welcome us to Lost Evenings V. It had been a long time coming and finally here we were in Berlin after two year thinking it might never happen. The big smile on his face said everything.

He needed to get off the stage to make room for New Pagans.I stuck around for about two songs and loved their energy,, but the music was not for me. Over at Columbiahalle a line had already been forming for a while, so I got in the back. When they opened, I still scored a spot in front row on the left side.

Spent the waiting time chatting with the women to my left and right, got myself a drink and got ready for the show. Eventually Ingo Donot, the MC  stepped on stage, greeted us and announced Grace Petrie.

Grace had brought Ben Moss on violin and together the created some magic. They started off with ‘Storm to Weather’ and before the song was over I was in tears. I also had taken off my mask to to sing along at the top of my lungs. The song got to me when I first heard it and it still has lost none of its power.

Next up was ‘Ivy’, the song about rushing home from Glastonbury to see her niece bring born and again I was moved to tears. ‘You build a wall’ was brilliant, with many people singing along. And even though Grace claims to have made things worse since she started as a protest singer 12 years ago, songs like this give me hope that maybe songs can change minds after all. For sure they make the world at least a little better.

The cheers grew louder when she introduced ‘Black Tie’ and told us it had taken her until she was 30 to feel comfortable with being hertself because for so long society had been telling her that was not an acceptable way to be a woman. She didn’t  need to tell the fans at the front which lines to sing. We all knew and sang the entire song as loud as we could. What an anthem

Her set ended with ‘Northbound’ and we managed that sing-along just as well.  I loved every second of it.


Storm to Weather
You build a wall
Black Tie

I really would have loved to see Guise on the other stage over at Columbia Theater, but I did not want to give up my front row spot and she started before Grace was done. Shitty scheduling that.

We had some waiting to do while the stage was changed for Beans on Toast  (Jay McAllister) and I used the time to buy a T-shirt.Soon enough MC Ingo Donot was back, making announcements, calling Jay a geezer, but he didn’t seem to mind at all.

I’d never seen Beans on Toast  live before, but heard about him plenty. It was really fun, between good natured jokes and songs that ranged from silly to serious. In his first song he suggested to fight a war on all the awful thing in the world like war instead of a war on drugs and maybe teaching some hope. He talked a whole lot during and between songs and at lightning speed too.

Overall he sang for being more optimistic and having a more positive outlook on life despite all the shit going on. The drugs he sang about too might help with this. 😉 ‘The Ignorant Englishman’ was fun, apologizing for Brexit and lots of other stuff. Many songs were commentary on current events, others were love songs and I liked them all. Definitely worth seeing.


The War on War
Not Everybody Thinks We’re Doomed
Watching the World Go By
The Ignorant Englishman
The Chicken Song
New song about the new king
I’m Home When You Hold Me
The Album of the Day
World Gone Crazy
On & On
Money for War

More changing if stage (it’s quick when it is all acoustic sets) a little rumble with some drunk Americans who tried to squeeze into front row at the last minute and then it was time for Frank Turner playing an acoustic set with Matt Nasir. Of course MC Ingo made introductions and told us how he first met Frank and how once can always count on him.

Strangely enough he chose the Scorpions’ ‘Wind of Change’ as his intro music, but from the moment Frank stepped on the stage all alone with his guitar and started playing ‘Be more kind’ I was into it and loved everything about the show. I might have even shed a few tears. 😉

Matt joined him for ‘the Opening Act of Spring’ and for ‘The Way I tend to be’ everyone was already singing along. It was beautiful. Frank welcomed us to “Auftritt Nummer 2681” (gig number 2681) and even continued in German for a little bit, then switching to English and expressing how great it was that this was actually happening and not a live stream. Then we learned he fucked up a chord on the last song and playing a night on the mandolin was Matt’s punishment. For what neither of them knew.

I enjoyed everything about the gig and remembered most of the songs when I heard them? Did I know the lyrics? Hell no, but most other people in the room did and it was great fun listening. When we finally came to ‘The Road’ I sang along as loud as I could too. 😀 Before we got to that song though, there were other songs and some banter going on like Frank telling us he’d compare our noise level not to any regular show, but to all the other Lost Evenings and we needed to be louder.

Frank gave a shout out to all the other artists who played that day and joked with Matthew between songs. For ‘The Next Storm’ he tried and anti-sing-along, but someone didn’t get the message. “So close,” he commented. 😉 Afterwards he sent Matt off to his “scheduled union break” after ‘The Next Storm’ to play a few songs solo. “Lost Evenings is the time of the years when I play a shitload of songs that I don’t often play in the rest of the year” and all that without a teleprompter.

We got a brilliant solo set, including ‘Worse things happen at sea’, one of his first solo songs, ‘Balthazar, Impresario’ about making a living on the road (including fucking up the words) and ‘Tattoos’, his ode to getting and having them. For ‘Dan’s Song’ Frank told us about the times when he pulled people out of the crowd to play harmonica with him and how they stopped it because it’s not Covid safe, joking that might have started it all. He challenged us to do a noise solo instead and at first try we failed miserably. In the end of a set, he had a surprise guest: Jess Guise joined him for a great version of ‘Little Life’.

With ‘Don’t worry’ Matt was back. We got the wonderful ‘The Lioness’, with everyone singing along again and finally ‘Recovery’ and ‘Get better’ – what a better way to end the show than screaming out “We could get better – because we’re not dead yet” ? It was an amazing night!

Day 1 pictures


Be More Kind
The Opening Act of Spring
The Way I Tend to Be
The Real Damage
Losing Days
Little Changes
Pass It Along
The Road
The Next Storm

Frank solo
Worse Things Happen at Sea
Oh Brother
Dan’s Song
Balthazar, Impresario
21st Century Survival Blues
Thatcher Fucked the Kids
Journey of the Magi
Little Life (with Jess Guise)

Don’t Worry (Frank started solo, Matt joined later)
The Lioness
Get Better

DAY 2  ( 16.09.)

The second day of Lost Evenings started with discussion panels. I only caught the end of the first one which was Frank and the Sleeping Souls talking about ‘Love,Ire and Song’ and ‘England Keep my Bones’, the two albums they were going to play that night. It was packed and hard to hear from the back, but I caught some answers and had some laughs as they were teasing each other.

The second panel was the one I really wanted to see so I stayed. I needn’t have bothered coming so early, it was half empty. Jon Shaban, Martin Bechler and Dave Hause were talking about music as a universal language, bridging barriers. We heard how they got into music, experienced playing in different countries and how music can be a divider too. We also learned a little about Dave’s family and a lot about Martin’s pajamas.  😁

I took a little break and a walk, returned earlier than expected and ended up front row again next to the same people who had been there with me the first night. Hello again!

First band of the night were Fortuna Ehrenfeld. I’d never seen them before so I didn’t really know what to expect, but they were certainly fun. The first song, played by Martin acoustically belied their louder, punkier side. By the middle of the set we were all screaming along “Arschloch, Wixer, Hurensohn”. 😀 We didn’t even mind that they played longer than their time slot, because they had also started a little late and were so much fun to watch.


Gegen die Vernunft
Hör endlich auf zu jammern
Ein analoges Mädchen
Arschloch, Wixer, Hurensohn!
Die Panamoralische Liebe
Das letzte Kommando / Hundeherz

Soon Dave Hause and the Mermaid were on, announced by MC Ingo as one of the few singers of a Punk Band, who can get away with a solo career. He was right and I wondered how I could have forgotten about their music and how much I liked it. They played an amazing set and I especially enjoyed ‘Prague’, the one song I immediately remembered. What an energetic show that was. It was hard to keep my eyes off of Dave and his younger brother Tim.

They kicked off with ‘Autism Vaccine Blues’ and already we were singing along to the “woohoho” part. The band was playing so well and had such a great stage presence that there was no other option but moving along with the music. I clapped, I sang and I listened in awe. They gave us rock songs, country songs, punk-ish songs and everything in-between. I felt like dancing a lot.

Dave introduced the band and had some fun with it, describing Kevin as the man with the best head of hair, mentioning how Luke had to beat up alligators and republicans to get there and describing Tim as the reason in his life for hope. Many cheered when he talked about the Revival Tour – oh yes, I remember it well. He thanked everyone who gave him an opportunity.

“There’s something about getting older and surviving that feels good when you run into an old friend” he said before ‘Time will tell’ and the song was beautiful. ‘Dirty Fucker’ was the song to blow off steam and get out all the anger towards people who profited of other people’s loss and we might have some gripe with. They ended with ‘The Ditch’ which gave us one more chance to rock out. I didn’t grasp much of the lyrics then, but felt the song’s power. What an amazing band. I really need to put them on my list of people to see more often. The smile never left my face.  I went and bought their latest CD after the show.


Autism Vaccine Blues
We Could Be Kings
Prague (Revive Me)
Time Will Tell
Dirty Fucker
With You
Sandy Sheets
The Ditch

That night, Frank Turner was playing with the Sleeping Souls and they gave us ‘Love, Ire and Song’ as well as ‘England Keep My Bones’ in full, if not in order. MC Ingo talked about first albums he fell in love with and the former was one of them. I rather liked his commentary and tying the different acts together. He always started with the inclusive “Ladies, gentlemen and everyone in-between”. 🙂 As he called Frank and the band on stage he joked about the shitty itr song the previous night.

They started with ‘Eulogy’ which Frank sang in German. Hell yeah! I do admit that I don’t have much of a clue which one of Frank’s albums has which songs, but soon realized how many of his best songs are on these two. We all counted in to ‘Photosynthesis’ and the party was on the road. “I won’t sit down, I won’t shut up and most of all I will not grow up!” we all sang. Soon a people were dancing everywhere. Frank told us the rules: 1. Dont be a dickhead, 2. If you know the words you must fucking sing along. Then, he instructed us to form a circle at the center and it all went crazy from there. I love the energy, but was also happy I was at the front and to the side so I would not get caught up in the mosh pit.

People started crowd surfing during ‘Peggy Sang the Blues’ and as the first person was literally dropped to the floor at the front (luckily landing on his feet), Rank interrupted the show and told the security people to do their fucking job. He did not continue, until there were a bunch of them in front of the stage to catch the crowd surfers. As it should be! Thank you Frank for calling it out! <3 When the son g ended, he asked again if everyone was OK and told us to look out for each other.

Frank greeted us spoke about having a good time the first night and that it was kinda like a first date. 😀 This night sure was in a higher gear than the first one and I loved all of it. It was perfect for singing along, dancing and just going with the flow. Once in a while I looked around and marveled at the people singing along to every words to every song. It felt like I might have been the only one who could not. 😉 This did not stop me from having fun though. The good mood was contagious. And how awesome is it to sing “there is no god, no heaven and no hell”? 😀

Of course he talked about all the other bands playing that day and thanked them. All the ongoing fundraising was mentioned too. Before ‘To take you home’ he talked about things having changed since he wrote those songs and pointed out that his “better half” was “over there”. 🙂 He also felt the need to apologize when he sang love songs about somebody else. As if people didn’t have a past. 😉

‘Long live the Queen’ was played the way it was originally written, which apparently had not happened in a while. After ‘Rivers’ the band got a break. Frank mentioned that some songs played that night were rarities because they are hard to play. ‘Nights become days’ was introduced as a song that he wrote to get through to a friend, who was an addict, trying to get through to him. Apparently said friend is doing much better now. ‘English curse’, Franks impression of a traditional song was sung a cappella. It was brilliant. The man is really versatile. He showed that again during the encores when he played ‘Jet lag’ on the piano. It was written like that and even though Matt is the much better player, he wanted to perform it true to the original.

The night ended with ‘I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous’, ‘if I ever stray’ and finally ‘I still believe’. Hell yeah, I do. What else will save us all if not Rock ‘n’ Roll? Perfect night as perfect.

Day 2 pictures


Eulogy (Sung in German)
Peggy Sang the Blues
One Foot Before the Other
Reasons Not to Be an Idiot
Glory Hallelujah
Imperfect Tense
Wessex Boy
Better Half
Long Live the Queen
To Take You Home
Nights Become Days
English Curse
Love Ire & Song
St. Christopher Is Coming Home
A Love Worth Keeping
I Am Disappeared

Jet Lag (Frank solo on piano)
I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous
If Ever I Stray
I Still Believe

DAY 3 (17.09.)

In the morning of day 3, I saw a friend posting about seeing Del Amitri in Hamburg the previous night. I checked and they were playing in Berlin that day so I decided I would skip the evening shows and go there instead. However, I had stuff to attend before that.

Arrived at Columbia Theater early enough to attend Frank’s Ask me anything and heard some interesting questions and answers. It stuck with me how he talked about updating lyrics and that it makes sense for some songs (to make them more inclusive for instance) but not all. He also spoke about the meaning of Punk music for him and how it felt like to find his tribe, but part of that is feeling isolated when you are not with them. One question led him to talking about the trilogy of songs he had written about his dad and I immediately had Springsteen on my mind. When someone asked if he was going to do a duets album with Jess Guise at some point, he said they might, but that producing her album was an intense experience and how easily arguments about producing and songs can become arguments about something else.

I left early to get a good spot for Jess Guise over at Siverwings, caught the very end of Pet Needs’ set, then two open mic sets. One was Lea, from Germany, singing beautiful songs for us. Next was Dan Thomas with different songs this time. He had lost some of his voice from singing along, but still did well.

Jess Guise was realy amazing. She announced she’d play different songs than on the first night. We also learned that she was tired already and had lost a bit of her voice from singing along so much the previous night. Who could blame her?

She started with a beautiful rendition of ‘The Countdown’ and I immediately fell in love. It’s not like I haven’t heard her sing before, she does it every Monday for her Patrons, but this was different and drew me in from the start. <3 Afterwards she talked about writing the song about Frank when they had just gotten together.

The next one was about a harder time and she told us how they are happy now, but had to work for that. The song very nearly made me cry, it was so full of emotions. ‘The Crying Kind’, about her dad was really sad as well and I loved it. I’m a sucker for sad songs and I can surely relate to what losing your dad feels like.

She needed to retune her guitar to open C tuning for the next few songs, then mentioned how Frank apologizes for songs about other people, joked “I can do that too, dickhead” and explained how the songs to come were very much about other people. 😉 The first one was ‘The Right Track’, followed by ‘Where I’ve been’ and she mentioned how she is grateful for that relationship now, but it hurt at the time.

The final song of the set was ‘The Boy and the Thief’, which was absolutely amazing. 😀 Quite a few people bought merch and I got myself a T-shirt. Afterwards we had a little Patreon meeting and a very lovely chat with Jess. It was really fun talking to her, she is such a nice and down to earth person.

Day 3 pictures


The Countdown
unnamed song
The Crying Kind
The Right Track
Where I’ve been
The Boy and the Thief

I went out for lunch and then returned to see Berries. They had great energy, but their music wasn’t really for me. Not bad, but nothing that immediately grabbed me. I might have to give them another try. And this was day three for me, as I went to see Del Amitri afterwards

DAY 4 (18.09.)

Day 4 of the festival was the busiest one for me and packed with great experiences. It all started out at Columbia Theater with Frank Turner and Craig Finn of The Hold Steady, discussing “the art of songwriting” and other things. They went off topic a lot, as Frank noted, but I could have listened to them for hours. it was highly entertaining.

The conversation started with Frank telling the story of their first meeting at South by Southwest, where he wanted to show Craig the Hold Steady tattoo on his lower back, but everything he wanted to say got lost “in alcohol and translation” so “I basically went arrrggghh and showed you my arse.” Craig had been very graceful about it and they have become friends. He added that the festival was during lent and he therefore did not drink. “That makes it so much worse!” Frank exclaimed and Craig offered that it was far from the worst encounter at the festival. 😀 The whole panel was great with some insights on how each of the writes songs. Apparently it often starts with a C or a G (“solid chords” Frank said). They also mentioned both Springsteen and the Counting Crows as examples of good songwriting. True that!

During the break between panels I grabbed a tea and a yummy chocolate muffin, then got to see Grundhass doing their soundcheck. They even played an extra song for us. 😀

The second panel was about Women in Music with Berries, Jess Guise and Silke Westera of FKP Scorpio sharing experiences and talking about things changing slowly in the industry. Berries talked about how hard it was to be taken seriously as rock musicians and how often people were just assuming they could not be the band. Jess said she felt like an impostor on the panel because she fills the girl musician role of Singer/Songwriter and is often in a unique position because she is married to Frank and tours with him a lot. The panel gave a lot of food for thought overall and I felt while things are getting better it is going to be a long time before we have equality in music. *sigh*

After that I met my friend C. for a late lunch/early dinner. We had not seen each other since before the pandemic and a lot of catching up to do. 🙂 when I returned to the venue, the doors were already open and I found myself a nice spot upstairs.

First up was Craig Finn, whom I found just a little Springteenesque. That is a good thing. 🙂 It all started with instrumental music turning mostly into drums and then Craig’s rough voice set in and sounded a whole lot like Joe Grushecky. I immediately liked it. From what I grasped of them, the lyrics were really good too. Everything exactly up my alley.

It was a great set and he kept me interested with melodies that found their way into my heart and songs I immediately wanted to sing along to, but couldn’t just yet. The band was really good too – the perfect start of the evening.


Be Honest
Maggie I’ve Been Searching for Our Son
Rescue Blues
Newmyer’s Roof
It’s Never Been a Fair Fight

Since The Donots were up next I wondered if Ingo would announce them too. He didn’t though. Instead, Frank walked out, wearing Ingo’s cap and glasses, giving us his best impression of Ingo and even talking German for a moment. He then switched to English and told us how The Donots had become a last minute replacement for Turbostaat and how he was embarrassed to asked Ingo directly, so he asked him for recommendations. 😉 They were absolutely happy to play.

What can I say? The were fucking awesome and took over the crowd by storm. I remember one point where Ingo was in the middle of the circle pit, dancing with the audience and then climbing on someone’s shoulders. It was all a big time party and their music was great fun too.

When they called Frank on stage for a duet in the end, he exclaimed “Can I please have my fucking crowd back?” I loved every moment of their set, the songs in English and German. ‘So long’ the final one with Frank ended in a sing-along that lasted for a long time. It was perfect.

Once again, I was glad not to be in the middle of the floor, but at a safe distance on the balcony. Even from up there I felt the tremendous energy and fully understand why this band is so loved. everyone in the room was clapping, singing, dancing and having a great time. What a show and what a tough act to follow.


Wake the Dogs
Dead Man Walking
Stop the Clocks
Augen sehen
Problem kein Problem
We’re Not Gonna Take It (Twisted Sister cover)
Auf sie mit Gebrüll
So Long

After we were already warmed up, we got one final amazing show with Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls, playing greatest hits. This time around their intro song was Trio’s ‘Da da da’ and as soon as they were on stage Frank launched into ‘Four Simple Words’ and everyone sang “I want to dance”, when the band set in and the party kicked off for real.

It was a wild night with everyone singing along and having lots of fun. Even I knew a lot of the songs and sang as best as I could, having just as much fun moving in tune with the music as I had watching the circle pit and the dancing downstairs.

Once again Frank greeted us in German before switching to English, welcomed us to the show with a clearly sore voice, ready “to do this, one more fucking time”. He asked us to look out for each other, take care of each other and have the time of our lives. We learned that so far they had repeated one song, but now we would get a few more. Along with everyone else, I screamed the lyrics to ‘Photosynthesis’, ‘The Road’ and many other songs, all with a huge smile on my face, happy I had chosen to be part of this. We even did sit down and jump back up as best as we could. 😀

The first set ended with ‘The Fisher King Blues’ which had not been played in Germany for a long time and was great. Afterwards, Frank did a solo set. It was a welcome break from dancing and gave me a chance to catch my breath. He dedicated ‘Bar Staff’ to the crew and everyone who helped with the festival, thanked Jess with ‘There she is’ and moved me to tears with talking about how much of a community event Lost Evenings is and then playing ‘Be more kind’.

After ‘The Way I tend to be’ and a great sing-along, Frank asked us to take a photo with him and for ‘Polaroid Picture’ he asked us all to jump up and down with him, dividing us in three groups: the ones already jumping, the ones feeling uncomfortable or not able to jump and those, who just ignore his request and find excuses – the worst group and the ones that needed to move. It was convincing, everyone did. 😀

We jumped some more for ‘Get Better’, watched Frank leaved, cheered and clapped and stamped our feet so much that I thought the balcony might break and had him back on stage in no time. He got emotional about being back, announced the song count, asked us to support the charities in the room and talked about the group of people and the time inspiring ‘The Ballad of me and my Friends’ and then played an amazing version of it.

Somewhere along the way, we all switched on our phone lights. I cannot remember if Frank asked us to or if it just happened, but it was really beautiful to see, like stars in the night. During ‘I still believe’ Jess came running out to play harmonica with the band and the song brought us one final, wonderful sing-along, before we all said goodbye and slowly gathered our wits, looking around a bit dazed when the lights went on.

Day 4 pictures


Four Simple Words
The Gathering
Haven’t Been Doing So Well
The Road
If Ever I Stray
Glorious You
Little Changes
I Am Disappeared
The Next Storm
The Fisher King Blues

Frank solo:
Bar Staff
There She Is
Be More Kind (No Man’s Land tour version)
The Way I Tend to Be
Plain Sailing Weather
Polaroid Picture
Get Better

The Ballad of Me and My Friends (Frank solo)
Try This at Home
I Still Believe

Afterwards I walked downstairs and looked out for my front row partners from the first two nights. I didn’t see them anywhere though and left eventually. Maybe we’ll meet again at some other show. It was a great festival overall and I’m glad I made it there!

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