“This is for the people who follow us from concert to concert”

Martin and James – Schützenhaus, Bergkirchen; May 19th, 2012

So how did Martin and James end up playing in a tiny village near Dachau on Champion’s League weekend? They had been invited to play this privately organized concert and so they came. Only about 70 people showed up so it turned out to be a wonderfully intimate concert with quite a few songs that rarely get played.

I started out at my hotel in Mannheim shortly after 9 in the morning. Thanks to the Catholic Conference (Katholikentag) in the city the Tram was late and packed with people. Luckily the train wasn’t as full and the trip went smoothly. Upon arrival in Dachau, the trouble started. First I could not find the way to my hotel and ended up taking a taxi. Then our hotel has mysteriously not received our reservation and needed to find us a new room. Of course, with the Champion’s League end game in Munich, everything was fully booked. In the end we were lucky to get a room that somebody else had canceled short notice. It was more expensive of course, but the owner of our first hotel offered to pay the difference. We will see about that. He did get me a taxi to the new hotel though and paid for it as well.

All that took so long that I didn’t get a chance to eat anything. B. offered to pick me up and after spending a little time at her and N.’s hotel (which was closer to the concert venue) we went to Bergkirchen around 5 p.m. We were not the first ones to arrive, but it was all nice and relaxed and they even had food. They let us in at 6:30, the concert was upstairs and for quite some time the few people in front row were the only ones there. We passed the time getting food and drinks, listening to the support act’s soundcheck.

Ray O’Sullivan & band, the support act, started playing at 7:30. They were OK, but got a tad boring after a while. I generally like Irish folk type music, but this was a bit monotone. A few songs were really good, but others were really bad and some sounded so familiar that I wondered where they had stolen them. They played a ten song set. I was happy when they were done.

Martin and James were supposed to start at 9 p.m., but they needed some time for soundchecking as well. We had quite some fun watching them, especially because James was wearing a hat that we dubbed a “smurf hat”. Once done they took their obligatory 10 minutes before they walked back on stage, now hat-less and the concert started.

I started smiling when Martin took the setlist out of his pocket, because it was much longer than it had been in Mannheim the previous day. I was already sure this was going to be a good one.  🙂 In the beginning it was like one of the concerts on their February tour without Lucas, because the order of songs was the same. I felt momentarily transported back to those two amazing weeks where cold and exhaustion didn’t matter as long as there was music. After warming us up with familiar songs, the first surprise came along: ‘With Fire’. They said that we, the people who follow them, had been asking for songs and this was for us. So it seems they do read their tweets after all. 😉 It was great to hear the song again and that was only the first treat that night.

The next one was ‘Broken Sword’ – it had been on all the setlists in February as an alternative to ‘Somebody’, but they never played it back then. I was so happy to hear it, especially because A. got to hear it too. The piano wasn’t missing either, the guitar version is quite nice. 🙂 ‘Cynical Skin’ and ‘Hard to cry’ stayed on the setlist and ‘The Rope’ as well as ‘Life’s a show’ were back again. I still love hearing these songs and was hoping for a comeback. The older songs were great as well, just the right mix for new and old fans.

The whole evening was just exceptionally nice. All the songs sounded new and fresh again and I loved listening to every word. Everyone around me seemed to feel the same way. We enjoyed the concert, sang along, clapped and smiled a lot. They played ‘Dream’ again, but left out ‘Devils in the Doorway’, even though that was on the setlist. ‘Somebody’ was once again the last song.

Since Martin and James had the next day off, they were in no hurry and we spent quite some time talking with each of them. I asked Martin about a live album and he said they’d have to ask their record company if they were allowed to do that. I didn’t think it was easy to record a live album, but I never imagined that it wasn’t up to them. 🙁 With James I talked about Springsteen, because I mentioned seeing him live in the coming week and he told me he’d love to do that as well.
Everything was nice and relaxed, everyone had drinks, there was nobody kicking us out. Perfect. 🙂 Of course we had to leave eventually, but I felt it was just fine. 🙂 Once back at our hotel, A. and I chatted some more before finally calling it a night. The following day would bring long hours of travel for both of us and hopefully some rest.


She’s light guiding
Turn it up
Maybe it’s time
Wrong Directions
You’re a window
With Fire
Broken Sword
Cynical Skin
Bad Dream
I was blind
Hard to cry
I have to fall
Little bits of light
Crashing into Love
All over the news

The Rope
Life’s a show
You’re alive

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