“It’s a song about living with religion all your life and then realizing it doesn’t mean anything”

Martin and James – Zakk, Düsseldorf; October 23rd, 2013

So far this gig was the most enjoyable one of the three I saw on this tour. I’m not sure if this was an effect of too many concerts in too short a time or if I just had bad luck with my concert selection, but the first two shows I saw on this tour did not impress me as much as they should have. Either way, this one was different and I was really into it this time and enjoyed every minute of the concert.

After the usual meet up and waiting we got in and found a nice spot in front of the small stage. Funnily enough people who had been there before had said the stage was big – what they didn’t know was that there was not only the bigger hall, but also a much smaller club at the venue. Martin and James played at the latter. Thus, we were all a bit surprised when there was nothing set up on the big stage we saw first and we had to go past that into a different room. I liked it though, it was a good size. The venue was nice, but the lights were mostly red so I took only black and white pictures that night.

Jim started a bit before 8:30, playing alone this time, because Ben had left the tour in Hamburg. His set was fun, he was enthusiastic as always. Again he played known and new songs, but left out ‘Diamonds in the rough’ this time. I especially enjoyed ‘I hope you know’, ‘The Jailer’ and ‘Cracked Polaroid’. Jim remarked that he does not understand how people even know this song, since it was never a single.

He seemed a little sick, kept drinking tea that night and sounded a little rough, but the show was still much fun. He is such a hard worker, I love watching him. The audience was mixed – while the first two rows were singing along, there were people who could not relate to this music or so it seemed. For me it was fun – the perfect warm up for the Martin and James.

Setlist (incomplete)

Like a human heart
Tell me
Blue sky
I hope you know
Cracked Polaroids
I will wait
Typical day
The Jailer

After a short break the guys walked on stage and I immediately noticed that Martin looked much better than he did in Hamburg. James and I shared a brief smile when he noticed me standing there. ‘Bloom’ was the first song again – it still makes me happy to have that on the setlist, after all the times I had asked for it in vain. ‘Where I belong’ was next and had the audience clapping along, at least some of us. I still don’t know the newer songs well enough to sing more than just the chorus, but that did not spoil my enjoyment. Most of the songs work much better for me live than they do on the CD – they are just not as polished as they are on there.

I also enjoyed their introductions to the songs. For ‘My Dog don’t like the rain’ Martin told us he was too lazy to get a dog so the song was about an imaginary one. That made me smile. ‘My last prayer’ was a bit more serious when James told us it is about “growing up with religion all your life and then realizing it doesn’t mean anything“. I can fully agree to that last part. Soon he was joking again though, about hearing that being in hell meant having to tune 12 string guitars all day. 😀

All the songs worked well – with band, without band and completely unplugged. I missed ‘The Rope’ though – always one of my favorites but not played. The mixture of songs was a good one. I had fun and the guys looked like they were having fun too. The performance felt honest and seemed to come easy. For me it was just the right mix between funny and serious and between passion for the music and the joy of playing. Some of the songs always work for me, no matter what mood I’m in or how the concert is going in general, but for some everything has to fit and this was one of those nights where not only my favorites were great, but every song made me happy.

‘Cold Heart’ is growing on me, I really liked it this time around. ‘You’re a window’ was pretty amazing too. I liked it when they walked into the audience for that, but apparently they stopped that after Dortmund. It worked nicely on stage too though. Martin and James’ enthusiasm carried over to me. ‘See no land’ is another song I really enjoy. They always put in a break before the song is really over, just to start it again and someone always falls for it. 😉 Singing, clapping and moving to the music the time went by at double speed – it really flies when you’re having fun! <3

The audience was not hugely into it, but showed the right amount of participation. Especially the sing along worked very well and at least the first two rows clapped along rather well too. For me personally this was the first of the three shows I had seen so far that felt real and good. This was what I came for, this is why I love Martin and James. Now the tour has started. Too bad it will be over with the next one.


Where I Belong
Cold Heart
My Dog Don’t Like The Rain
My Last Prayer
Cynical Skin
Crashing Into Love
I Know A Girl
Maybe It’s Time
You’re A Window
Bad Dream
I Have To Fall
See No Land
Wrong Directions

All Over The News
Little Bits Of Light
You’ll Be Gone, I’ll Be Here
Life’s a show

Hung out after for a bit, listened and talked a little while. Someone asked Jim why he hadn’t played ‘Diamonds in the rough’ and he replied that he’d been afraid to fuck it up. I sure hope he’ll play it again next time. There was not much time for a long chat, because I had a train to catch, but I told the guys how much fun it had been. See you on Friday!

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