From a cozy cafe with great cake to a wide open hall with interesting reverb

Jim Kroft – Rosi ich bin im Park, Berlin; December 5th, 2014 and Museum für Kommunikation, Berlin; December 6th 2014

Since October Jim Kroft has been playing a bunch of shows in Berlin, all under the label of Acoustic Autumn, all at small venues, community shows where anyone can come and watch, sometimes on his own and sometimes together with or supported by other musicians. In early December I was lucky enough to spent a weekend with my friend A. and see the last two of these shows.

The first one took place at a cozy Café in Berlin Neuköln, named “Rosi ich bin im Park”. It was small, but lovingly decorated and immediately made us feel welcome. They offered soup, homemade cakes and there was the enticing smell of cookies too. A nice selection of drinks for little money was available too so we got some Chai Latte and settled down on a couch close to the spot they had cleared for the musicians. Jim arrived at about the same time we did, greeted us warmly and proceeded in setting the “stage” together with Mishka Adams who would support him. Everything was very relaxed, they sat around and chatted for a while, soundchecked, said hello to friends, greeted all the fans personally and just hung out while more people arrived.

It wasn’t a huge crowd that had gathered, but everyone seemed happy to be there. Mishka started playing some time after 8 and I instantly liked her. She sang songs in English and Portuguese, explaining that she loved Brazil and the language and just wanted to sing songs from there. She has a lovely voice and sang with much feeling. Her own songs as well as the cover versions were lovely and Jim urged her to play a few more when she thought she might have played to long already. Everyone agreed and in the end we even sang along. 🙂

There was a short break before Jim got up to sing. He came and asked us whether he should stand up or sit down and I voted for standing up because otherwise he might be hard to see for people in the back. Meanwhile, Dan Telander (the drummer/percussionist in his band) had arrived and settled down to watch. Jim played a great mixture of songs for us, mostly new stuff from his Journeys project, starting with ‘Waiting for the Gods’. I cannot recall all of the songs he played or which order he played them in, but we got about 90 minutes of music in total with one encore, including a few brand new songs. 🙂

For ‘I hope you know’ he invited Dan to sing with him, suggesting he could stomp and clap along. It worked well and he even got to sing a chorus on his on. Jim commented “Shit! I didn’t know you could sing like that”. Mishka joined him for ‘Children in the Moonlight’ adding some beautiful harmonies to the mix and for ‘Cinema Head’ both Mishka and Dan joined Jim on stage. Since Jim talked a lot that night it became a running gag for Dan (and later Mishka too) to sit down on the floor while he talked. They had much so fun together it was contagious. Jim’s stories were funny as well, if occasionally a bit long winded. He always told us a little bit about the songs and how they came about. 🙂

Overall it was a lovely and relaxed concert where everyone listened so intently that Mishka remarked about us being so quiet and not chatting while she played. We clapped and even sang along too at times. I loved everything about this evening, it felt so much like a private concert that I almost forgot a few other people were there as well. The music was great, the atmosphere was lovely, the cake I had was awesome and everything was so much fun. I wish more concerts were like this. When it was over Jim spent much time chatting with everyone, talking about this and that and thanking everyone for coming – I was really happy I did.

The second concert this weekend took place at the Museum für Kommunikation and was part of an Arts and Charity Event called “For Kids – With Love”. Audience and atmosphere for this concert were completely different from the first one. It took place in the main hall of the museum with a high ceiling and way too much room for the people that had gathered there. Before the music started there were several speakers for the event to listen to. It had the feeling hardly anyone was listening and wondered how many people had actually come there for the cause. We hadn’t and neither had the other fans that stood about and looked bored. The atmosphere was a bit cold and overall strange, but the room had an interesting reverb.

Jim played two sets this time and while we were sitting by the side for the first one we got closer for part two, sitting down on the floor not far from the stage. I had the feeling Jim liked that better than everyone standing far away. The sound was interesting, especially for the songs when he used the reverb of the room to sing without the mic. He played a few had had not played the previous day and left out a few as well. It was a good mixture of songs again, but the atmosphere the previous day had been so much nicer.

Jonas Lieber (who was on tour with Jim / Martin and James 2013) had come to listen and was guesting on ‘If I’m born too late’ and ‘Through my Weakness’ – Jim joked that Jonas remembered the lyrics better than he did. It was nice to hear him sing again, but I enjoyed Jim’s solo songs as well. He watched the audience, which must have been a bit frustrating considering many of them didn’t even listen. However, he concentrated on those who were and dedicated one song to a little girl who was dancing unconcerned of anyone watching. 🙂 Later, during the second set, there were even two people dancing together.

Overall it was good and I loved hearing Jim again, but it wasn’t as relaxed as the previous day’s concert. It also ended earlier than expected. At first, Jim had said he’d play three or four sets, but ended after two. Jim did his best though and even managed to get the audience to whistle along to ‘Kaleidoscopes collide’.I don’t know how long he played in total, but I’m guessing it was about the same time ad the day before, only without an encore this time. We chatted with him briefly when it was over before saying goodbye. It was fun, hope to see you again soon!

List of the songs I can remember from both concerts:

Waiting for the Gods
Blue Sky
Bejing Morning
To the River’s Edge
Beautiful Ways
Not Her Lover
Cinema Head
I hope you know
Children in the Moonlight
Beyond the Bloodshed
Tell me
The great Doomsday Story
Kaleidoscopes collide
If I’m born too late
Through my Weakness

pictures of this concert

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