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Monday, 23 June 2014

Cafe Instinkt: More than your normal gig

Cafe Instinkt: the coffee bar in Die Klinik Nordfriesland
Our penultimate gig on the Looking For... tour was in a less than usual venue - a bar in an oncology after-care rehabilitation hospital. My second visit. Ian's first.

Perhaps it's that Thomas (our host) and his audience have a different perspective, but the vibe here has a calm welcome that makes it special. It's somehow relaxing to be in this place and that gives it a pleasant shift in mood from the hurly-burly of most of our other venues.

I had prepared two sets before we set off; one for the bar-gigs and one for the concerts. Some of the more delicate material won't stand up to the demands of an audience that hasn't necessarily arrived specifically to sit quietly and listen. However, my cuz and I decided that we'd settled in to the bar-gig set rather comfortably and decided to stay with it with just a couple of tweaks to include some of my solo material and to tailor the running-time to Thomas's requirements.

The quality of the sound in the room was very crisp and it made the performing experience, to my ear at least, quite a pleasure. I always enjoy a bright room in which I can clearly hear what I'm playing and after an intro by the host we played our best gig of the trip so far to our largest audience. Ian was on top form, settling in to his less accustomed role of accompanist, but also beginning to relish the brief spot in which he features his own material. He was great. And he managed to accommodate a couple of my occasional musical trips off-piste - always a pre-requisite aptitude in any of my musical partners.

I thought I performed well, too - apart from a couple of lapses in memory the possibility of which always seems to lurk in the background when I sing. Hey, ho. But Naked was strong, the solo songs went down well and Jeffrey and Robert and I - that oldest of reliables - garnered a very powerful response.

And we sold some CDs, and we made some money, and Thomas puts his performers up in a luxurious thatched-cottage-style hotel, and we're staying here for two days, and we're going to walk the beach and chill for the day before our next and final gig nearby at Lütt Matten ...

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