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Sunday, 25 September 2016

Hopper vs Oktoberfest: the battle of the titans #13 (last)

You couldn't get a flight into Munich on the weekend of our final gig in Deisenhofen. The lederhosen-clad hoards weren't heading our way, however, they were off to the annual beer-fest that fills the capital of Bavaria at this time of the year. It was the reason I couldn't blag another gig hereabouts, bar-owners telling me that no one would show up since they were all getting pissed up town.

Well, the good folk of the Volkshochschule - who promoted this evening - triumphantly bucked the trend to fill the Wagnerhaus and provided us with an attentive, intelligent audience and a heart-warming final evening to the Two Duos Tour (gig 12). Many thanks to them.

And we played well. It was acoustic with all that that entails, I was on form and Norma provided her usual filigree array of embellishments to a set of songs that by now had all the burnished finish of a set oft-performed (that is the musician's joy of a tour).

Immense gratitude to the family Embacher, Hilde, m'lady Angelika (in whose home town this all happened) and her sister Christine (Kozak) who between them brokered the concert, gave us accommodation and their usual Bayerische welcome.

So, thirteen months in the making, the TDT is over. More thanks, then, to Norma and Filip for their Stirling support, to all the promoters who hosted us, all those who fed us and gave us beds and all the lovely people who validated our efforts by lending their ears and attention, for two spells of 40 minutes, to sixteen songs plus encores. In respect of my songs, that's a lot of (sometimes complex) words - that takes some listening to.

For me, it's the songs that are the heroes. Stalwart dependables like In Sympathy and Jeffrey and Robert and I, old songs given a new feel by the addition of Norma's harp like Rope Ladder and Trevor Square and songs I had to re-learn to play on the guitar (ex-mandolin) like Long Time Gone and I'll Settle For Today. The latter was my fave of the set.

As well as great audiences, friends and family jetting in to join us added a flattering frisson to the trip. Thanks to all who did.

I don't know what I'll do next with my music. One thing I realised was how long it is since I recorded a new collection...

I'm riding a motorbike to Switzerland with my sons and their mates now. Long Time Gone, eh?

Be happy!


(And no, I didn't do the gig in my shorts - sexy though they are - this was the set up...)

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