bus cables

Hamburg, Docks, 26 Feb, 2017

I know that some days events get blurred and are hard to recall, but I cannot forget the Hamburg show: the day I was attacked by a prostitute. And a cupcake.

It all started so innocently. I rolled out of the bus in my pyjamas and coat, as did on a daily basis, hoping that by putting a wooly hat on and scarf, I would look passably dressed. I didn’t really know where I was, but I could tell it was Germany. In my pre-cup of tea brain, I slowly remembered we were in Hamburg, and I looked around for the venue entrance. Being clever, I thought I would follow the bus power cable to the venue, but this took me to a block of flats, so returned to the bus confused as ever in the rain. Todd got up, so we then both went to look for the venue. We found the front entrance, but it took us a while to find the unassuming backstage. It looked like a house owned by vegan punks, which I suppose isn’t so far from the truth. It’s a weird venue Hamburg Docks, as the kitchen leads directly out to the stage. That is, in order to access the stage from the backstage area, you have to go through the kitchen. All of the backstage rooms were downstairs underground. I shacked up with Howie and Derrick in their room, and tried to get a bit of work done.

Dave got up and asked if I wanted to go for a walk about town. You may notice from this blog or the photos online, that we don’t get a lot of time to discover the towns and cities we visit most days. It’s nice to be outside and see some daylight, even on a grey day like that in Hamburg. So I grabbed a quick shower at the venue (which smelt slightly mouldy) and headed out with Dave.

I had heard about the Reeperbahn and in my naive mind, I thought it was an actual venue, or it was a place that was specially good for german beer. I’d imagined lederhosen and jolly people with moustaches. Well, I was mistaken. It’s the red light district - a long street of sex shops and cheap, tacky souvenirs. Obviously Dave and I wanted to investigate. We got some ‘great’ tourist photos and ended up getting a little lost.

Want a new hat Dave?

We came upon a road that had it’s entrance barred with a sign saying “Entry for men under 18 and women prohibited”. I wondered for a while if this was a grammatical error. Did they mean men and women under 18? I’ve never been anywhere apart from a synagogue and a mosque where women weren’t allowed in certain areas. This place didn’t look particularly holy, although as I understand it, God can appear anywhere and in many forms. It was early afternoon and the place looked deserted. Dave walked around the barricade to have a look, he told me the coast was clear and that no one was there so I should come around too, so I did. It almost looked quaint if it wasn’t for the empty windows which would have later been filled with - presumably ladies - looking for clients. I took some photos of Dave in the street. 

I’ve since come to know that this street is called Herbertstraße, and as I went to take a photo of an empty window, this was all new to me - we found out that the street was not in fact, totally empty. Dave was ahead up the cobblestone street and a lady leaned out of a window and start shouting him and me in German. In case you don’t know, Dave Beste’s German is very good, so he understood and called over to me, “Talita, I think we better leave!” - I said “Ooo ok Dave!” and caught a glimpse of the woman, that to me looked like Amber Rose, for 5 seconds before she busted out of the shopfront, and stomped over to me. It looked to me like she’d filled a bottle of dish soap with water. As Dave and I sped up to make it to the barriers at the other end of the street, she started spraying whatever it was in the bottle all over me. On my face, down my jacket, all over my bobble hat. She was shouting in German, which I didn’t understand, and Dave was kind enough not to translate. I was pleased whatever she’s sprayed over me didn’t sting or stink but it did seem slightly more tacky than water. I pondered what the liquid might be, whilst a little shocked as we exited the Herbertstraße. “Poor lady!” I said to Dave. “You are SO British.” he replied “She was so angry at me!” I exclaimed, quite confused.

I told this story when we made it back to the venue, slightly wet and confused, to Howie Pyro, musing about the reason for it all, he looked at me with his slightly crooked grin, amused and exclaimed “You tried to take photos?!”, incredulous, I really didn’t think much of it, there wasn’t anyone there, but apparently that’s a no-no. Reading about Herbertstraße now, I see according to Wikipedia that “the Nazi authorities erected wooden screens to hide the illegal activities.” And “In the 1970s police added signs advising youths and women against entering: the former for reasons of protection against harmful influence, the latter because prostitutes would actively seek to chase any women who entered away, thus causing trouble.”

I’m pretty sure If I’d read a tourist guide about Hamburg, it would have told me about territorial prostitutes and taking photos, but I didn’t. So I have now learnt about the Reeperbahn and Hamburg. Maybe more than I wanted to know!

With this in mind, I wondered what the audience attending Hamburg Docks that night would be like. The Teatro Fiasco involves some ladies of it’s own, images of Go-Go dancers during Howie Pyro’s set, the tour poster featuring a male fallen angel captured by captivating ladies, not to mention Derrick C. Brown’s poem ‘Chrome Hotel’. In years gone by, Hamburg’s Reeperbahn was similar to Paris’ Pigalle, The Beatles famously played 48 nights at the Indra Club on the Grosse Freiheit street. Rock’n’roll, sex and even burlesque have often gone hand in hand.

That being said, the Hamburg audience were just totally receptive and loving. Derrick had a great show, and Jay regained a power in his vocals that had waned whilst he had been sick. It was a mesmerising night. I watched from the monitor desk, looking after my GoPro cameras, transfixed with it all. The band were so warmly received by a friendly, joyful audience and pleased with the show.

Photo by Sloane Morrison ^^

We couldn’t hang around too long afterwards, as we had to get in the bus for the long drive to Oslo. We would be driving most of the next day and our second driver was already on board. Everyone was in good spirits as we headed off. 

I thought I would eat one of the lovely Rival Sons and Daughters cupcakes. I was standing enjoying it downstairs on the bus (minding my own business) when that rowdy Fuzzlord came over to me and just picked up half the icing from my cupcake and ate it. Off the top of my cupcake!

Well, I didn’t hesitate, but took the rest of my cupcake with the remaining icing in pushed it into his face! The red fluffy icing smeared over his trademark moustache and up his nostrils and in his beard. It was very satisfying, but there was a moment of silence on the bus at my retaliation. Scott is my big brother. And I know what happens when you do this to your big brother. It’s a can of worms and he wasn’t going to close until I had worms of icing all over my face. Twice. So that’s how the bus ride to Oslo started out, that’s how my yellow coat got wet, then pink with icing, all in the same day. That is also what happened to the few remaining Rival Sons and Daughters cupcakes from Amsterdam. I apologise.