It's an ever surprising thing going on tour. Surprises around the corner wherever you're heading. Good and bad. This time for the last big bit of my 2010 tour it began with a nice one.
Few days before leaving for the 1st tourdate in Vienna word reached me that Tobias the cello player managed to sort out a gig in Budapest on pretty short notice. A students club named CDFÜ somewhere downtown. No big money but who cares - Vienna's just two hours away (well...) and I haven't played Budapest. That's the terrible thing - you've got always a good chance to lure me to whatever remote place for a show if it sounds exotic enough for me...
The other thing is I'm most of the time not really careful in checking out distances. In fact Vienna Budapest is really not a very long drive. The motorway bit. The tricky part starts once the motorway through, most of the time not very exciting Hungarian landscape, ends. Those last 2 km to the appartment address on the Buda side of river Danube town took me another good hour. A 60 minute nightmare of roadworks and oneways. Once I figured out where to turn left: no left turn possible. Ok, let's go ahead take the next one but there won't be a next one left. Instead a bridge you have to cross to find just three km further a chance to U-turn illegally but still turn. And no, I'm not going to get into details about the car park situation. To look at it in a positive way: it prepares you in a most decent way for places like Vienna and Brussels. Both towns yet to come on this tour.
The CDFÜ turned out to be a nice little students bar on the Pest side of town. Reminded me of some places I played in Czech Republik back in the early 90s. Not a big crowd, mostly students, but a very attentive one. Good first gig with Tobias doing a great job on his cello. Had my first few Palinkas. Think they were ok. Gonna leave it to this. Even though they told me the real stuff is the homemade one served in 2 l plastic bottles. Scary.
The next day left us enough time for a good deal of sight-seeing. Sunny, warm Budapest with ticket machines giving out tram tickets and change on a random basis. Have to say I'm still impressed. Everything is remarkably huge. Wonderful buildings a lot of them pretty run down though. Can't remember the names of the places we've seen but it's been great. Well, there was the giant market hall. Bought me dried hot chilli peppers as a souvenir. Remembered them few days later in Graz when rubbing my eyes after rummaging in my bag and inadvertantly sticking my fingers into what turned out to be the open plastic bag with the peppers.
2nd gig and it already feels like being on the road for a week. Been looking forward to Vienna. My 2nd gig here after playing the Cafe Concerto in 2005 on the Penguins Tour.
When arriving a little late after getting lost in Vienna (nope - no gps or road map on us) first person we ran into was good old Ibrahim from Basel whom I haven't seen in ages. Probably since my last gig at the Wagenmeister/Basel. We went for a drink and some food with him after a terribly long soundcheck. The Cafe Carina else is a great venue. Good stage size, good pa, situated in an arch right under the train tracks. We played a maybe even better gig than in Budapest. Actually it was pretty wild for a Maekkelae gig... The basically pleasant mood in the venue changed short time after the gig when some guys started a fight there which got a bit out of hands. Managed to save our gear and left in time. Got lost with Ibrahim, his girlfriend and some of Tobias fellow students from Budapest at the Cafe Concerto.
I was particularly amazed about THE FAN. A lady showed up who happened to turn out my friends Dirk and Britta's new neighbour. She knew only my version of "Volcano God" (propably from MySpace) which was good enough a reason for her to see the gig. Must have done something right with this song.
Next morning we picked up Tobias wife Orsi at the station and had breakfast at the Cafe Jelinek (the definitely most wonderful coffee house in Vienna). Time for them to go for a tour of the Vienna museums and me to leave for Graz after this. Shame these were the only two shows we had the chance to play together. Liked them a lot.
Here's the Link to my Facebook page with some songs to listen to...