When I wrote the song Everyone is Moving to Berlin it was response to a pandemic of my friends uprooting and trying their luck in the named city. It became a sort of mythical place for me, and my memories from the one time I had visited a few years ago were overtaken by my fantasies of wild parties in warehouses and uber-egdy start-ups in office-sized iPods. I wasn’t too wrong. I had a hellish 7am flight from Luton and low-cost airlines, god-bless them, sure know how to make you feel sub-human. Never mind. I was going to Berlin. Last minute. And it was exciting.
Everything is 125% in Berlin.. the wide streets, the office spaces, the spacious cafes. We went to an “exhibition opening” on Saturday night, but it was no sip-your-free-white-wine-and-pretend-to-be-sophisticated gallery opening. It was one of those wild warehouse parties from my fantasties! Okay it wasn’t a warehouse, more a.. vault? Amazing space either way. Rammed with hipsters who managed to be dressed both more radically and with less effort than our own breed. It was east-London-eat-your-heart-out. There was a table to make beaks, and a projector to finish other people’s sentences. “As of today I wonder how birds kiss.” The thing is, it all worked. It was fun and interesting and unpretentious. Beaks off to MindtheBox who put on the event.
My session on the rooftop of SoundCloud HQ played out in true Berlin style.. I had the choice of two guitars, one with a missing top string and one an un-tuneable nylon string.. which perhaps wouldn’t throw a proper guitarist, but I’m mostly pretending. And somehow, with the TV tower in view behind me and the sun setting in front, it didn’t matter at all! I have no idea how it will look or sound on the footage but it sure was fun.. I ended up with two human beatboxers joining me – one was in town researching a documentary about musicians moving to Berlin.. the other has a project collecting postcards sent from all the towns called Berlin in the USA…
Two nights was definitely too short. I was so tired on the way home I don’t remember take-off or landing. And a few hours later I was in Paradise by way of Kensal Green trying to keep awake for Cabaret Futura. Luckily there was a lot to keep awake for. Revived by Richard Strange this was a magically strange night indeed.. with comedy, a pop quiz, monologues by the amazing Sophie Wolley, music from Ed Harcourt and Michael Nyman.. I’m forgetting half of it. As I sang “With all your rules, they won’t let you in, so kiss me goodbye, and I’ll send you a postcard from Berlin,” I finally knew what I meant.
You can download/ stream ‘Everyone Is Moving To Berlin’ here.