Top 10 Most Memorable Gigs in Germany
Making a living as a touring musician, especially playing lots on the D.I.Y circuit, I’ve found myself performing in some pretty interesting locations over the years. It appears that music somehow works for all occasions, no matter how out of place it may seem. Given that I’ve spent almost 10 years living in Germany, I thought it’s a great opportunity to write a top 10 list of the most memorable shows I’ve played here. Shout out to old mate Brett Newski for giving me the idea. Some of these gigs were played solo, some in a duo with Leo and a few with the JHT, but they were all shows I won’t forget in a hurry…
1. Getting medieval: Leo and I once played a gig in a medieval Castle owned by polyamorous Bavarian Count and his family, comprised of his pretty daughters, grandchild, wife and girlfriend, all living together under the same ancient roof. Family breakfast the next morning was an experience!
2. LVR Klinikum: Sounds like an interesting name for a club right? That’s what I was expecting when I showed up with Leo and his son Lennox (who was 5 at the time). It ended being the biggest psychiatric hospital in Düsseldorf, who offer a cultural program with monthly concerts. The show ended up being really awesome! The audience was a mix of patients and locals and Lennox even got up to play some tambourine in his first ever stage appearance.
3. Yurt on the Elbe: This gig was a pre-wedding party, where the couple (who had spent lots of time travelling in central asia) had built a handmade Yurt for the occasion. Unfortunately there was a big summer storm before the gig and it wasn’t totally waterproof, but the cozy vibe made up for the leaky roof!
4. Haldern Animal Farm: I’ve played quite a few house shows over the last few years, but this was the first one which took place next to stable full of horses, with countless farm animals running around the garden….
5. Kinderhafen, Hamburg: I know it may sound funny, but I am actually a regular at this Kindergarden! I must have played there 4 or 5 times now, pretty much in every room except in the bathroom next to the tiny toilets. I wonder if this is how the wiggles started?
6. Mid-week meeting room: I once played a concert, totally unplugged, in the middle of the afternoon, in a meeting room in one of the biggest health insurance companies in Hamburg to celebrate a few team members’ anniversaries in the company. Talk about a tough crowd! I’m happy to say, I gradually won them over after a few alcohol free beers. Shout out to Sofaconcerts for this booking.
7. Mach dein Herz laut: a number of Hamburg bands and artists, spear-headed by Sarajane, got together at the start of 2017 and put on a charity show, raising money for the people of Aleppo. Many thousands of euros were donated and there was a great energy in the air that night. I was proud to be a part of such a special event.
8. Preacher Slam: Germans love Poetry slams; Hamburg has been called its world capital. This gig however was actually a 3-song feature at a poetry slam in Lübeck in an 800+ year old church, where poets competed against real-life preachers to see who were the better slammers. If you were wondering, the preachers ended up winning – perhaps with a little help from above.
9. Herzgrün: this gig was at a spring festival, which took place in different greenhouses set up in the middle of Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. Leo and I played here two days in row, surrounded by tropical plants and butterflies. A welcome change from stale cigarette smoke and crusty wallpaper.
10. Zapfhahn: this show still sticks in my mind just for the pure randomness. I was on a beachbar tour in southern Germany with Leo a few years ago. One of the shows got cancelled due to rain, so we were stuck with no accommodation on no gig for the night. I made a last minute post on fb, saying we were looking for a place to play that night. A girl who saw me play in Frankfurt a few years earlier replied and said we could play at her pub. Half of the town turned out to watch the first concert at this pub in about 20 years… The gig was cool and we had a very familiar vibe going on, so familiar that when we left, Leo and I shook hands with literally every person in the pub… Perhaps that sounds kinda awkward, but believe me, I’ve experienced my share of awkward moments over the last decade, which is going to be the topic for my next top ten list, coming soon!
Tour dates & Tickets: www.joelhavea.com/tour
26 Oct – Song Ping Pong – Sylt, DE
02 Nov – Werder’s Straußenfarm – Thedinghausen, DE
Joel Havea Trio / 10 Years in 🇩🇪 Tour
01 Dec – Horns Erben, Leipzig, DE
02 Dec – Prachtwerk (w/ special guest Celina Bostic) – Berlin, DE
04 Dec – Wohngemeinschaft – Köln, DE
13 Dec – Backstage JazzClub – Fulda, DE
14 Dec – Cafe Grenzbereich – Jameln, DE
19 Dec – Knust – Hamburg, DE