Goodbye my love 2. Even goodbyer.

Some of you may remember: Strainful Train was lying in despair, looking for a meaning, like Sauron for his ring. We decided, that the best way of regaining the joy of life would be at the source of joy itself:
Egan’s Bar in Liscannor. We returned to Sean’s care to have another wonderful concert and subsequent excessive beer tasting. It worked, our journey had a meaning again. (Danke-Sean! And thanks to the landlord Patrick!) Head first we started touring again. The Roadside Tavern in Lisdoonvarna, a very original pub hosted us for the next night, we had a superb concert there. First of all because Brian, the gifted percussionist, supported us. And second because Sean was cheering from the audience.

At this point I have to mention that our beloved home and ride was left horribly deserted most of our time in Ireland. We simply never had to sleep in the van. Thanks to a remarkable Irishman called Ronan. We played in his Hotel and he provided us hostel rooms in every possible location of this world. Also in Lisdoonvarna.
The next day we also transformed Brians place to a little recording studio, to take his tight rhythm vibes with us on our album.

Unfortunately, the obligations of our real lives in Germany started to manifest at the horizon, so we sadly started our journey home. Therefore we had to cross the midlands again, the wretched place everybody at the west coast warned us about. Wrongfully, as we already had found out. We headed to Newbridge, where our irish adventures began. At the west coast we already had the luck to partake in several traditional pub sessions. The one we joined that night in Newbridge with Lucy and Niecy was somehow special, it was the most euphoric and chaotic one. You barely understood, what the musicians on the other side of the table were playing, but you jumped in anyways, to contribute your solo to the sound ball.

The following night should become the complete opposite. Our dear friend and supporter Deidre organized a slot us at a concert series called “Ciúnas” (irish for Silence). A nice concept, where people really only come to listen. The audience was so disciplined; you could hear a needle pin falling. That puts quite a pressure on you, when you are used to hide your little technical difficulties behind the always present bar noise. Still an awesome concert, though. The next morning at seven, our ferry to Wales was going to leave from Dublin. We drove through the night, were able to get a 2 hour nap right in front of the check in lines and arrived early and sleep-deprived in Holyhead. We weren’t quite sure what to do with this full day ahead of us, so we climbed on a mountain.

It started raining on the top, we lost many good men up there. So now we were tired AND exhausted. Those were the perfect preconditions to fall into the strong arms of our friend and center of our Welsh comfort zone, Scott. Sadly we just stayed briefly, there was a concert in Bishopscastle we had to support. The venue, “the Vaults” is a prototype of a rough countryside pub, a place I wish I had in my hometown. The owner, Wayne the Viking, has an intimidating biker-appearance but a warm and soft heart for roots music. He instantly invited us to his Blues Festival next year, see you there, Wayne!
We spent the night at Rob’s farm. Rob is a brilliant harmonica player and his farm is one another little paradise we encountered during our tour. Fat wool sheep are strolling around his house in the Welsh mountains, and bred sprouts are swimming in the pond at the driveway.

He and his lovely partner Ingrid made us feel so welcome there, that we stayed for another day. Your own doing!
Heavy hearted we are now leaving these beautiful islands and head for the big mainland to master the last two weeks our tour.

Some bums in Bremen

To all of our many loyal followers, who consume the online adventures of Benni the journeyman on a daily base. I have failed you. I did not post anything about his madly growing facial hair or his first primate-like interactions with modern social networks, simply because of no reason. I was lazy. And I am not even sorry, since this will happen again!
Ok, here is a short update of our last two days:
In Hamburg, the “Familieneck” welcomed us with some urban electro vibes, that instantly made Benni walk backwards out of the bar again. After two persuasion beers, the rabid cutting of the setlist and the certitude of Tim’s mom in the audience, we countered the techno with full load of folk. With mediocre success, so lets not talk about Hamburg anymore.
The same night we battled the microsleep and set over to Bremen. Did you know, that Bremen is low emission area (e.g. no-go area for old diesel battleships like ours)? We didn’t. Dang. Time to travel on as a criminal.
We needed this one day off to lick our wounds and use the accumulated creative energy to make some music history (songwriting). And we found the perfect location for that. The studio of Olaf Kock. He and his pal Boris (thanks for everything!) granted us asylum in their sacred halls of creative power. Tim found some time to practice with the upright bass bow. It doesn’t emit any sound at all. Does anybody know how to use such a thing?

In the meantime a colleague of our lovely host Kathi complained about the gypsy bus in front of his house, where definitely some bums are corpulating inside. Yep, sorry, that’s us in the Strainful Train tour bus. Please come and see us in person tonight in the “Chinchilla Bar”!