A while ago, I had the distinct pleasure of watching an all girl AC-DC cover band performing in a German prison.
More recently, I was invited to watch one of the band members, who happens to be a friend of Vera’s, perform in her own band, playing in a club in Köln, or Cologne.
The music style was described to me as being of the melodic metal variety. I am not really a tremendous expert on the various metal genres, but I have seen some pretty non-melodic metal performances involving a lot of screaming and general anger, so assumed this would be the opposite of that.
I was happily right, in that there wasn’t so much of the screaming and anger, and you could, if you tried really hard, discern the words. I couldn’t discern the words, despite them being in English, because my ear drums were in the process of being perforated by the giant speaker stacks.
I was aware that lyrics were there however, which was a marked improvement on the thrash metal concert I once attended by mistake.
Some observations on going out in Germany. One, Germany has not quite gotten around to properly outlawing smoking in public venues. Well, actually, they tried. Legislation was put in place to make it illegal. And then a loop hole was discovered, whereby a venue just had to register as a smokers club, and it was back to business as usual. Apparently this loop hole is in the process of being closed. In the meantime, depending on where you go out, be prepared for some fug. It’s all very noughties.
Second, if you’re going to a metal concert, ear plugs are a good idea. Small rooms and giant speakers result in a gigantic wall of sound that will surround the next few days of your life in acoustic cotton wool. With ear plugs, you may even be able to work out what the singer is on about. I didn’t have ear plugs.
Third, doner kebabs. If you’re going to go out in Germany, you need to have a kebab at the end of the night. I can safely say that the large Turkish community present in Köln have made it their business to ensure that kebabs are actually an almost gourmet item, featuring delicately soft bread and meat that is recognisable as such. You could eat this stuff sober, which is saying a lot for a kebab. I can only assume this is the case Germany wide.
Finally, never, ever, ever, mention the beer. Wherever you are from in Germany, your local beer is treated with reverence. Other beers are worse than mud. One of the bands playing that night was from Munich, and he attempted to discuss with the crowd the topic of Köln’s local beer (Kölsch, for those of you interested), a subject he managed to get roughly four words into before being booed silent. Mentioning the beer therefore is not a good idea – you are expected to hate all beers other than your local beer.
And on that happy beer related note, I end. Our time in Germany is coming to an end in the next week or so – after a trip to the UK for a wedding it’s off to France and a whole new series of adventures involving, most likely, cold. Until the next time…