My ears were still ringing from the previous nights gig when I arrived at Dublin airport. With only hand luggage and online check-in, it was a breeze. When I got to our departure gate, Des and Ray were already there. It was time for another Sliotar adventure! After a few hours squeezed into a Ryanair plane we were in Germany, in Memmingen to be precise, I believe Ryanair calls this Munich west… We reunited with our van that Des had driven over the week before. When you sit in it the first time and get going, you get this feeling of… well… here we go again. After a quick stop at a local German supermarket to stock up on bottled water, an essential for touring musicians, we were off.
The autobahn is great road system but at the same time gets very boring very fast. Fortunately we only had a one hour drive to central Munich. On the way to what would be our accommodation for the next week or so, I did some shopping. For years I looked down my nose at acoustic guitar amps, but lately I was able to try out some and I decided it was time to give it a go. Just Music is a big store in Munich (they also have branches in Hamburg and Berlin). They had an amp I had my eyes on and were willing to do a good deal on it so after 45mins of testing and haggling I walked out with my brand new Laney A1 acoustic guitar amp.
We were staying at an apartment above the Shamrock Irish pub off Leopoldstrasse. It’s a great location, both venues we were going to play in were only a few stops away on the underground and there were lots of cafes and restaurants just on our door step.
I suppose it is no secret at this stage that Sliotar is a big fan of beer and Bavaria makes some quality beers. The German purity laws only allowed the use the of three ingredients, barley, malt and water. Lately though with the pressure from many international beer companies that law had to be changed. Nevertheless, Germany has some of the best beers in the world, and we were very happy to be in the middle of them. So after sorting out the accommodation we headed to the English Gardens for a bit of sunshine and a few steins of HB. Augustiner was another beer company whose shares I am sure went up during Sliotars visit to Munich.
Tuesday was time to get to work. Killians Irish pub is one of our favorite pub gigs. Why? Because they have nice stage, nice sound system, nice lights, a great room and every time we have played there we have a full house. This time was no exception. We had two wonderful nights in Killians. On Thursday and Friday we were playing in the brand new Kennedys Irish pub. This is one of the bigger pubs we have played in, it could probably hold 500 people, and once again we played to a full house. We had a brilliant time, but due to some very unfortunate circumstances (football hooligans in another location in Munich) the police advised closing the bar. We are very sorry for any one who came to Kennedys on Friday and only got to hear the half hour set… We had planned to play much more on the night, but the security of the staff, audience and the band had to be considered and the managements decision was the right one on the night. We hope to be back in Kennedys soon to make it up to all the locals, so hope to see you all soon.
On Saturday Munich was crazy due to the Champions League final and boy were we glad to be heading out of town and to the Greenfarm festival! Our Saturday concert was in the Murphys concert hall, where we played to a full house once again. It was a great show and a great start to our 2012 festival season. After the show, Des decided to head back to Munich. Ray and I stayed at the festival and made a home for the night at the festival halls balcony. In all fairness we knew that the session was going to be a long one that night. I think afterwards Des did regret the decision to go back to the city as he was greeted by thousands of football fans, water cannons, broken glass… we’ll leave rest up to your imagination.
As I mentioned the session in the festival saloon was hopping and we kept it alive until about six in the morning. Little did we know about the band sound checking in the festival hall at 10.30am… but hey, if we did would we done anything different?
So the last day at the festival went by drinking loads of coffee and preparing for the concert. We were the last band on on Sunday and played to the last dedicated fans who stayed to the end of the festival. Overall it was a great week of concerts, but by the time we had our gear packed in the van, we were ready for a few quiet pints and bed.
The next morning would start our long drive to Denmark.
J.P. from Sliotar