Stick Men 2016 Prog Noir Tour

Heerlan, Wiesbaden & Weingarten Shows

Less photos each day than I usually take, so here is a diary of three shows.

First, in Heerlen, Netherlands - a very pretty city, as you can see from the top picture. (I realize I misspelled the city name above… but cannot change the page title once it’s been published.)

And a wonderful welcome at the club we’re playing - Nieuwe Nor - just don’t ask me to pronounce it!

Have we walked into a Super Mario world?
In the show - Pat introduces a song while Peter adjusts his gear
and Markus
Improv time... I'm jamming with my Nikon

That was fun, and with the hotel just down the street, a rare chance to relax at the club after playing and not worry about packing quickly to get in the van.

Morning had us driving to Weisbaden, in Germany. Should have been a pretty easy drive, and day, but things can go wrong easily on the road, and we hit traffic and delays. At the hotel for only a few minutes, and anyway no food there, so we continued on to the venue, which wasn’t as close as we’d hoped.

The club, Alte Schmeltze, was pretty cool - seems to be some kind of factory or rental company with a warehouse attached. But no food onhand at all, and we’re pretty hungry, so while Pat, Markus, Robert and Peter set up, both Leonardo and I went out (separately) to find something we could all share for lunch or dinner.

Leonardo, by the way is our friend, agent, sometimes record company, and is along on this tour to help sell merch. Grocery shopping wasn’t on his job description, but he did a good job.

What you get when you send an Italian and a Jewish guy out to get groceries... mozzarella & matzoh!
Markus, doing a radio interview
Pat working on his income taxes!
And, after the show, a snack of questionable culinary value

Saturday the 15th: we drive to Weingarten, for our show at Kulturzentrum Linse.

It’s a small theater - very nice.

Our sound engineer, Robert, shown here in the middle seats, isn’t goofing off at soundcheck… he has a great setup where he mixes us from his iPad, so he can move around the venue in the soundcheck, and even during the show, making sure it’s right in all the areas.

"Gee, no matzorella tonight!"
Going on

Alas, as I sometimes do, I forgot to ask the lighting person to put some light on the audience at the end, so it was too dark for audience pictures and I have none of the show.

Next for us is a drive to Munich, where we’ll have a day off!

p.s. Oct 17, from Munich, on a rare night off… a little vignette I’ll call Now, THAT is Fernet Branca.

I went to Marienplatz in the Old Town, like all the tourists, to grab a photo or two, and after that I found an Italian restaurant. The meal wasn’t bad, and when the waiter asked if I’d like anything more, I said, well, if you have Fernet Branca, I’ll have one. He did, and brought it soon, in a large glass, the way they serve it in Italy. Yay, perfect end to a meal. But it looked a shade reddish, and just a touch more opaque than usual. I tasted it and found it similar to Fernet, but a bit more alcoholic and less herbal tasting. Not bad, but not what I wanted. I considered not mentioning it, but when he came back, I said I don’t think that’s Fernet Branca. He was surprised, and very nice about it - went off to check with the bartender. Came back with a bottle of Fernet, just about empty, and said it definitely had come from that - would I like another. Yes, sure. But I could see as he poured it, again not exactly the right color - I didn’t even need to taste it this time.

Okay, I’d had a glass of wine with dinner and not at my sharpest… and a bit sheepish about seeming like some kind of nut. But I do drink Fernet often, (well… very often!) and this seemed like some kind of Amaro, similar, but… So, when he came back, I said I have an idea; I’d like to buy another shot, but this time from a new bottle. He oozed off, and shortly the maitre d’ appeared, carrying a new bottle of Fernet, giving me the fish eye, and said it was the same as what I’d been given, but would the gentleman like another serving from a fresh bottle?

As he poured it into a fresh glass… joy! ‘Now That is Fernet Branca’ I said, drinking it. ‘Can’t you see the difference? Someone must have put something else in your other Fernet bottle.’ He went off, not committing one way or the other. I took my time finishing the glass, feeling pretty darn good about myself. It would seem that if there’s one thing I know about, besides basses, it’s Fernet Branca.

Unless… I was wrong.


Tomorrow, on to Tel Aviv.