Jul 14, Hamburg, O2

2013-07-12-13.43.59It’s been a few days, hasn’t it? After Lucca we spent two full days in Viareggio, in the sun — well, not me, I hunched in the shadows tapping away at the keys until hunger overcame the need for a faux-subterranean life. Under orders from my stomach, I ventured into the  afternoon’s cosmic inferno, rewarded for my trouble with pasta.

On Friday we flew to Hamburg and spent the rest of the day in leisure; the weather was more to my taste — around 20℃ as opposed to a million degrees or whatever it was in Italy. Here in Hamburg, one might even wish to take a light jacket when venturing out for a stroll. Saturday — more German leisure. Sunday — here we are again, indoors, while the light drizzle waters the plants outside. Inside, there’s no worrying about plastic sheeting,  damp carpets, or silver sun-shields; in fact, no bothersome sun at all! Back in black, Mister Pasty.

2013-07-14 08.58.14Load-in for The Winning Team couldn’t have been much easier. The truck backed onto a hallway near the stage and our gear rolled off, and onto the arena floor where it would wait until the carpets were laid and a forklift was free. With no scurrying in preparation for weather, I found myself with some spare time and sat drafting these very words, fed, watered, and well rested after so many days off.

So what’s new? I’ve nearly finished a book — A Tale of Two Cities by none other than Charles Dickens. With 17 pages left, I’m interested to see how he wraps things up; as much as I love Dickens, I have to admit his style is hard to get through sometimes. And as clever as he is with words (don’t even get me started on how he managed to write at such length without a computer) I can’t help but think that the English Victorian syntax was closer to his narrators’ voices than to our modern vernacular. Perhaps there is an extra frond to our love-palm with Dickens in that he gives us a view into his world; as time trundles and we watch the past slip away through the rear window, like Mr. Lorry peering for pursuers, Dickens gives us a bookmark, a way to see the language of the Victorians. Keep in mind of course that A Tale of Two Cities is NOT set in Victorian times, but with any luck, you’ll get my shabby, waffling drift.

Oh and speaking of books, I can’t for the life of me believe you’ve heard No Ideas the book is now on sale in all its do-it-yourself splendour, in both electronic and paper formats. (Just let me know when the self-promotion becomes unbearable; I’ll employ subliminal methods.)

Returning to the stuff of labour for which I am gainfully employed, today’s soundcheck was neither harried by generator issues nor tarried by noise curfews. Indoors, we can do as we like (human sacrifice is still proscribed, thank you very much European parliament) and soundcheck went ahead when it was expected; during said check, however, something quite unexpected occurred. I shan’t make any utterances of indications just yet dear reader, but a very familiar song was given an entirely new treatment. Perhaps it shall be unveiled tonight or tomorrow, or perhaps its new skin will quietly shed — who’s to say? In the meantime I shall remain schtum.

We look forward, this evening, to a crew-friendly 8pm start time. As to whether or not it will be delayed, if the ticket-holders of Hamburg can get into their seats in a timely fashion, we are not to say but hope. Stupendous revelations both expected and surprisory shall doubtless hurtle forth in the next, positively riveting episode of Sarcastic Roadie.

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17 Responses to Jul 14, Hamburg, O2

  1. Intrigued by the familiar song getting new treatment! I patiently await it hopefully surfacing at a concert and then hearing more. I love your image from the plane and am often guilty of doing the same but always with the phone on flight mode 😉
    Looking at your reading list, I was traumatised by The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. A “friend” recommended it to me and after reading it and telling her what I thought she said she knew that is how I’d react! I wasn’t amused to say the least but hopefully you will enjoy it better than I did.

    • Leif says:

      Cheers Gwen. I hope to get through the book a bit quicker than Two Cities. Was considering Dickens’ Pickwick Papers next, but it’s like a frickin’ phone book. 🙂

  2. Karen says:

    What *is* that thing that is The Tower of Song?

  3. (Just let me know when the self-promotion becomes unbearable; I’ll employ subliminal methods.) Ha ha. Know the feeling. Very soon now I will read the book with new eyes and hopefully will not roll ’em 🙂 Good on ya, boy. Ya got lots of books in ya. Dickens’ Pickwick Papers reminds me of Peter Piper Picked A Peck of Pickled Peppers While Reading Dickens’ Pickwick Papers while on the pooper….plop.Gotta go….

  4. dcs2641 says:

    Forgive my limitations, but what is “schtum”?

  5. Diana Dahart says:

    Waiting with anticipation to hear the results of this evening’s concert! Although, as it is now 740pm in the eastern US, it must be after 1am in Germany. Will continue to check. Dickens….his bleakness mirrors the bleakness of his time. Author of perfection, but simply too bleak for me. On another note, I am THRILLED to have your e-book and will wait patiently for the arrival of your paperback! Bravo! Love reading you!!!

    • Leif says:

      Thanks Diana, I’m really chuffed you bought two formats, that’s unnecessarily awesome of you.

      The next entry comes out at 3pm Germany time. Consider yourself ‘un-suspensed’. 😉

  6. kl says:

    ‘schtum’ is 100% German: written ‘stumm’ but pronounced ‘schtumm’. There are a myriad of German words out there that are called ‘yiddish’ and it beats me how that came about. Calling that wrong doesn’t get close. Your dictionary even says ‘Origin 1950s’! One does wonder where all this wisdom comes from 🙂 Back to ‘stumm’: can be translated/used for ‘quiet, silent, speechless, mute, etc’.

    • dcs2641 says:

      Thanks for the language lesson. Now for a new word. What is “chuffed”? Please keep in mind that I am from midwest USA. The closest I have come to yiddish is Mr. Levee who owned the clothing store in my small town when I was growing up. No matter the size, according to him, everything you tried on was a “perfect fit”.

      • Leif says:

        Chuffed is proud; like when you successfully build something from IKEA and don’t have to backtrack any of your steps, you’re chuffed with the result.

    • Leif says:

      Nice one, thanks. Maybe the 50s is when it became used in English?

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