Another month is over and this means I have been to another Clusterfuck at White Trash Fast Food in Berlin. This time Elyas Kahn played two sets with “a band” and this was one of the best shows I have seen of him. He had two drummers on stage and just like everyone else who has been there I want him to have two drummers at every single show he plays from now on. I am not saying this because I love a lot of drums (and bass) in general. I just haven’t realized until this evening how much his music demands a lot of percussions. And he also had Peter D’Elia (The Beez) on Banjo and once on Bass when he swapped instruments with Elyas…well, actually Elyas played guitar most of the time, once banjo and then drums once as well and bass. And he had invited Chris Lastelle for bass. Eric Durso (Budzillus) who played more often with Elyas took over one of the drums and the other one was in the hands of Romain Vicente. Romain pretty much just moved to Berlin and Elyas and him had one rehearsal. It was amazing. I feel like repeating myself. I am not sure how often I have tried to put Elyas music and the way he sings in words and it feels like failing every single time. It feels like a fusion of his roots - New York, London and India or something like this. Maybe this helps:
And on Saturday I was at Erik Penny’s Sofa Sessions - an slightly different environment but again friends sharing the “stage”. I think in UK everyone would call it a house show. Well, this time it was more about the wonderful Miss Kenichi and Earl Harvin. She makes beautiful sad music and has such a beautiful voice and plays guitar. And Earl plays a bit of drums, harmonica and such a little casio thing. What was the most fascinating for me was how Earl played. He played very gentle, he made this almost silent little sound to underline the mood. And then when he touched his instrument he always seemed to be so respectful to them. After they played I overheard* Katrin Hahner talking to others saying how she writes her music with space in it to leave room for the listener and also her band mates, just not to overload a song with lyrics. When I sat there on the couch, listening and watching her for the first time it felt like a perfect balance. And I remember to think of something thick like honey but warm during the concert.
Katrin Hahner studied stage acting and art, is doing exhibitions with her painting every once in a while and has already released two albums “Collision Time” and “Fox”. I think she is currently working on the third one. I need to get my hands on these and see Miss Kenichi again (which is not difficult because they are from Berlin and will play here in August again).
Erik played a few new songs before and after Miss Kenichi and that made me well excited about his new album even though he is still writing for it and we will have to wait quite a bit for it. He is a singer-songwriter and I think he is in this Americana genre. To make this waiting time shorter I bought his newest live album from last years sofa session. I have been at one of the dates and it was amazing. He played with his band (incl. cello), showed how awesome his music is and also how funny he is. I think the more often I see Erik the more I fall in love with his music. I am not sure when “Live at the Sofa Sessions” is going to be released officially (it should be soon) but I’m well happy to have a physical copy at home since it is going to be digitally release. The only problem is that I want to see Erik playing a full set again - missed a few opportunities in the last months (stupid me).
A photo from the first Sofa Session I have been to in August 2010:
Thank you for reading,
*For some strange reason I have been even more shy than usual and didn’t say much and I was just agreeing/listening.
There are no words, no pictures, no videos that could describe the last Thursday. I can’t think of any. It was a Clusterfuck.
The last 1,5 days I was walking through the streets of Berlin, smiling while remembering what happened and keep on thinking when I saw someone else who wasn’t there “You have missed out so badly you poor soul!”. This time it was even more special than usual. Elyas Khan played two sets (instead of a band he usually invides) and he invited a lot of his friends (= musicians), so it was amazing. And amazing doesn’t cover it at all. People were going on stage and joining Elyas and Eric D’Urso (BudZillus, on drums through the whole thing). I can’t even start to name everyone who was there. Every single one seemed to be so excited to get on stage and do something there, play their instruments or sing. And it was fascinating to watch them at the beginning of the song focusing on each other, watching each other and then after a little bit a smile flashing over their face when everything fell into place. They all seemed to be happy and enjoyed what was going on. It was like a big public jam and its backbone were Elyas Khans (Nervous Cabaret) songs like “Mel Gibson”. And a cover of Tears for Fears “Shout” with Kitty Solaris on vocals, Dom Bouffard sang one of his songs and a couple of people played and song together on “Alabama Song” and so on.
I took a lot of photos while dancing and watching and enjoying all this hoping to get a single one which could show what clusterfuck is but it didn’t really work out (I can forget about filming it straight away because the sound is just too bad in the end and it wouldn’t help at all). Here are some of those photos (in no specific order) - I am sorry for mediocre quality of them.
The beginning - only Elyas (and Eric who is not on the photo but would be on the right) and an empty stage:
This is Elyas and Kitty Solaris:
Lots (= 3) of members of BudZillus (Thomas Prestine, Robert Kondorosi, Eric D’Urso) and Elyas (and the heads of people in front of me):
Watching and playing:
Hm….maybe this could give you an idea…
Dom Bouffard - not playing his some but some time later back on stage:
Young & not that young anymore on drums:
Not sure who the first person is, Saudia Young (beautiful voice, so deep), Uwe Langer (17 Hippies, trombone, it was interesting to watch him - he stood there with his eyes closed to hear what everyone was playing and then smiled and played), Dom, Elyas….
Nino Ruggieri (Berlin Sling), Saudia Young during the Alabama Song:
Dom Bouffard playing his song:
At the beginning. Someone (Thomas Prestin) is unpacking his saxophone:
I won’t be on the next Clusterfuck since it is on the 17. February and Tubelord are in town - everything good always comes in clusters (and bad as well but who cares about that anyway?).
Thanks for reading