Du kommst zu spat

The Fete de la Musique is an annual event which sees hundreds of bands and DJs playing across the city in venues large and small, in the streets and parks. Each Kietz competes to see just how much music can be played in a twenty four hour period.

I have to confess I am not a great fan of festivals. Not having yet mastered the art of translocation seeing an event in this context inevitable means missing another ten. Everybody has a different idea about what they want to see and quantity rather than quality tends to determine the flavour of the event. The Fete de la Musique is, generally however, an exception. An afternoon in the park, an amiable stroll from one small bar to another in the evening – hardly unendurable.

Unfortunately this year the weather had other plans and I found myself armed with an itinary. Despite the valiant attempts of the impromptu reggae sound system that had set up on Falckenstein Strasse to summon the sun, this eagerly anticipated event turned into something of a damp squib.

I started the evening early at “suche dein gl├╝ck” (find your happiness), at the Superhorst grande finale party. Superhorst was a project space which ran for three years here in Wrangelkiez, it is typical of the kind of small e.v’s (associations) that spring up all over the city and particularly here in Kreuzberg to show art, provide venues for live music, political and cultural conversation or just a cool bar, a place to hang out with friends. I chatted with Eric, one of the project’s instigators about Superhorst and Instantrooms plans for the future (an occasional project space coming soon in Adalbert Strasse) – he proudly showed me the venue’s tiny ‘punk rock cellar’ but Superhorst’s main areas of concern were electronica and comics, themes which hopefully the new project space will continue to develop albeit on a more occasional basis.

Having made a dash for it in the torrential rain I found myself at the corner of Wrangel Strasse and Oppelner Strasse, trapped in a ferocious sound-clash between a Deutsche rent-a-punk hardcore band that was stationed outside Vendetta and the lazy rock and roll emanating from the direction of the Bull Bar. The punks did their best to give the finger to the rain with a powerful PA that caused the guys in the kiosk opposite to have to shout but tinnitus or electric shock seemed immanent possibilities so I beat a retreat.

At the Bull Bar, on Wrangel Strasse, a band variously introducing themselves to a sea of umbrellas on the street as ‘the ungrateful dead’ and ‘the evil haircuts’, lounged in the doorway cranking out unchallenging bluesy rock & roll. I was happy to find some respite in Sofia.

After a detour to Monster Ronson’s on Lubbener Strasse to see a karaoke outfit belting out defiant standards I returned home to change into some dry clothes and made my way to the 100.6 FM party in Gorlitzer Park. Alas the bill of fare comprised damp English pop. A professional radio and record company format, not done any favours by their early slot and the dreadful weather, the ad-hoc Samba collective playing under the eves of next building had more energy.

At Lausitzer Platz, Nachtladen, also appearing courtesy of 100.6, at least had enough presence and originality to provoke a small flotilla of bobbing umbrellas in the growing sea of mud but by the time I got to WeinerStrasse a pattern had established itself.

It was raining too damm hard to hang around outside and all the bars, Weiner Blut, Der Weise Taube, 11, Madona and Wild at Heart were all so crammed with people as to make getting a view of the bands impossible. I gave up the ghost and trudged back to Wrangelkiez catching, en route, the end of a punk set at Tam Tam, the singer howling “Du kommst zu spat.”

Thanks to Eric from Instantrooms for the image.