Intrigue: Tunnel 29 – Escaping East Berlin

This story is incredible and the corresponding podcast is one of the best produced podcasts I’ve heard.

Part docu-drama, part narrative by journalist Helena Merriman, it tells the story of Joachim Rudolph, a defector and refugee that escapes from East Berlin in the early months of the enforcement and communist DDR crackdown on the Berlin Wall on the east side in 1961.

Free from the east just a few months, he hatches a plan with some fellow students at university to build a tunnel from the west into the east to free family and friends divided by the wall.

It is a “must listen” piece of amazing true story audio drama.

Broken up into 10 parts and just over 3 hours long, I implore you to take the time to listen.

It’s an incredible story of brute strength, determination, and absolute unabashed heroism!

A link to the BBC Long Reads article on it can be found by clicking HERE

And you can find the podcast link HERE

Empires And Dance Appreciation – KANT KINO

It is my favourite Simple Minds instrumental.

My favourite David Bowie track of them all is A New Career In A New Town – that “town” being Berlin. I heard an instant parallel between ANCIANT and Kant Kino. Both have an incredible emotional pull on me – both brought me to tears the first time I heard them.

Although most of my SM art is about Jim’s lyrics, I have done the odd piece on an instrumental track. I made one for Kant Kino. (Dave Kelly then egged me on to do one for Somebody Up There Likes You, which Jim subsequently seemed to like so much, he actually requested a copy from me. Something that amazes me still to this day. It always will.)

We have our own “bucket list” things that we want and wish for. Mine for a VERY long time now has been to visit Berlin. I will finally get to tick it off the list in December. On the list of things to see is – to take a stroll down the Potsdamer Platz, to visit Checkpoint Charlie and Hansa Studios. One or two other things too, hopefully. A David Bowie (and Iggy Pop) pilgrimage.

The other thing on the list will be to stand outside of Kant Kino…well…I might just go in and see a film…who knows? It’s still open as a cinema complex.

Gigging Update – Gigs Added

Well, Saturday’s Trevor Horn gig is almost upon us – and I have amazing news…which I assume I am allowed to share publicly, seeing as he did tell me publicly on my Facebook timeline – Mick MacNeil will be at the show!!! Performing! Only for Brothers In Arms…but, still. For me this is monumental! I have never seen Mick perform in any capacity before. And even if it is only for one song, I cannot tell you how much I am bubbling with excitement about this!

After this gig, August is still quiet. There’ll be things to sort out on the home front in August.

In September things get going. On the 12th, a bit of home music with You Am I at The Garage in London. A newly added gig now – Kelly Jones in Oxford on the 18th. I missed the first lot of dates, so when Cherisse revealed through her social media that there was a smattering of new dates I went and had a look to see what was nearest (geographically) and Oxford was it. And just a few days before the drum show in Manchester. Cherisse will be sick of the sight of me! Lol

A few weeks break again…and then a little spell of gigs in October. Alice Cooper (with The Stranglers!) at the O2 London on the 10th. Then a trip down to Bristol for a new gig on the list – Toyah at The Fleece on the 20th. A gig with Birdy. Our time at The Stranglers gig in March was…erm…something and there hasn’t been much of a chance for us to have been out gigging together since. I dragged her along to John Grant (not TOTALLY unwillingly, mind…but she’s not as much of a fan of Love Is Magic – which he was showcasing on the tour – than previous material), so it is only fair I make amends. I’ve never seen Toyah. Can’t say I am a big fan…not because I don’t like her…just, she hasn’t been much on my music radar, that’s all. But I am looking forward to it.

We complete October by me going to see Belgian band Whispering Sons at The Moth Club in Hackney on the 25th.

The final extra gig is yet ANOTHER Stranglers gig. Ruth and I are making a little German holiday of it. First port of call is Hamburg on Dec 6th, then on we go to BERLIN!! (A many, MANY years “bucket list” destination for me…some reasons will be rather obvious…and we may just try and take in a tour of Hansa Studios, if we can…there’s a major clue as to why Berlin has been on the bucket list for so long) for the next gig on the 8th. Speaking of people getting sick of the sight of me. Lol. I think JJ and Baz may end up like that too!

This will make the number of times I have seen The Stranglers only surpassed by the number I’ve seen Simple Minds. I’m trying to get a quick tally in my head…I think by Berlin it’ll be 8 times.

So, that’s it, for now.

July 27th Trevor Horn – Glasgow

Sept. 12th You Am I – London
Sept. 18th Kelly Jones – Oxford
Sept. 21st UK Drum Show – Manchester

Oct. 10th Alice Cooper – London
Oct. 20th Toyah – Bristol
Oct. 25th Whispering Sons – London

Dec. 6th The Stranglers – Hamburg
Dec. 8th The Stranglers – Berlin

Ragtime Bry

A new release from Bryan Ferry at the end of November…inspired by his soundtrack work for the Netflix series Berlin Babylon. It sounds like it could be a goodun. I wonder if next year’s world tour will be airing this kind of vibe too?

Would really love to hear how Sea Breezes sounds. Only about five weeks to wait…

click the album image for more details

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WTF! Brian’s Briefs!

How have I never actually taken this in before?! I’ve been seeing this cover since I started collecting SM memorabilia from the earliest days of my mega fandom. It’s – I am for all the world sure ERRONEOUSLY – stated as being a pic of Mick (surname spelled incorrectly)…but I am pretty sure that’s Brian. Photo taken by…Ronnie Gurr! Labelled as “Simple Minds in Berlin” – another bit I never took in. I knew there was a piece on them inside…but because it’s 1980, I just assumed it would be like a half page thing with one small pic.

Brian is all but STARKERS on the cover! Fucking…I’m gonna DIE if there’s anything REMOTELY similar of Jim inside! Lol.

For nearly FOUR YEARS I have bypassed getting this particular mag, having others take precedent…and now…THIS IS THE NEXT MUST HAVE!