Berlin: Fan Review - Tue 18th Sep

Berlin: Fan Review
18 September 2001

Thanks to Neil Osgood who sent this review of the Berlin gig.

Just got back from Berlin. Me and my son Steven went out on Saturday morning to make a weekend of it and what a weekend it was.
On the Sunday, we arrived at the Max-Schemling-Halle 4 hours early to sus the place out and have a meal beore going in. As we walked past the side entrance, all the band bar the 4 main stars were chilling out on the grass.
Kicking myself for not having a pen, we quickly dashed to the shops nearby to buy one, which was quite a task being it was a Sunday and we couldn't speak the lingo. Eventually got one and returned to find they had gone. Having kicked myself even harder we went and sulked over a beer and a meal. Steven found a Crew pass as we came out of the cafe which was a great find. We didn't have the bottle to try and bluff our way back stage with it though.
When the doors opened we went in and desperately tried to find some other brits to no avail. The venue was a bit of a disappointment as it was obviously some indoor sports arena with seating overlooking the concrete floor which was the standing area. It was nothing like what was described when we booked the tickets. Had we known, we would have got the standing area as we were one of the first in and would have been right up front. We were refused entry to the floor even though they were cheaper tickets.
The support was a band from Finland but we didn't pay much attention to them.
We eventually sat down on the rock hard seats and the lights went down. The venue was now 90% full and Southdowns began. We were in business and had finaly come to the point of what our trip was all about.
Curtains up and there they were belting out Re-make/Re-model. The sound was pretty crap and didn't carry that well in the Halle but I didn't care as I was listening to 'My Heros'.
Bryan missed out a couple of lines at the end of Streetlife but Phil made up for this with the best solo I have seen/heard this tour on Ladytron.
Andy then treated us to an extended sax solo at the end of 'While My Heart Is Still Beating'
His solo at the end of 'A Song For Europe' was also the best so far ( but still not as good as the one on the High Road video from the 82 tour).
Bryan returned to the piano for 'My Only Love' but sounded like he had his head in a bucket for the first few lines. When the sound was sorted out we were all happy again. Vicky was great at the end of this one.
Phil was again outstanding at the end of 'Dreamhome'
The song I had been waiting for was ' Both Ends Burning' but, alas, Chris's solo was drowned out. I don't know if this was due to the acoustics of the venue or the system. Bryan was back to including his harmonica along with Chris but missed out the last verse again.
Tara was absolutley splendid and was the first time that Andy could play without being drowned out by the rest of the band and took the applause he deserved.
The rest of the show was brilliant. Apart from the standing area, no one else got up to dance. There was little shouting and whooping but I had a great time despite my negative views and numb bum. Then again, I could sit on a seat of razor wire and listen through a walkie talkie just as long as I'm there to see them.
The highlight of the evening came after the show. We decided to wait where we had previously seen the band and after about a 30 minute wait, out they came. First of all was Phil. We managed to get in first for an autograph. Whilst he was being mugged by the other groupies, I managed to get to Paul in time to shake his hand and get the autograph. Then I got Z's ( thats how he signed it) then Vicky's. I got a hug from her whilst Steven took a photo. (Unfortunatly the prat didn't turn the flash on so it came out blurred, as did all the others he took of them) All girls were georgeous and friendly. Then Bryan came out and it was apparent that he was going to leg it to the bus. After shouting that we had come all the way from England to see him (along with another English couple who evaded our search earlier), he relented and agreed to sign them from the safety of the bus door behind a minder. We were now pushed aside by the crowd and had to fight our way back to the front of the queue. Armed with the main man's photo, I caught a glimpse of Andy legging it towards another bus. I ran after him but he had disappeared onto it. I then asked the lovely Lucy if she could get it for me. She even brought him to the door for me. He signed it, shook my hand, thanked me for coming so far and gave me his cigar butt. What a gent. I'll have to take up Sax lessons again.
In the end I got everyone's autograph except Colin's and Chris's.
We then got a taxi back to Charlottenburg with a lovley German driver who took us to an Irish Pub. Finally got to speak to people who could understand us and have some food that looked familiar.
All in all, a brilliant trip and well worth all the money I spent getting there even though he did miss out Mother of Pearl and More Than This ( which I've yet to hear live).

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