A vague sense of responsibility sets in at some point on Monday when we realise we haven’t reeeeally organised a car for the five date tour we have planned, starting in two days time.
We happy three will travel three thousand kilometres in six days, from Berlin to Munich, then Switzerland, Italy, and France. Between all the driving, we have a show every night. Read ‘show’ as ‘too many drinks and not enough sleep’. There’s touring in a nutshell.
For reasons I won’t go into now, I don’t have a license so I can’t rent a car, or drive a car for that matter. I’ve managed to rope my boyfriend into coming on tour and renting the car using his license. He and my tour partner, Tali, will share the driving between them.
We find a company called Drivy, they rent out cars owned by private people who aren’t using them at the moment. They’re kinda the Airbnb of the Autobahn, if you like. They are much cheaper than any other company, so they suit our budget.
Roll on Tuesday, we check out the Drivy website and choose a car. It’s a beat up Mazda from nineteen ninety something, she looks a little tired, but sturdy. We think she’ll get us to Italy and back.
I have a gig on the Tuesday, the day before the tour starts, at Fete de la Musique in Berlin. I play with the band at an outdoor venue with a pool, it’s good vibes, although strangely none of us end up swimming. Afterwards we wander around the festival catching bits and pieces of other bands and hanging out in the park drinking beer. We leave early however, responsible adults that we are, as our friends party on. We need to go home and prepare for the big drive tomorrow.
This is me and the band after the show… 🙂
So we make the booking with Drivy, talk to the car owner, pay the money, arrange to meet her at 10.30am the following morning. We pack our things and drink a peppermint tea before bed. All is looking good so far.
Come the morning, the owner doesn’t show up for the meeting. We are too late to organise anything else. Panic begins to set in. At this point we’ve got five hours to get to Munich in time for soundcheck, and no car.
As we sit in the living room going round and round in circles trying to find a solution, the girl with the beat up Mazda finally calls. ‘Where were you this morning? I couldn’t find you’, she says. We call bullshit, seeing as we waited foran hour and tried to reach her several times to no avail.
Either way, she says she’ll bring the car to us so it’s no biggie, we should still get on the road just in time. She shows up at 2pm, unwashed and disinterested, clearly having come straight from a party. Her car is in a worse state than her, it’s positively filthy inside and out, and it stinks. We roll with it, pack the car, then stop by a service station to give it a vacuum before we really get on the road.
The beat up Mazda has now earned the nickname ‘Dusty’. The three of us are already exhausted as we finally get on the road toward the first show.
Eight hours later, I write this from the front seat of Dusty, almost two hours after our show was intended to start. With road works all along the highway, what should have been a five hour drive has unravelled into eight, and we’re still 150 kilometres out of Munich.
Thankfully the booker is being very understanding, and it turns out that Tali has had some surprise fans show up that are determined to wait until she shows up to play no matter what. So this will be the very very late show, featuring Tali and Georgie Fisher, but at the very least when we get there we’ll have an enthusiastic audience.
We are in the midst of the summer solstice. We are witness to an event that will likely happen only once in our lifetimes, what’s known to Americans as the Strawberry Moon, or Europeans as the Honey Moon. It happens when the June full moon occurs at the same time as the summer solstice. Visible only from the Northern Hemisphere, the full summer moon turns a yellowy red hue as it sits opposite the sun on the longest day of the year. The last time it occurred was in 1967, and it’s happening right now.
You can read more about the Strawberry Moon over at The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
I read that it would happen a few days ago, and perhaps the colour was stronger then, but as we drive Dusty around the corner of the highway, there she is. The Moon in all her red huey glory.
Now about four hours late for the gig, the organiser of whom is still inexplicably waiting for us to get there and play, even though most of the guests have already gone home, at least we have our Strawberry Moon to guide us.
We arrive at about midnight, an hour before the club is due to close. We decide that Tali should play her set, seeing as her hardcore fans have been waiting here for hours, and I just sit in the back and have a glass of wine.
A couple of my mates have also stuck around, they’re super nice and pretend not to be pissed off about waiting for us all night, we have a drink together and they make their way home. Tali finishes up and we drive Dusty to our accommodation. A friend of mine has put us up for the night. She is Brazilian-Irish-German, she’s beautiful and interesting and greets us with a warm smile and a cold beer. We sit on the balcony with a beer and a cigarette and shoot the breeze for a while before finally falling into bed.