16.05.2005 17:25 - The Holiday that was no Holiday
Well, I'm back from the long weekend, to be met with all your hysterical emails wondering why there wasn't a blog entry or a Snorty. I know that some of you follow this log particularly closely, so let me assure you that it's mainly down to my laptop hard-drive being in the final stages of a long and protracted death, thanks to IBM.
Meanwhile, I've been down on the Mosel with her Maj helping the family cope with the annual Pfingstmontag rush - a group booking of fifty. HMD is back on his feet after the rib incident, but as you can imagine, can't lift any heavy weights. This is where I come in handy.
So, a weekend of enforced dish- and large containers of fried potatoes- washing was the order of the day. This would have been endurable, were it not for the guests from hell.
A small inkling dawned upon us when we saw the large boxes that the group were carrying in, stencilled "P.A.". It was indeed a P.A., and larger than any I've ever used. They brought in other instruments, although, rather than the expected Marshall stacks, they were somewhat more unusual.
It turned out that this was the Bayerische Heavy Metal Verein, a troupe of musicians dedicated to the rendering of Metal classics using the traditional Bayerische folk instruments : the piano-accordian, tuba and drums. Amongst their set-list languished items such as "Sandmannchen Herein" (Enter Sandman) "Pik-Aas" (The Ace of Spades) and of course, just about anything by "Bleiluftschiff".
The entertainment started just after the evening meal, as I was glued to the sink, and announced itself by the unison-playing of the tuba and the bass-drum. This gave a similar effect to the footfalls of the dinosaur in "Jurassic Park". Like Jurassic Park, the full horror took time to build, but the anticipation drove me up the wall. The true terror began as the piano-accordian made itself known, and the whole dining-room, now seven parts to the wind thanks to an extended visit to the wine cellar, began to sing. In three neighbouring keys.
It was at this point that the phrase "justifiable homicide" became clear to me.
The final terror was yet to come : The leader of the group wandering up and down the aisle of the cafeteria, exhorting everyone to sing, whilst playing a washboard, completely out of time, something I would not have thought possible, as the drummer kept to a steady BOOM-tish BOOM-tish martial beat, occasionally breaking off at the end of a verse to play a drum-roll on the tom - although I use the term loosely, as the only drum-roll he was capable of was to batter the tom in a half-hearted fashion before returning to the martial beat - a sort of "bomp-te-bomp" sound. Not "shave and a haircut, two bob", "potato boom" or even "Kate BUSH" - just a pathetic little half-hearted "bomp-te-bomp". Nico McBrain this wasn't, and Keith Moon may rest easy in his grave. It wasn't even a decent polka beat, for heaven's sake - you could get a better one out of just about any drum machine.
Can you guess, dear reader, what they pulled down for this gig?
Three. Hundred. Euros.
I'm in the wrong bleeding band.