"Dad Horse at Badehaus Berlin"

Giving My Bones to the Western LandsI'm slowly crossing items off my bucket list. People who know me also know that there are no bungy jumps, hot air balloon rides or exotic travel destinations on the list. Just the simple, but important, things in life. Like authentic music. Two weeks ago, I went on a weekend trip to Berlin with two friends. Our main focus was to visit beer gardens and maybe see some sights in between. A fortunate coincidence occured. The Dad Horse Experience played at Badehaus Berlin on April 22th. Badehaus Berlin is located in the RAW-Gelände in Friedrichshain (in former East Germany). RAW "Reichsbahnausbesserungswerk" (approximately Railway Repair Workshop) was built in 1867. In 1999 the RAW complex was turned into bars, clubs, restaurants, an outdoor cinema, a climbing wall, an indoor skate park, a flea market, artists' workshops, concert halls and recording studios. To stroll around in the middle of abandoned hangars full of graffiti and huge murals is definitely outside my comfort zone. But, my friends are more open-minded and daring than I am. We didn't know were Badehaus exactly was located. Much to our surprise, it was located just opposite Cassiopeia, a beer garden in the RAW area, where we have spent the afternoon waiting for the concert to begin. Apparently, beer gardens thrives everywhere in Germany. Badehaus was the actual bathhouse for the workers of the RAW. The venue looked a bit rough around the edges from the outside. But, inside it's neat and tidy, and well organized. A proper stage, professional sound and light system, and a friendly bar. Former Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy Horace Engdahl has said that "Germany is Sweden for adults". I agree in his assessment. Art, culture and music (including musicians) are far more respected and treated better than elsewhere. The ticket price was ridiculously low, 20 euro. The concert was supported by NEUSTART KULTUR, a federal government program for the culture and media sector. Funding is provided, among other things, for pandemic-related investments and projects in various cultural sectors.

Giving My Bones to the Western LandsWe are in Germany. Punctuality is of the essence: "Early is On Time, On Time is Late, and Late is Unacceptable". The opening act was Trixie Trainwreck a.k.a. Trinity Sarrat, an American who moved to Berlin when she was 18 years old. Not bad, but we more interested in the headliner, The Dad Horse Experience a.k.a. Dad Horse Ottn. He used to perform solo with just tenor banjo, foot pedal synthesizer and kazoo. Nowadays, TDHE has been expanded to a full band (Dad Horse XP). This night Dad Horse was supported by guitar, bass and drums. The transition from solo arrangement to a more full soundscape works very well. One odd thing, I have never seen a bent dry clean hanger being used as a kazoo holder before. Well, I guess there's a first time for everything. The songs were delivered in a furious pace. I think I heard: Find My Body Down, Dead Dog on a Highway, Schwarz Grün Weiss, Ganz war ich nie, Huggy Bear Motel, Reach Out Your Hand, Kingdom It Will Come, Cuxhaven and the encore, Falling. The performance was peppered with banter as well as jokes and stories from real life. However, my "school" German wasn't sufficient enough to decipher the talk between the songs. I never fully mastered the accusative and dative case. It didn't matter. Dad Horse switched between German and English, just as the lyrics in his songs. The total number of attendees were around 100. The audience was mixed, a couple of young goths, music lovers and some seniors. I count myself in the two latter categories. Overall, a great performance with a lot of energy. Adding to this, good sound quality and light setting. I will probably never be able to cross over "Eating Meatballs on a Blood-Stained Matress in a Huggy Bear Motel" on my bucket list. But, I did get a chance to chat with the artist. Dad Horse was very nice and friendly, and gave me a kazoo. When we left the RAW-Gelände area it was overtaken, in masses, by the younger generation. It was time to retire for the night.  

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