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BMP Long Weekend in Berlin

Written by: 7 July 2008 8 Comments

For me, the long weekend started last Tuesday when i saw Radiohead in Amsterdam. After arriving slightly late to find them already playing ‘Lucky’, I was hoping to see them play a more obscure set of songs from Hail to the Thief, Kid A, Amnesiac on top of what was obviously being toured. Don’t get me wrong, there were great moments like Reckoner and then they were ruined by middle aged women clapping along to the beat of Just. G’ah!

The next morning my friend Nick and me rise in our smelly 16 person hostel room and head to our local cafe ‘Ben’ for our final coffee before Nick and I go our seperate ways. I head to Berlin to catch up with Justin, Silke, Matt and of course BMPer Wayde. Feeling average i manage to get my way to Silke who laughs at the sight of me before guiding me to their new sweet pad.

After a quick beer and catch up i made my way to meet with Wayde and we headed to the first of our musical expeditions, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy. Doors opened at 8pm and we figure the support act ‘Full Fucking Moon’ will be on till 9.30 or so. We arrivedat 9 to find no one even checking tickets and Billy singing You remind me of Something (The Glory Goes) off his new album. Wayde checks and sees our assigned seats in the middle of the row are taken and so we stand at the door for a bit before finding two free seats at the end of the two rows next to us. Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy is a handsome man. Culdesac balled spot with tightly curled ginger hair and beard. Barefoot, though Wayde insisted he was wearing Crocs, he also wore a denim shirt and rolled up jeans which he every-so-often pulled a cloth from to wipe his face and forehead. Double bass, guitar, drums and a very hot (well endowed) violinist completed the band. He played for almost 2 hours, a lot of which i hadn’t heard before, but enjoyed all the same.

Thursday night – Ricardo playing live! Justin, Silke and myself arrive at Berghain around 12.30am and luckily Silke use to work for De:Bug who are putting on the party so she has her name on the guest list so we get to jump the two or so hour long queue and go to the 20 minute guestlist line instead. First on was Alva Noto. He played a lot heavier than when i saw him in Auckland. Very dubby but very good. No visuals however so maybe this is how he plays when there are no visuals to coincide with crazy noise.

Ricardo stepped up and so did the beats. Opening for Richie i was only expecting to hear bass around the 127bpm mark. He was supreme. At this stage i was stone cold sober other than a few beers and Berghain, while very dark and a little empty, was what i had expected. Large dancefloor, but not overly so, not the size of Galatos main room for instance.

Wayde and I work our way in to the middle of the floor and dance our way back as people push forward. Ricardo kept his set very level so as to not show up Richie. Richie starts and now i’m not so sober. The room is feeling a bit more heavy now and i manage to persuade Matt to buy me some water while i go feel sick. I pull it together and try to get in to Richie’s set, but struggle to get in to the bang-whizz, and end up following Justin and Silke down before they head home. It’s not long after i go catch a cab with Wayde and miss Apparat and MIA (bummer). Now that i’ve seen Richie play almost more than any other international, three times, i can comfortably say, he’s not a fave.

Friday’s a write off and Saturday we finally get to hit the shoe and record shops. Wayde found some nice Adidas and he actually bought some records!! 🙂

Saturday night and we find out that Matt and Simon have been up till 3am Saturday morning from Thursday night and not so in the mood for early Berghain. This suits me because i’m tired and apparently the good DJ’s don’t start till real late. I make arrangements to get up around 3am and go meet Wayde, but i sleep through till around 9am. Relieved i was to get a text letting me know Len Faki, The Mole, Cassy and Moritz von Oswald are all yet to play. After meeting with Wayde and Simon at the station we head along to Berghain while they tell me how amazing Rolando was and how disappointing Cobblestone Jazz were. Len Faki is banging it out in Berghain. The Mole is a lot more housey. I enjoyed parts of his set a heap but Wayde thought he was rubbish despite him playing Dem Young Scoonies.

Finally Cassy comes on in the Garden so we go sit in the corner in the shade and watch and listen as she effortlessly and seamlessly mixes her way through a solid few hours of deep house. Struggling to stay awake Wayde manages to stay and we stay put in the corner for Moritz von Oswald. Tikiman was vocalising for about 2 minutes of the hour we saw before Wayde hit the sleepy wall and we headed off.


  • Bob Daktari said:

    Sounds like fun


  • Benny said:

    Wayde bought records!? Alva noto was even heavier than he was in Auckland!! Berghain is smaller than Galatos basement?!

    I might have to call bullshit on some of these points, I can’t conceive of some of this at all..

    Nice update! Pity Radiohead didn’t play more new stuff, that is what I would be keen to hear them do as well.

  • The Ninja said:

    *cries in the corner that he missed the BMP berlin weekender…..*

  • Mick said:

    It’s just the Berghain dancefloor that i was meaning was smaller than the Galatos mainroom Dancefloor….
    The building is fucking massive. Two levels for Berghain and you walk up some metal framed stairs to the dancefloor. If you carry on to your left you walk through to another bar, there’s one downstairs also, and a toilet. Next to the dancefloor are some stairs which lead up to Panamara Bar. Again, not an overly huge dancefloor but there’s a bar dividing the room in two and an amazing photo of a minge on the back wall.

  • Benny said:

    Oh right, that makes sense – having seen photos of the outside of Berghain I didn’t understand why it would be so small.

    I think I read somewhere that is a Wolfgang Tillmans photo..

  • Mick said:

    I saw Radiohead again last night, this time in Berlin, because Justin and Silke were going and i managed to get a ticket for cheaper than they were worth at the gate. They were a whole bunch better than in Amsterdam.
    We enetered to Modeselektor playing Bjork featuring Antony Hegarty “Dull Flame of Desire”. Yes Modeselektor opened.
    They played almost all of In Rainbows. Crowd was in to it despite the rain too….

    Set list
    01. 15 Step
    02. Airbag
    03. There There
    04. All I Need
    05. Where I End and You Begin
    06. Nude
    07. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
    08. The Gloaming
    09. Videotape
    10. No Surprises
    11. Jigsaw Falling into Place
    12. My Iron Lung
    13. Wolf at the Door
    14. Reckoner
    15. Everything in Its Right Place
    16. Bangers and Mash
    17. Bodysnatchers

    First Encore
    18. Cymbal Rush
    19. You and Whose Army?
    20. Paranoid Android
    21. Dollars & Cents
    22. Idioteque

    Second Encore
    23. House of Cards
    24. National Anthem
    25. Street Spirit (fade out)

  • thedrake said:

    Not sure what you’re on Benny (well, I do, which is why I’m crying wolf). Berghain floor is bigger than the Galatos one. Can fit more people….
    I’d say prob about 10-15% more if I was going to be a crowd judge nerd… which I am.

    But who’s counting!!

    It’s funny how one person’s King Tubby is another person’s Finley Quay… have also heard from Cobblestone fans they enjoyed their set then, but not their best, but better than the rest of it.

    Anyhow. I am just gutted to miss it all. Damn Berlin trains and their disorientation effects! ;-P

    Come back soon y’hear!

    (tonight is Tobi Numan and Onur Ozer… thursdays are getting shit hot).

  • thedrake said:

    That’d be micky!! haha

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