Stories of this Canadian girl's adventures exploring Europe...join me!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

red cat club

Rock ‘n roller played a gig last night at the Red Cat Club in Mainz. Along with his wife and her friend, I took the train into the city, walked through the evening streets, and headed to the little nightclub for the 10pm start.

We arrived outside of what looked like an apartment building, on a narrow side street. The only sign hanging outside was a bright red, neon outline of a cat – very cool. Through the door, down 3 flights of stairs, around the corner and under a low arch, we entered a low-lit, cave-like, room with a long bar on one side and a row of large, red, super-sleek, couches on the other.

There were 3 people in the club when we arrived and, it being a Tuesday night, hopes of a large crowd were dim. We said hi to the band members and settled in to a comfy, red couch with a beer, waiting for 10 pm. Slowly, the place began to fill up.

By the time the band started to play the intimate cave was full. Six musicians packed the tiny stage, along with their 6 instruments and sound equipment. Then the music started. And the place went crazy.

I think, here in Germany, and maybe elsewhere (although the term is foreign to me), the style of music is called Rockabilly. I’m not sure what that means, except I would describe what they played as a mix of old-time rock, some swing, with a hint of jazz or bluegrass. Whatever it’s called, it sure was fun and lively. The 3 of us girls did not stay still for the entire 2 hours. We danced the whole time, within the standing-room-only crowd.

Rock n’ roller, with his leather pants and leather vest, is a really good singer. I had no idea. Great guy and I relentlessly mock him for his ‘I can only play what’s in my heart’ speeches, but sing and play he sure can. On this occasion he was playing the stand-up bass, which, in my opinion, is quite the super-cool instrument. On top of his bass sits a gargoyle with moving hands and a tail, bopping along in tune, looking like it’s playing every note along side rock ‘n roller. I loved watching that gargoyle. There are also first baby shoes glued to the body of the bass, a giant spider, and some lucky dice hanging from it – probably all things improving the sound, I’m sure.

The band members were generous – giving each other lots of solo time; the ultra-talented, African American, army-guy, trombone player , the New York-trained sax player, the crazy, professor/electric guitar player, the wild drummer (don’t all drummers seem a little nuts – but in a good way?), and the steadily cool, but very normal-looking, harmonica player.

At midnight the show had to wind-down, due to noise restrictions, so we helped the band pack up and schlepped everything out to their vehicles. During the dark, drive home, I was thinking how much fun it was to experience some German nightlife and meet some new people, but that it would’ve been even more fun if great guy was along – hopefully next time, the band will pick a weekend date. Who, other than the unemployed, under-22 or band groupie, goes to a concert at 10pm on a Tuesday?
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