The morning after the night before, well isn't it always?

Up and at 'em, Guido and Micha are up early doors as they've to hotfoot it back up the road, a quick brekky and offski. We take a more leisured approach to the day. Couching, reading, munching...Ulf gets a wee 80s music quiz on the go but I'm hopeless as usual...'was that Top Gun again?'. Mel has a wee gutter-mouth moment that apparently I'm only dirty minded enough to interpret...seriously? And afternoon sets in. We start packing up the gear from last night and load the wagon for the short trip to Cologne.

We arrive at Volker and Katja's place easy-osey, Ulf's millimeter perfect parking, literally' gets us close enough to fall in the door. Beautiful wee place this on a narrow, green street close to the city, kids belting up and down the pavements with footballs, bmxs and screams.

Ulf and I get right on with unloading and sound checking double quick before a munch, those wireless systems are a godsend! Treated to a smashing dinner and meet the twins Jonah, Lena and their big bruv Marlin...wee crackers they are too. Volker and Katja have set the room up perfect and there's chairs, cushions, couches and candles everywhere...not to mention a keg of Koelsch beer in the kitchen, this may take some time the night.


The audience arrives at a steady clip, Mel's strategically choosing her vantage/ambush point and we're ready to kick off. The show goes belter and there's even a wee splinter group starting a kitchen party to the side cos the living room is chocablock, great audience and they're in good voice, lending a choir to my scratchy tones. The second half is slightly delayed due to a beer emergency, who knew one keg wouldn't last? The wee ones have been so quiet whilst I'm playing, they're even in their jammies now and whilst we wait I'm treated to a beautiful acappella carnival song by the twins...melt. Volker is the man of the hour as he dashes out to grab a crate from the late night store...he returns to a hero's welcome as we dive into the second set, I manage another version of FC Kölns football anthem and even get a few very newbies under the radar without too many fluffs, the twins gently nod off and are carried past me to bed (I try not to scream in their lugs en route)...what a night...such an open, welcoming audience and brilliant sounding room, a pleasure to play in. Mel again is the queen of sales as she further lightens my return bags...gem.


Volker's on a roll and he's corked the schnapps now as well, I get away easy with just the one (surface tension measure) and as most of the folks traipse out into the night we start a wee acoustic session on the settee and one last beer for the road, Ulf even belts a couple tunes despite his man-flu, can't keep a good man down for long. Some great tunes and we're all rocked out and gifted honey in hand, hit the road at the back of late.

 News trickles in on my phone that the Irish have finally beaten the All Blacks after 111 years/29 matches (whichever sounds more dramatic) of trying and Andy Murray has gotten the number one spot...absolutely unbelievable achievements...chuffed to bits, there's plenty of pished congratulations messages to-ing and fro-ing on my whatsapp, mostly utter jubilant gibberish (squeezing chickens?) but like their team and the Dunkeld laddie, they were not to be denied this day and the celebrations are well deserved...I raise a wee deoch-an-doris to them...bedore I hit the jammies myself, party indeed.