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Lobster bisque and crackers February 8, 2011

Posted by normanmonkey in Music, Travel.
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A Sunday breakfast of lobster bisque and cream crackers was a clear indicator as ever needed that it was definitely time to go food shopping. Domestic chores have fallen by the wayside recently and that is attributable to the malaise that came from the hellish month of January. It’s a good job it finished when it did. One more day of that month and I swear, if it was a person, I’d have knocked it on the head with a shovel and tossed it into a ravine.

It’s around this time of year, and because of it, that people start plotting their escape away from all the domestic turgidity, the kind that comes with combining crackers with lobster soup for breakfast. The closest I’ve been to abroad in months was on Friday and that was only Reading for a QPR away game and that could hardly be described as a new horizon.

In recent years my holidays to the likes of Las Vegas, Phuket and Marbella, not to mention the recent Cow PR three-day invasion of Budapest, have been about as cultural as a lock-in with Bernard Manning. Although well versed in the art of the lone traveller having been to Cuba, Jamaica and Buenos Aires with nothing in my ‘backpack’ except clothes, a few books and the booking confirmation of a five star hotel, planning flight for foreign soil is not so easy when you are a single man in your mid-30’s. Half the destinations I’m genuinely interested in going to such as Vietnam, Central and South America would immediately have me placed on an Interpol database headed with the words ‘Sex Tourist’.

All this has been accentuated while currently reading ‘David Bowie In Berlin: A New Career in a New Town’, the account of how a manically-depressed, drug ravaged, reclusive rock star fled mid-70’s L.A, where he survived on a diet of milk, green peppers and paranoia to go to the Cold War torn but culturally fermenting city of Berlin with Iggy Pop as a traveling companion. Here they subsisted on Thomas Mann novels, Weimar inspired art, beer supped in anonymity in backstreet cafes and asparagus shopping in the food market with members of Kraftwerk and still managed to find time to  record five of the most seminal albums of the decade that shaped industrial rock, electronic and ambient music into a mainstream form. So, is there any sign of a middle ground between Bisque in West Byfleet and Bowie in West Berlin?

‘Hamburg with Blewett’, the imminent weekend jaunt of myself and a pub landlord with a pair of eyes tattooed on his arse, may not prove to be as seminal or culturally significant as ‘Bowie in Berlin’ not to mention The Beatles formative period there so don’t get your hopes up. We’ve got tickets to a football match at St Pauli FC, whose stadium is slap bang in the Reeperbahn, and a hotel room with a mini-bar. It probably begins and ends there with not a single Bauhaus building or name check of Brian Eno in sight.