House Concert #2 in Bielefeld

We stopped for lunch and to do a bit of our online/email work at a Vapiano in Bielefeld. We were happy to have found a parking spot right in front of the restaurant and our next host Nina wrote that she secured us a spot in front of her apartment as well. But when we left to drive to Nina’s it started pouring rain! We were worried if that might affect the number of guests that would attend the concert. We wrote Nina that we were 4 minutes away and when we arrived she was waiting for us with an umbrella to remove her car from the spot she reserved for us. We decided to leave the instruments in the car until the rain stopped and went upstairs to have a look at the space we’d be performing in.

Nina has a beautiful apartment which she has decorated very tastefully. When we arrived three friends were already preparing for the concert. One of them was Dami from Australia! We really had an international audience this tour 🙂 The girls prepared cheese with grapes, sandwiches, vegetables, and dips. Nina generously bought rum especially for Joe so he could have a rum’n’coke. While we were waiting for the rain to stop (or at least to become less intense) we sat down, drank a bit, and got to know Nina and her friends better.

Nina just signed up to SofaConcerts because she was taking part in a raffle to win a concert. When I wrote her and proposed a concert with us she was thrilled and immediately accepted. It’s a bit of an honor to be someones first house concert artist. We want people to like it even more so they stick with it and have other concerts to support all the wonderful artists out there. Nina’s living room is small, but cozy. Fortunately, when we finally brought our instruments in and set up it turned out to be just enough space for us. Nina also didn’t invite a large amount of people. She knew the capacity of the room very well and so it turned out to be the perfect crowd for this occasion. The concert evolved into a little party where people were standing up and dancing in the back of the room. It was really a high-energy atmosphere.

After the concert we had very interesting conversations that we often have after concerts because guests love the idea of traveling around and being a freelance musician but they suspect a downside to it. It’s always the fear of losing “security” that keeps people from living freely and doing what they love. Often people approach us and say that they envy what we’re doing and wish they had the same courage. Joe always tells them that security is more of an illusion and that there are actually no guarantees in life. In actuality, everyone can lose their job or even their life the very next day. So if we don’t know what tomorrow will bring we should strive to make sure that today is one of the best days of our life. People we talk to understand that concept but are often so deeply conditioned by the system that it would require a large amount of will power, inspiration, courage, and time to break out of their routines to finally start doing the things they’re really passionate about, in short: to truly live.

The next day Nina organized some rolls and we had a wonderful breakfast together. She was truly an amazing host, taking care of our needs before we even realized we had them. Thank you Nina, we hope to see you again soon!

– L

Public Concert @ Andrea’s GlĂĽcksmasche

Our next stop after Paderborn was Horn-Bad Meinberg. This little village is the home of Andrea’s GlĂĽcksmasche, a shop for knitting supplies. The special thing about this store is that next door the owners Andrea and Ingo opened a cafĂ© where they host workshops, book readings, and concerts. We got in contact with Ingo through a webpage called SofaConcerts. We wrote him a message asking if he might have an open spot for us this year. He later admitted that they were fully booked until 2021 but wanted to host us so badly that they delayed their summer break for one week to be able to host us beforehand. We really, really appreciated this opportunity. Especially because it was the first gig of this tour that we secured. Once that gig was fixed we booked others around it. So thank you Ingo for giving us a starting point!

The first thing Ingo did was offer us some coffee and drinks while he was transporting the tables from the café into the shop next door. It was nice to have a little chat with him and a moment to relax after the drive. It was a nice calm welcome for us. When we arrived we could park right in front of the café which was perfect for bringing in all our instruments. While Ingo was facing all the chairs towards the big window of the café we set up our instruments right in front of it. The café holds around 30 people and 25 seats were already reserved for the evening so in the end we played a sold out show. The audience was from Paderborn, Bielefeld, Detmold and Horn-Bad Meinberg. Some of them come regularly while others came for the first time. But all were very excited and supportive. It was a very positive and fun vibe.

After the concert we drove to Andrea’s and Ingo’s place in Detmold which was only 10 minutes away. Unfortunately, Andrea could not attend the concert because she had another meeting. But after eating her wonderful ratatouille for dinner and having some great conversation, we offered to play some songs for her. They have an old piano in their living room since their daughter used to play (she is now a very talented fashion designer. They showed us a few pictures of her collection and we were stunned). Joe had the idea and brought his guitar and trumpet and we played a few songs for Andrea. She was so happy to have gotten the chance to hear us after all, and we were more than happy to play for her. Both Ingo and Andrea are such kind, warm people. We really appreciated their hospitality.

The next day Andrea needed to leave early to Dortmund to pick out new fabric for the store. Some people might consider this work but Andrea was looking forward to it. She really enjoys working in her little shop. It’s not common to meet people that love their work so we were very happy for her for finding her passion and being able to live it. Ingo took the day off to show us around Detmold and invited us for a little drink at the market place in the city center. Shortly after, it was time to leave for our next concert in Bielefeld, 45 minutes away.

Thank you Andrea and Ingo, for this wonderful opportunity and your generous efforts. We really appreciate it and are looking forward to seeing you in two years for Ingo’s Birthday Concert!

– L