…And all we got was this lousy photo diary. When our graphic designer told us that his band, Spleen United, were playing at Berghain we demanded that he took us with him on their bus. Fun was had, euros were spent and in the heat of the moment a certain kind of enthusiasm for a certain kind of thing was expressed by Tobias. Moreover, we took photos of most of it. As they (probably don't) say in Berlin: check it aus.
Before we begin you need to know that, for some of us, Berlin’s Berghain club is this mythical place where the party never stops and the gay abandon and uninhibited hedonism never ceases. Orgy rooms; naked partying; midget butlers; all the alluring party clichés of yore make their way through our impressionable heads when the word ‘Berghain’ is uttered within AIAIAI hearing range.
To most music nerds and partygoers it seems to represent a dystopian Garden of Eden. Or an experimental space where nothing is off limits and everyone who gets in will experience the true meaning of the word freedom. We think of it as sort of post-industrial Studio 54 where the intimidating, heavily tattooed doorman, Sven Marquardt, guards the door in the same manner that Cerberus guarded the gates to Hades, and thus determines who’s cool enough to get in.
Whatever the case, Berghain’s reputation precedes itself. So when Kasper told us he was playing at the infamous techno haven, those of us who had been, were keen to do a few Berlin interviews for the blog and, of course, party down, while the rest were determined to see what all the fuss was about.
What followed can be seen below in arresting Technicolor. Or, to be more accurate, digital, amateur photography. Right then, let’s get this creaky locomotive on its rusty tracks:
Off we go! The tour van is loaded with beers and Tobias is happy.
However, as soon as we got on the road, he turned into Sir Tobias Grumpy Pants III, for some reason.
And judging by this photo, I became flummoxed by the G-force pulling me into the windshield.
These casual German gentlemen were enjoying the panoramic view and having a cigarette.
Finally in Berlin. Little side note: Spleen Rune's sister had gone off somewhere with the keys to their Berlin apartment, which is why the boys had to stay at Ostel... Tough luck.
Me and Tobias stayed at Tobias' friend's huge East Berlin apartment. Florian suggested that we had a few beers on top of an abandoned building, so here we are breaking and entering.
Berlin seems to be full of places that make you want to throw pirate raves.
Here's our host, Florian, on the rooftop giving us the low down on Berlin and telling us that it has Germany's biggest unemployment rate of 20%. Yikes.
That lesson in harsh social realism made me ready for a beer.
After the rooftop, we went to a kebab joint near Kottbusser Tor. I don't remember the name of the place, which is unfortunate because it actually served the most delicious kebab I've ever tasted. In fact, as you can tell from this photo, the kebab was so delicious that it made Tobias' head disproportionately small.
Post-head-shrinking kebab, we checked out a couple of cool, skillfully disheveled Berlin bars and got sufficiently intoxicated for the Spleen United show. Luckily, we caught them just before they went on stage.
And then...it was time to see Spleen United! Live! In Berlin!
Actually, to be totally honest with you, the gig at the Fritz Club wasn't among Spleen United's most memorable. Not because of the band, but the place was gigantic and the poppy R&B room next door was packed while the Spleen gig was half full. Bizarre. Still, the boys pulled through and delivered a badass show.
And just to top things off, here's one for all you ladies out there: Kasper's naked back. Will Kasper get naked again in this diary? Watch this space...
After a night of semi-heavy drinking, it was a relief not to be too hungover. Met up with Kasper and Bjarke from Spleen who were thrilled with their oily Italian Pasta. Kasper looks less than thrilled in this photo, but you should blame the photographer and not the pasta, which I was told hit the spot.
At some point we finally got up to check out what the city had to offer. Here's what everyone from culture vultures to arty Japanese students come to Berlin for: Fucked up sculptures placed in trashy art galleries.
All of a sudden everyone left by which time I bumped into this chief. Hey guy, that's a tad opinionated, don't you think? Besides, that whole spinning eyes thing died with The Cramps a billion years ago. Also, you're a poster.
Nevertheless, the poster did make me insecure enough to go be around tatted people at White Trash...
...Where I had a beer all by myself. Poster: 1. Me: zero.
Time to get on the U-bahn and meet up with everyone.
We went to eat a place called Borchard, which had two freakishly tall models manning the entrance and taking our coats. Sadly, I didn't get a photo.
The place was located on Französiche Strasse in uptown Berlin and, as you can tell, it was quite the swanky eatery.
Onwards to the show: Here's Bjarke and Kasper just before ripping it up @ Berghain Canteena
SPLEEEEEEEN UNITEEEEEEEEEEED. And Kasper with his tits out! Mystery solved! FIY, that seems to be his thing now. The place was packed, the show was great and people really got into it, which was a nice vindication for everyone involved.
Met a Danish girl named Signe who was friends with Janus Spleen's girlfriend, Birgitte. She was rocking her own fabulous knitted scarf. After the show we all went to Berghain and danced our little hearts out until the early hours. We don't have any photos since that's strictly verboten, but we can tell you that we got past Sven, that the Funktion One Soundsystem was everything we had imagined, and that Berghain really is quite something.
Day 3: The Long and Winding Road
On the third day we were tired and all we had left was Berghain ink.
And greasy hangover food.
Home at last. Home to sleep for many, many years....