Tony Penultimate

German tour December 2017

Heathrow early morning

So here we are at the last tour of the year - a four gigs in Germany: Arhaus, Ludwigshafen (twice) and Helmbrechts - the last shows before Christmas.
When you tour, the main thing is to get enough sleep and usually that dosent happen on the first day, I can’t get up at 4am, drive to the airport, fly in, and do a show anymore - its too exhausting. So I chose to come up to Heathrow the night before to stay at a hotel prior to catching my 9am flight.

I dressed up for the flight as I’d received a private commission for my theatre company to sing Happy Birthday to some businessman (who has everything) for his sixtieth birthday - life is very strange sometimes.

On arrival at Dusseldorf it was raining heavily although not cold.

We are playing as a seven piece tonight and Hester will join us in Ludwigshafen tomorrow.

Sharing a dressing room with Richie and copying out the setlist, I inadvertantly made a ‘yellow card’ offence.  In Ukulele Orchestra lore, we use this footballing term when someone in the band speaks in the accent of the country which they are in (i.e. a bad Swedish accent in Sweden, a bad German accent in Germany etc etc).  BUT when a person of that nationality is present in the room, the offence is compounded and becomes a ‘red card’ offence.

We are also joined on this tour by Jonty’s Hamburg friend Max, who is studying sound engineering and is shadowing Verena (our sound engineer)

The theatre was small (about 700 seats, which we sold out) but Arhaus is not a big town. We seemed far away from the audience as the stage was made up of two tiers - upper and lower which made it difficult to perceive how it was going down.

Since we were playing in Arhaus, it seems a good idea to play the song ’Our House’ by Madness as it is well known here apparently. We pick things up quickly in the band and after a couple of run throughs backstage we knocked it out for the encore - sure enough it went over and we got a big hand at the end of the evening.


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