Reeperbahn Festival 2017
I've been counting down the weeks as I flitter away on another adventure to the city of culture, on the cuff of society, it's rules, because Hamburg simply doesn't care for it. You might have seen last years Reeperbahn expedition taking me on a tastebud tour, whilst I flicked my hair around to the best in the music industry. Hamburg Tourism invited me back for another mini holiday combining all my lusts for life, music, food, art and fashion. I'll be chatting you through the Hamburg highlights from Liam Gallagher to a private DJ party on the river.
Reeperbahn has been the temporary home to names such as The Beatles, Eric Clapton, David Bowie and many more. It's famous points include the actual Reeperbahn stretch where not only is it party central but throughout September becomes a shining beacon of festival fever with 70 venues hosting bands, all day and all night. This being my second time back with Hamburg Tourism we wanted to make the most of the festival itself which now included a festival village. The festival village was the ideal watering hole for resting, seeing some specialist acts and dancers. Leading onto the winding journey of venues that I will eventually explore.
Our journey started off from Manchester Airport meeting up with my sister from another mister and fellow Hamburg pal Kate as we arrived into Hamburg Airport in the early hours, and retiring to Superbude the luxe, artisan and quirky hotel only a few train stops away from the main Reeperbahn festival. A quiet few beers turned into a few louder gin and tonics, Superbude St Georg was such an ideal hanging point to kick back in a hotel covered in stickers, plant pots topping blocks of rooms as well as the yummiest help yourself breakfast buffet. It was seriously required after spending 20 hours out every day. I got to see my Hamburg pal Jessi, she showed me around the various districts last year, including the markets and shops surrounding her own place. She was the reason why Hamburg was stuck in my mind, she showed me all the places that you'll never quite get to see unless you dash around and see it all.
We met up with Stephy from The Beatles Tour, where she played us around all the spots that were bookmarked as memorable moments for the famous Liverpudlian quartet. We found out from one of Paddys relatives after a lengthly ancestry search that he was related to Ringo Starr (coincidence since they're both drummers?!) so we couldn't help but reveal the good news for one of the biggest Beatles fans we know (of many!) As our tour came to an end, we departed off on a wander with our friends down to the docks where we jumped on a party boat with DJ and iconic fashion photographer Katja Ruge the tunes, drinks and good company was in full flow. The rest as they said... was history. We strolled back to the hotel for a freshen up and our first night of Reeperbahn, checking out various new bands at Reeperbahn Festival and taking our adventures to 24 Carat a hidden gem me and Kate found last year, which is the best place in Hamburg for a Espresso Martini and a stones throw away from the Anchor Awards.
Day two's highlights included seeing Liam Gallagher, as if we haven't seen him enough this year. He surprised Hamburg by being the special guest at seeing the exclusive private art collection by artists to create new interesting dialogues through art movements in Affenfaust Galerie St. Pauli. We also found a love for curry-wurst a recipe that I'll never quite perfect as well as Hamburg can. As well as seeing our friends Black Honey in their first German concert. We spent the rest of our evening jumping from venue to venue and checking out the best on the Hamburg music scene, and hopping around parts of the city we had never explored beforehand. Last year we kept especially central to the Reeperbahn, whereas some of the easter egg bands can be found tucked away in the little venues with the most intimate crowds.
One of our favourites was Molotov Garden where a spiders web of fairy lights overlooks a few stages on various floors. It reminds me of a venue back at home with a touch of magic. A watering hole for catch ups, live music and good memories. Grosse Freiheit and The Bunker were also seriously unique spots to try out in Reeperbahn. Mojo Club was the favourite of last year, but our busy schedule never allowed us to make a return to the venue of toilet DJ's and acoustic glory.
Day Three despite missing all of the alarm clocks had us up and out for St Pauli. I mentioned last year that I never found love in football until I saw the team spirit patriotism behind St Pauli. It's rock and roll, anti hate positivity that runs through the veins of every supporting fan, makes it very clear why they're an extremely well liked, admired and iconic team. They celebrate to Blur - Song 2, but they also can trump every aspect about any other team spirit I've ever seen. Sat in our VIP box with the Levis Team we danced, sang and celebrated every moment, and despite not winning the game we only took to the streets to celebrate with the oppositional team. Because that's what Hamburg do, it's not rivalry, it's equalism at its finest.
After getting covered in confetti and sprayed with Astra we ran back to get cleaned up for the established Anchor Awards. Let's cast our minds back to last year where Tony Visconti bought me that famous glass of red wine, I didn't know who he was and we spoke about Bowie prior to the Anchor Awards to soon discover Heroes was both produced and written about this legend. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to see him again this year, but we saw a few acts take to the stage and celebrate their achievements in front of the A-list of the music industry across the world. Our schedule clashed having meant we had to cut the awards short and pick up events at the after party.
Catching up with Black Honey for their surprise second gig, and moving onto Findlay who I haven't caught up with since Sound City 2015 - the years simply fly by. Three days of constant partying caught up with me and what seemed like an early night before departing back home was only a few hours sleep, and zooming back off to Hamburg Airport.