Cold Beer, Warm Summer Night, Hot Music and Burning Bites …
We knew about this date for a while. Our Lee would be performing in Monheim (located between Düsseldorf & Leverkusen, approx. 30 min. by car from where we live) as part of the Klangweiten Festival. Every year, during the summer months, the Klangweiten e. V. guys invite musicians to perform at different locations around the city, mostly Old Town, usually in pubs. There’s no entry but a hat goes round and people can contribute whatever they want, IF they want. However much is collected, is completely for the artists.
We had booked a hotel many moons ago and had planned to take the next day off from work to make this a nice long weekend. Little did we know back then, that we both would be “off” at that time for other reasons.
When my heart attack happened and I knew there’d be rehab afterwards, one of my concerns were, that I wouldn’t be able to attend the event. But I made it my goal to be able to be there. And it worked! YAY!
Lee is pretty much on hiatus at the moment, and so this was of course something to look forward to and not to miss.
We had decided to keep the hotel room, even though “a long weekend off from work” would be necessary and Monheim is, as I said, 30 minutes from home.
And then, this morning, after so many days of halfway nice weather, the sky looked grey and it was pouring down. Oh no! Please not! This was supposed to be an outdoor event. All I could do was keeping my hopes up that – as soon as Lee would touch ground over here – he’d bring the sun. Because: no joke, we’ve seen it happen so often. Day starts out grey, and then we go somewhere to see him play and the sky clears up and the sun comes out.
Since Monheim is not known to be extraordinary in any way and because of the weather, there was no rush to get there and we started just after 14h and arrived half an hour later at our hotel. It’s not that they have a large selection of fancy hotels there. We stayed at Hotel Vater Rhein (because it is located close to the river Rhine… we even had a room with Rhine view) which was… okay. Everything looked a bit old-fashioned, but it was tidy and clean and the bathroom was relatively new and squeaky clean.
Around 15h we decided to take a stroll into Old Town to look for the location where Lee would be performing. At least the rain had stopped for now but it looked like it would start again anytime soon. And it felt like being in a sauna due to crazy high humidity. Naturally, we were sweating like pigs after that 15-20 minute walk. Only one café was open at that time so we went there for a soda. At least we knew now where we had to come tonight. We then checked out a bit more of ‘downtown’ Monheim and quite frankly, there are no interesting stories and sights to share.
Back at the hotel, another shower was necessary. We decided to take the car later. No, it wasn’t really that far. About 5 minutes to drive, if at all. But we’re both currently two rather unfit Grannys and we didn’t want to arrive there all soaked, you know.
S from our Street Team would also come. Her partner M was supposed to be with her but then it turned out M couldn’t cancel his very early shift the next day and so she brought her friends M & M (hahaha!! that’s cute. She brought her M&M’s). We know these two since our First Annual Streetteam Meeting last year at S’s house. Since that day last July they are very much into Lee as well and come along every time he plays somewhere reachable.
Two of “my” S’s friends wanted to come as well. B & N. They had seen Lee at S’s birthday party for the first time and love him ever since. (Can’t blame them.) Stretteam-S and M&M had already secured the best table for us all (of course!) and we arrived a bit later. I had seen on the internet, that the restaurant that would host tonight’s event, the Biermanufactur, also offered a nice menu. We both hadn’t eaten much so that we didn’t have to count calories all too much. Only to find out that there’d be no à la carte tonight. All they offered was Mettbrötchen, Frikadellen and 2 Mini Burger. WHAT?? OMG… we were all hungry and quite surprised about that. Guess they had their reasons… And so Streetteam-S took off with the M&M’s to a nearby restaurant while we had decided to stay and hold the table, and deal with the mini-menu.
S went with two Frikadellen (for the non-Germans: guess you’d call them hamburgers), I went with one Frikadelle and a Mettbrötchen (a roll topped with raw ground meat and onions). Turned out it was only one half of a roll. Fine. Means less calories then.
I ordered one beer from their very own brewery which is located inside the building as well. It’s unfiltered and tastes reeeeaaaallly good!! Too bad I
don’t want to can’t drink more than one glass.
They are selling it also in large bottles (2 liter). But the deposit for the bottle is no less than 12 Euro! Wow. Streetteam-S still bought one for M.
Funny enough, by now the weather had changed. There were blue spots between the clouds, it wasn’t as crazy humid anymore, and later, even the sun came out. Yeah. That’s the Lee effect :-D.
By 19:30h, when Lee came out, were were complete at our table of 7, everyone was fed, had their drinks and was more than ready for some good music.
Lee wore shades when he stepped out (that he took off after one song) and looked a bit tense. Nervous much, poor guy? 😉 Someone from Klangweiten e.V. introduced him and then he finally opened the musical evening with Joanna. What followed until 21:30h were lot of his own songs combined with some really good covers. Doesn’t hurt to slip in some familiar songs when you’re performing in front of a crowd that has never heard about you. And it worked!
The only complaint-of-sorts I have is that there was also a lot of chatting in the audience, but that’s in the nature of things at such events. People come to have a good time, some food, some drinks, meet friends and on top of it get to hear some live music. Only a minority of them come to see a certain artist. They didn’t buy a ticket to a Lee MacDougall show after all. And taking all that into consideration it’s okay and there was still lots of cheering for him and chanting for encores, so… all was good.
When the hat went around, we threw in a 50 Euro bill. 25 for each of us. I’m sure that must have been the very highest amount. Haven’t seen anyone throwing in more than 10€-bill… many also threw in coins. But of course we had to add a bit more… 😉
He sold a few copies of his album and after that we (S, S and me) went over to him to say hi and have a chat with him. First thing he did after asking how we were, was apologizing that he hadn’t greeted us earlier. We had been in plain sight at the table almost right in front of him. He said he was crazy nervous before he started because he hadn’t performed in a while. Thought it was nice of him to say sorry but really… none of us had even thought about that. We’re not expecting hellos and waving from him when we show up at an event. It was pretty clear we’d say hi afterwards. So… yeah. We were interrupted after a few minutes by a restaurant waiter who told him, his dinner would be ready (a veeerrrryyy tasty looking steak with fried potatoes! OMG gimme!) So after another minute or two we “released” him so that he could eat before it got cold :-D.
By now it was almost dark outside… there were street lamps all around… and then the inevitable happened: midges. The problem was the amount of them. Jeeeesus. If you had chased away one from your arm, you had two more on your legs. How awful. I was expecting the worst….
Soon after, S and the M&M’s left… they had to deal with a 90 minute drive home. Despite the midges we stayed. It was just too nice to sit there… very comfortable temperatures… beautiful summer night. It was my first time out for weeks and I was so thankful that I could be there anyway… I didn’t want to go home just yet. F-ck the stupid midges.
When Lee came out some time later with his bag and guitar, he came over and chatted for a bit more until it was time to leave. The guy who had hosted the event drove him to whatever place he was sleeping that night.
What a wonderful evening it was. And now we don’t know when we’ll see him the next time. At least in December when Streetteam-S has hired him to play at her 40th birthday.
We were among the last guests who left.
And here are a couple Lee photos for you to enjoy
Listen to Lee’s debut album:
Lee on Facebook:
Lee’s German Streetteam on Facebook:
Website of Lee’s German Streetteam
#leemacdougall #checkthisguyout #wesupportlee #monheim #saitenklänge #klangweiten #itwasawesome #leemacdougallstreetteamgermany
PS: You don’t want to see what I look like right now. I must have close to 30 bites from these damn beasts at least! Everywhere from down to my ankels to my neck. At least not in the face. They bit through my pants! And I wasn’t wearing exactly very thin pants. They are made from solid fabric. Some bites are more swollen and red than others but all of them ITCHING LIKE CRAZY. By now I’ve read somewhere that acetic acid helps. Put a tiny bit on the worst bites and it seems to work. The itching stops. Will have to deal with the swelling for some more time though, I guess…