PUBLISH DATE: 29th April 2002

Chris' Favorite Street?

Chris Farlowe & The Norman Beaker Band
In Schwerin, The Speicher Club / April 4th, 2002
Just a couple of hours drive down the E24 from Hamburg and we are in Schwerin, a small town in what was formerly East Germany.  We found the Hotel really easily thanks to Chris' navigation skills.  Either it is good luck or great skill but he always seems to find his way!

Firstly, you have to forget all your preconceptions regarding Eastern Europe.
Schwerin is an extremely clean and attractive town with lovely old buildings that have been sympathetically restored.  It has a really grand, old railway station, a neat market square (there was a market there when we arrived) and a smart new shopping centre with a great supermarket (really cheap beer on offer here!).  The town is built around the shores of a series of lakes and there is a magnificent lakeside Schloss which houses a museum and art collection.
My kind of shop!
It is a shame we weren't able to spend longer here and explore the town more thoroughly. We did however manage to do a bit of shopping and found an intriguingly named shop and street - see the  photos above! 

The gig was at '
The Speicher Club' which was only about a mile away from where we were staying but on the opposite side of the lake.  A small ferry took passengers across the lake and we were looking forward to using it to get to the club. 

Unfortunately the ferry service stopped at six o clock and we had to hitch a lift in the van (thanks for squashing up for us lads - excellent driving (as always) from PB!).

Nowhere else to go on the fret board, Norm!

What the!

Speicher Club was in a really old building that had been converted from a former police station, a fact that made us a little uneasy! 

A really stylish conversion; the bar area was a showcase for modern furniture with tables and chairs of the most bizarre designs (see our photo below of Norman 'modeling' one of the exhibits!). 

Take a bow guys Group photo for the Press

Backstage the furniture was equally interesting - in the dressing room were a couple of old dentists chairs - Chris made himself quite comfortable in one of these; that is until Adrian asked him 'Is it safe?

In the hall, a sizeable crowd were filing in and the bar was really busy.  We managed to get a decent place at the front of the stage and waited for the action. 

It was to be a single set and
The Beaker Band started again with 'Option on You Baby' and 'You Can Talk' both of which got a good response from the crowd.  Earlier in the day, Dave Baldwin had  problems with his keyboard, which meant that he had to use a different set up but it still sounded great.

Chris then started his set with 'Blue as Blues Can Get' and kept the same bluesy mood by following it with 'Lonesome Road'.  Two great live numbers which are always well received, especially by sax fans in the audience.

As always, '
Stormy Monday' received the custom treatment from Chris,  ad-libbing that the Band were 'staying at the Schloss' (a bit grander than the usual 'itty, bitty' cockroach infested room where they are usually said to be staying!).

Tough On Me, Tough On You' sounded fantastic  tonight featuring some truly amazing playing from Dave Lewis and an awesome lead guitar solo from Norman. 
Nice Hat Norm!
For the audience, a really special moment was when Chris sang 'I Think It's Gonna Rain Today' unaccompanied. Despite it being a largish hall with a busy adjacent bar area, you could have heard a pin drop - eleven out of ten to Chris for a virtuoso performance and top marks to the audience for their courteous conduct.

Finishing the set with '
Out of Time', there was a huge ovation and they came back on stage for  an encore of 'Miss You Fever', and ended with an energetic version of 'Cry To Me'. Afterwards, Chris and the band chatted and signed CD's and autographs (you wouldn't believe some of the things they are asked to sign!) and posed for photographs for the local press. 

Then it was a bit of a wind down with a couple of beers and then back to the hotel for some 'shut eye'!

Set 1 Set 1 cont Encore
1. Option On You Baby *NBB
2. You Can Talk *NBB
3. Blue As Blues Can Get
4. Lonesome Road
5. Stormy Monday Blues
6. I Don't Wanna Sing The Blues No More
7. Tough On Me, Tough On You

8. All Or Nothing
9. The Guitar Don't Lie
10. Shaky Ground
11. I Think It's Gonna Rain Today
12. Handbags & Gladrags
13. Out Of Time

14. Miss You Fever
15. Cry To Me