Here’s the ninth report by The Henhouse Prowlers from their ongoing European tour. This comes from banjo picker and founding member, Ben Wright. The guys have promised daily reports (with photos) from their Euro-jaunt over the next week or so. You can follow all their posts by clicking here.
Friday began the home stretch of our European tour, and what is sure to be the busiest three days here.
We were picked up at 1:00 p.m. by Peter and his friend Vincent (Stijn has the weekend off). Peter and Vincent are young guys who, like many Belgians, are big Rockabilly fans. Their style of hair, clothing, and musical tastes were indicative of this. The CD player on our ride to Wolfershiem, Germany was dominated by music from The Reverend Horton Heat and other young rockabilly bands who I was not familiar with.
As we drove along and Belgium turned to Germany, the landscape became different. Most notable was the beautiful hills, with towns nestled in small valleys.
We arrived at Antik Cafe for our first and only show in Germany, and were warmly greeted by Heinrich. Heinrich is the front man for the night’s opening band, Heirich XIII And The Devilgrass Pickers.
The Antik was a very new looking room. Like a several of the rooms we’ve played in Europe, the stage and room are constructed almost entirely of wood for acoustic purposes.
After sound check and dinner from the restaurant next door, we were able to sit back and watch Heinrich’s band perform their country/rockabilly set. A five piece band (drums, upright bass, banjo, acoustic guitar, and telecaster/lap steel player).
Heinrich addressed the crowd in German and sang songs in English (with a perfect accent which is surreal and funny all at the same time). Along with several originals, they covered songs of Johnny Cash, Hank III, and even Dolly Parton. We found out later that the band alternates between playing country gigs and speed metal. Awesome.
Our performance was very warmly received. The crowd listened and demanded 3 encores!
After our sets we lingered at the Antik, talking with some new fans. Eric sat at the edge of the stage with his guitar and small a circle of people around him, singing song after song at one young woman’s request. I joined in on harmony vocals where I know them. It really was quite fun, and then it continued back at Heinrich’s home where we watched some great pieces from his music video collection: Bill Monroe, The Stanley Brothers, and more. All in all, it was truly a great night in Germany.
Saturday it’s off to rural Holland.