- Alfred Tan, Singapore
- Scott Zimmerman, San Francisco / California
- Chris McFarlane, Denton / Texas
- Marc Spindel, Florida
- Elisa Kurtis, Toronto / Canada
- Jen Matson, Cambridge / Massachusetts
- Steve Burt, Washington D.C.
- Keith D'Arcy, Hoboken / New Jersey
- Sheila Burgel, New York City
- Matthew Hansen, Paris / France
- Peter Hahndorf, Bremen / Germany
and from the UK itself:
- Gerard Mucci
- Richard Amphlett
- Andrew Dean
- Sean Kyle-Price
- Denis Pasero
- Julian Lawton
- Michael Clampitt
- Jen (John Stanley)
- Boy With Hayfever
- Stuart Mason
- Rodney Crowley
hopefully I didn't forget anybody, over all the 400 people in the audienceoriginated from at least 13 different countries. Naturally most peoplecame from the UK but France came second with 45 and Germany third with about 20people (surprisingly I only knew ten of them). With at least twenty-onelistmembers we easily beat the TweeFest in New York, note that withSheila, Jen, Elisa, Keith and me, five of us went to both events.
Here's my story:
Friday morning, after an one hour train ride to Hamburg I met my friendOliver in the Underground to the airport. He wanted to see the Sarah 100 ticketsand thinking about where I got them, I realised, that they were in the Londoncity map I throw out of my backpack just five minutes before I left home. Whata good start, forgetting the tickets. At least I had my plane tickets and wehad a quiet flight over to London. At the airport we met some French friendsand immediately begun shopping for records and shoes. In the evening we metElisa for some beers and terrible London fast food. Although Oliver is very muchinvolved in indiepop, running Marsh Marigold Records and all, he is acomplete computer-illiterate. So our talk about the list and the net left him a bitoutside. Unfortunately for him, he had to stand quite a bit of that duringthe following days.
We stayed with Sean who I had somehow imagined totally different. Heis typically English but only in the most positive way. Like MatthewKaplan he doesn't fit in my view of lawyers. We were having a good time when Alfredreturned from Reading. This guy is incredible, sure it is his first timein Europe and he must be excited but he was so energetic, thrilled and funny,I had a fantastic time with him and I wish he would be living close toGermany, so I would be able to see him more often.
On Saturday we went record shopping again getting some bargains, orcheapos as I call them, but also some over-priced flexis. I was surprised seeing areasonable big el-section at Rough Trade, I wasn't surprised, that iswasn't there anymore when I returned on Wednesday :-) At night Oliver, Sean,Alfred and me met up with Jen Matson for some beers in Camden and a late nightItalian dinner.
As ever London was packed with tourists and some places were reallyunbearable, so on Sunday we skipped the Notting Hill carnival and leftwith Sean for Bristol. Later in the afternoon we went to Bath, a beautifulnearby town with old roman baths and hot springs plus fine Victorian architecture.
At night at the Youth Hostel in Bristol we met over a dozen Frenchpopkids, just a preview of the meetings the next day.
On Monday morning we first met up with Rodney and his lovelygirlfriend Heather. We dropped our bags at their places and hada first look at "This August's Farewell Kiss", It looked reallygood although I am a bit embarrassed on the piece I wrote.Anyway, we went over to the Temple Meads railway station wherethe first meeting was scheduled for 11.15 a.m. This is the verysame building as one the eight postcards which came with Sarah20 to 30 or so. It was the perfect starting point for our SarahMemorial tour. We actually had started it the day before inLondon when we passed by Gunnersbury Park. :-) We were waitingfor incoming trains from London, but only Jen Matson and SteveBurt got in. Now a party of seven we took a bus towards thefountain Island, our main meeting point for the tour. On theyway we passed Redland station, I can't remember which 7" had aphoto of it. Did anybody ever count the photos Sarah publishedof Bristol? At least one on every 7" label plus lots of them onvaruous sleeves. During the whole tour a lot of places lookfamiliar but even Rodney didn't know all the exact locations.Fountain Island isn't actually a fountain nor is it an island :-) The big "Hi, hello I'm Peter from Germany and who are you andwhat's your e-mail address?" began. We moved over to the CliftonDown, a huge green for the Picnic. By now we were 25 people,although only nine from the list. After we had finished most ofthe food it was time for the TweeNet and mailing-listpresentation. Jen had brought her laptop all the way fromMassachusetts and I had prepared two Megabytes of TweeNet filesplus the whole list archive (18 Megs - downloading fromAustralia took ages). All we showed was the single TweeNethomepage. The sun shone brightly and even with the best displayone could hardly see or read anything. And to tell it at once,we never tried again, not even at the show on the boat whereeverybody was busy enough anyway. So the whole thing was amassive flop. At least I gave away 15 copies of the TweeNet off-line disks and the remaining ones ended up in the Rough Trade shop in London (did you sell any by now, Delia?).
Back to the memorial tour, we somehow ignored the Garden flat,the original AYSTGH and Sarah residence and had our first photostop in Belgrave Hill (back-cover of Brighter's Laurel). Passingthe Bristol Zoo we continued on the Promenade toward the CliftonSuspension Bridge. Clare was always obsessed with this bridge.One wall in the garden flat had about fifty different photos ofit. They always said they would save it for their very lastrelease, and consequently you can find it on Sarah 100. It's agreat bridge although the photo on Sarah 100 doesn't show thewhole beauty of it. We proceeded into Clifton village andstopped for beer and coffee in a pub. Clifton is definitely themost beautiful part of Bristol. Next stop was the Cabot tower ontop of Brendan Hill. It was already hard enough to get up thehill in the afternoon sun, but all the steps up to the top ofthe tower took everybody's breath. But it was worth the effortas we had a gorgeous view over the city and the surroundinghills. We were supposed to met the people from the Waaaaaaahmini-bus here, but we were a bit late and they had already left,to get ready for the evening in various pubs. Following wasanother photo stop at "There And Back Again Lane", a streetabout 20 meters (66 ft.) long. Just a few backdoors but nobodylives there. Cool name though.
Down into town where we had a pause to wait for our ferry-trip.Alfred and I strolled around the Thekla, said hello to Matt whowas blowing hundreds of balloons. It was just 4 p.m. and therewere already people around to check out the place and makephotos of the boat.
The final part of the tour was a boat-trip on the Avon river andthe floating harbour. Here we saw the impressions from theEngine Common and Shadow Factory sleeves. All the way to TempleMeads and back again, a nice sail. We skipped the Glass Arcadebecause we were all kind of exhausted. The other places wereeither on the other side of town (Air Balloon Road) or even outin the countryside (Temple Cloud).
Of course the main reason for the tour wasn't to see all theSarah landmarks, but to meet other people and the tour gave us avery good opportunity to do so.
coming up next: the show itself
As it got and closer to seven p.m., the area around the Theklagot filled with Sarah fans from around the Globe. Someunexpected old friends from Germany, half a dozen Greek people,the usual Japanese pop-kids, even my friend Peter from Hungaryshowed up. Members of Heavenly, The Orchids and Blueboy allstrolled around as well, but that night they weren't tooimportant to me, it was more important to meet other 'fans'.
Finally the door opened and everybody went down into the oldcargo-room of the ship. Upstairs was a cafe were one could relaxand had a chat for a while.
Back to the bands, I don't like Boyracer at all, so I missedthem, while being upstairs. Maybe I should have give them achance. Harvey and Julian Henry (Hit Parade) played a couple ofsongs. Not only acoustic as usual but some fully electric, whichmade it even more special. "I'm in love with a girl" wasexcellent. The Orchids started with 'Caveman' but then continuedwith more recent songs, good show nevertheless, I'm sure Keithwill rave about them anyway.
Then Blueboy again, this time with the full band and so muchbetter than the last time I saw them. The most powerful song ofthe evening was possibly 'Imipramine'. Also it was great to hearfifty people singing along with Keith on 'Clearer'.
Of course the evening had its scandal when Tim 'Shelley' beat upNeil 'Bouquet' because he had called him an "arrogant bastard"and his single of Sarah "crap".
Finally, Heavenly was on, but having seen them twelve timesbefore I didn't care too much about them, there were still morepeople to meet.
As Amelia sang the last ever song under the Sarah banner I'msure everybody was sad, but there was no 'one minute's silence'and no final words by someone. People disappeared far tooquickly in my opinion. I didn't see any tears either.
I know Matt and Clare will continue and the bands didn't breakup either but still, it was a very melancholy moment for me. Butthen, it ended with one of the best shows I've ever been to andthe whole day and weekend was such a remarkable experience.
After the show someone of Bavarian radio interviewed me andasked whether Sarah changed my life. I said it didn't, butthinking about it later, it definitely did and quitesignificantly in some ways.