Think about funk music. Now try to correlate this to everything you know about Germans. Right, this is exactly, what a German funk band sounds like.
My sweetheart took me to Artenschutztheater last night, because Ruperts Kitchen Orchestra was playing there. As they say about themselves, the band is Berlin’s world-best funk band. And this is true. We usually listen to them at Mauerpark, where they are regulars on Sundays. We have have seen them in concert already, years back, at Quasimodo’s (another Berlin location with lots of live music on).
Despite the overall German trouble to transport true funkyness (I think we lack the grooooove), it was a lot of fun. Ruperts Kitchen Orchestra lyrics are quite funny and they are a likeable lot with a twinkle in their eyes.
And it gets even funnier, if you watch the crowd dancing (maybe fifty people in total, all of them Germans, as far as I could tell).
If a German Funk Band sounds as if a march has gotten the yips, the dancers are a different story all together. As if zombies went to dance school at a car factory, studying the robots at the assembly belt for moves.
The yippee march music toggled to more complicated jazz at the very few times, music got to more quiet stretches. The front man does know his saxophone, I have to admit. Then the dancers just stopped, toggling their heads a little, some waving hands.
But when the volume was on, sounding faintly like funk music, three, four dancers really stuck out from the rest just lifting their legs in beat and waving their arms a little. One remarkable young lady just had her arms out and above her head as if wanting to hug someone far bigger than herself, waving those ready-to-hug arms around in the same gesture all the time. The legs stomping about beneath her without much plan. She kept this up for the entire concert.
Then there was this sweet, elderly couple. They must have been way past 65, both dressed all black. The lady quite round-figured and wearing a big, red blossom in her updo. The gentleman featuring a creme coloured Buster Keaton hat on top of his all black, conservative garments. And they danced all night – I guess it was rudimentary rock-and-roll moves, they knew and adapted to suit this music. Didn’t work all that well with funk, but still was very impressive and entertaining.
However, almost disturbing was a young, blond man – maybe thirty years old, could be also forty, hard to tell. He wore a pair of flares, a shirt to suit with a collar like flap wings and a very disturbing tie made of pure 70ies plastic. Maybe he got the venue all wrong and was expecting disco. Now, there is nothing wrong with a shrill 70ies outfit. But if it is worn by someone, who looks as if he worked at the IRS at a tiny desk in a dark office from Mondays through to Fridays and has long been forgotten there, buried under loads and loads of paper stacks keeping all sunlight from his pale face and bespectacled, weary eyes, it is worrying, trust me. Out and about on a Friday night, dancing away with moves, that were maybe intended to be disco (the arms streching up with the index finger pointing to the sky, while the body attempts a swirl gave the intention away) but looked more like a techno-robot high on ecstasy zig-zagging erratically here and there to Daft Punk’s house beats.
This is Berlin, folks. Be ready to be surprised at all times by weird and colourful people behaving slightly odd (this includes two elderly people sitting in a corner at a concert, not moving at all, watching everything and looking a tad outdated).