Reeperbahn Festival day 4: “It’s Part-Time Friends, not Part-Time French”

J.N. October 20, 2018

Waking up a bit confused, battered and bruised after a, let’s say, quite fun night ending up very late/early in the morning. A quick message to the photographer in the neighboring room and we went on a treasure hunt to find a pair of missing pants, and after some mocking about nightly hazards we were back on track and prepared for the first interview of the day.

The fourth day of the festival was supposed to be the shortest because the only interview we had was at daytime – but as many other things, it changed. Another late night!


For the first time during the festival it was a very slow morning but it was all but relaxed. The night before we got an email from The Slow Readers Club’s management that confirmed an interview we didn’t planned for since we never got any confirmation (we love to know at least three days in advance; good research about bands is an art), and since the editor is a fan of their amazing 2018 album “Build a Tower” there was no way we were going to miss out on the opportunity – but it involved being creative under stress.

While being a bit troubled about the questions we had a quick walk to Uebel & Gefährlich to meet up with four tired Brits that have been travelling all morning to get to Hamburg but they treated it with a great sense of humor and by continuously mocking each other for this and that. It didn’t feel like we were about to interview a band that just released an album going straight in as no.18 at the UK Top 20, rather the dudes you meet up before a football game to have a few beers with. And it became a great interview and even greater photo shoot in the elevator of “der Bunker”. More about this when the interview is published.

Not much more was happening today; Part-Time Friends that we were supposed to interview was impossible to get in touch with, maybe because our photographer thought they were called Part-Time French – because they’re French! – and we gave up on it, had something to eat before we parted ways and went to different venues. Three days of bad sleep, probably just a 3-4 hours a night at best, was about to take its toll and I and Punk Schmitz just hanged out at a café until The Slow Readers Club got on stage.

The Slow Readers Club on stage is very similar to Editors and the “Build a Tower” album has clear references to much of what Editors do as well. Although Tom Smith, the frontman of Editors, is an amazing performer, Aaron Starkie of TSRC is not far behind. In fact, they belong to the same school of performers and know how to communicate with the crowd; very few lead-singers can do that.

On the other hand, TSRC is not a new band, they’ve released three albums since 2011, and weren’t in Hamburg to showcase the band as an up-and-coming band, it was all about a strategy to promote their new album and leave some traces before they embark on a full European tour involving a few stops in Germany as well. The response from the crowd showed that they are welcome back.

There was a plan at this moment to split up where punk dude Mr. Schmitz was running to Molotow and I would see my fellow countrymen in Pale Honey at Grüner Jäger but the tiredness made it impossible and we ended up on yet another café to drink really strong coffee. And that’s when things take at turn.

Part-Time Friends manager finally got back to me and asked if it would be possible to do the interview after their show at Molotow meaning somewhere around 01.00. Tired beyond the possibility to use common logic and go home and sleep I replied “Of course”, and phoned the equally tired, and at this point, whining photographer about it.

But another cup of coffee, this time really strong, changed everything again and I just found myself in front of the stage already when Part-Time Friends made their soundcheck, had a chat about having the interview after the show and felt like I could be out all night – again.

Part-Time Friends had a major hit a few years with their song “Art Counter” because it was used in a car commercial in home country France. But that’s nothing of what was to become of their first single of their 2018 album “Born To Try”. The “Street And Stories” single, made in two hours and not supposed to be on the album we learned during the interview, became a massive worldwide hit with its bubblegum, supercute poppy sound.

Performance-wise it’s a great show! Of course it’s “Street And Stories” that makes tired legs to move but songs as “Hurricane” and already mentioned “Art Counter” are great electronic pop songs, and performed by a great team of band members. There’s even an crazy end of the show when the keyboard stand folds together and everything smashes onto floor, but the keyboarder does an eighties show and use it as a keytar the rest of the song until he smash the laptop down on the floor as well, stopping the electronic sounds in the song, at the same time as one of the drums fall over. Do I need to say that they didn’t do an encore? The crowd loved it!

Thirty minutes after the show, just before 1AM, we sit down with Pauline and Florent to have a chat with a glass of red wine (they’re French, what would you expect?) before we force them out in a very cold night for a photo shoot at Beatles-Platz just around the corner of Molotow.

After the interview we were completely smashed. Four days of amazingly fun activities, not enough sleep, eight interviews, awesome, sweet, smart and great people and many miles of walking and running between clubs had to come to an end, and after a very quick visit to pick up a bag I was on my way home for the first time in two days – just to realize that too much strong coffee may affect your sleep.

A short summary of Reeperbahn 2018 would be something like this. Will Messed!Up return next year? Yes, and hopefully with even more people to help us out. Will we have as much fun next year? Yes, we set the bar low this year just to raise it a bit in 2019. We’re much impressed of how the clubs managed to deal with all the bands and people running around at the clubs 24/7. Maybe it’s good to do as the staff at Molotow and just enjoy the situation and play some foosball with the bands, ey?

We’ll be back next year and will keep our pants on to make mornings less awkward – pinky promise!

Concert photos of The Slow Readers Club by ©Mandy Privenau  (the rest by sloppy non photographer staff members)


About The Author

Music researcher with an unhealthy passion for music and music festivals. Former studio owner, semi-functional drummer and with a fairly good collection of old analogue synthesizers from the 70's. Indie rock, post rock, electronic/industrial and drum & bass (kind of a mix, yeah?) are usual stuff in my playlists but everything that sounds good will fit in.