Monday, 15 December 2008

ich bin ein ausländer

So while I was in Germany I kept a little diary. Here it is.

What's the German words for day One?

Right after like a 6 hour journey I arrived at Munich airport and met Ko, (my German guide).
Ko lead me through a searies of trains (none of which were paid for), and finally ended up ren dez vousing with 5 other poets on a duble-decker "sub-urban train." I'd also like to take this opertunity to point out the inhearent cultural differences. No one has their feet on a seat, there's a little geeza offering a waiter survice for beer and I watched my new German friends holding onto their litter until they found a bin. We rode the train for about an hour and they all talked in German.
Eventually we arrived in Regensberg.
First thing upon arriving at the venue we were given free food and drinks. Being in Germany I went for the Currywurst met pomme.
Sausage and chips with curry ketchup.
Then it was into the gig. I was shown the backroom where I had permision to smoke and then after more free beer was hurded into the room of the Slam.

Oh My Days.
Litterally like 400 people.
Paying money to watch poetry.
Crazy.



I was a bit nervous upon taking to the stage as I was the only person in the room who couldn't speak German and so had not understood anything that had happened to that point.
I explained it was my first time infront of a crowd whom didn't have English as a first language and taught them 2 new English words,Clout and Giz.
In the end it seems like they were fucking well into it. so that's alright eh.


Apparently I'm staying in the venue tonight. they've got a perpouse made room for the acts to sleep in.
All in all my first day in Germany, and what is esentially my first time propally abroard, (if you don't count the numerouse Amsterdam trips), has been more than successful.
I like Germans
They ain't nothinbg like what I've been conditioned to think they'd be like





Tag Zwei (german for day Two)

Yeah work up today in a room with 4 German guys all of us sleeping in our own pair of bunk beds.
Not what I'm used to to be honest.
Are bunkbeds called pairs or sets?
I had a quick duschen (shower) then we went and got the train back to München (Munich).
I tell you what Germans seem to be really good at judging distance all ways saying things like "Yeah it's about 160 kilometers" or "Its only 90 meters"
See I'm a terible judge of distance so I don't know if there right.

Anyway when we got back we went to essen (eat) some traditional essen (food, yeah same word, crazy init).
I ordered a thing that turned out to be like a pile of beef and a pile of potatoes. Mate. Half way through I stopped and looked at my plait and fucking hell it was still massive.
While I was there I decided to drink a drink. (essen's not sounding so crazy now eh).
Then I checked out Lederhosen (you know what that is and if not then google it)
Thing is it costs like 550 Euroes so I didn't get none.
Then Rayl my new German mate had organised entertainment for me for the afternoon/evening.
Check his myspace by hitting his name he's a ledgend init.

I wanted to go see my friend Halil today but he lives about 160 kilometers away and I'm short on Euros foe now. Hopefully I'll see him tomorrow.

Thats over half way through my Germany trip now but they tell me tomorrow night's gunna be the one so I'm looking forward to it.



Was ist der Englisch für tag drei?




This morning Rayl woke me up around 1 o'clock with a cup of tea and some German breakfast sausage and swiss cream-cheese on toast.
Man that shit was tastey. seriously if I think about it I can still taste it.
We chilled for a bit he played me music by Audio 88 and Misanthrope I played him Kate Tempest and Sound of Rum. (click names for myspaces).


About 6 o'clock we went to prepare for the Munich slam.



Now anyone familer with slam poetry will probably have some idea of the usual rules. The rules here were a little different and to be honest the whole thing benifitted from the change in convention.
Here instead of 3 minutes each and a score card system, each poet has 10 minutes and after 5 have performed the audience vote via applores/general noise making.The winner goes on to face the winner of the next round in the final where each poet does 1 poem.
What this means is that essential every poet in the slam is a feature and the standard is high.
I'd like to point out that I was in the slam, but I didn't win my group. I blame it on the fact that I was the only person performing in English but to honest didn't feel the disapointment I usually assosiate with getting knocked out of slams in the UK.


I think I might try and put a little slam together in the UK following Rayl's format.


Some other key differences between our two countries that became apparent today.
This difference is in how we imbibe our controlled substances.
Yep smoking and drinking.

In Germany you have to drink beer all day with everything you do.
Anyone who's been out on't'lash with me'll be able to confirm that I'm not really much of a drinker so there were times when I was struggeling to say the least.



Smoking indoors has been banned in Germany for about a year but the rules are very vaige. for example we were allowed to smoke in the club before people came in and then again when most had left. You just can't smoke when it's busy.
Probably for the best 'cos at it's peek there were around 600 people in there and very poor ventilation. One girl in the audience actually collapsed and had to be carried to the door for air.
Heinner told me that this happens everytime sometimes 3 or 4 in one night.
After the slam me and Rayl did some hard drinking late into the night and talked about not understanding women, (turns out that's the same in any language. )


I have to go back to England now, I'm actually sat in the airport as I write this waiting to board my flight.
As far as my first international tour goes I feel like it was a great success, I've seen a beautiful country and made some amazing new friends. It's really opened a door for me.


So don't worry Deutschland Berko will be back, sooner rather than later.
Oh I also got asked yesterday if I'd perform at the newly formed Madrid Slam in April or May, so who knows maybe this is the start of EuroBerko tour de internationale. (Probably have to learn another language eh, my English is often missunderstood in England so Europ might get a little tricky).

Saturday, 13 December 2008

It's against nature!!!

Flying!
Yu know prior to this weekend I'd been on 4 plains in my whole life. Not only that but they were all in the last 2 years.
I reckon part of it is thought I might be afraid of flying.
Well this weekend I'm doubling my life-time's statistic.
Also I've only ever been on RyanAir or EasyJet where you don't get shit all.
This time I was with KLM and as it turns out I get free stuff.
So I enjoyed it alot more.


plain 1 KL1424
11.20 Birmingham-Amsterdam
Seat 11B


Neighboring passengers:
Left: Dutch man with very well behaved baby.
Right: Brummy business twat talking to a second twat about the fat girl he left in his hotel room.


Free shit: Minute Maid Jus D'Orange150ml. 8xTuc biscuit.





plane 2 KL1797
15.15 Amsterdam-Munich
Seat 07B


Neighboring passengers:
Left: Fairly attractive Europian girl who would probably be less attractive if she wasn't foriegn.
Right: The man who looks at me like I've dissapointed him, Probably English or German.


Free shit: Prince, ChocoPrince Vanillesmaak. Terra Andina Sauvignon Blanc-Chardonnay, (only got this 'cos of the blog name).


So that was the way there.


plain 3 KL1794
11.50 Munich-Amsterdam
Seat 20F (window seat badman).


Neighboring passengers:
Left: 2 thick-necked German lads reading about German cars in a German magazine.
Right:The sky




Free shit: Prince ChocoPrince; 8xTuc Pocket; Granini Apple Juice from a carton (No expence spared eh).




Now my connection in Amsterdam was like a 2 and a half hour wait and it had been over 3 hours since I smoked a roll-up.


Thankfully I managed to find this smoking area. It's a bit like a greenhouse except full of other peoples smoke. To be honest it was fucking awful.


plane 4 KL1429
15.40 Amsterdam-Birmingham
Seat 11D Aisle (Row 11 on this flight was the emergancy exit row and before take off the cabin crew lady told me and the 2 othe people in the row that in the event of an emergancy we were in charge of opening it. Crazy I didn't realise that they wanted me to have so much responcibility).


Neighboring passengers:
Left: Nobody
Right: An English man and his son. The most significant thing about this is that they were also on my first flight and I had laughed to myself at the obvious biological connection.


Free shit: ChockoPrince but I didn't even want it sick of them now, gave it to the lad he fucking loves um. Minute Maid Jus de Pomme, not fizzy but still in a can.





So there you go. Turns out I ain't afraid of flying. I also quite like the sterile atmosphere of antissipation and the intermate frisking by lacluster security gards that comes with the whole airport process. Need to find a Buroe du Change now got some Euros need switching up into pounds.

One hour ahead

Yu know what I'm thinking.
When I'm in Germany and it's nine o'clock and in England it's eight o'clock yeah.
or vica versa
(probably a German word or pair of words whatever).
Well any way we all know about that hour a head bit that the world worked out so as time was the same everywhere and that day is always day.

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Well where does THAT LINE come.
is it an instant thing like you cross the line and it's an hour later.
cos if thats the case and your ten years old living on the edge of the "Early-side" of That Line then check this out.
Here's what you should do.
Start hanging out with kids who live on the other side.
Yep, you heard me chill with the othersiders.
That way when it's like 8 o'clock and there all going in you can go and stand outside their houses so they see you're still out and they'll get mad jelouse and you'll look well cool.

Right I know what yu thinking.
You're all like,
"yo Berko if you actually want anyone to dedicate their preshus time to reading the nonsence you write in yu blog then you actually have to write blogs."
and yeah that's fair enough.
I mean I'm the first to admit, I have been a bit slack with the old reporting on mundanity. 

But I'm going to claim that it's not completely my fault.

I've been ill see. it's that crazy sneezing, runny nose, can't quite cough hard enough to get the phlem out kind of wintery illness and I've been it's bitch for a few weeks now.
Don't get me wrong it's not like i'm immobile or ownt. just feeling a bit shit.


The big news for regular readers is that I've had to sign off
No job as such but I'm in Germany this weekend and they don't like you just like fucking off to Europe chasing the old Euros when they're paying you to be seeking gainfull employment.

Anyone reading this in Germany might want to come see me in the flesh and if that's the case I'll be at the Munich Slam on Sunday night. 
If you are reading this any time after that or don't live in Germany then sorry.


In other news fans of me cutting my own hair will no doubt be delighted to learn that I've done it again.

Sorry to say the mullet has gone. Although any one who's partial to hairstyles that make you look like you reside in a house on wheels will surely be delighted to see the off-centre rat's-tail I'm currently rocking.

Pictures to follow tomorrow sorry flat battery on my phone so I can't bluetooth it to my McLapbook and I'm also out sourcing photography on this trip to my new friends Rhyl, Ko, Alex, Dorean and Heinen 
but 
I've got like 5 unpublished blogs on the stickies init. 
So don't worry shit's gunna be fireing in the next few days.


Monday, 24 November 2008

Watch this.

Yo check this out.
This is Livewire from Derby.
He's a free runner and Bboy.
check his video his a badman.


Sunday, 23 November 2008

More Shorditch Berkavitch

D'yu remember Quantum Leap?
Yu know where Sam Beckett (Not the play Write) jumps in and out of other peoples bodys to put right what once went wrong. 
Well every now and again I find myself thinking what if he jumped into me right now? I think that shit'd be too confusing for Ziggy and I bet Al'd give that remote control thing he's good a right good bashing.

Well anyway. Yesterday was a bit like that.



Pillers DJ Set.

Coops Smashed it.


I managed to get David J to come out. If you don't know David then click his name to view his page. The man's a stone cold genius. 


I met this geeza outside. His name's Kevin Powder. I know him off myspace init. He interviewed me and Sandy about famous Leggy folk.



Tell yu what though main issue I had with last night was the rudeness and arrogance of nuff of the kids in this rave. I had some girl pushing me like she wanted a fight, some dickhead kicked my booze over and about 50 mans all took it in turn to tread on my trainers. So let me just put this out there for any Shorditch kids reading now. 
Oi watch yu self yeah, cos I was being polite but next time I'll be knocking mans out. 

Friday, 21 November 2008

Yu know how sometimes they give stuff out in the street

yu know what I mean? Free stuff.
They do it alot outside stations in london at peek commuter times.
In the past I've got bottles of water, a miniture fan, cream egg bars, shots of espreso and one time I got a bag with a little packed-lunch in it.
Generally the stuff they give you sorts you out in some way.
I heard that Uni Qlo was giving out free long-johns yesterday but unfortunately I heard that today. So I missed the boat on that one eh.

Well anyway I had to go London yesterday morning and when I got into St Pancrass I could see they were giving out free stuff just on t'other side of the barrier.
Quickly though, just before that as I got off my train
(standard class carriage),
I was walking down towards the afore mentioned barrier, when this power suited business woman was stepping out of the trains door further down the platform
(1st Class carriage).
she must of been well over 6 foot tall in her heals and graceful with it an all.
Well as she stepped in front of me she used her hand to throw back her long blond hair and it floated in slow-motion and settled behind her shoulders
But I tell yu what yeah, she proper followed through with her hand and I had to bust a walking, matrix limbo in order to avoid getting clouted in the mouth.
She didn't give a shit eh. Doubt she even registered I was there.
Any way when I got to the free stuff turns out it was a shot of Bailies.
Not exactly what yu think you'd need at 11.45 am in central London.

I had it any way, took the edge off nearly getting knocked out by the apprentice
and at the end of the day it was free, so what can yu do?

On the train home 23.15 I clearly heard the geeza announce that first class was coach C
So I figured I'd done alright cos I was in coach D but it was one of them half and half ones,
I sat in what usually should have been 1st class but I figured would be standard, cos of the whole coach C thing.
Turns out I can just fuck off. Train woman come up giving it all this shit about
"Can I see your ticket? It'll cost yu £40 to upgrade to this seat." Mardy bitch.
I had to go sit on that weird little seat by the toilets.
Couldn't even plug my laptop in cos of some bullshit about variable charge and the power socket being for the hoovers they use at the depo.
No one even sat in that other seat all the way back I went and found a different seat round about Wellingborough.
I found a Euro to UK plug converter in the socket
by my new seat so thats alright eh.

It says for shavers only but I'm gunna use it for my hard drive. Plug manufacturers not the boss of me.

Sposed to of signed on yesterday but I didn't bother cos I was in the smoke eh.
Oh by the way if anybody actually reads this shit don't tell the giro people that I was working all last week cos they'll have me up about it init.
Anyway I belled them up this morning and they let me go in and scratch today instead, just had to show um some print outs some e-mails about my meeting.
There was like 30 people waiting and they let me just rock up and sign straight off, I was getting bare evils off nuff work-dodgers as I strutted out after 5 minutes.
Right thats it. I'm off. Gunna try and download the Bond Ultimatum.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Concave or convex, whichever way you look at it Curve is open.

So I've been doing this thing at Curve all week,
Quickly for those that don't know what Curve is,
If you've ever been to Leggy City Centre then I'm sure you know the G-Spot swingers club,
(formally DieHard).
Right well yu know that thing opposite that looks like a new cinema or something,
Yeah?
Well that's Curve,
It's a proper fancy new Theatre.
Yeah a Theatre....

yu know for putting on plays and that.
(Plays are like Films except performed live in a big room that's been specially made for 'um).

Well anyway, I've been doing this thing there all week as part of the promenade performance that is the opening event.
The piece I've been doing has changed a lot since I first performed it last monday afternoon.
The first big change was it original had integrated dance but the concrete floor in my designated area soon put the kibosh on that.
Next change was location. I was struggling to attract an audience inside the walls of Curve, partly due to the exciting and shiny new architecture of the building but also partly because I was directly competing with a troop of circus performers swinging around on trapeases/high-wires either side of my area. After advice from interested friends I moved outside the front door on top of a soap-box and timed the performance of the piece so as it's end coincided with the front of house opening time. This meant I had a semi-captive audience, obviously this worked a lot better.
I've now performed the piece 10 times over 7 days with varying levels of success. Every performance has been different and I've adapted accordingly.
Fittingly the piece itself is about change.
Here's the piece and some pics of me doing it.
I'm wearing a suit on the V.I.P night and the geezer I'm with is the architect, we are indoors.






Hopefully I'll be back at Curve in the near future, maybe all the way inside or maybe even on the stage.

Thanks to Neil, Ben, Steve, Melv and Jay for taking the pics, offering opinions and lending the box.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

8 days ago......

That's when I wrote my last blog.
It's been over a week,
and I'm sure if anyone actually reads this shit then they'll have no doubt been missing the sporadic updates on the mundanity of my day to day existence.

Well yu in f'ra treat mate.
Cos this blog is the flashback episode.

Here's the last week.

Monday.
Berko goes Leeds.

Sticks and Stones-Poetry night run by Andy Craven-Griffiths.

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I did alright yu know, 'sept for the walk from the train station on witch I was publicly heckled on several occasions. But to be honest the folk doing the heckling were some backwards looking sons of bitches to tell the truth. I mean nobody in Leeds even knows about pin-rolling their jeans.

Idiots.
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Tuesday.
Berko goes London

Poejazzy-poetry/music/fancy meal hosted by PIP, (funny bastards)
this lot liked my combination of astute social observation and bastardization of the English language through the East-Midlands idiom.
Also check out this girl.
She's a jazz singer and apparently she's always in the Sunday supplements.
I thought I recognised her from somewhere 
but I reckon I probably just came across her face in a jazz-mag at some point

Also Tuesday night was the Us election. "Change has come to America"
so that's alright eh.

Wednesday-Thursday
I was mad busy writing a piece for the Curve opening.
It's about the Leggy Moto. 
"Change has come to Leicester"
Friday-Sunday
Curve Rehursals
also check out No Fit State Circus

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I've been talking to them about running away with um.

Monday
Pillers support Example in Leggy
Look I'm not gunna lie to yu yeah,
I had no idea what this geeza's music was gunna sound like and before we first met him I thought maybe he was a bit of a nob. But fair play to the lad by the end of talking to him I actually think he's an alright guy. Still not sure about his music but hey. 
The gig was 14+ proper operation Worthers Original, yu know what I mean. Anyway one 16 year old lad at the front chipped his front tooth on the barrier and wanted me to put my finger in his mouth to feel it. Yeah right mate.
Example watched our set and said that i should do stand up.
  I said I do performance Poetry it's like stand up but with more artistic merit, Stand up's too easy.

Here's a video of Example doing Stand Up.



also check out this artwork that Ben made in the greenroom.

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That shit's Bananas.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Internet Credits

Right I'm trying to figure out how to put a counter on my blog.
That way I can accurately calculate my internet credits.

That way I'll know if I'm famous or not.
I'm sure you all know how it works.

Myspace plays, friends and profile views are 1 credit each.
5 YouTube Views is worth 1 Myspace play
Each Facebook friend is worth 2 on Myspace
5 Myspace Hits = 1 blog view
Then 20 Myspace credits is worth 1 hit on Google.


So 
Then if this number adds up to more than 1,000,000 then yu famous.

I'm hoping that my blog credits are gunna boost me that extra 800,000

Friday, 31 October 2008

External investments and Freestyle Jazz

I've been thinking,
Basically I need funding to keep doing what I do.
I figure what with the 2012 Lympics an all, Arts Council funding's gunna be a stretch.
So I've come up with another way.
Dragon's Den.
Here's part of my application  form.

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Yeah I can see Pufeatus going in for some of that I just have to give him 45% of my blog.
Banging.

On other news I done a show last night.
Poetry-First one for a little while eh, (2 monthsish).


The night's called Tounge-Fu and it's run by a fella called Ventriloquist
I've never been there before and I didn't realize the format till I got there.
See I'd been told 2 sets of 15 minutes and I figured it it'd be me and a mic just talking, like the countless other nights of this ilk that I'd performed at in the past.
Seems it was all different. The 4 piece in-house Jazz Band would be accompanying my set.
First 15
This shit was crazy, Firstly I had to abandon my set list as it just didn't work with the band.
Secondly all my "Funny" moments seemed to not be in keeping with the Radio4esk audience.
I mean I told them how Gok Wan's from Leggy, just like me then I said about watching his show where he makes women take a photo of their least favorite body parts, (This was the set up and at the time it seemed like they were hanging on my words waiting for the punchline),
So I said "Yeah this one woman had a fanny that looked like a toothless rabbit trying to swallow part of a BMX innertube."
In my head ZING! 
The Audience SILENCE.
The kind of silence that has to be written in capital letters.
At that point I decided to just get on with it.
Second 15.

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Salena Godden (Also Performing) had gotten me a wine and it took the edge off.
Also I was well past the rubicon and felt like it was going ok.
I even managed to get the Band to play Fuuk Party (Pillers Tune) and this helped satisfy my hunger for confusion within the crowd as I book-ended it with my two most serious poems.

Check out the Drummer Graham Fox -Badman.