Today our journeys took us to one of Hamburgs most notorious streets. The Reeperbarn. On the flight out we saw a group of lads who were definitely on the way there, judging by the one who was dressed in a ladies sailor suit (and sorry Karen, came from Sunderland). The Reeperbahn is stag heaven (or hell judging by the number of scantily clad women in devils costumes adorning the bill boards). Not as blatant as Amsterdam it’s more like Blackpool with slightly more relaxed licensing laws. We opted to do this journey at the unnatural time of Sunday morning which means that the street was quiet, but did look like it had the world’s worst hangover from the night before. Still it provided a few interesting sites such as the only Christmas market I know which used the little huts as strip clubs and myself and Daz did have a “guess the gender” of a person heading towards us; “it’s a woman, no it’s a man, no definitely a woman, yep a woman…oh no your right..definitely a man”.
As well as being home to stags, strippers and sausages (of the Bratwurst kind, obviously) it’s also home to Rocky Das Musical, which is playing at a theatre there. I had seen adverts for this musical on train stations, and thought it was a joke, but no. Now Rocky did have a great soundtrack (Bill Conti’s (no relation to John) soundtrack was nominated for an Oscar) but a musical…in German. The full horror was only revealed when I googled it and found the following news item (Warning: AndrewFenner.com holds no responsibility for the content of the following clip. However it does contain bad acting, bad singing and a strange German/English song).
It’s only been open a few weeks, but if you do want to see it, book early. Not because it will be sold out, just that I feel that it may soon close. We moved on from the the Reeperbahn still with thoughts of Germany’s lack of contribution to the musical world (excepts for Freiheit’s “keeping the dream alive”. Well it is nearly Christmas) when in one of the towns central squares we came across Germany’s own answer to David Hasselhoff. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Bjorne Van Andel. Bjorn was sat in a gazebo affair with a very sophisticated and expensive looking organ (keep it clean, we’ve moved on from the Reeperbahn now). For a good half hour (I know, I stayed and watched the whole performance) he played hit after unrecognisable hit. People danced (but we were by the Gluwhein stall), people swayed, people sang along. I have seen the saviour of Eurovision and it is Bjorn Van Andel. Even I smiled, ok smirked. And perhaps I did jig about a bit (I was cold ok). But for unashamed cheesy nonsense, Bjorn is the master. What’s more I’m convinced I saw Jean Martyn, the winking organ player from last years Britain’s Got Talent in the crowd with a notebook. Yep, you can’t beat a bit of Europop to get a crowd going. If only they had got him involved in Rocky Das Musical.
NB: You can experience Bjorn yourself here: http://www.bjoernvanandel.de/