Live music, up one flight

I’ve been to concerts in halls no bigger than a living room. Last night was the first that was actually in one. We met another Berkeley/Bay Area expat a few nights ago, who’s in town turning a thesis on German music writing into a book. He’s also a guitar player, playing with a jangly band called Sorry Gilberto, and invited us to come to a tiny little club last night to see them play.

Tiny is right. It’s a three- or four-room apartment, on the first floor of a fairly ordinary apartment building on Schönhauser Allee. The stage is in the biggest room, room for about thirty people standing packed together, and the band. The second room had been laid with tables, where they serve dinner beforehand, and the third, of course, is the bar.

Crammed into an apartment, the concert has the feeling of a party, or something so underground that it can’t possibly find a legal outlet. Subversive, or radically avant-garde. But SG’s music turns out to be sweet, jangly pop; led by a wild-haired, frizzy-bearded singer who smiles beatifically as he brings out a ukulele, with a bass player who channels Liv Tyler as she sings. Following them is a cover band that whips between Wham and Rod Taylor, shaking the windows with tight, hard-plucked bass as we leave.

Sadly, Slomo is closing in a few weeks. The neighbors don’t like it. I can understand; it must be hard having live music next to your bedroom.