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For the last concert of their Germany tour Martin and James and support Jim Kroft showed everyone a good time in Frankfurt. The venue was packed, band and audience were in a great mood and after some unfortunate sound / technical problems at a few of the other concerts, everything went well. Clearly, everyone intended to make this last show one to remember and when it was over, everyone seemed happy with the result.
Jim Kroft started the evening, entertaining us with just a guitar. Only for one song he was supported by Martin and James’ drummer Max. It was quite different from seeing him play with a full band, but just as good. Jim had carefully picked songs to fit the one man with a guitar setup. Since his headline tour back in May he has written many new songs and played a selection for us. He also mixed in some better-known songs like “The Jailer” or “Tell Me” as well as the much loved but never released “Cracked Polaroid”. People were happily singing and clapping along. There must have been quite a few in the audience who came to see Jim at least as much as Martin and James. It was a good, compact set and worked well as a warm up for the main act of the night.
Martin and James kept us waiting until long after the stage was ready for them. That is my only complaint about the night, though. Everything else about the concert was right, from song selection, to audience participation and from lights to sound. The Scotsmen alternated between songs played with their band (Mark on bass, Max on drums and Stuart on keyboards) and songs performed as a duo. The latter is what they do when playing as a support act, whereas they usually tour with a band as headliners. The addition of drums, bass and keyboards makes their sound fuller, just right for the songs they selected. Also they can concentrate on singing and playing guitars this way.
For the acoustic/duo parts of their set, Martin and James had selected some of the quieter songs and they even played “You’re A Window” completely unplugged without microphones. It worked well and the audience loved it. In the end they called the band back on stage to be the background choir for one song before they returned to their instruments. In between songs they chatted and told small stories about the different songs. They tried some of the German they have learned so far – they are living in Berlin after all.We also learned that being in hell means spending all your time tuning 12-string guitars.
The concert was as much about participation as it was about listening though. For songs like “Crashing Into Love”, “I have to Fall” and “Matilda” they asked us to clap and sing along. This audience did not need much asking though. They formed a good choir. Some fans had prepared signs to be held up towards the end of the show during the chorus of “See no Land”. It looked great, so many people holding signs saying: “You rock!” Martin and James loved it, Marc even stole a sign later to tell us we rocked too. For the next to last song Jim Kroft joined them on stage to sing with them and at the very end they thanked their entire crew and asked them on stage too. It was a fitting closure to a good concert.
More about Jim Kroft: jimkroft.com
More photos in the gallery, link in the heading section