We arrived in Stuttgart and headed straight to our room for the night courtesy of AirBnb. This was our first experience with Airbnb and it was an amazing one! For those of you not in the know, Airbnb is a web service where instead of paying for a hotel, you can rent a room in someone’s flat instead. This has two advantages. One, you’re not in a hotel and two, you stay with someone who lives in area and knows it well. This was true of the couple we were staying with, Peter and Tania. We dropped our bags and went straight out again as we were meeting with the owner of the Galao cafe, Reiner.
When we got to Galao, we met one of the loveliest cafe owners you’re likely to meet. Our friend Laura Braun had recommended it and we could see why. We chatted to Reiner about how the cafe had come about, what happens at a gig and when we could play. Then we were off to see more of Stuttgart, promising to return in the evening to see the place in action.
When we got back to the flat, Peter and Tania took us out to try out some traditional Stuttgart food and beer, which was delicious! They hadn’t been to Galao before so they came with us to see the live music.
The great thing about Galao is their one act policy - knowing that the artist can play as long they want and isn’t being herded on and off the stage to get ready for the next group is very refreshing. It’s definitely something we’d like to see more of in the UK!
The act that night was a local singer/songwriter called Benni Benson and he proved that this idea works. He was a great storyteller, brilliant guitarist and had a set of wonderful songs that everyone enjoyed. There were a couple of glasses going around the room for people to put money in if they liked the music. The glasses were overflowing by the end of the night and Benni sold quite a few CDs as well. It’s a win win for both the cafe and the artist. The cafe sells lots of beer and snacks during the show and the artist gets to make a decent amount for his efforts. Afterwards we got talking to Benni and his friend Eva Maria. They were both really friendly and promised to send us venue details of nearby places to play. We duly bought a CD from him and went home happy to know that we’d be playing there in Autumn.