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The Crack Magazine

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Europe Crosswise by Blix Bargeld

I suppose I should say Blixa Bargeld, lead singer of Einstürzende Neubauten, was my favourite Bad Seed. Well, I say my favourite Bad Seed, but what about Barry Adamson and Anita Lane? Okay, let’s start again - my third favourite Bad Seed, who’s “semi fictional” tour diary from a European tour in 2008 is a tour diary like no other.  Not the kind of tour diary totting up smashed television sets and sexual conquests, but one that catalogues European gig venues, set lists, hotel rooms and the quality of food on offer at the various high-end restaurants Blixa fancies going to during the tour. Not for him stomach turning survival on riders and motorway ‘food’, it’s fine wines and cordon Bleu cooking all the way. And why not? A performer of his age and standing can’t be acting the pissed/drugged up fool anymore, there’s a certain decorum, humility and mode of behaviour to maintain, “I am simply a traveling explorer conducting research, without a commission, speciality, or expertise.” And although, “The individual concerts become blurred in temporal space without lines of geographic separation”, his recall is still sharp enough to note Europe’s best meals, hotels and venues even through the blur of repetition. A love letter to fine dining, live music and ‘Europe’, Blix Bargeld’s Europe Crosswise is an absolute must for anyone who has him in their top three Bad Seeds, or has ever wondered what the lead singer of Einstürzende Neubauten eats for breakfast, lunch and tea. Totally recommended.

Europe Crosswise – Blix Bargeld (translated by Mark Kanak) – publ. Contra Mundum Press - £13.00

Steven Long