With a disposable camera in hand and a bank of tunes in her laptop, emerging electronica artist LUNA headed over to Hanover as Liverpool’s representative at a Europe-wide meeting of minds. Here is her tour diary re-living those experiences.
Back in June, I was incredibly lucky to be chosen to represent Liverpool as a UNESCO City of Music in the beautiful city of Hanover, Germany. There I would stay with other bands from UNESCO music cities (Johnny And Rose from Rouen, France, OLY from Poznań, Poland, Norra Promenaden from Norrköping, Sweden and Feathers And Greed from Hanover) in a shared house. The week would be spent rehearsing our individual sets, ending with a performance on the main stage at the city’s biggest festival: Fête De La Musique. So, when you’re about to spend a week in a new country with a bunch of new people, how do you feel? Excited? Nervous? Sure, you’re only going to play a European festival and for once it’s not out of your own pocket! But, what if you don’t get on with those people? What if your equipment gets lost in transit? (Spoiler: this did actually happen.) What if the show goes horrifically wrong and you’re banned from Germany forever…?
Kik Haus, home for a week
All of those niggling anxieties evaporated as soon as I arrived in Hanover. The Kick Haus we were staying in was a beautiful, huge country house surrounded by greenery. I was greeted by my German hosts, my soon-to-be Swedish friends and a bottle of Herrenhaüser – I had a good feeling about this.
Musik Zentrum, the rehearsal space
In between sun breaks, eight hours each day were spent preparing for our set. We had a vocal coach, Roland Loy, to guide us. After ironing out technical difficulties (the joys of relying on software), he mainly helped me with stage presence and persona. I’d never really thought much about this in Liverpool; as audiences are small and often familiar, I sometimes struggle with slipping into casual, conversational mode. But, in this new city with a brand new audience, he prompted me to think a lot more about the character I wanted to portray.
Performing on a stage of that size with the sun on your face and the wind in your hair felt magical. There must’ve been a couple of hundred in the crowd and they were very responsive, clapping, cheering and even dancing with me. Something that has never happened to me before was people coming over at the end to ask for autographs and photos. It was mad. It was such a varied crowd of all ages, disabilities and backgrounds – I think Liverpool needs to think way more about making more inclusive spaces for disabled people.
Post-festival: OLY, Johnny And Rose and myself
This photo was taken right before an emotional goodbye as we all parted ways. The opportunity to meet different musicians from different parts of Europe was amazing – it really highlighted the power of music. There were no boundaries and no judgements; we were all here because we love doing what we do. As the only English person there, I learnt a lot about each culture – their language, their traditions, from what they ate to what music they liked. A particular goose-bumps moment was hearing OLY cover my song 5am and perform it at the festival. Afterwards, they gave me their CD with a note inside that made me cry: “We love 5am so much, it is with us on tour in Poland.”
LUNA’s hotly-anticipated debut EP is due for release in the autumn.