With his silver, Members Only-style jacket unzipped just enough to show his bare chest, Angry Pete stared down my firmly established stereotypes of what German electronic pop was and, with one hand lightly resting on his keyboard and one holding a microphone, fulfilled them, while at the same time enticing me to dance around like a fool, slapping everyone around me with my hair.
In Germany, Christmas is a 2-day affair extending into the 26th of December and everything is closed. No emergency stops anywhere for toilet paper or frozen pizza, no lone wanderers in the street. Thousands of miles from any kin, but with a friend in town visiting, we were at a loss for what to do until we saw a sign for a show at Zum Teufel, a local bar we knew and adored. Not knowing who the band was, we zipped up our coats, adjusted our scarves, threw on hats, and set off for Kirchheimer Weg. We had no idea what we were in for.
When singing was called for, Angry Pete stepped away from his keyboard to command the stage, standing tall and keeping the rhythm by shifting his weight from one foot to the other. Between verses he returned to his keyboard to play simple, yet for their purposes so perfect synth lines. His music swept over the crowd like an epidemic. As soon as the crowd caught on to the repetition of the verses, we were calling them back to him. My friend Loes documented the whole synth-pop-caper on her digital camera: embarrassing videos of myself dancing, Harry playing air keyboard, Ryan bobbing his head and sipping a Beck’s.
Angry Pete pointed to the audience between songs, commanding “Kauf mein CD!” That I did, with an unparalleled sense of urgency. Going to this show had been so sporadic—what if I never saw or heard anything of him again? I needed this CD, I needed it in my possession, to relive memories, to listen to on the elliptical, to show my friends back home who had their own ideas of what German electronic pop was.
In an exchange well documented by amateur documentary filmmaker (she doesn’t know this, but she’s good! It’s like watching a Scorsese film) Loes, I “kaufed” Angry Pete’s CD. In a blur of “Wie viel? –Fünf Euro—Ok, danke, bitte nach Amerika kommen!” I bought his CD, giddily shook his hand, and walked away smiling like a 13-year-old who just met Justin Timberlake.
Angry Pete means so many things to me. All jokes aside: his music is entertaining as hell. The effects it has on my brain are disastrous… it gets lodged in there for days on end. I have no idea who this guy is. A look at his MySpace page (yep, old school) would imply that he also plays drums for a band called Memphis Bitch. I know him as the German dude with the awesome riffs, synth beats, and incredibly high and pronounced cheekbones. He encouraged me to dance my tail off and gave me the kind of German cultural immersion I secretly (never openly) craved.
Loes’ documentary-style filming of the kaufing of the CD: