Words by Damien Russell
The night is scheduled to start at 19:30 and tickets are priced at £11.00, excluding bookings fees etc. For direct gig info, including online ticket sales, click here.
A lot can happen in a week.
As I discovered when, six days ago, I found out Goodnight Lenin’s ‘indefinite hiatus’ was being brought forward and they sadly won’t make it to the Beyond The Tracks festival. But before they go, they are going to join us for one last show at the Hare & Hounds in Kings Heath which ‘so happens to be at our favourite venue with our favourite bands playing alongside us’, as they said in their farewell post. Arguably the most heart-warming way for any band to begin a break.
A lot can happen in a month, too. It was only three weeks ago that Goodnight Lenin announced ‘We are now well and truly finalising our second album’ and confirming that there will be a run of physical copies. As a happy listener and owner of the first album, this was very good news. The second hard copy recording they will have done. They did say, however, that it might be a couple of months more before it’s finished so fingers crossed it’s done before the hiatus hits.
And in six months? A year? Well, perhaps not filled with the same level of press-stopping headlines but I would describe Goodnight Lenin’s seven years as more of a book than an article, and the chapter that would be this last year has, in itself, been quite something.
A year ago this Friday they were in the studio nailing bass lines to ‘Desire’, released on the 21st of November 2016 and ceremoniously rung in with a launch show at Muthers on the 26th.. The single was advertised as one of four to be released before the album comes out this winter.
Before the official release date, ‘Desire’ had piqued media interest and the band made appearances musically or in person on Brum Radio, BBC Radio2 and BBC Introducing West Midlands. While I’m on the topic of radio airplay; in January, BBC Radio 6 played ‘Desire’ and on the 24th, Goodnight Lenin were live on air with Steve Lamacq. On the same day, they were also featured on BBC Midlands Today who were reporting on Independent Music Week and interviewed Sammy.
The 2nd of December saw the two-year anniversary of the release of In The Fullness Of Time – their debut album and the record that cemented my (and a lot of other people’s) appreciation for Goodnight Lenin’s music. It wasn’t the album or even its lead single ‘You Were Always Waiting’ that first grabbed my attention though, it was their Sofar Sounds performance of Tell-tale Heart in Oxford that I found by accident while trying to get my own band some gigs and mooching through the Sofar Sounds website. But I digress…
On the 25th of January, the announcement came out that the second of the four singles would be ‘Portrait Of Youth’, released digitally on the 27th of March. Of course, another single means another party and this one was on the 2nd of April (no fools) at the Hare & Hounds. I must admit, the four single releases, four parties idea is great and one I must try to put into practise myself at some point.
But the great plan has now changed. Singles two and three (and associated parties) have seemingly been put on the back burner. It’s all about the album (I hope) and the last show. Goodnight from Goodnight Lenin. Hopefully not forever but at least for the foreseeable.
It’s always a shame to see a good band leave the limelight but, like any passing, it’s surely better to mark with a celebration of all that we’ve enjoyed up to now and to raise a glass (or five) to ‘until we meet again’. But before the currently unknown ‘next time’, we get this, one last time.
‘Portrait of Youth’ – Goodnight Lenin
Goodnight Lenin play at the Hare & Hounds on Friday 11th August, with support from Boat To Row, and Katherine Priddy – as presented by Moseley Folk. For direct gig info, including online ticket sales, click here.
For more on Goodnight Lenin, visit www.soundcloud.com/goodnightlenin
For more on Boat To Row, visit www.soundcloud.com/boat-to-row
For more on Katherine Priddy, visit www.soundcloud.com/katherine-priddy
For more from the Hare &Hounds, including full event listings and online ticket sales, visit www.hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk
For more from Moseley Folk, visit www.moseleyfolk.co.uk