Hubert von Goisern

LINZ EUROPE TOUR 2007 - 2009

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Goisern and Naidoo board Offenbach

Offenbach 6th July 2008

Concert shipIt was the desired balmy evening. The Main bank was a wonderful setting. The floating stage on the seventy metre-long cargo ship exceeded expectations. Ingredients for a great concert with Hubert von Goisern, Xavier Naidoo and his Söhne Mannheims in Offenbach on Saturday evening. Both artists were keen to play, alone and together. Old songs like Weit, weit weg, new pieces from the repertoire of world culture took their turns and around 3000 people said thank you for a successful evening in the concert arena - and outside too. Lots of people followed the concert through little peepholes from Maindamm.

The alpine rocker von Goisern has been touring for a year with the MS Wallsee from the Black Sea to the North Sea as ambassador for the Capital of Culture 2009 Linz. Around 80,000 people have so far experienced his concerts, which were always accompanied by local ensembles. The artist rehearses the joint programme with them while his boat glides along the Danube, Main and Rhine at walking pace. Xavier Naidoo came on board in Nuremberg with musicians from Söhne Mannheims. Two days to try out the joint repertoire between the locks of the Rhine Main Danube Canal.

A fifty member crew is accompanying the artist on his river journey. "It's taken a lot of energy and time, but it's been worth it. It has worked to build new bridges, to touch people with music and to get to know each other a little", says Goisern.

Hubert von Goisern meets Mühlviertel

Schweitzer 8th July 2008 | Photo: © Erhard Schweitzer
Hubert von Goisern & Band

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Bursting with strength

Donau Kurier 4th July 2008 | Text: Rainer Messingschlager
Konstantin Wecker and Hubert von Goisern

The perfect debut for the Nuremberg harbour as a concert arena: Hubert von Goisern and Konstantin Wecker thrilled 6000 people at two brilliant concerts on Tuesday and Wednesday.

It is sometimes the case that you pay less attention to enjoying the things that come too easily to you than those that only occur under difficult circumstances. Tuesday was a wonderful summer day, slowly cooling in the evening. Ideal for a cosy concert. It was different on Wednesday. Before the concert a storm thundered over Nuremberg for three hours. Bodies of water pour forth, the police empty the grandstand because of the lightning. Everything is hanging by a thread. The enthusiasm is all the greater when Wecker announces at 8pm that they'll give it a go anyway and raise the stage roof. "We'll start in 30 minutes."

The concert in the Nuremberg harbour is part of a project for the Capital of Culture Linz 2009. For this Hubert von Goisern is sailing through Europe with the Brandner IV, a 77m long barge, which also acts as a stage. It all began in 2007 in eastern Europe, now it's the West's turn, the final destination is Linz. "Music has always been a uniting element, knowing no bounds," says von Goisern. In this project the differences and similarities of a music that founded European culture are explored and demonstrated.

Before it all then begins on Wednesday the sky rears up a couple more times, but in the end Bavarian-Carinthian stubbornness wins. A radiant Wecker kicks off with the apt Wenn der Sommer nicht mehr weit ist (When summer is no longer far off) and suddenly it really doesn't seem very far away. The man from Munich had brought his congenial Franconian partner Jo Barnikel with him. Neither have any trouble at all giving a new kick to the Wecker classics like Wieder dahoam and Anna with Goisern's keen band. Lang mi ned o has seldom sounded so funky. There were also tasters from the next project Gut'n Morgen Herr Fischer. Aside from the title song there was a wonderful old Munich song about the conditions in jail. Based on his own experiences Wecker coyly adapted it to be about Stadelheim prison. Charming.

In fact the evening would have already been worth it, but then Hubert von Goisern let off a great firework with guitarist Severin Trogbacher, bassist Helmut Schartlmüller, keyboarder David Lackner, drummer Alex Pohn and the three enchanting ladies, Elisabeth and Marlene Schuen and Maria Moling (vocals, violin, percussion). Little symphonies of noise that avail themselves of the whole musical spectrum. At times it's bombastic prog rock, at times fusion, then a little hip hop, blues and rock of course, but funk too and it all fits together to make a grand whole. Making sure the mixture doesn't take off too much Goisern time and again builds in alpine elements and world music. Darinka Tsekova is unfortunately the only guest musician, her unpretentious playing on the gadulka with melodies so foreign to us allowing the Goisern express to pick up a bit more momentum. The evening finds its consequential and logical conclusion in a version of Heast as nit that is bursting with strength - and for which Wecker joins them on stage again. A little duet on the piano is the last encore, the curtain has to fall at 11pm, even in the uninhabited harbour with the motorway within hailing distance.

"Well done", von Goisern says to the audience, because they've all held out despite the rain. "Well done", the audience says for a fantastic concert.

The laid-back captain on the Danube

Nürnberger Nachrichten 2nd July 2008 | Text: Susanne Helmer | Photos: Karlheinz Daut

Konstantin Wecker and Hubert von GoisernJoint appearance with Konstantin Wecker on a concert ship

As is well known Nuremberg isn't on the coast, but the city has a harbour. The Austrian world musician took advantage of this fact and docked with his concert ship on the bank of the canal as part of his Linz Europe Tour 2007-2009. Also on board: Konstantin Wecker.

Everything flows: that goes just as much for water as it does the music of Hubert von Goisern. He conquered the hearts of his fans in the early 90s as an alpine rocker with the rustic hit Koa Hiatamadl. And now? He's still rocking, though somewhat more quietly. And Hiatamadl no longer has to be played. Not playing the biggest success is something that not every musician dares to do.

But the 55-year-old is driven by a Buddhist calmness, hasn't worn traditional Tracht for a long time, but rather comfortable, baggy cotton clothes and a few years ago he came up with the crazy idea of sailing along the Danube with a flotilla of three ships so that he could celebrate cultural variety together with the people of eastern Europe. Financially it almost all ended in disaster. But now you have to say: accident averted.

Hubert von GoisernOn the 77m barge, an old cargo ship, which has been converted to a stage with video walls and painted brightly with musical notes, it is Konstantin Wecker who starts proceedings. Together with the Nuremberg pianist Barnikel ("the best musician with whom I've ever played") he plays a one hour set, a witty tour through his career.

And then accordion meets electric guitar: together with his great young band Hubert von Goisern declares "Showtime", a track from his last album S'Nix. What follows is carried rather by the aforementioned calmness. Chilled, you'd probably say nowadays. But everything is perfect: the ideal weather, the harbour setting, the sound; even the countless midges, beetles and spiders seem to all dance for joy.

Worry in the east and west

The master moves quite slowly and doesn't speak much, but what he says makes a lasting impression. The lowest common denominator for the people in the west and east of Europe is fear: "Those of us here think that they're going to rob us of our wealth. And they think that we're going to take the shirts off their backs."

This is what sets Goisern apart from others: he has a mission, but he is not a missionary and doesn't show off about being a do-gooder. With the dreamily beautiful Heast as nit Goisern, Wecker, Barnikel and all the other musicians dismiss the audience into the night. It would be really nice if he would just leave the concert ship here. The harbour would be really splendid as a new open air venue.

An alpine rocker's cruise

Nürnberger Zeitung 3rd July 2008 | Text: Clemens Helldörfer | Photos: Karlheinz Daut

Hubert von Goisern in Nuremberg Harbour

Hubert von Goisern & BandIt is mainly American tourists who come onto Franconian dry land at the docking point in Nuremberg harbour, to treat themselves to a little sightseeing in Nuremberg. For two days this rather drab place changed into an unusual concert stage: Hubert von Goisern, currently sailing across Europe as the cultural ambassador for the city of Linz moored here with the "Brandner IV" to bring his alpine rock to the people. Because such things are all the more fun with friends, the Nuremberg musician Konstantin Wecker bolstered the maritime aural pleasure with a guest appearance.

A ship as a concert stage? Not a bad idea at all, although the walk from the car park is long and arduous and there's an annoyingly long queue at the gate. But in the face of the exceptional atmosphere, you're happy to take such hardship. "I sing, because I have a song", Wecker declares his approach and promises a "cross-section of 40 years of stage life". In order to better fulfil his role as "local matador" he brought along his musical partner of many years, Jo Barnikel, whom he pitches as "Franconia's greatest treasure".

Spiced with a pinch of jazz, you're happy to listen to the old songs like Genug ist nicht genug and Wenn der Sommer nicht mehr weit ist. After a few songs Hubert von Goisern's band lend an energetic hand too and make a real rock 'n' roll firecracker of Lang mi ned o.

Thus they show where this evening is going: rather than a traditional Hubert von Goisern with lots of yodelling and the button accordion, we see the alpine rocker Hubert von G., who this time has seasoned his ethno pop with mainly funk, soul and a pinch of reggae. So it's rock in the harbour, optically underscored by bassist Helmuth Schartlmüller and guitarist Severin Trogbacher with their kilts. (Note: the German word for "kilt" is "Schottenrock")

The shipMany of the songs come from the current album S'Nix, on which a harder pace than on the older discs also dominates. The songs developed on the ship, Hubert von Goisern explained once in an interview and thus are also shaped by grand gestures. No comparison to the almost esoteric Trad albums, which were recorded in the silence of an empty hotel at 2100m above sea level.

Apropos silence: on this evening the music is indisputably the focus. The otherwise talkative "Goiserer" is almost sparing with his words. "The less I talk, the more we can play", is his motto. Nonetheless he tells us of how he trudged through the eastern European area of his ship tour in the car and came upon the interesting discovery that the common denominator for all Europeans is that we are all afraid of each other. It is therefore also his wish to show others that most people are "pretty harmless" (These two words are incidentally also the only entry about the people in "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy").

To list all the musicians of this evening is almost impossible, but as on as good as every tour, the "boss" has succeeded in putting together a troupe who are both top class and have great joy in playing. The attention bonus is won by the petite Darinka Tsekova on the gadulka, a very concise eastern European instrument. To sum up this concert on the "North Sea coast": guys, come back soon!

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Nuremberg - 1st July 2008

4th July 2008 | Photos: © Elli Christl

The "new" Hubert von Goisern satisfies his audience

Donau Kurier 30th June 2008 | Photo: Regensperger

More than 2000 spectators at a concert in beautiful surroundings on the Danube in Deggendorf

Hubert von Goisern & BandDeggendorf. (jr) First things first: probably the best Hubert von Goisern there has ever been played in Deggendorf on Saturday evening. On the Donauufer promenade he presented himself instrumentally and musically speaking between all the styles and with the customary high quality lyrics rooted in alpine rock.

It was a moving and inspiring concert in many respects. The ship, on which the stage and barracks wing stand, should have moored at 4pm and the start of the concert was planned for 8pm. The ship was held up on the journey in Passau - "through administrative confusion" as management explained. But this delay meant that the audience experienced right up close how the ship becomes a great concert stage. Thus this inadvertently became part of the show.

Shortly before half past nine, just as the sun was disappearing behind the horizon, the exceptional Austrian musician from the Salzkammergut stepped onto the stage. Even just his outfit - he was dressed entirely in red - hinted at a "new" alpine rocker. He barely spoke this night, letting his music - and how.

After his quick "hello there" he strapped on his accordion and began a marvellous concert with Alm. What followed was a cross-section of his new album S'Nix, and with brute force in his voice, he straightaway explained what the audience could expect: "There's no German word for "showtime"."

And so follows Showtime the very musically varied song Herschaun. Here Goisern raps and yodels accompanied by violins. After Weltuntergang, a beautiful ballad, followed the Goisern version of Mercedes Benz. With Siagst das his singing carried conviction and you could feel a little wavering inside yourself. With all the songs, such as Die Liab and Auseinandertreiben, Hubert von Goisern shone not just with the accordion and guitar, but also with his masterful trumpet playing too. His virtuosity manifested itself here.

A mix of styles

In addition there was a band who expertly mixed many styles with their "boss". Whether jazz, reggae or blues - they were always a treat for the ears. Not to forget his backing singers, who fitted so beautifully to the exceptional musician's outstanding voice.

As Hubert von Goisern then played a few classics at the end of the evening, the audience was his. Whether with Strassen or Landlertanz, singing and swinging along was the order of the day. A long version of Poika brought both the atmosphere and the musicians to a high point. With this last piece the "chief alpine rocker" and his musicians once more showed their whole ability. But the world musician couldn't say goodbye like that: after minutes of applause and calls of "encore!" he came on stage again. With just the first sounds of Weit weit weg his fans sang along loudly and everyone was rocking in rhythm. The "Goiserer" made the absolute high point. and highlight of the evening with Heast as nit. The audience was thrilled by the vocal and instrumental virtuosity of Hubert von Goisern.

A beginning in the middle (of nowhere)

Salzburger Nachrichten 1st July 2008 | Text: Bernhard Flieher | Photo: SN/Matthias Part

Not in the best of health Hubert von Goisern opened the second leg of his three year Linz Europe Tour
in the idyllic setting of the village of Obermühl in the Mühlviertel

Hubert von GoisernThe middle of nowhere can be everywhere. For the most part the "middle" is defined in relation with geography and the difficulty with which it is reached. South Sahara, Cape Verde or mountain peaks are at the top of such assessments. But in the Mühlviertel too settlements spread into every last nook and cranny. Obermühl, for example. A few dozen houses are wedged in between steeply sloping river banks and the Danube. The little idyll at the mouth of the Kleine Mühl can only be reached via a narrow road from the north, or a little ferry from the south. "On bike, inline skates or on foot" one tourism site gives as the best ways of getting around the area. There is nothing more than peace and idyll here. A place made for Hubert von Goisern. At the mouth of the Mühl lies the flotilla with which he travelled the Danube last year giving concerts.

The second part of his Linz Europe Tour started at the weekend. He had to take it easy in front of about 2000 spectators. A cold knocked him for six before the start of the tour.

Thus the concert emerged as an act of strength, a balancing act between being in a bad way and wanting to make the best of the moment. The stricken voice wavered dangerously close to the edge, but never fell. It was from exactly this situation that haunting emotional moments arose on this evening. His voice seemed fragile, not suited that day for stirring animation. Instead nuances were perceptible in quiet songs such as Die Liab, the bluesy Mercedes Benz or the Kohler yodel that are otherwise sometimes in danger of being neglected under the precise force with which his current band throw themselves into the songs. The battle against adverse circumstances took place in Obermühl with the highest concentration on an essence of Goisern's work that is otherwise neglected, but which has developed into an important instrument since the recordings of traditional folk songs (Trad, 2001, and Trad II, 2003): his voice.

Almost as an antipode to a straight, precise and no-frills band (Maria Moling, Marlene and Elisabeth Schuen, Darinka Tsekova, Severin Trogbacher, Helmut Schartlmüller, Alex Pohn, David Lackner) his voice emancipates itself from its role as a pure storyteller, particularly on the songs from the new album S'Nix. It penetrates deeply into every verse, concealing stories in their abysses that can't be told with words alone, savouring every space (in the epic, broad new songs in particular). But in Obermühl it's the encore ballads Weit, weit weg and Heast As Nit in which his voice melts the idyll of the location together with the desire of his songs.

The isolation of the village is reminiscent of many shows last year - like the kitsch-beautiful atmosphere at the concert in the Ukrainian village of Vylkove in the Danube delta. Back then - like in Obermühl - new land was conquered with every drop of strength and lots of emotion. And there will not often be new land this year.

Until the beginning of September the journey will lead along the Danube, Rhein, Main and Neckar, mainly through regions where Hubert von Goisern has already been playing for years to a large and faithful audience. However, the circumstances are still unusual this year: they won't be playing in the best known halls, but rather mooring in harbours. And nonetheless, the rivers on this side of Europe don't form the serpentine paths that were investigated last year. This year they're going along the river motorway. Obermühl at the southern end of the Schlögener Loop was the only place that represents the middle of nowhere this year.

First concert of the Linz Europe Tour West in Obermühl

Linz 09 30th June 2008 | Photo: © Linz09
Hubert von Goisern

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HvG lets forth a wave of enthusiasm on the Danube ship

OÖN 30th June 2008 | Text: eva

Hubert von GoisernObermühl, Danube bank, Friday evening: 2000 people await Hubert von Goisern, who is docking with the "Brandner IV" to play a concert.

Only one time is he mooring in Austria on his linzeuropetour, which will take him all the way to Rotterdam. "Hubert is just so so relaxed. That's why we're here", say four youths, who are sitting on a picnic blanket, enjoying the warmup band Stelzhammer. There's probably no stress. The spectators have made themselves comfortable on the lawn.

At last Hubert steps onto the stage. What is it about this man that he can make both schoolkids and pensioners go wild with just the first song? It's probably his raw charm.

"It's great that you're here too and not just us", he says as a hello. He rocks out for two hours. Lots of new songs give you the feeling of world travel. The young jump and sing, the old swing and sing, all went along heart and soul.

As quickly as he appeared, he disappeared again. After the encores - Weit weit weg and Hearst das net - for sympathising and shedding a tear - the Brandner IV is ready to depart. The enthusiastic spectators however stay until the early hours of the morning.

"Robust people for powerful music"

Main Netz 26th June 2008

The Austrian singer Hubert von Goisern is coming with his ship to Lohr and Offenbach

A tour on a ship through Europe: the Austrian musician Hubert von Goisern has been travelling on the Danube since last year giving concert in harbours and at landing points. Now he's coming with the MS Wallsee along the Rhine and Main too. He will be making a stop in Offenbach on 5th July (with Xavier Naidoo) and in Lohr am Main on 24th August. Stefan Reise spoke to Hubert von Goisern.

You are known as and called a "world musician". Your new album S'Nix sounds in parts like hard rock though.

I can't contradict this impression. It's right that S'Nix sounds different from the previous productions: in those I occupied myself a great deal with folk music, seeing myself rather more as an arranger of folk songs. S'Nix may be a shock to the listeners - but it's a logical development in my creativity.

Do you like the attribution "alpine rock"?

Related to me directly I'd use it to define my time with the Alpinkatzen. The term certainly doesn't apply any more. I most prefer - if we have to categorise - the term "pop music" actually: mind you, not the fluffy, polished section, rather more the catchy segment. I think it describes my current attitude to life very well too: that's how I went into the studio, that's how the album is - it arose from nothing.

Does S'Nix have a rather resigned undertone as a title or motto?

No, it's not meant like that - on the contrary: where there's nothing is where life begins. I can let my fantasies play: in as much as emptiness is in principle good, because it can be filled positively. A negative association isn't right to me at all. It's right that there were admonishing words before the release of the album - that the title could be misunderstood. But it's harmonious for me - and I don't care what other people think. No, the music on the album really isn't resigned. It's based on the Linz project, partly documenting a life together on the ship and partly the epic power of the river. You need robust people, who know how to make robust, powerful music: we can't unpack chamber music tweezers at our open airs, because there's already enough physical distance between us musicians and the audience. We just have to be loud - and we want to be too.

Xavier Naidoo is your guest in Offenbach. He sings on one of the songs - Siagst As - on S'Nix: How did this Mannheim - Austria set-up come about?

At this show we don't want to reduce things down to the lowest common denominator, we want to present the differences in the way we express ourselves: that produces a good tension. I met Naidoo at one of his concerts in Austria: he is a great singer and has his own identity. So I spoke to him and he immediately thought the idea was understandable.

For the Linz Europe Tour your appear with musicians from the local regions. Who will be in Lohr?

There's no partner in Lohr - but that's a great situation for us musicians too, because here we can enjoy the concert alone and at full length: we play for three hours - which of course is reduced to an hour and a half each when we have guests. So in Lohr we will unfurl the entire magic of our music.

Some years ago you released Trad, a collection of Austrian folk songs - a phenomenon that can be seen in various established representatives of rock music: what is it about this traditional music that fascinates you?

We all draw from various sources: so it makes sense to look at these sources too. And it becomes easier with growing age too. Mind you: I'm not interested in the folksy music that is sometimes sold nowadays. For me it's about folk music with which I grew up. Of course when I was just a youth I didn't want anything to do with it - but rejection is a form of connection too. As a grown-up it is a blessing for me to have grown up with the musical ABC of folk music.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Obermühl - 27th June 2008

29th June 2008 | Photos: © Elli Christl

"I'm such a dreamer"

melodie & rhythmus July/August 2008 | Text: CKLKH Fischer | Photo: Jürgen Skarwan

Hubert von Goisern brings together worlds on his ship tour

Hubert von GoisernOnly a few people take the liberty of living the way they wish to deep inside. And a large proportion of these few who break out from regulation and routine are artists, for whom the world is their playground. Hubert von Goisern is one such free spirit. At the age of 20 he was already travelling Canada, South Africa and the Philippines, at the end of 90s he discovered Africa and Tibet for himself. He is now travelling the rivers and canals of Europe with three ships for the Linz Europe Tour. Last year this led him downstream on the Danube and this year he will be heading north on the Rhine, where shows with artists such as Xavier Naidoo and BAP are planned.

From whence came the idea for the Linz Europe Tour?

I've had the concept in my head for ten years. In 1997 I was in Africa and organised a little unplugged festival. At that time there were a handful of camps with refugees from Rwanda, Zaire and the surrounding war-torn areas. I got talking to people and invited them to play. Although they didn't all get along, it grew together and everybody danced. I wanted to go back the following year and hire a ship to take musicians from all the countries and travel from harbour to harbour - a festival to bring people together. But it would have been too difficult. I'm still looking for an African integration figure with whom I can put it into action. But there's enough accumulated demand in the communication with southeast Europe and there is this great river called the Danube - and I always wanted to go to the Black Sea. So I'll do that now, I thought to myself.

And it became possible with the organisers in Linz, which will be European Capital of Culture next year?

Exactly. But I needed a lot of money, because I wanted to play all concerts in southeast Europe free of charge - which we did. The project will have cost four million Euros in these two years. Just with the conversion of three ships! I'm such a dreamer. At the moment we're in debt to the tune of one and a half million and we need to earn that this summer. We're hoping for good weather!

Was it difficult to find musicians for this project?

I knew that I had to look for a band with young musicians, who could live this freedom. I don't think anybody regretted it. Lots of people said beforehand: "Ten weeks on a ship, people will fly into a rage."

So did people annoy on each others?

Of course there were moment of stress. But since you couldn't leave, you had to face them. There were 26 of us on board permanently and we became a big family with a great spectrum of characters, so everyone found someone with whom they could get on - for every quirk there was a counterpart.

The local musicians with whom you played also lived on board.

Oh yes, we had such a super atmosphere on board, it was so crazy. We were the ghost ship on the Danube. Everyone who saw us wanted to be with us. I saw it in their eyes. It was so spectacular, that people always converged - "Who are these crazy people?"

But there must have been problems too?

Right at the start we had an unbelievable storm that nobody had warned us about. With the twelve metre high elevated roof and stage we had a static safety of 70 to 80 km/h - and then out of nowhere came 120 km/h with hail, which tore us all to shreds. We had to cut the awnings with a knife so that it wasn't all ripped away. Water ran into the computer, it got everywhere. We then removed the hard drive and dried it with a hairdryer. This was the day of the first concert - so we hadn't played a note! We ran onto sand banks in Bulgaria, where buoys had been incorrectly placed. It will be difficult in Germany this year in terms of bureaucracy - we were given three tickets in Bavaria just last year. Down south it was completely different, you can discuss everything, it's all a bazaar, it's all negotiable. "That won't go", it starts and then there's a schnapps, then they start shouting, big emotions and then schnapps again and then finally a "yes, okay, but just this once." And so you carry on after two hours of fighting and without a stamp.

Did the new album S'Nix develop during the journey?

I'd say that about three songs developed on the ship. But it was a continuation of our spirit - we were all so full of experiences and went into the studio with an unbelievably great feeling. The atmosphere of the summer is in it. And when we were still travelling I thought - they all have such vitality and creativity, I don't want to say to them during the recordings "do it this way!" and "play it that way!" I wanted to let an album develop for the first time as a collective process. I'm very happy it worked out. It's certainly the most pop-oriented album I've ever made.

There are also some very unusual pieces, for example Rotz & Wasser, a song whose lyrics are a football commentary. Why this football match? Does it have special meaning in Austria?

No, and only a very few can still remember it. It took place in 1954.

So is it because of the commentary?

Yes, it's amazing! The commentator was so done in after the first 45 minutes that he couldn't do the second half. Someone else did it instead. But this first half is to die for! I've listened to it 30, 40 times now and it's a film. I've been going through the world with it since 1991, but have never found anybody who understood it. But I'm not an autist who sits alone and tinkers with samples and loops. I like flesh and blood and musicians to whom I can react. When I played it to the band there were goosebumps. They thought it was great. It's also a great coincidence that we have the European Cup at the moment. I didn't produce it for "Euro 2008". But I'm very proud to have made a football song without singing something melodramatic myself as a result. I'm curious to see which way it will go and how people will react to it.