The Sunday Matinee is a monthly series of shows that a group of friends of mine and I have been organising together since the summer of 2015, although I didn’t end up joining the bunch myself until February the following year. We’re six people in the core group, frequently helped by husbands, band members and other people from within our Berlin circles. As should be somewhat apparent, since you’re reading about this here, we all play music ourselves, in various configurations – bands members of our group are active in include BraBraBra, Pieuvre, DuChamp, nunofyrbeeswax, Montaña, Apostrophe, Vrouw, Jetzt werd ich dumm and of course Adventure Team!
Inspired by the all-age hardcore punk matinees of their fledgling years, the original idea for The Sunday Matinee formed somewhere between the trio of Angela and Davide from nunofyrbeeswax and Federica, from BraBraBra and Kitchen Leg Records. They found a first venue in XB Liebig, the downstairs bar/venue of the housing project L34 in Friedrichshain, which sadly got evicted under the cloak of the Covid pandemic in 2020. Former L34 inhabitant Yyuri (of Jetzt werd ich dumm, as well as numerous other projects) facilitated the contact and joined Federica, Davide and Angela, birthing the original core group of The Matinee, named “XB Sunday Matinee” at the time.
The conceptual idea for what constitutes a Matinee hasn’t changed since the first issue of the event:
Jeff played the 3rd issue of The Matinee with his band Apostrophe in October 2015; and immediately signed himself up as a band interviewer for the event, tapping into his background, similar to my own, in the sociology of music and qualitative social research in the hardcore punk scene in NYC.
It was around then that I befriended Davide and Angela, likely through commenting on Davide’s DJ Vomit sets at The Matinee and his typically weird juxtaposition of musical styles – he’d regularly follow up hardcore punk tracks with John Coltrane – which I found rather exciting. I’d already made Federica’s acquaintance sometime around the previous year, through following BraBraBra and her drone performances as DuChamp and I was more than aware who Davide and Angela were, having been a major fan of their previous band The Fingers.
This all happened around when I’d just started playing with the first full-band line-up of Adventure Team (with Emile on bass and Malte on drums), that came into existence around the summer of the same year, 2015 – crucially inspired by having attended my first BraBraBra show about a year earlier (thanks to the recommendation of Bastian from I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream!) that, after having lost most of my 20s to cynicism and/or despair, reinstated my faith in the state of The International Pop Underground. It was a very exciting time.
And it got more exciting – when, a couple of weeks into playing together, one night at West Germany, Federica asked me, at what might have been my first ever Mumbles gig, if Adventure Team were interested in playing the upcoming November Matinee. You betcha we were, or I was anyway – I don’t think it would be fair to speak for Malte and Emile in their absence.
I remember that when the day came, I was dying from stage fright. It was going to be our first gig and in terms of material, all we had to offer were five or six hastily thrown together songs. We somehow made it through our set and as the last chord (or the waves of feedback, I suppose) rung out, Angela came storming towards me and gave me a great big hug.
It was the beginning of a journey that I am still on, one that led me to recording several of the early nunofyrbeeswax releases, with no previous experience but my own demo recordings and a couple of other such experiments on my old Tascam 4-track cassette machine. Especially in the early Adventure Team days, we shared many a bill with Davide and Angela (a duo they were at the time) and even went on a short tour with them in a big yellow Renault van in 2016.
After having attended every Matinee up until that point, I finally joined the Matinee crew when Davide asked me if I could “help out with the sound” in February 2016. I hadn’t ever done sound for a concert before, but something about the Matinee and everyone involved made it seem a lot less intimidating that it should have.
I have done sound for almost every Matinee since and I am now at a point where I’m feeling comfortable most of the time about fulfilling the role and doing a good job – making bands sound good, no matter how weird or unusual their setup. I kind of get a kick out of getting my head around the variety of often vastly different styles that share the bill at a typical Matinee, all in one afternoon.
This upcoming Sunday, the 19th of March, will see the 63rd edition of the Matinee. It will feature Das Frenk, Joseph Kudirka and Kitty Solaris. Come say hi, we’ll open the doors at our current venue Villa Kuriosum at 4pm.
And if you’d be interested in playing The Matinee sometime, hit us up.
Chorus lines from the unreleased Adventure Team song “Bummed Out”
PS: As fate would have it, the first time our new Adventure Team drummer Ian and I got to meet was also at The Matinee, when he played #17 in December 2016, with his then band Leoprrrds. See, it all makes sense!
Oh… and there was also that one time I wrote my MA thesis kind of about The Matinee…