It gets dark here around 4pm so by 5 one can be easily confused if you’ve been in doors too long. It could be 10 and as cold as any night can be in central Europe.
The city is lit up for Christmas and I love it… It is cheerful, inviting and the commerce is no where near as crass as it could be.
Tourists, mostly Italians and Russians, flock to the city centre this time of year to sample the hot gluwhine and folk-art stalls that are in abundance. during the day light hours Russians buy up clothes, often Chinese made labels, which tend to be a kind of Ikea for fashion.
I watched the reflections of Christmas street lighting in shop windows and the against architraves of churches. decorative projections added a wash of colour to buildings otherwise sombre in their evening stone Gothic. trams drew all ends of the city together, from across the Mur to where I stood, listening to church bells sound on the hour.
And it was at some such a quadrant, amidst old stone, the sound of an accordion nearby, that I was reminded of Prague, May 1994, and the urgency of those times when I wrote God’s Tear’s Europa and Gone to Stone.
Here’s a performance of God’s Tear’s Europa from my first of the several Fierce Throat choirs I would put together in the years since Trance Plant… The Brisbane Power House never looked so good.