Touring in Denmark

Yesterday I drove onto the Odde-Aarhus ferry in the pouring rain. Ferries are a treat for me, most of the islands are connected by bridges but since I have been driving up and down Denmark for the last two weeks and it was good to sit down for a couple of hours and stare out of the window.

This is a great country and a good one to tour in. I feel at home with Danish people, I am sure we are all related somehow (I blame the Vikings). They all speak great English, and although I don’t speak it, I can read it reasonably well as it is so like Swedish.

I have been playing mostly folk clubs, a few house concerts, and last night in a training centre for the big 3f trade union in Silkeborg, situated in Denmak’s lake district. They have a nice concert hall with a grand piano. Touring solo is more sociable than you think, I talk to people all the time and have been staying in a lot of private houses.

I have seen a lot of corners of Denmark, last week I was on the island of Täsinge in a village called Landet (funny name as it means ‘The Countryside) staying with the organiser of a show I had done the night before in Svendborg. I started the day with an icy swim in his outdoor pool. I was about to leave when he suggested I call in at the local church yard. The graveyard is the last resting place of the tragic lovers Elvira Madigan and Sixten Sparre and a very beautiful place it is too. They are buried under a huge oak tree. Sixten was an army officer and married, Elvira was a circus performer. They ran away together in a mad hopeless affair. It ended in the woods nearby on 1st July 1889 in a suicide pact when he shot her then himself. I found it strange that they were buried together, and in a churchyard. Their affair so outraged society that it led to this tragic end, and yet they must have touched a very romantic sensibility too. Foolish dreams. Strange how destructive love can be.

Three more shows than I am home for a week before setting off on my Castles and Churches tour of eastern Germany. The album comes out officially on Monday in the UK.

Elvira Madigan and Sixten Sparre's last resting place