After a two-hour train ride and ten minutes in the car, we were standing outside of Café Central in Weinheim and the first notes of Mambo Kurt’s set were there to greet us. Inside the medium-sized pub was sardine-can full. On a raised stage behind a wood-paneled electronic organ (a so-called Heimorgel), sat Mambo Kurt, and he was singing Slayer.
The crowd, sweaty and enthusiastic, were dancing like this was the best dance music they’d ever heard. People swayed, people jumped, people sang along, and people stage-dived. And Mambo Kurt sang ABBA, Slayer, Stevie Wonder, Dr. Albern, die Kassierer, and a whole bunch of German pop songs that I’d never heard before. The crowd went wild. I watched skeptically from the side of the room.