Long Story short
No, he’s not from New York, as Sting fans might think, but from the German capital city. So, what is an Englishman doing in Berlin? And why has he been there so long - more than forty years?
Well, he started life in Birmingham, but as a young man he studied law in London and later moved to Paris to do international studies, although it had more to do with widening his personal horizon. Three years later he was heading further east, landed in Berlin, and became a social worker, for many years counselling drug addicts.
Then the Berlin Wall comes tumbling down and the next thing we hear from him he’s writing German songs for children, even - and still! - appearing on German television, winning a prize or two and performing in some of the country´s best known venues.
So far pretty good. But why does he call himself the Englishman in Berlin, and what does the „Light, Medium and Strong" bit in the subtitle mean? And how come he´s writing songs all of a sudden? Come to think of it: what´s his real name, anyway? Well, first things first:
Robert Metcalf – that´s his real name – first got into playing an instrument back in his Paris days, when he discovered that his French roommate had an old guitar. And, you´ve guessed it: Robert taught himself the basic chords, started to learn a few Beatles´ songs – and was hooked.
Only when he had been in Berlin for some ten years did Robert´s talent for actually writing songs evolve, first in his mother tongue, then - more by luck than judgement - in German. Soon he forgot his former ambitions as a lawyer or social worker and decided to get into songwriting professionally.
Several years have passed, successful years of writing and performing for a young German audience. And now we find Robert making a sort of musical U-turn: Back to the roots! He still has a guitar in his hand, but now he´s writing and playing English songs for adult listeners.
And these songs are sometimes thoughtful ballads, sometimes witty rock-songs – but a touch of English humour is never far away. You can hear him either on the internet or performing live.
So that was the short story… Now it´s time to get to know Robert´s songs!