Archive for April, 2010

Amsterdam and home

Train to Amsterdam is very delayed and i arrive half dead. But i am in Amsterdam and only for one night so i must get up off the hotel bed and go for a stroll. Lots of people partying in the Red Light. I go for a beer. Take a walk, do some writing in a “coffee shop”, go to bed.

So so good to finally be home! Thanks and love to all the kind people i met who put me up, fed me and made me feel at home, and all the lovely folks who came to the shows. Wish I could have had a bit more time with you all.

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April 27, 2010 at 6:05 pm Leave a comment

To Lille in the north, Nantes in the west

The old part of Lille is beautiful; narrow cobbled streets, old row houses and elegant buildings worn down by time. I arrive at the gig, have tea and go walking. Then meet promoter Nicolas and sound tech Ben.  Good men, thanks for your help! A very nice show, Nehan opens with nice songs and chords. I try some 7% Belgian beer. Everybody’s doing it. To sleep at the flat, nice quiet bed, Merci! Then, an off day spent with new friend Yann, walk around, have baquette and cheese (surprise). Then to a rehearsal space in Robaix where he is recording a grindcore band. Thanks for the bed and kindness Yann!

Nantes…last gig. No more clean socks! I go to the Musee des Beaux Arts, wonderful paintings and quit time. Short walk to La violon Dingue, a wonderful venue that has been housing music for many years. Playing with a cool band from Nantes, nice guys too! Meet some very nice people and the place fills up. No smoking in bars in France is a relief. This turns out to be a great set, lovely crowd, I get an encore for the final gig which feels good. Off to a neighborhood bar with good people. Thank you Pierre, Andre, Caroline, and all the other nice folks i met. A great way to end the Euro shows.

April 27, 2010 at 5:56 pm Leave a comment

Paris

Early morning farewell to my tour brother Bjorn at a Swiss train station for I must continue to France solo by train. To Paris! The French country side is wonderful; small towns, the ploughing of fields, birds of prey, old stone buildings, and endless village train stations. We finally arrive, I navigate the subway to my hotel. Watch out for the crazy moped dudes. Things move very fast here. Many people walking with 2ft long baquettes. Nice to stroll around at look at the incredible architecture. I have the best pannini of my life and a good sleep on this day off. Hotel room to myself = luxury! Next day to the Louvre, museum of museums. Massive, overwhelming, and packed with people. Quite an experience. To the gig, Scopitone, a nice basement club. Good show, my voice is back! So good to meet French booker Nicolas and his lovely girlfriend. After the show they drive me through the streets of Paris to the hotel. Its midnight on a Wednesday and still crazy on the Boul. de Clichy, near the famous Moulin Rouge.

April 23, 2010 at 12:17 pm Leave a comment

Switzerland

We were fearfull of the border and paying big tax on all the merch but we sail through with a laugh and good tunes on the stereo. On to the small city of Schaffhausen to a big rock club, we are support for a Swedish band who do acoustic covers of hard rock tunes. Its a weird gig but the promoter is very nice, making a great curry dinner and taking us to her ice-cream shop after. The smokey bars are starting to destroy me. Great sound on big stage, blue lights, fog machine, rock and roll baby. Nice band room. There is a dude in the bar playing foosball in barefoot, about 60, with a cigarette and a lollypop dangling from his mouth. Beside him is a tub of lollypops, he offers me one. The Candyman.

The next day we do an afternoon house show in Basel and an evening show nearby in Aarau. We sit by the Rheine river and eat falafel. The house show is great, nice people, really quiet. On the way to Aarau the front wheel starts to grind. Car trouble. Did i mention i am losing my voice? We crawl to the venue, Kiff, great bar with band hotel upstairs. Not such a fun gig but serviceable, my voice is rough.

On the train for a short ride to Winterthur while the wheel gets fixed (thanks Lisa!). This is a really nice town, very quiet. I am drinking lots of ginger lemon tea for the voice. Very smokey room tonight. I split to the band flat after my set to rest. We bail on our house show in Rorshach the next day to rest and deal with the car. Thanks to the wonderful people of Kiff for letting us stay!

April 22, 2010 at 9:56 am Leave a comment

Back to Germany for one more…

Driving through rolling hills, fields and foresty bits. Back into Germany, city of Karlsrulhe. The border is pretty much non-existent. I do some driving of the Audi to get us to Cafe Nun, beautiful spot. Andi makes a nice dinner for us then some time to relax and get to know the lovely folks involved in the cafe. By showtime the place is full, I do my set and am quite happy, a great gig. Time for a cold beer, local. Bjorn kicks ass, playing the guitar behind his head. Crazy sock man. Nice to sit and talk to people after closing time. A good long sleep upstairs (thanks Dennis!), best breakfast of the tour! Food is very important when on the road. Thank you kind people of Karlsrulhe!

April 22, 2010 at 9:34 am Leave a comment

Luxembourg

What a lovely city! 900 AD, on a winding gorge, many bridges. This is a commuter’s town of 90 000 that swells to 150 000 during business hours. Bankers everywhere. Dqliq is an elegant venue with sleeping quarters and laundry facilities. Very good. Fred, the generous and kind owner, takes us next door for dinner, classy veggie resto, best dinner on tour! Then to the stage, great sound, small but interested crowd. Need sleep bad.

April 22, 2010 at 9:22 am Leave a comment

Cologne / Trier

We are staying at Willy and Basti’s place, kind people, a nice old flat. Thanks, boys! Toilet in the stairwell, shower in the kitchen. Relax a bit with some wine, a banjo. Off to a neighborhood bar for a drink. The next day before leaving for Trier, we head to the city center and the Ludwig museum; Picasso, Dali. Nice to wander for a few hours. Ok, back in the Audi for a short drive. We get pulled over by the Polizei again; 5 get out of a van and surround us. Papers please. Grumpy men. We got nothin’ to hide, sir!

Trier is the oldest city in Germany, part of the Roman empire, 300 AD. We arrive at Cafe Lubke and load in; big round room, hardwood floors, glass walls. Nice dinner, (thanks Anya and Caroline) I’m really quite tired though. Time to play man! A full room of students, good show, questionable PA. Finally to sleep, a nice German breakfast (thanks Thomas!). Time to explore the city a bit, Roman cathedral, pink castle, gardens, peppermint tea.

April 21, 2010 at 10:29 am Leave a comment

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