So, that was Danmark, Sweden and Scotland again! What a trip.. 3 weeks of music, fun, good people, many pubs, bars, festivals and food. This is, in short, what it was like:
So my cousin and I travelled to Hamburg first. A city we had both never really been, so about time to check it out! In a little punk hotel in the St. Pauli area, Mr. Moose made friends with some flamingo’s and we had a little peek of this great city. I will most definitely return there and make sure I have a gig lined up for me next time.
On to Aalborg, where we were hosted by Mikael aka Dusty Awe. Spent the first two nights there exploring the nightlife, parks and harbour, before getting nervous for my own gig in a very nice little bar called Susan Himmelblå. Quite some people showed up that Saturday night to see me and Dusty Awe perform. The atmosphere was good and we ended with a fun cover set together. Afterwards we were dragged to a bar that had stayed open extra late so that us crazy Dutch tourists could play a weird pool game involving miniature bowling pins. Of course I won.. Awesome night!
Next (boat) stop: Göteborg, but just to visit a friend, and being touristed around in this beautiful city, where I saw my first real life Moose! (So they DO exist.. who would have thought..) And two days after, I parted with my cousin and while she returned to Aalborg, I headed due North where the nights became shorter with every kilometre. The teeny tiny village called Råbäck would be my next stop. Another friendly visit, in a small collective where I was welcomed and fed, had a dip in the nearby lake and helped out with the kids and fixing up the greenhouse. The second evening there, I covered myself in Polka dots again and paid a visit to the local ‘Huspub’ (house pub) where there were already some jam sessions going on. Lovely place, lovely people and very nice homebrew welcomed in my songs. I did two small sets in between the others having their go at it and the responses were very positive! With some more beer and whisky, the hours passed fast and i did some covers with some of the other musicians just for kicks 🙂
And on to Sundsvall, where I have lived one year in 2010. It had been a while since i visited, so my friends there were curious about this music thing I had begun doing since. I played for most of them in their homes, little private gigs that were very much appreciated. Most fun was taking my guitar to a birthday party, where I did a surprise gig as a present to the birthday girl, whom I had worked together with in the year I lived there. She was totally moved and pleased. But alas, 4 days was too short to see all people and places I had hoped. Another place I can’t wait to go back to.. There are so many already!
I left Scandinavia by plane, to land again in Scotland. Another tour waiting, with my dear friend Dave Hughes and this time also accompanied by Tim Holehouse, who I had met last year at Book Yer Ane Fest. We were an interesting trio of different kinds of music, which made each evening a diverse one.
After a night of getting-to-know-eachother-better drinks at Dave’s place in Glasgow, the first stop was Inverness. In the Market bar, we amused the locals with our noise and I even got a beer when explaining the meaning of the ending of my Dutch song ‘De Crisis’. (it sais: I might have some money now finally, but still far from rich so you could get me a beer.. And see, it even works abroad!) We spent that night and the one after in Nairn, at the place of Gareth and Jane (who designed my EP cover) who are the loveliest of people! We got spoilt rotten and had so much fun also after the gigs, at their place. Jane even decided to dye my hair red and green in the middle of the night! That second night we had played in a hotelbar in Nairn itself. Lovely place, and nice turnout. I met the girl who’s face Jane used for my cover, what an honour! The hotel bar were so happy with us, that we got a little extra for playing. And after the gig we just It was a perfect evening!
A drive back down, took us to Dundee, where we played the Cerberus Bar on the evening of the Brexit polls starting to roll in. At the hotel that night, watching the outcomes, it became clear the scale would tip to ‘yes’. It was weird witnessing this first hand and waking up the next day in a country that had decided to be no longer in the EU. What this will mean exactly, remains to be seen in the coming 2 or 3 years, but I’m personally not looking forwards to having to apply for visa when going there. And neither do any of the musicians I know, care for applying for them to get to us.
So you can guess what the main topic of the next day was, as we drove up again to a middle of nowhere near Elgin. There the Anarcho Folk Fest 2nd edition had slowly started. It was a lovely reunion of many great people/musicians I knew or would get to know. Great atmosphere and two stages this time with many very good gigs! And after dancing our asses off to the closing act for that night, the Shoe Eating Rabits, Dave provided a 90’s alternative hits disco in the barn, that almost destroyed my throat. Luckily a good night sleep was enough recovery for me to open the next day in the big tent. An attentive hungover crowd that grew bigger and more active during another day of workshops and music. But being on the road for three weeks straight, had taken it’s toll on my mood and tolerance of having people around me constantly, so I retreated to my tent quite early that night, with the noise of the partying crowd at the background as a soothing lullaby.
The last stop was Glasgow, where we closed the tour at the lovely little book/music shop the New Hellfire Club. My EP was put in on the shelves, next to the other Different Circle Records albums, of which I was immensely proud! The next day we said goodbye to Tim Holehouse and I stayed one more day at Dave and his wife’s place before I returned home, a little ill and with the tourblues.
Luckily I got to play the day after in Nijmegen with Balle Malurt & son and Lifelong Hangover! A great evening and great people, that made me stay in the tourvibe just a little longer before finally taking a break. But tomorrow I’m leaving again, this time to Belgium and back to the Netherlands for some gigs with Rob Galloway and Vince Caillaud. Good, because after three weeks of mainly work, the itch of touringlife needs a good scratch!