We found this the other day and realised we’d done nothing with it! So here it is, our tour update from April! Of all the technology fails we talked about, this is the biggest! Still we”ll get another chance to do this right when we go back to Germany in November!
We’ve been on the road for six days now and it’s been so much fun so far. Knowing that this sort of thing is possible and that we put it together by ourselves is a huge achievement. We’ve also learnt a lot about what we actually need versus what we thought we needed.
The first thing is that you can never have enough plug adapters! We had a fun experience in Amsterdam where we forgot the adapter! It was at home being used to charge the laptop. We were saved when a guy at the venue popped home and got us a power lead that we could use in Naomi’s keyboard. Otherwise it would have been a very stripped down gig. We originally thought one adapter plus a english four way would be fine but boy were we wrong! We found out that our flashy new HD Camcorder needs to be plugged in if you want to record more than 5 minutes! Luckily most venues have their own keyboard or piano that we could use so we have been able to use the camcorder.
We’ve also brought the English weather with us. Light rain has followed us around so far and has made things a bit tricky with keeping the instruments dry. But the sun has come out enough to explore a bit and take some photos. Hopefully it’ll stay for a while. It’s been great meeting all of Naomi’s old friends from school, work or university and so amazing that they have welcomed us into their homes and looked after us so well even after all this time. We can’t thank them enough, it would not have been possible to do this without them.
The gigs themselves have been quite varied so far. We’ve played a two hour gig to a post Easter crowd in Gent, three songs in a small cafe in Amsterdam and given our first mini house concert in Krefeld! All have been great fun though and we now know quite a few covers songs!
We arrived in Gent on Sunday and stayed at a lovely “Boatel” on the canal just north of the city centre. After dumping our stuff, we headed straight out to explore and sample the famous belgian beer. It was great to have a spare day to see the sites and get a feel for the city. We met Mike at Trefpunt the next morning to see the space and leave our instruments. Naomi hadn’t seen him since secondary school so there was a lot to catch up on! Trefpunt itself is a lovely bar/pub in the centre of Gent and - along with Video and Charlatan - forms the “Live Music” area of the city. It feels like the kind of place that you could easily visit with a good book and hole up for the day. They have live music every Sunday and Monday and also have a cool looking concert hall beside the bar for bigger gigs. They also organise the Gent Festival, which is Gent’s biggest music festival and is ten days of music and madness. Everyone gets involved and there’s music wherever you look. After meeting up there was a bit more exploring and then we met his wife and baby girl at their flat, which was just around the corner from the venue. Very handy!
After a nice cup of tea we headed back to the venue and got set up. They had a piano there so we decided to use that as a real one always sounds better. We had some fun trying to figure out where to put the camcorder that involved Charlie having to scale various tables and chairs and having secured that we then played the gig.
It was a two hour show, so we started with a few covers and then mixed in some of our own songs as well, which went down really well. If only we had two hours of our own stuff! Next time maybe…. The bar was pretty full considering it was Easter Monday and the audience listened from start to finish, clapping where appropriate and sometimes where is wasn’t (the ending to Rise Above It always gets people). It was good fun (if a little scary) and audience banter was hard as we don’t speak Flemish, but their English was good enough for us to chat afterwards. We even sold and signed a couple of CDs and stayed on until the early hours chatting to the locals over a few more Belgian beers.
We’ve got to take a train now but we’ll update about the rest of the Tour very soon!