I write this taking in the Paris sun, sitting in a Cafe in Montmartre. And yes I am trying to make you jealous. I’m two weeks into my tour of Europe and already have had a truly epic time. After an amazing farewell gig in London at the Bohemia in Hackney, with my new backing band (thanks to all who came) I jumped on a plane to Spain with guitar in hand to start my two month tour of Europe.
It all kicked off with a last minute pop up gig in a design shop in Barcelona, a night which continued into the early hours at a house party in a trendy part of town and a truly epic hangover the next day to match! It was then on to play at a friends villa party outside of Girona were me and my percussionist Tekin played a full two hour set in the grounds of a medieval villa the likes of which the Marquis de Sade would be proud of (there were some rather menacing meat hooks on the ceiling of one of the bedrooms) then after some truly amazing seafood and a practice on a roof top terrace in the dying hours of the Girona sun, we caught the 5hr train ride to Paris.
Everyone seems to fall in love with Paris and I guess I’m no different. Even though I’ve been here before, I was still taken in by the cities beauty. Staying in a hostel in Montmartre right next to the Sacre-Coeur probably helps. In the build up to my gig at The Onze Bar, I decided to do some open mic nights to promote the event and stumbled on one on the very first night in a rock bar in the Belleville area and bashed out a song on the house bands instruments (we had left ours at the hostel) resorting to playing electric guitar upside down (I’m left handed) and Tekin taking to the drums.
We then played the next night at an open mic at The Oz Bar, right next to the Moulin Rouge. A very well organised night of music with a great host. The night after that we hit the open mic at The Highlander, a Scottish themed bar right in the heart of the tourist area of Monnaie. The venue it’s self was a complete contrast to the rest of the area, the open mic taking place in an underground bar that stayed open till 3am!
By the time it came to the night of the gig we were feeling pretty parted out but managed to pull it together for a last minute practice in the park next to the Sacre-Coeur before making it down to the Onze Bar in the Belleville area. The night it’s self was a great success the owner and the staff treating us like kings, laying on free food and drink all night and paying us for our efforts. Having said all that I was totally exhausted by the end of the night, I think I might not hit it so hard the night before a gig next time! I now make the trip to Berlin by train were I continue by tour solo until my percussionist joins me again in a few weeks time in Poland.