So much has happened since my last blog post that I think it's gonna be hard to fit it all in, but here goes nothing…
The first stop on my 'City of Streets' European tour was Copenhagen. I've never been to this city before so I was unsure about what to expect, but I did know it was expensive. And I wasn’t wrong! It's taken me a little while to curve my spending and to adjust from 'holiday' mode to 'tour' mode. In this regards perhaps Copenhagen wasn't such a great place to start. It was also my Birthday while I was there so my spending did get a little out of hand. But that aside my gig at the Mojo Blues bar was a great success. Despite there being a national holiday the place was rammed with a very enthusiastic crowd who loved my set. This was partly due I'm sure to the venue being one of the oldest and most prestigious Blues bars in the city, not just the hype around me coming to town! I’m sure I’ll be back to Copenhagen next time around for this wonderful reception alone, but perhaps for not so long next time. The week I spent there did however give me time to work on my vlog, Something I will be aiming to make in each city I visit and you can keep updated on my Youtube Channel. But if your too lazy to click on a link, the vlog about my stop in Copenhagen is below.
After Copenhagen it was a fight to Warsaw, Poland. One thing I didn’t factor into my travel budget is the extra I had to pay on top of the ticket to stow my guitar, and my lounge, which on some airlines worked out to nearly £100. So what on the surface seemed like a cheap flight wasn’t in fact that cheap, and I’ve realised traveling by train is always the best option when getting around Europe, and not only for the price alone either! But I’ll get into that later. Annoyingly my gig in Warsaw was cancelled the day I left Copenhagen. Which gave me very little time to organise a replacement. And it’s still a bit of a mystery as to why this happened. The venue were every vague and on top of their bad english I wasn’t able to get much out of them in the form of an explanation. But I suspect they probably lost there live music licence, either way they treated me with very little in the form of respect. I wasn’t able to find a replacement in the end so Warsaw was a bit of a write off. I ended up partying for the week which wasn’t great for my health or wallet. You can watch the Warsaw vlog below.
Krakow on the other had was a completely different story. The gig I played at Piec Art Acoustic Jazz Club was a great success despite the promoters misgivings, he explained the summer months tended to be quiet as people would rather be outside drinking enjoying the sun. But never the less the crowd were very attentive and the dark and moody atmosphere of this cellar bar really added to my performance. It was also one of the oldest Jazz clubs in Krakow, and had held host to some famous names, so I felt very privileged to be added to that pedigree. Between the odd bit of sight seeing the rest of my time in the city was spent partying, something which has become a bit of a theme of late.
After the high of Krakow came the low of Berlin. Things got off to a bad start right from the beginning in the German capital, and it almost seemed like the place had something against me by the time I left. My plane from Krakow had been late taking off so I missed my connecting flight. So for a little while I was stuck in Dusseldorf while I waited for my replacement flight, in the meantime I had been assured my lounge (and guitar) had made it to Berlin so would be waiting for me when I arrived. When I finally got there the woman at lost & found seemed to know nothing about it, but casually informed me it was likely to still be in Dusseldorf and would probably get to Berlin at some point. In the meantime I spent the next day rushing around trying to find a left handed guitar to rent for the night so I could play the gig I had lined up, as there seemed little chance my lounge would make it in time.
When it came to time to play, I did manage to find a guitar but it sounded pretty bad. On top of all of that there happened to be one of the biggest free music festivals of the year in the city on at the same time, something the owner informed me he had forgotten about, so had little hope of there being much of an audience. And he was right, the place was deserted apart from a couple of fans from London who had recently moved to the city. They excepted me like we’d been friends for years and toke me out for more drinks to commiserate the terrible turnout. The other show I had lined up in the city was a house concert on the weekend. And low and behold when it came to showtime it just ended up being me and the owner drinking in his lounge. And altho he streamed the gig on YouTube, and was a lovely guy, I couldn’t help but be disappointed about how the German leg of my tour had panned out.
And so this brings me on to Hamburg and a show I had lined up at the Marias Ballroom. I had high hopes for this gig as I had read the venue had achieved some what of a cult status, and pulled in some great acts. But my heart sank when I realised how far the venue was from the city centre. The owner was another good host and a supplied a great spread of free food and drink, but within moments of us exchanging pleasantries he informed be it was usually ‘very quiet’ on week days and weekends were usually the busiest time. Predictably it was a Thursday night and so ‘very quite’ pretty much summed up how things turned out. I was starting to realise more research was needed on the venues I was playing at, as if it had been a place in the centre I’m sure it would have been a completely different story.
But Germany has by no means been a complete disaster. While I was in Berlin a production company contacted me asking if I would be interested in filming some of my songs while I was in Hamburg. When the day of filming came round I was pretty hungover but it went surprising well and I felt I put in some great performances. All in all they were a very professional outfit and there YouTube channel Kapturing Music, has a lot of subscribers so should be great for getting the word out about my music. And to add to this I’ve was able to get a last minute booking in Lisbon at Tokyo Bar due to a last minute cancellation, and so I head in to Amsterdam with a sense of optimism and enthusiasm for the journey that lies ahead…