We’ve had two lovely gigs in the last couple of days, and some stupidly early mornings.
Saturday began with me heading into town to pick up a SatNav thingie – I knew better than to try big drives across Europe with maps and google-directions. So I got us a Garmin 250, which was the cheapest one to have proper European coverage (a lot of the low-end Tom Tom ones seem to have ‘European main roads’ – which is no good if you’re trying to find someone’s house, I guess!)
Saturday night’s gig was a house concert in Deal in Kent, in a beautiful Italian-style house, perfect for a house concert. The event was part-gig, part-church social, and it took a while for it to sink in for some of the people there that it was a ‘gig’ not background music for the party, but by the time Lo. got up to sing, everybody was rapt. All in a most enjoyable evening (and one of the biggest house concerts we’ve done).
Unusually for me, the routing of these two gigs was ideal, in that on Sunday morning we had to be at Dover for a ferry at 7am, and were staying 10 minutes away (anyone who’s ever followed the gig list for any tour I’ve done will know that it usually looks like a 2 year old drew the route with a crayon!) – so we drove to Dover, slept on the ferry, then SaNav’d our way though France, Belgium and Holland up to Amsterdam to the home of the lovely John Lester, and had quite a few hours to relax before heading over to KHL for the gig.
I, dear readers, am ALL about the SatNav – It saved us time, money, stress… it’ll pay for itself in about a month, given how many times I get lost usually on tour… You can program it to avoid toll roads, to tell you were the nearest petrol station is… it’s all good (yeah, I know, the rest of the world discovered SatNav some time in the late 90s, but like iPods and loopers with feedback control, I’m very late into the game…)
Anyway, off to KHL – a lovely venue that John had taken us to on our last visit to Amsterdam. The sunday night singer/songwriters night is booked by a local singer/songwriter Marijn Mijnands, and she was headlining the night with her band Ma Rain. It was just a half hour opening slot, but the reception was really warm, we sold a bunch of CDs, and will be back there sometime in the Spring, hopefully… All good. Ma Rain’s set was lovely too – her keyboard player Nico Brandsen is particularly fab, his choice of sounds for everything was perfect.
And now we’s chillin’ in Amsterdam. The cost of parking anywhere near the middle of the city is so high that we drove the car out to the edge to the Park ‘n’ Ride this morning, and got the tram back in, and then slept for about four hours, catching up on all the missed sleeps after the late nights and early mornings of the last few days…by