A couple of weeks ago, Albany Down and I embarked on our first ever run of headline shows in mainland Europe taking in 3 shows in the Netherlands, one just over the border in Germany, plus a few radio and in-store record shop appearances to spice things up a bit as well. It is safe to say we had an absolute blast whilst touring and I figured what better way to let you all know this than with a good ol tour blog! So without further ado… here’s what we got up to!…
Day 1: Den Helder
We began our tour about as north as north goes in the Netherlands, in the town of Den Helder, at the Rock Cafe De Engel! This little gem of a venue had a really cool rocking atmosphere with real candles on the wall, a well-stocked bar and a juke box blasting out some great tunes! To top that the owner provided us with not just some food and beer but also some homemade concoction that was both high in alcohol content and flavour, tasting a little bit like Jägermeister. This was the perfect combo for a pre gig warm up!
Day 2: Wim’s Musiek kelder and the Poppodium DRU
Day two saw us visit a fantastic record store called Wim’s Musiek Kelder for our first ever in-store acoustic show, complete with a cajon and woodblock set up for Donna. It was really fun getting to play our songs in an acoustic style for the general public and I think we were quite surprised at how cool the songs sounded with this set up. From here we travelled to the first big venue of the tour at the Poppodium DRU. This place had a massive stage with an even bigger light and sound rig, the kind that could probably blast off into outer space if you weren’t careful. Support came from two Dutch bands Stennes and the Bluesbreakers who were all top guys and it was a pleasure to share the stage with them on the night.
Day 3: Amsterdam and Radio 501
The third day saw us arrive in the city of Amsterdam for a 5 night stay at the Backstage Hotel which would become our de facto base of operations for the duration there! This hotel was built for rock and roll with beds and furniture made from flight cases etc. Very cool! Plus the bar area had a small stage for open mic nights (more on that later) and a pool table. From here we travelled to Radio 501 for another acoustic session where once again we were made to feel very welcome.
Day 4: Radio Rijnmond with Ronald Van Oudheusden
The following day we were once again on the radio but this time at Radio Rijnmond on the show Live Uit LLoyd presented by Ronald Van Oudheusden. This was a full electric session and was a real treat to record. Ronald was a real funny guy who also bestowed upon Paul T his new title as ‘Lord of the strings’. You can listen to the whole session here
In the evening we had another Radio Session, this time on the Blues Show on Radio RTV Baarn. Unlike Radio Rijnmond which was pre-recorded, this one was live so we had to be there on time. Of course naturally this meant that there would be an accident on the motorway in which we were standstill for just over an hour. Good thing we left early as we made it just in time to quickly set up and go! Was a fun session and the presenter gave us all homemade bottle neck slides for guitar. Thank you very much!
Day 5: Paul and Paul Live in Amsterdam
Day 5 was mainly a day off which started with heavy hangovers from the night before, mainly due to the bottle of gig whiskey which was shared by the four of us down in the bar. This in itself was drunk after a night exploring the streets of Amsterdam, with its many cafes and bars of which we found both a Rock Bar and a Jazz Cafe. Need I say more? Whilst sipping our Whiskey in the early hours of the morning we also randomly met an American chap visiting on holiday, who had the coolest name ever, and that name was Brett Love. To top that off he was also 7ft tall and a bass player. People don’t get much better than that.
Anyways as I was saying, we woke up on day 5 with sore heads that needed some nursing, so we sought out a decent cafe to get some grub. At which point the heavens opened up causing us to be stuck at a cafe for a few good hours with nothing but good food and drink to keep us company whilst watching everyone else get incredibly wet. What a shame! Eventually we made it back to the hotel where an impromptu song writing session was had.
The day was rounded off nicely with a visit to a steak restaurant for, you guessed it, steak. From here we went back to the hotel for the open mic night which both of our Paul’s took part in as the closing act ‘Paul and Paul’. This was probably one of my favourite moments of the whole tour as it was completely spontaneous due to me signing them up in secret and it’s not often you get to watch your band mates from the other side of the stage. Check it out here:
Day 6: Winkelwagen show
We are almost a week into the tour and it was time for another live radio session. This time we were on the Winkelwagen show. Much like the Radio Rijnmond show this was a lot of fun! The recordings took place in this massive old school gym and the presenter Peter Kunnen and his crew made us feel very welcome!
Day 7: Concerto Record Store
Our last day in Amsterdam and also our last Instore appearance for the week with another live Acoustic show but this time at Amsterdam’s biggest record store the Concerto. We did two sets here which meant we played a few songs which we have never played acoustic before. The record store itself was huge as well so we had a great time just browsing through all the racks of vinyl and cds.
Day 8: De Bosuil
Day 8 saw the third gig of the tour at the De Bosuil in Weert where much like the DRU gig we were playing on a decent sized stage where we could really stretch our legs. This gig also seemed to attract a lot of great photographers so please follow the links below to check out some of the photos from the night! It was also a great chance to meet some fans whose names we keep seeing appear on our Facebook page but we were yet to meet so thank you everyone who came along!
Also you can find a top review of the night here.
Day 9: Club Rio
And finally the last gig of the tour, but this time in Germany at the Club Rio in Eschweiler. This venue had this really cool lighting rig which was like something out of a 80s hair metal music video. Also, the barman looked like a spitting image of Donna’s husband and super sound engineer Rupert. So we nicknamed him Grupert. After the show we headed over to the local bar where Grupert randomly got us all jelly vodka shots. A top way to end a tour!
All in all we had a great time this tour and we are really looking forward to returning to the Netherlands and Germany early next year so keep an eye out for the dates as we shall for sure be coming back to promote the impending release of our next album. Just want to end by saying a massive huge thank you to everyone who came to the shows or tuned in to the radio broadcasts and also a big thank you to all the promotors and venues for having us, you all rock. And finally a huge thank you to our tour manager Martin for organising the tour.
ROCK ON EVERYONE!