Last time I wrote from the road in my Tour Blog, I had spent about 5 days in London with the Lora G & Nikki Lunden Band and had played a few shows in Edinburgh. In a 24-hour period the four shows in Edinburgh turned into seven.
During a lunch show we had booked at Edinburgh’s amazing Tron Kirk, a 17th century church converted into a bar and music venue, we were asked to play again at midnight. That would be our third show of the day, following an 8pm show across town.
After our exhausting adventure in Scotland, we hopped in the van and made one of the first tourist trips to bespearheaded by our guitarist, Lora. Being one of the biggest Beatles fans I know, she insisted we drive roughly 4 hours out of our way to Liverpool to see the Cavern Club where the Beatles, the Who, and the Rolling Stones all got their start.
I was pissed. Of course I want to see a place with such immense history, but that far out of our way?! However, it was worth it. Walking down the dirty steps to where legends were built was so humbling and inspiring. It was a great reminder of why, as musicians, we do what we do.
Arriving back in London, we returned to the stage immediately, playing three straight nights. We played at the East Side’s New Cross Inn, Camden Town’s Dublin Castle (a favorite watering hole of the late Amy Winehouse and a rescheduled show after our detainment at UK Borders), and Patrick’s Bar in South London’s Crystal Palace.
We played with some great bands, my favorites being Ruh, a cinematic indie group from Sweden that has a sound deserving of major festivals, and Birmingham’s XOVA (Crossover), who are one of the danciest reggae bands I have heard in awhile.
Two weeks on the road, mostly without days off, is ridiculously taxing. Luckily, unlike many of the other tours I have been on, we aren’t traveling EVERY day. We have been fortunate enough with our bookings that we can do a string of shows in one city at a time.
Usually you wake up, drive for an average of 6-8 hours, load your gear, eat shitty bar food, play until about midnight, get back to the hotel, and repeat the process. I really can’t complain about being half way across the world doing what I love, but after a few weeks you start to feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.
That being said, I have definitely made a point to take care of myself physically and mentally out here. Early in the day I have been going on long walks in Hyde Park and continued training for a half marathon I’ll be doing in November. I’m doing my best to eat well, although the typical British fare doesn’t include a ton of veggies.
One more week until I can reclaim my residence, my diet, and my sanity. I miss my bed, my cats, and my wife. Getting to Skype with my friends and family (usually around 3am) has kept me abreast of what is going on at home and keeps me connected. I can’t express how good it feels to know that life still exists somewhere familiar. In this blur of music, travel, and greasy food, I can’t wait to be home. ‘Til then, as the Welsh say, Slainte (Cheers)!