Friday, 6 April 2012

Louis Barrabas 7 The Bedlam 6 around Europe in a Van

So, my job can be tough at times because I never know when the next penny is going to stop in my purse or if another song will ever bless my life again and the constant tightrope walking between my career and life can get incredibly tricky a times but when projects like going on a little European Tour with Louis Barabbas & The Bedlam 6 come along it makes it all truly worth it and reminds me of why I do what I do in the first place.

Louis asked me to join them on their tour around Europe with 10 dates through Austria, Germany and Switzerland and I really had no idea what to expect from the band or the tour. I was blown away by both, the kindness and humility of the team and the welcome we received from every venue and audience were an absolutely joy and I came back refreshed and excited.

Here are some of the offerings EVERY venue made to us out there in the Erp no matter what size venue or how many tickets were sold...

Coffee on arrival, someone to greet us who then showed us all around and introduced us to the venue's team, snacks in our dressing room - A DRESSING ROOM - snacks were usually fresh bread, cheeses, fruits, yoghurt, tomatoes, cake, biscuits, fruit juice etc and this was all before each venue gave us a lovely home cooked hot meal and a lovely bed to sleep in. I have to be honest here I have gigged the UK up and down and I could count how many venues have given me a hot meal, most venues don't even give you what the Europeans offer as a snack.

Simple. Treat a band well and they will excel at making a show into an event to remember. I find it sad that its near impossible for me to find venues that are willing to work together to really make things happen. They do exist and hope they will forgive me for generalising but there seems to be a tiredness with venues in the UK that spreads its energy right through the band and to the audience. How do we fix it?

It seems in Europe there is a lot more team work between the venue, the band and the audience and everyone works together to make the show an event and the event a great experience for everyone involved. Now, all this combined with a band that is relentlessly talented and hardworking and bang you've got yourself five minute long screaming stamping encore - every night.

We had a blast. I had a lot to learn and the boys put up with me and my millions of bags of art materials, boxes and endless photo taking. I spent every day making my Jools Holland boxes and trying to memorise Louis' PHD length lyrical wonders and having a blast with the audience and the band in the evenings.

I love sitting in a van for long periods of time staring out the window and listening to tunes. I so rarely allow myself to just stop so, these moments were truly precious to me. Thanks to the Bedlam 6 for being so welcoming and learning some of my songs, being parient with me and being so positive and supportive and to Louis for taking a risk with me and sharing a wonderful opportunity with me and to Sarah for selling my handmades every night and for being a friend and support whilst we were travelling - lovely lovely company from all.

We had some fun times too after gigs obviously (red-light district Hamburg and crazy club after & Bremen - my favourite city.) I learnt so much from Louis on stage too - I really love his energy on a stage and his ability to take an audience to the ridiculous. He is so quiet and gentle before a gig and then as soon as the spotlight hits - out comes the fisherman's ghost on acid ! Awesome.

I shall be singing with them tonight (friday 6th of April) at the Deaf Institute if you'd like so come share what we created around Europe. Love.

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