Most peeps who know me well know that I love nothing better than to grab a rucksack and a musical instrument, sling ‘em into the back of Alison (my car) and head off out on a musical adventure… and that exact thing happened last weekend, which is why I have a big cheesy grin on my face.
Local singer/songwriter Nicky Swann had some gigs in Holland and asked if I’d be up for accompanying her on cajon (which I was most definitely up for). Nicky had been booked to play three gigs… all on Sunday. Thankfully they were all close by as they were all part of a festival called A Small Town Music Walk II, which had taken over various shops in Hoorn.
We took the Eurotunnel from Dover and stayed overnight in France. I’d never been in the tunnel before and I have to say I’m very glad it’s such a short trip as I did find it rather claustrophobic – I’ve never felt so relieved to be back out into the open air! lol
We stayed over night in Calais and planned to head off to Holland at stupid o’clock the following morning. It was four-and-a-half hours to drive to Hoorn, but It was a really lovely drive and the roads are so well laid out – I really love the feeling of space that you seem to get when you drive through Europe.
It was a bit of a mission to try to find the first venue, but the Holland peeps were so lovely and super helpful. One guy even walked with us to where we needed to be.
Our first venue was, in fact, a lovely old book shop that had wonderful high ceilings and really great acoustics. We didn’t realise until we chatted to some of the organisers that all the gigs were completely unplugged, which always seems a bit daunting, but our audience were lovely and attentive at all the places we played, which makes it a whole lot easier.
We had a 30 minute gap between finishing our first gig and getting to our second, which turned out to be an antique shop. Not only was it an antique shop but it was absolutely crammed full of various expensive looking items, which I was very worried I might break!
Also the floor where we were standing was made out of glass so you could see into the room below.
Our next gig was in a lovely little record shop that was oozing with retro charm, and it actually sold *real* records.
By the end of the day we were both pretty cream crackered but it was loads of fun. The next day we were driving back home. It was a shame to get back to normality quite so soon, but Nicky’s got some more gigs in Holland in August, so looking forward to being back there again very soon.