Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ireland, Scotland, England. So far...

The past two weeks have been a blur of long van rides, ferries, gigs, hotels,etc. So I'll try to hit the high points and spare you the details. After Paris ( now in the care of our tour manager Mike Allen) we had two days to get to Dublin. One overnight stay in Folkstone and another in Valley. The morning we woke in Valley I enjoyed a morning run along a rocky beach (photo below)(closest thing to running the greenbelt since I left Austin in May).
Many of these nice English and Irish Inns have breakfast in the morning. I did not fair well, Muesli,muesli ,muesli !
On all the Ireland dates we were joined by Dublin band, The Mighty Stef. They were a great band and real nice guys, I wish them the best. So, the longest day ever came after our gig in Galway. We played, packed up and went back to the hotel just to clean up then on the road to Suffolk, England..
Which means we have to catch the ferry in Dublin at Six am. Once on land again it's still another 6 hours to the gig.All in all a 14 hr drive straight to the Maverick festival. Which turned out to be a really great show. Basically it's old castle, old church everywhere you turn. So eventually you get a little numb to it all. But, pictured below is Kilkenny Castle, the only one I did go into. In Winchester we stayed with the promoter Oliver Gray, his wife Birgit and daughter Lucy were very gracious with us as we invaded their home. Oliver does this all the time so they knew what they where getting into. I really enjoyed our time there, so nice to not be in a hotel. Oliver gave me a copy of his book Volume as we left, I'm about half way through it and really enjoying it, thanks Oliver. From Winchester we go to Kendall, van ride,load in,soundcheck,dinner,gig,load out,hotel,repeat. This is the deal.
But, we have the 4th of July off in Glasgow, so, being our tour manager's home town he has arranged a cook out for us at his home. Complete with veggie burgers,veggie kebobs and fruit salad. Thanks Mike and Linda.
Up to this point, the winner of "best in house meal" is The Grey Eagle in Ashille,NC. But Stereo Bar in Glasgow made a strong showing, we'll have to wait to the end of the tour to find out, but as of now it's between these two. Totally Vegan restaurant "Stereo" is street level and "Stereo Bar" the live music venue is below. What a perfect scenario. Next to Newcastle Upon Tyne, rained all day and all night. On to Leicester, where I got in a great long run, all over the town and through Abbey Park (pictured below). York was beautiful, "hey look! Old church, old castle!" though I did get to run atop the Wall of York. Which caused me to wonder about walls in general. They're all over Europe , somebody built a wall to keep somebody else out, they're all really old , didn't work, and are now tourist attractions. So the idea back home that some people have about building walls/fences etc... Is approx. 800 year old thinking and should be laughed at.
We had a travel day to Bristol, Alejandro and Billy took the train to London to do radio promo. Another long run in Bristol, my new,"least favorite running surface" is cobblestone . Lots of good vegan restaurants and organic grocers in Bristol. I must mention Earthbound as my favorite. Very nice, had everything I was looking for. I should have enough supplies to make to Italy. But first, tonight we're in Nottingham. More later.

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