Song a day! – Handyman Blues ‘Under The Covers’

Since I was a little wee wippa’ snapper growing up in my hometown of Bedlington in Northumberland, Billy Bragg and his music has always been around the house. My big brother, Andy, always had his albums on in his bedroom and tracks like St.Swithins Day, The milkman of human kindness and of course New England was drummed into me without me even knowing it. I didn’t have a choice of being a fan, it was simply just implanted along my little life without me even knowing it.

At a really early age when I started to play around with the guitar one of the first music books I ever got was ‘Back to Basics with Billy Bragg’ from my good pal ‘Bambi’ who started teaching me guitar. ‘Bambi’ was a massive Billy Bragg fan and sang and played pretty much any of his tracks at the time. The book he gave me had little sketchy chord charts in to learn the songs and that’s pretty much what happened.Off I went!

After that and many years down the line I recently bought a vinyl copy of ‘Billys’ newest album at the time called ‘Tooth & Nail’ a couple of years back. I absolutely loved it and the track ‘Handyman Blues’ instantly struck a heavy note with me. It was the lyrics… they were all about songwriting, poetry and well kind of not being able to do much else really. It goes on about not fixing things in the house like curtain rails and such but heads into being able to write a song that will tell the world how much ‘I love you’ instead. Its a fantastic little song and I fell in love with it straight away because of the way my musical life and journey sometimes has all these very things. Have a listen and I hope you enjoy it too. This track was recorded with one mic live for a YouTube video which you can also watch if you go searching! Have a great Monday! Shaggy!

https://open.spotify.com/embed?uri=spotify:track:56Iae7xzBNmlA8CqTkyxI1

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Sfarzo Strings Endorsed Artist

Back in March I headed down to the North East Guitar Show in Houghton Le Spring with the little bro’ Stevie to dream and drool over all the guitar and techy stuff that was on offer. Its a canny little day of just checking out all the new equipment that is coming out and of course to see some great second hand, vintage guitars on offer and usually some great guitar players performing live too.

We zoomed down in the car in the sunshine and arrived late morning and had a wander around the show. I also had a few bits ‘n’ pieces for sale on the FretMarks music stall which I wanted to get rid of and kept tripping over around my music filled home which Mark kindly offered to try and sell for me.

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FretMarks Music from Bedlington and the new Tanglewood Models

We had a good look around and dropped in to Marks stall to see how the day was going. The next stall to Marks had a smily chap selling lots of strings and was the Sfarzo UK distributor and after a bit of time chatting with him about gigs, live music and the strings he was promoting and selling, then we got to discussing about artist endorsments. Lee was a jolly chap, full of smiles and was very enthusiastic about the Sfarzo & Nicola brand strings and offered me a couple of different packets to take away and try for free from the Sfarzo family brand!

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Lee from Cheshire Guitars the UK distributor for Sfarzo Strings

After watching a little of the live music and drinking polystyrene cupped coffee we headed back North. Lee had posted a photo of me with the strings over on the Sfarzo Twitter page and a couple of days later I tried out some of the strings on my Tanglewood TSM1 Master Design. The D’addario strings on there were ready for a change after 4 gigs and the new Sfarzo strings gave it a new lease of life ready for the gigs ahead and lots of testing, playing and having fun!

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After speaking back and forward with Lee he kindly agreed to add me as an Endorsed artist and was looking forward to hearing my thoughts on the strings. I got some photographs over to him with the TSM1 and they will be going live on the UK and US Sfarzo websites soon in the artist sections. I also have a nice delivery coming in from the US with lots of strings to keep me going through the many We Steal Flyers and Growing Robots gigs ahead. Playing around 200 live gigs per year means I go through quite an amount of strings as you can imagine.

So far the strings have been fantastic and they have been lasting and sounding a lot better for a lot longer than my D’addario strings I was using before. They have a nice warmth about them and still keep that brightness I need when playing for more gigs before having to change them! Which is a huge…hugeee…. bonus to me!

So.. yeah! Im a happy chappy! I am now officially an Endorsed Artist with Sfarzo Strings and of course Tanglewood Guitar Company and so far it seems like a great family of people across the globe to be in contact with and make plans with. If your a musician and would like to give them a try yourself why not pop into my local music store FretMarks Music in Bedlington who will be stocking them from this week also. You can usually find me in there tinkering around on guitars in the corner a few times a week too so say hello if ya see me.

Enjoy your week and be great!

Jason – Amazing Adventures Always

My mission for ‘Music in Hospitals’

RARRRRRRRRRRRR!!! Did I scare ya?? Halloween is approaching fast and I’ve already been out shopping for ridiculous items to cover my little home in! Hahaha. I thought I best drop in and get you up to date with a few things as I seem to have lapsed a little with the #amazingadventuresalways blog. It just means I’ve been busy with a few things which can’t really be a bad thing huh? Anyhoooo …  here we go!!

The big news is my new single which is released really soon! ‘These Boots’ will be released worldwide on the 7th October 2016 and all proceeds from the track are going to the wonderful ‘Music in Hospitals’ charity. I’ve already started raising money for them through my Just Giving page and the support from you lot out there has honestly been absolutely amazing so far!

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Released on the 7th October to all good online retailers

‘Music in Hospitals’ is a charity whose mission is to improve the quality of life for adults and children with all kinds of illness and disability through the joy and therapeutic benefits of professionally performed live music in hospitals, hospices, day care centres, special schools and care homes. I was looking for a charity that was a little more music themed as it’s pretty much my whole life and I had a phone call with them early on while the single was all being put together and it was instantly a no-brainer I was speaking to the right people and I had found who I wanted to raise money for.

Tanglewood Guitars are also helping with the cause and have donated a lovely Soprano Ukulele which I have had personalised. The Ukulele will be giving to one of you lovely people who have already made a donation to my Just Giving page. If you have already donated, please make sure you have liked the Tanglewood Facebook page also!

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Win the Tanglewood TU6 by donating to Just Giving

The single has been getting lots or airplay already on Koast, Lionheart, Radio Northumberland and Beach Hut Radio and I nipped up to Lionheart for an interview and to perform it live on the air on Friday with Charles Ellis which was great fun. There is also a nice little write up heading your way for you Chronicle Newspaper readers out there!

So far with all your donations I have broke my second target and we’re now up to £321.00 and the single is not even out into the world yet! Amazing news!!!

I also have a fun video for the track which is all coming together nicely and will be live on YouTube sometime during the week of release and I’d also like to thank everyone who checked in on my live stream on Facebook for my Bathroom Session of ‘These Boots’ live on the throne. The video has had over 2000 views in such a short space of time because of all your sharing efforts and support.

If anyone reading this hasn’t donated and would like too, then please follow the link to Just Giving or you can text ‘PILE99 £5‘ to 70070 and of course you can change the amount to what ever you like. Every little counts and helps towards my fundraising to help ‘Music In Hospitals’ do a fabulous job and you get the chance to win a lovely little one off Ukulele! If you can’t donate then please just share the posts and updates as this is just as important! Thanks again for all your unbelievable help so far!

Jason – #amazingadventuresalways

www.facebook.com/ShagpileMusic

Curly-hair does care!

After a bit of a crazy week of the We Steal Flyers tour mobiles trouble and having to cancel some shows, I ended up being around the house over the weekend and into the next week a lot more than expected. I was missing the music that had been planned and on a lazy Tuesday night last week I ended up on the couch with the Curly one and my lovely new Sigma guitar.

There is pretty much guitars everywhere in our little humble home and they pretty much get picked up all day and played around with for a little then put down again. I can be in the kitchen, studio or sitting on the couch and noodling away while the tea is being cooked, the missus is creating her little crafty things at the table or when a movie is on.

So this Tuesday I was sitting playing around on the couch while Curly sat checking her phone and having a bit chin-wag with a glass of wine and after a bit noodle on the guitar we decided to try out a few songs while we chilled together. I even managed to bring her round to the idea of maybe recording a video for YouTube of us together. I was quite surprised as when I first tried to get her to record a little vocal in the studio, without video, I pretty much had to push the record button and then leave the building as quick as possible and come back when she was done! Hahahha. She is a shy little thing when it comes to her singing so this was quite a step.

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Sound Check for Declan & Ali Donnelly’s Wedding

Curly does perform live though in a band, on her own with the piano and with me too. She sings for a worship band performing at events and festivals usually focused towards Youth Ministry. The band also performs around monthly at the lovely St. Marys Church in the centre of Newcastle for Y.M.T at their regular ‘Source’ events. She also performs at weddings and other Church related events and I managed to perform alongside her earlier this year during the service of ‘Declan & Ali Donnelly’s’ wedding (Ant & Dec) and as you can imagine it was quite a thing to be part of! We have a few wedding services to perform throughout this year together too. This was just to give you a little history on the little Curly one and what she does by the way!

I’ve been along to quite a few of the ‘Source’ events at St. Marys and when she sings with the band on stage, she really puts herself into an amazing place and her voice and emotion takes a whole life of its own and fills the huge chamber sounding church. The kids & adults absolutely love the events and its like being at an arena gig with the lights and production and all the effort that people put into it.

Anyhow, getting back on track we worked through a few songs together and we picked a song to get her singing on the camera for YouTube. Doby Gray’s – Drift Away was the song of choice and without a real practice, just a couple of quick run through, we managed to get sat in front of the camera in the kitchen and recorded it. We checked a little of the footage afterwards and I got all the crazy comments in my ear of “is that my face” , “I look weird” , “ohh I’m a bit off there” and “wow…shaggy you look amazing with that guitar you should buy loads more” hahahhahah. OK maybe not the last one… but I think she did amazing and looked fantabulous on the video as she always does!

The next morning I got the video up on YouTube and the response from all you lovely people out there was really amazing. All of the lovely comments & feedback from everyone has really boosted her confidence in singing in front of the camera and I’m sure she will be back with some more music as requested by so many of you. You did well, the shares and comments kept rolling in and it hit nearly 800 views in less than a week and we’re both over the moon!! Thank you!!

Jason #amazingadventuresalways

If Tanglewood would… I would!

7th April 2016

I received some great news from Mark at Dennis Todd Music shop in Bedlington last week. Tanglewood Guitars were to be filming a new series of videos for their website and homepage. They were to drop in-store to film a local songwriter in a local Tanglewood dealer. The dealer was Dennis Todd’s in Bedlington,  my home town and I managed to be the lucky artist who was going to get to perform in the store.WoooHoooooo!!

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Mark from Dennis Todd Music Store in Bedlington

Dennis Todd’s music shop has been around since I was a little wee wipper snapper. I used to stop off in the store growing up and gawk at all the lovely guitars and instruments in the shop. My father used to take me up there too as a little one when he was picking up strings and bits n pieces for guitars he was giving a new lease of life too. Mark Whiteman used to work in the store and has since taken over the shop from Dennis but kept the original name and local friendly shine it always had.

On Thursday , Elliot from Tanglewood was turning up at 11am and I had to get my butt down there to perform an original song and a cover version of a song using two different Tanglewood guitar models. He was going to be filming and recording the audio and putting it all together in a nice little package for the world to see on the Tanglewood homepage and YouTube.

I woke up not feeling too grand unfortunately and was all stuffed up with the first signs of this nasty cold coming along on Thursday morning but I managed to pull together and get down there to get started. Elliot was already setting up when I arrived and getting things ready so I had time to sneak a strong coffee in from Mark while we sorted things out in the shop. Mark had some lights brought down and sat one behind the corner of the seat in the corner and another smaller LED to give a little fill light.

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Ready to start on the first take with Elliot

We were pretty much ready to go when the Curly one tipped up to sit in the corner in silence while we got cracking. We had a couple of large microphones set up in front of me and I had to give the songs a few takes though for each song to hopefully capture some different angles and cut scenes to be all synced up and hopefully look lurrrvely when its all done. By the time I got through the first take of the first song my backside felt like it was on fire from the lamp which was heating me up like an oven. Mark also realised there was an expensive Tanglewood sitting right in front of the light so that was moved quickly to another location in the shop. Peowwww!!

I got to use one of the new dreadnought sized Crossroad series Tanglewood for the first song which was an original song of mine called “English Tea” and will be available on the all new ‘We Steal Flyers‘ album ‘Applecart’ which is out on the 6th May 2016. For such an affordable guitar it sounded and performed really well and I started to get a little attached to it by the end of the takes.

The second song was a cover and I chose to play a version of the Cheers TV series theme song and I played a lovely TW40 OAN on this song. It had a a great big bright sound and was perfect for the more finger-style version of the song I was playing. By the time I got through the takes of the cover I was well and truly sweating with the muckle light behind me, that was trying to turn me into mush like the wicked witch of the North (East) . Ha Ha.

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After the session with Mark & Elliot

After the session was done we managed to get packed up and had a little wander around a few places in Bedlington and got a few shots of the local points of interest. We popped into a few shops around the way and then back to the shop.

All in all it took around 4 hours and it was a great and different day with a few great people and hopefully the videos will arrive soon. With the amazing help of Mark from Dennis Todd’s and Elliot from Tanglewood UK the job was done and I managed to relax in the garden with a little fire with my little ones and Curly-top until way after dark. Another amazing adventure complete!!

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Time to chill in the garden with the lovelys!

Thank you for stopping by my little humble home of life and music as always and look out for the new videos coming soon!

Jason – Amazing Adventures Always

Spiderman & T-rex

March 11th – The Crown , Scissett, Yorkshire

I woke up on the 11th of March, early doors to get my clothes and equipment packed for the little Yorkshire tour ahead. We were only away for two We Steal Flyers gigs so I didn’t need much for the trip. Mel (Derek’s wife) was picking me up around 11.30am to drive back up to her house and then we could leave from there. One of the gigs was in Scissett, Yorkshire and the other in Birstall, Yorkshire and are both repeat venues.

Mel grabbed me and my gear from Bedlington after a pit-stop to the yummy ‘Seahorse Chip shop’ and we headed back to her house and Derek and I had our lovely chip buttys before heading off on our drive. The chippy is an awesome way to set you up for the day!

We got the car packed up with the PA system and guitars and then we set off on our sunny drive from Broomhill, down the A1 to Yorkshire, with the ‘Hollywood Vampires’ album keeping us company for most of the journey.

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Derek watching TV after his furniture move about!

We turned up to our hotel for the night after two and a half hours drive, The Fairway in Barnsley which we have stayed in many times before on our musical travels around the country. A great little hotel with a nice bar and food downstairs and Derek’s favourite little mini beds in the family rooms. Hahah. We pulled up outside and parked right outside the doors of the reception and there was a huge man mountain of a guy walking in holding his clothes in one hand and on the back of his neck a huge tattoo of some darts with the name Kong above it. Derek loves his darts on Sky and with a quick google we found he was a professional Darts player with a bit of a crazy history thanks to the Wikipedia World telling on him. We tried to catch up with him for a photo opportunity but he was offski to his room and nowhere to be found anywhere.So we headed up to our room and Derek shoved his bed into the corner near the window so I couldn’t tickle his feet while he was sleeping.

After we had a hotel room yucky coffee I headed downstairs to feed my greed while Derek chilled in his room with a peanut butter sandwich. Before we left Mel had been talking about a Fajitas party she was having while we were away and I think I had been secretly fantasizing about them ever since she said the words. So…… ‘Spicy Cajun Chicken Fajitas’ in the bar was my choice and they was lurverly…. and spicy!

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Setting up the Pa for the gig!

The Crown in Scissett was twenty minutes drive from the hotel and we have played here many times before. It’s always a regular gig on our tours and always a fun gig with lots of friends and fans turning out for us what ever day of the week it is. I like the gig as the first half of the show everyone is quite quiet and we get to play more chilled and original songs and then when we play the second half of the show after the break they are all up for a good sing song and have some fun with the set. We had a star tambourine player this time who decided to join us on stage for a song and sat between Derek and I banging away looking at the floor. I think he may have been a little intoxicated. We finished up the second set and after seven encores later the land lady was still asking for us to play more but you have to stop somewhere and sometimes the show needs to stop in a certain place to leave the bar when its right. The gig was great fun as always though and we headed back to our hotel room with some lovely cheese and pickle sarnies, courtesy of the bar,  for an early morning snack before sleep time.

March 12th – The Black Bull, Birstall , Yorkshire

I woke up pretty early in the hotel and had a quick spoach around in the online world before rising completely. I needed a proper coffee so I headed downstairs for a quick chat with the Curly one and ordered myself a full English breakfast and coffee, I couldn’t help myself once I walked into the restaurant and smelt the yummy coffee and bacon aromas floating around my nostrils. Derek got packed up and joined me for a coffee a little while after and we sat and chilled in the bar for a couple of hours as we were officially homeless without a hotel room from midday.

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After chilling and chatting we headed to Barnsley to see if we could find any second hand shops around the town with goodies in. Its part of our little tour routine now when we are away to go wandering around towns and villages and find some decent second hand CD’s for the car or great books lying around in the charity shops without a home.

We managed to find lots of outdoor market stalls going on in the town centre and stumbled on an awesome comic stall with lots of great books, comics and DVDs. Derek got some great Spiderman comics as a little present for his little daughter Rebecca as she loves her comics and I managed to find an awesome score ‘The Black Crowes – Shake your money maker’ CD for the car journey to the gig. A great little wander around buying other bits and pieces and then we headed back to the car and drove thirty minutes to Birstall to the Black Bull which was the next gig.

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The awesome Comic book stall at Barnsley Market

We were there by 4:30pm so it was a long time before our gig at 9:00pm. We got the equipment in and I had a cheeky half of Doombar then we headed upstairs to the old courtroom above the pub where they hold a few different music nights. It still has the old judge boxes in and we thought we would quickly make a little video whilst we had the place to ourselves. Here it is!

We had a little back room area near where we played in the bar and when we came out to start at 9:00pm, all the tables and chairs in front of us were full of familiar faces and the lights were turned out. I loved the first set and the quietness while we performed but then we came out for the second set and plugged in and there was no guitar coming through the PA system and after a few channel changes, some crazy noises and lead changes it wasn’t going to happen. Its a nightmare sometimes when things go wrong and you can’t find a solution or a fault anywhere. After I tried everything I could think of we asked the crowd if they would mind us doing the second set unplugged and told them what was happening. They were all fine with it and we left the vocal mics on pushed back a little, gathering some of the acoustic sound for the PA. It worked out great as the crowd were well behaved and there to see us live. It was a totally different gig to our usual second set but the challenge is always accepted and everyone loved it! We nailed it and had a great time with everyone and its always another experience of playing unplugged incase anything happens in the future!.

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An hour after the gig finished and people were still hanging around!

At the end of the show, we were nearly packed up and a lovely lady asked us to play a complete unplugged song for the bar before we left and she would stick a contribution in our little merchandise funds before we headed off. We played ‘My Girl’ unplugged and the bar was completely silent for us and it was a great little few minutes in the Black Bull.

We hit the road around midnight with ‘Tenacious D’ in the CD player for most of the journey home and landed at Derek’s house around 2:30am where Curly was waiting to pick me up and take me back to Bedlington for sleepy time after our little mini tour of two days!

I hope your still enjoying the reading and stories of my journeys through out the year! Thanks for all the continued support and taking a little time from your busy lives to delve into mine a little. See you somewhere soon!

Jason – Amazing Adventures Always

..last show & goodbyes!

Day 11 – Last gig of the Tour, Shamrocks

The last gig of the We Steal Flyers winter tour was back at Shamrocks Irish Bar in Lucerne. A five minute walk around the corner from the great Hotel Schweizerhof we were staying in. Derek and I didn’t really make it up in time and missed out on an amazing feast for breakfast at the Hotel Schweizerhof. I woke up at 10am ish and Derek messaged me not long after. Unfortunately the breakfast finished at 10am so without a time machine and a flux capacitor we weren’t going to make it. Sad times!

We had to meet Mark at 1pm at Shamrocks to load in and get set-up as there was a few rugby games on through out the day and the bar was going to be jam packed. We landed and got the gear and and marked our territory in the corner of the pub with speakers, mic stands and chairs, hoping that no one would cross the sacred musicians line.

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Shamrocks Irish Bar , Lucerne

As I said, sadly we missed out on the breakfast, so we ordered some food to keep us alive at the Irish bar. Derek had a mahoosive plate full of chilli, chips and chicken nuggets on the side and I went for a full Irish breakfast. We then headed back to the rooms to jump in our muckle massive baths again (not together) and then relax until gig time. I pretty much played guitar all afternoon, working on a new original song and playing around with a few covers too. I also managed to give my new little blogging camera a try again and recorded some footage while I was playing around with Tom Petty s ‘Free Fallin’. I used to play this alongside Mike Slaughter at the Open Mic and add some harmony’s with him and lately my little daughter Macey has been singing it a lot with me too. So here is a little video of me playing around with it unplugged in the Keb’ Mo’ room of the Hotel Schweizerhof.

We left for the gig around 9:00pm and had a little wander along the front of the lake outside the hotel and took some photos. The swans were floating around in the darkness with the Railway Station all lit up behind them in the distance on the other side of the lake. I could of stayed out there a lot longer but we had to get to Shamrocks for the last gig of the tour.

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The Railway Station and KKL Music venue, Lucerne Lake

When we turned up the place was already full and we managed to squeeze over into our corner near the bar. Shamrocks is a pretty small bar and when its full it can be quite wild. Most of our friends and fans through-out the tour had turned back out for our last show and we had a brilliant night. A good way to end the tour with lots of people enjoying the music together and me enjoying my lovely Guinness without even having to move to order one. Hahahah

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The view from our musical corner before we started the gig!

We finished up at 12:50am with our last song and I headed out for a few more sneaky beers in Lucerne before heading home to my hotel room. I had my alarm set and I wasn’t missing breakfast this time around.

Day 12 – Time to head for home!

We madeeeeeeeeeeee it!! Derek and I both got up and managed to get down stairs in time for breakfast and it was definitely worth waiting for. The Hotel Schweizerhof pretty much had everything you could think of , laid out for breakfast. It was all amazing too! We both had a bellyful of all sorts and then headed back to our rooms to pack up and get ready to meet Mark and Stefi downstairs to say our Goodbyes. We had a quick coffee and before we knew it, we were heading to the airport in Stefis car. She was driving this time after my little speeding incident although I think she was a little rough from the night before and I probably would have been a safer bet. Hahha.

We got stuck in traffic from an accident on the motorway ahead of us on the way and weren’t sure we were going to make our flight for a little while but Stefi managed to get us there safely and in good time to check in our bags. We said our little goodbyes again to Switzerland and Stefi and took a quick photo before we headed back to the UK. The mission was well and truly accomplished again. We nailed another tour and made a whole new We Steal Flyers story to leave behind with the help of great people in a great country. Thank you for reading Amazing Adventures Always, taking part in our winter tour through Switzerland and of course for supporting us in what we love to do!

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Our final photo with Stefi in the airport before we set off for the UK

Jason, Amazing Adventures Always

www.westealflyers.co.uk

…The Blaydon races

Day 10 – Schweizerhoff, Lucerne

It was time to get out of my little cosy Pickwicks , Lucerne hotel room and head off to another hotel which was about 10mins walk. I headed to the Hotel Schweizerhoff which is right on the main drag of Lucerne. Its a 5 star beautiful hotel and the Schweizerhof is backed by five generations of family tradition and has been standing in the centre of Lucerne for over 170 years. Each of their amazing new award-winning rooms tells a story featuring some of the musical guests which have performed or stayed there and We Steal Flyers were performing and staying for the last two nights of the tour here.

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Hotel Schweizerhoff in Lucerne

Its always exciting when we arrive at the hotel and I’m always excited to see what my room theme is too. This time I arrived in the Keb’ Mo’ room. On the glass writing desk there is a book which has all the descriptions of each artist and then there is a small glass case lit up with some items the artist left behind! Keb’ Mo’s cool spirally hat, some photos of himself and a signed piece of paper saying he enjoyed his stay. He also signed the bathroom wall. Hahahha….

The first thing I did when I got to my room was throw my stuff in, got out my laptop and put on some of Keb’ Mo’ on spotify while I slipped into the huge bath tub to relax with some lurrverly blues guitar and vocals. The muckle bath-tub is definitely one of my favourite ‘looking forward to moments’ of the Switzerland tours and I was in there for a good couple of hours pretending to be a dolphin and drinking coffee.

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The Keb’ Mo’ Room

The gig tonight was in the hotel bar area. We have played here many times before on previous tours and its always nice to be looked after before, during and after the show. The room has a big kind of ballroom feel too it with a big grand piano standing in the corner and we have lots of room to move about and shake our little legs about.

We headed down for a brilliant feast in the restaurant with Mark before gig time and I still have no idea what I was eating. We had some kind of soup for starter, then some kind of meat that seemed to be wrapped in omelette and weird floury, potato little things with herbs and some amazing apple pie for pudding. We pretty much had the place to ourselves and the date went well! Aha.

Mark was doing his Whisky tasting alongside the show and we were doing three sets tonight. There was lots of our buddy’s and fans turned up again for the gig and we had a bunch of English people sitting right in front of us who at one point was shouting out “singggg the Blaydon Races” and before we knew it Mr. Bill Wier was up and took over the sing along for us while we fumbled our way through it. Bill was right up for it and the lads out front loved the little on the spot rendition.

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Bill joining us for his rendition of The Blaydon Races

The rest of the gig was finished off and I sneaked another quick whisky in! As you doooo! A few of us headed out for a couple of cheeky beers after the gig and ended up in down-town. A great little rock venue hidden around the cobbled streets of the old town. After that it was back to my lovely 5 star bed to sleep like a log and get up for an amazing full on breakfast from the restaurant in the morning and one more gig to go.

Jason – Amazing Adventures Always

www.westealflyers.co.uk

…a snowy swan lake!

Day 9 – Lucerne to Immensee and back

I woke up to day nine of the tour and opened my little red hotel room curtains to the view of Lucerne lake being scattered in heavy snow. The lake looks stunning no matter what time or what is happening outside with the weather and this tour it has went from a dark gloomy lake to sparkling in the sunshine, heavy rain bouncing off the water and now snow. It was perfect. The swans outside were acting like they had never seen snow before and they we’re doing crazy fast circles round and round as the snow landed on them by the bridge. It was like watching children playing and they looked like they were having lots of fun together in their tight little groups of paddling buddys.

We were travelling to Immensee in Zug for tonight’s gig at the Sprue & Weisen Bar. Mark was driving us and Steffi had been messaging already saying she was cooking chilli for us at the bar and had been a little generous with a bottle of red wine. Not to the chilli but to herself as she cooked us up our meal. We have played at this venue on quite a few other tours and this place had connections with Steffi’s family. Its a great, moody, low lit bar and its also a smoking bar. I’ve been off the cigarettes for 15 months now but when I see people smoking , I still miss it! I doubt that will ever go away though when I spend such a lot of my time in bars, clubs and venues.

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There is always time for a quick selfie before the gig!

We loaded in and set up the PA system and had a quick sound check, then it was time for our food. Steffi sat us down in the bar and came out with her amazing feast for us all. A great big pan of yummy chilli and fresh roasted potatoes to fill us up. She did an amazing job on the food and we pretty much demolished all of it. Lots of her friends and family had turned up to the bar and Christoph the owner of the place. We got caught up with everyone and met some newbies and before we knew it, it was time to get started even though I think we all felt like we needed a lie down after all the great food.

The first set flew by and was nice and chilled , in the break Steffi asked if she could get up and play a song before we started again and if I would join her. Christoph joined us too and Steffi got through her first time on a microphone playing and singing a song to an audience. We had a great laugh and Steffi could hardly get up off the chair at the end of her song. I’m not sure if that was the nerves or the red wine from the cooking or a mix of both. Hahaha.

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Steffi, Christoph singing Wagon Wheel @ Spreu & Weisen

We finished off the second set and after the gig we said our goodbyes and headed back to Lucerne. Mark and I headed to Shamrocks for a couple of cheeky Guinness where we met a lovely Swiss guy who was so full of beans. He had a big guitar badge on his jacket and we got talking about a few things at the bar while his wife and friends sat behind us chatting away.

He asked us if we would head to Wonderbar with them for a drink. Mark had to head back but I’m not one to pass up on a beer and a bit banter so I headed to Tschuppis Wonderbar with three complete strangers to the other side of town. The music is always great in Wonderbar and there was a rock DJ on in the corner playing all sorts of great stuff. We had a few beers, giggles and danced around the bar with beer mats stuck everywhere. When it was time to head back we said our goodbyes and I headed back to the hotel ready for some shut eye! On day 10 we have to move hotels to the wonderful Schweizerhof for our last two days. Two more gigs to go!

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My new buddy & partner in crime for the night!

Jason , Amazing Adventures Always

www.facebook.com/westealflyers

..the lady’s of the night!

Day 8 – Lucerne, Switzerland

We were over half way of the We Steal Flyers swiss tour! We had two days off to relax and get ourselves ready for the next four gigs. We made it back safely the day after Grindelwald in Patrick Shumakers rocket ship, and somehow lived to tell the tale. The two days flew by pretty quickly and after eating chicken, lots of YouTube songs, Noblesse coffe and some more writing, before I knew it, it was time to meet Mark at Shamrocks Irish Bar in Lucerne to get set up for our Wednesday gig.

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Time off with half a chicken and some Rivella!

Shamrocks was 5 minutes walk from our hotel in central Lucerne and we met Mark there to load in the equipment at 4.30pm. We quickly stuffed our gear and guitars into our little corner of the Irish Bar and I grabbed a little early beer and Derek had a lovely fresh glass of Orange Juice as he does!

Its unusual to be playing the Irish Bar on a Wednesday for us and usually its on a Saturday or Sunday at the end of the tour and it can get a bit wild for sure. I started setting up and I had half a PA system to set-up for the room then linking into another in-house system as well. Leads and cables everywhere and no electric points anywhere near us to be seen. I changed three mic cables on my pedal as they weren’t working whilst trying to disco step around our little corner. I doubt my buddy back in the UK Mr. Rob Saddler doesn’t have these problems. He has just won an award for “FOH Engineer of the year” and has been on tour with James Bay for quite a while now. Its great to see a lovely local lad and buddy doing so well at something they love.

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Great plateful at Shamrocks Irish Bar in Lucerne

We managed to get set up and sound checked by 5.30pm and I ordered myself a lovely plate of nachos, chilli and cheese, with guacamole and salsa! OOOOOOOshhhh!!! It was a hell of a portion and went down lovely with my beer on the side! Derek headed back to the hotel while I hung around in the bar feeding my greed and chin-wagging and he returned 20 mins before gig time at 8pm ready for our show.

We had some lovely buddy’s turn up to listen again which I hadn’t seen since the October tour and Legend Bill came in with a Cahjon drum for Mike Marshall. He said he would join us for a few songs later on in the sets. Unfortunately Bill was feeling a little under the weather and could only stay for a short time. It was also Mike Marshall’s 50th birthday at midnight so he was in celebrating mode and was passing birthday cake around the bar.

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Birthday cake time for Mike

We played through our three sets and it was a pretty relaxed gig in the bar for most of it. Mike got up and played four songs with us on the cahjon and we finished off on a spur of the moment take on “Show me the wayyyyyyyyyy to go homeeeeeeeeeee” with a bit of a sing along. We finished up and had a bit crack with everyone in the bar and I sang Mike ‘Happy Birthday’ unplugged while he sat on his drum with a beer looking a little drunk. Hahha. Derek spotted a picture on the wall of an old bearded fella and said it was me, so we took our photo with it too. haha

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After the show I decided to head out with Mike and a few others as he was going for that world famous ‘one last drink’ and the Irish bar had stopped serving by this time and was ready to close. We attempted to get in three other bars but they were all closing and the staff at Downtown suggested going next door. We headed into the bar which was open till late but they didn’t only sell alcohol. You could still have a normal drink in there while the ‘lady’s of the night’ did they’re thing though! We had a couple of beers and tried not to stare too much at what was going on. Hahah.I always find myself somewhere I shouldn’t be on tour for some reason .Haha. I got back to the hotel and Derek was still up who had took my backpack of stuff to his room for me. I managed to grab it and had a bit crack and giggle about the night in the corridor of the hotel before heading off to peeps.

The next gig coming up is The Sprue & Wiesen in Immensee, Zug. See you there.

Jason. Amazing Adventures Always

www.facebook.com/westealfyers