May you never (YouTube)

I have a new cover video up on my youtube channel this week! A cover of the amazing John Martyns ‘May you never’

I first heard a friend of mine performing this song at an open mic and buskers night I hosted with We Steal Flyers and the song stuck with me. I couldnt stop playing it as I was learning it. The rhythm and fingerstyle is so much fun to dabble with.

I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoy playing it!

Jason – Amazing Adventures Always

www.shagpilemusic.co.uk

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Applecarts & Tanglewoods

BOOOOOO!!!!! Its been a little while since I got to the blog so I have quite a few updates on what’s been happening to catch up on but I’ll try and keep it short and sweet!

First of all, I am sure most of you know by now that the new ‘We Steal Flyers‘ album ‘Applecart’ finally arrived and has been released to the world. You can now purchase it online and at most of the good online retailers like iTunes, Amazon & Cdbaby. The physical copies are also now available at ‘We Steal Flyers’ gigs and for home delivery from the ‘We Steal Flyers’ Shop.

Its been available now for just over a month and the support has been completely overwhelming! Not only did we have lots of orders online through our shop but they have been flying out at our gigs and the feedback from everyone has been so great! Lots of happy people out there with new songs from the us to listen to! A massive thanks to all of you for your continued support and patience! Now lets crack on and get the next album sorted!!

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The next exciting news is after doing a few live videos in Dennis Todd Music shop in Bedlington for guitar manufacturers Tanglewood, I am now an official Tanglewood artist/endorsee. We kept in touch after the videos were shot and released and it all came together. They are a brilliant UK based company who make some stunning guitars and I am now the owner of a beautiful all mahogany TW47E which was presented to me in my local Dennis Todd Music Shop by Mark Whiteman. I’m proud as punch!

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The new addition! Tanglewood TW47E

I was also performing a wedding gig in Ashington last week with Growing Robots with the new guitar for its second outing and the great Darren who is our bass player managed to grab some shots as I was setting up for the show. These were used on the Tanglewood website! You can check out some of Darrens amazing landscape photography of Northumberland and further afield at his homepage ‘Darren Turner Photography’

It’s been a busy old time here in the Shagnut Studio too with a few different projects for artists but I am also well into working on my new solo album too. Its already featuring a few great people you might know of through my pages and the songs all feel exciting and fresh to me. The album is heading towards more melodic and bluesy finger-style guitar and playing around with different tunings to keep it all exciting and I’m absolutely loving the challenges and the learning curves that have come along with it all. I still have lots of more good news in the pipeline but I will have to leave this for the next update!

Life has been good, creative, full of fun, love, laughter and busy times!! What else do I need??

Now back to work I go… hahaha! After a cuppa and some Marmite on toast of course!

Jason … #amazingadventuresalways

www.facebook.com/shagpilemusic

Delaval Hall & Seaton Sluice

13. 3. 2016 – The Delaval Hall Adventure with Olly & Curly

For Christmas gone, Curly and I got a great gift from her mam Anne. She bought us both family passes for the National Trust which gives you access to over 500 special heritage places across the UK from the coastline, castles, countryside and historic buildings which are preserved by the National Trust. A really thoughtful gift meaning we can have some great adventures together and also the little ones too.

We hadn’t managed to use the cards yet but Olivia had written down a list of all the places she would like to visit from the handbook they send you in the post for free. One of the places on that list was Seaton Delaval Hall which was less than 10 minutes drive from my home near the coast.

The sun was shining and we had a spur of the moment idea to make the most of it while I was home and actually had a day of nothing planned together. I rang to see if the little ones wanted to come along with us, but Macey was heading to a Star Wars party dressed as Princess Leia. Olivia was at her grandmas and she was excited to come along with us though so we grabbed a few things and picked her up on the way. She was waiting outside dancing around in her pink tracksuit and new trainers full of smiles as always. I had never been to Deleval Hall either, even though I had drove past the impressive building thousands of times, so it was just as exciting for me. Hahaha

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Main Courtyard of Delaval Hall

Driving into the entrance you get a great view of the main hall. You head out to the left of the main place to a car park where you pass through a little shop and we got to show off our little National Trust cards. The lovely girl behind the counter gave Olly a little sheet of paper with birds and a pen and we had to spot the different kinds of birds around the castle. Hopefully we get to tick them all off and Olly gets a sticker on the way back out. We had a few jokes about looking for tits (blue tits and grey tits) in the trees as we looked at the sheet and headed out to the hall. Hahaha

There was a crazy little home made park made from trees and tunnels on the walk to the hall. We stopped as Olly spotted a big hill with a door in and wanted to go explore. It was the Ice Room with a huge stone pit inside. A bit like having a hugeeeeee fridge where they kept they’re game and fish away from the house.

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Olly & Curly working out the names of the horses in the stables area

After that we headed for a look at the picnic area and then into the stables. All the names of the horses were above each stable and you had to guess from clues which one went with which horse. Olly and Curly had a good spoach around and worked out all the names in no time.

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We then headed to the main courtyard. As you walk through the front of the building its quite an impressive site inside with a huge fireplace and all open so you can see up to the roof. Olly ran off as she seen some stairs and wanted to get upstairs as there was little viewing points but it was closed off unfortunately. Then she realised the stairs went downstairs , and started shouted “Dad…. the dungeonsssssss” Maria and Olly headed down and I followed downstairs into the gloomy underneath of the Hall. There was a huge wine cellar, perfect for Maria, and a lovely beer cellar about three times the size of my kitchen. The pantry and a few other rooms, also with barely any light. We headed back up after having a look about and headed out front to get some photos of the outside and the statue in the courtyard.

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Looking up the staircase from the bottom floor

We then headed to the west wing which was full of suits of armour and huge tables set for banquets. Upstairs was all the paintings of the Delaval family and someone showing you each one. Olly loved the huge magic paintings when the knees pointed at you no matter where you were and the eyes of them following you down the corridors. She spent a little time asking questions about a painting of a little boy and girl. We found out one of them died very young because he tried to be a little naughty with one of the kitchen staff and she gave him a swift kick to the groin which ended his life. Oooooooochas!!! Not a nice way to go huh?

We headed to the little cafe for some refreshments and a little giggle before we left to find somewhere for our dinner. Olly had my crazy pound shop glasses that made your eyes look funny on and we had a right laugh while I supped my lovely coffee. Olly took some photos of me and Curly with the glasses on too.

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Ollys photo of me in the poundshop crazy specs and Curly in the cafe

From there we headed five minutes along the road to the Waterford Arms, where I run a monthly buskers & open mic night with Derek, on the coast for some food and a little look around. I ordered a lamb Sunday lunch with half a Guinness, Olly ordered sausage, mash and peas and Curly had a salad as she was feeling a little under the weather. My dinner was absolutely amazing and the lamb was spot on. Olly was in a right giggly fettle and we had a right laugh at the table while we had our dinners. The Waterford is in such a great location too. Once we finished up our dinners and me and Olly had puddings we headed outside across the road to where all the boats are and took some photos as the sun was coming down. We hung around and wandered about for a little until the temperature started to drop then it was time to head home.Here is some of the photos I managed to grab on the walk.

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It was a lovely little day of adventure and so close to home. The hall is a great local place to visit and I cant wait for the summer to come around so we can head back and chill in the picnic area if we ever get any sunshine. It would also be a fantastic venue for an intimate little acoustic gig. The prices usually without a National Trust card aren’t so bad either at £6.30 entry for Adults and £3.15 for kids. There was a lot more we didn’t get to see too as you can wander around the gardens and pretty much any of the land to the rear of the Hall. So I’m looking forward to taking the little one with us too and Olly can be the tour guide next time!

Take care and catch you for the next adventure and ……. don’t forget to make plenty of  your own!

Jason, Amazing Adventures Always

Join me on instagram for more photos of my adventures HERE

..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

..who you calling a hippie?

Day 2 – Lucerne, Switzerland

After a long day travelling yesterday and landing in Lucerne, I think Derek and I were both ready for a good kip! We are both still not 100 percent after my little hospital visit in the UK and Derek has had a some trouble with his ears since the flight. I woke up around 11am and sorted myself out, unwound the window shutters and opened the window to the view of the lake. We arrived at night so we didn’t really get to see much at all apart from the motorway, the inside of pickwicks bar, Guinness, coffee and our hotel rooms. I was in the infamous ‘room 101’ and Derek was at the the other end of the hotel room in 105. After opening the windows to a cloudy gloomy morning in Lucerne it is still such a great sight and the blast of the cool fresh air was a nice little wake up call for me.

After a quick sort out and a shower I met up with Derek for a walk to the shop for some room supplies. I grabbed some bread, ham (which I later found out was garlic sausage as I didn’t understand the label) some yummy, spready cheese and some flavoured water. Rock ‘n’ roll huh?

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Wandering to the shops for supplies along Lucerne Lake

Walking around the shop there was an older lady who couldn’t help staring at Mr. Derek and pulling twisty, funny faces as we wandered about. We turned up at the check out and she slipped in behind Derek as if she just appeared from thin air. As we were putting our items in a ‘free’ (none of this 5p nonsense in the UK) carrier bag she said to Derek “Are you a Scottish hippy?” hahahhahahaa .. Derek gave her a sticker and she said “I cant see that” hahah. I think out of all the things we both have been called whilst we have been on tour, that was by far the funniest! We headed off back to the room via a Canadian guy trying to sell us magazines in German and some swiss people setting the road on fire.

I had a cup of coffee and then got my guitar out and restrung it ready for tomorrows start of the tour.

If there is anyone interested in what strings I use , they are mainly Custom light gauge on my working guitars. I use Martin brand most of the time and sometimes switching to a set of Elixirs now and then when Mr. Mike Slaughter gifts me a pack. He’s good like that!

Anyhow I managed to get it all sorted and ready for the tour ahead and decided to play it in whilst I had the chance. I’ve been working on a new song in Open D tuning and thought I’d have a play around with it and let it progress a little. The verses are starting to get to where I want them and there is a little part which needs lyrics but it was all coming together nicely so I thought I’d grab a little video in the hotel room of part of the song. This way you can have a sneaky little listen at something new and also, I won’t forget what I was doing!

Once I had my fill of music I went for a little wander around Lucerne with my new little dinky travel camera. I managed to get some nice shots of the lake and the bridges around Lucerne just as the light was starting to dissapear. I bought a Sony a5000 as I wanted something better than a phone with a few more manual settings and so far I’ve managed to get some nice photos with it. Here is a little photo of the lake and bridge in Lucerne, right outside my hotel window which I took on my solo stroll.

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Lake Lucerne with our Hotel Pickwick on the left, shot on my new Sony camera

After a quick look through the photos and a quick change I headed back out into Lucerne. One of my favourite bars here is Bruch Brothers and was one of the first places I played on an early tour. It has a real great ‘muso’ feel about it with a nice stage and PA system and the owner is a great guy. When there is no live music on the playlist on the sound system is always brings back great memories of songs through out my life from rock,blues and grunge times gone by. Tonight a good friend Patrick Archer from San Francisco was running a Jam night with his band in Bruch Brothers so I was heading down to have a listen and see how he was getting on with his band.

Legend Bill was heading down too and met me for a few little sneaky small beers. Patrick was setting up and when they got going the band was brilliant. There was some great song choices and originals and Patrick was joined by a female sax player, bass player and Mr. Paiste who was part of the  Paiste Cymbals family was behind him on the kit and was a great drummer to watch playing live. I managed to get up and play a few songs with the band and picked two little bluesy songs. The band jumped in with me and it was such a great feeling having a great band around you listening to what’s going on and being able to just jam through anything I did. Such a great little night at Bruch Brothers as usual and after they finished off I wandered back to the hotel in the nipping cold ready for my little cozy bed to warm me up.

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Patrick Archer Band @ Bruch Brothers, Lucerne

After that, I had a bit of a strange night. I managed to have a little chat online before I headed off to sleep and then wound my window shutters down in complete darkness. I dropped off to sleep and woke up around 3.45am with what sounded like someone screaming in my ear. It was a strange thing as if someone was in the room and screeching at me, and I couldn’t find any light switches! The mind is a strange thing sometimes and often catches me out for some reason or another. I ended up sitting for an hour trying to work out what had just happened and if I was just still suffering some kind of feverish silliness that sent my noodle off on one! Hahah… anyhow I must have slipped back off to sleep with the light on feeling very strange, but woke up in a fine fettle for day 3 of the tour and finally our first gig, but that’s for day three of the diary!

I hope you are enjoying the daily blogging. I’d love to hear any stories or your thoughts on the crazy witch screech… or your own weird happenings in the middle of the night.. or you can of course just take the mickey!! Hahahah!!!

Thanks for reading Amazing Adventures Always!

Day 3 ere we goooooo!! Jason….

…Have guitar, will travel

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Have guitar, will travel!

Day 1 of the Swiss Winter Tour 2016

Today the Switzerland ‘We Steal Flyers Winter 2016 Tour has arrived and before I knew it, its the end of the day and I am parked up in my hotel room over looking Lake Lucerne and its just turned midnight. Here is a little run through of how things panned out today!

I woke up around 10am and was feeling a little spaced out and little rough as it was my big brother Andy’s Birthday yesterday. Curly and I popped down with a present and card around 5pm. Andy was in his little workshop out back and came in to make us some cups of coffee before we headed off. Somehow the coffee magically turned into a glass of red wine for Curly and some of Andy’s home made Sloe Gin for me. We had a good bit crack in the Vares Kitchen and I finished off one of his bottles of Sloe Gin and moved onto the next one. After Andy had tried out his desktop drum kit and had some giggles with a head massager from Momma Vare I headed home and took the last of the sloe gin with me.

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Happy Birthday to the Big Bro’ in the Vare Kitchen!

Anyhow after a bit catch up with a friend at the house and couch time with the Curly and more of gin I woke up in the morning still feeling a bit potent after Andy’s secret weapon sloe gin. I still had a few things to sort out and Mel was heading to get me to head off to Manchester Airport around 12.30pm.

Mel, Derek and the kids tipped up and I was pretty much sorted thanks to the awesome help of the Curly machine who packed up my case and got pretty much everything ready to go for me, while I stumbled around looking hazily for guitar cables, strings and chargers.

We headed south in the car with me driving, Derek in the passenger seat and Mel and the kids having a party in the back seats. It took just over 3 hours to get down to Manchester airport with the constant roadworks that seem to be on every main road in the UK for the last 4 or 5 years. We had one little wee stop at Wetherby services and had time for a quick Greggs beef & veg pastie then headed straight off again.

We made it to Manchester airport just twenty minutes before the bag drop closed and dashed through the customs to arrive at Gate 9 as it was closing, jumped on the end of the queue and before we new it we were up in the air and heading off to Basel, Switzerland. I got the window seat and deg sat in the middle talking to his new buddy and giving her a We Steal Flyers sticker from his bottomless pocket of sticky circle pictures of me and him sharing a bathroom. Hahaha!

We were planning on jumping on a train to Lucerne but the amazing Swiss Steffi turned up in her little Clio to pick us up and take us to the Hotel Pickwick. As usual I jumped in the drivers seat and headed off on the wrong side of the road. Its a strange thing driving on the wrong side of the road and the roads are pretty strict in Switzerland and before I knew it we were heading along a motorway in a 120kmh stretch and a speed camera lit up the road behind me. I think it may have sneakily changed to a 100kmh and confuddled other side driving Shaggy didn’t see it. Oooops!! either that or it was just some fireworks for the Flyers arriving in Switzerland.

We had a quick stop off on the motorway at a co-op which for some reason had a Sex toy shop in the entrance? So the first place we stopped off on tour in Switzerland was the MEGA SEX STORE! Hahahha… After Steffi checked out all the ‘toys’ and Derek and me grabbed a few goodies to nibble on we hit the road again to Lucerne trying not to set off any more speed cameras.

I’m not sure how many tours exactly we have done in Switzerland but its always a nostalgic feeling driving in as you come over the bridge over Lucerne Lake and you remember some of the times had in this beautiful part of the world.

“Have guitar, will travel” was an album by Bo Diddley and when I first started getting into the acoustic guitar as a young laddie, I remember it popping up in different places and my musical buddy Paul Bainbridge used to be always singing and playing Billy Bragg songs. He would teach me his songs and he gave me a book with his music in with ‘Have guitar, will travel’ on a silhouette drawing of Billy Bragg. Its always stuck with me and I even have a old Tattoo with the words on a scroll on my left arm as I sit here in Lucerne in a hotel writing this Blog with the Lake Lucerne in front of me and my guitar sitting by me in its case.

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Blog time at the Hotel Pickwick over looking the Lake Lucerne

We met up with Mark our tour manager here in Switzerland and Mr. Bill Weir and the five of us had a catch up and I sank a few Guinness as we sat in the corner of the Hotel Pickwick bar on the lake of Lucerne. Then it was up to our rooms to get some well needed sleep after I made a little start on the blog.

Before I knew it I’m waking up by an amazing lake in Switzerland and ready for another step into more Amazing Adventures Always. We are here with a great tour ahead of us!!

Here is our tour dates for the adventure ahead!

  • 19th Gallus Pub, St. Gallen, Switzerland
  • 20th Pickwick Pub, Baden, Switzerland
  • 21st Expresso Bar Grindelwald, Switzerland
  • 24th Shamrock Pub, Luzern, Switzerland
  • 25th Spreu & Weizen, Immensee, Switzerland
  • 26th Schweizerhof Hotel, Luzern, Switzerland
  • 27th Shamrock Pub, Luzern, Switzerland

You can keep up to date with the tour with photos and updates along the way on our Facebook page. If you can and it’s your thing please share away anything you can regarding the tour and our dates. It all helps with making our shows awesome!

I’m off to do some adventuring and I hope you have an awesome day ahead of you!

Jason – Amazing Adventures Always

..revenge of the indian curry devil!

6.2.2016 – The demon curry came back to haunt me!

Day 3 of the tour started off with a lie in as there was no free breakfast today! Derek was up and about showering while I dozed a little longer this morning and after the crazy curry last night my stomach felt like it was gonna burst open all over the bed sheets. Luckily it didn’t though and after a weird experience of joy, heat and pain in the bathroom I was free of the demon curry for a while! Hahahaha! T.M.I… It really was the hottest thing i’ve ever had pass my lips and its hard to explain the whole experience and what it was like in words….

Once we we’re both up, sorted and clothes and gear packed up in the room we headed down to check out leaving the smelly curry room behind forever. It was still better than the cleaning product smell that we found when we entered but i’m not sure the cleaners would agree with that when they arrived into the curry pit of hell after we left.

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The Deezer Jukebox in the Ibis Hotel Bar in Bradford

We handed our keys into the receptionist and I spied a lovely, chrome, glistening coffee machine behind her at the bar screaming silently at me. It would be rude not to have one… right? We perched our butts on the stools and got two lovely Americanas in tall glasses.(I reckon we looked proper posh) It was then we noticed the iPad on a stand facing us and asking to be poked. I had a little look and realized it was a Jukebox ran by Deezer. Deezer is a streaming service online a little like Spotify where you pay a monthly fee and you can listen to music on there on your mobile devices but I had never seen the Deezer Jukebox setup before. Basically you can hit a search button and type in an artist and que up some songs to listen to via the bar speakers. The first thing we had to do was have a look and see if we were on there and we were! Both our albums were available for people to choose some songs to play in the Ibis Hotel Bar which is pretty cool. Then I thought i’d take a look and see how much we get paid for being on Deezer and letting people download or stream our music.

1000 plays on Deezer = approx $8.10 – £5.56 which is one of the best paid streaming services compared to other similair websites!

Whether this is a good thing or bad thing for musicians , I will let you make your own mind up, but its good to know Deezer are actually paying more than they’re competition and giving a little more back to the artists and creators out there.

If your interested you can find a great article about it all HERE on Digital Music News

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Getting the blog up to date on Amazing Adventures Always

After another cup of coffee each then we headed next door for some food at the bar and an awesome £10 for two meals special offer. I had a lurrrverly steak and ale pie with mash n peas and Derek was on the sausage mash n peas special! A quick phone call from Bry the lion and then we headed back to the hotel bar and hung around there for the rest of the day. I managed to get the blog up to date and got some messages out to blogs and podcast to get some tracks played on their shows and then we had a little competition to see who could get the highest score on Donkey Kong.

Derek won hands down and then headed off to walk around his table circle, making everyone in the bar dizzy while he did his laps.

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Derek doing his laps of glory!

It was time to head off to the next gig which was again another new venue called The Forge in Leeds. It was only about 20 minutes drive from our hotel and we landed in good time for a sound check and two pints of water. (ahh …the rock star life) The venue was a good looking place and a good size with a nice raised area for the live music which was on regularly. The first set didn’t seem to go by too fast as we were both struggling a little to hear again as the PA provided didn’t come with any monitoring system again. Its pretty important for us to be able to hear each other at a gig as there is a lot of vocal harmony throughout the songs. If its not quite right then it sounds completely wrong!! We managed though and the second set got a little more volume out of it and we were finished by 10.50pm. An early louse for the flyers and in good time for a 2 and a half hour drive back up to the North-east. We were in the car and on the road by 11.10pm. Derek grabbed his new CD he got for Christmas off Melanie which was a 2 disk special of all the ‘T.F.I Friday’ songs which had some great tracks on it. The drive home just seemed to dissapear in no time with lots of nosatlgic tunes blasting around the car and before I knew it we were having a cup o’ tea off Mel in Broomhill.

Derek stayed in the house and Mel headed to Bedlington with me to drop me off and I was back not long after 1.30am which was 2 hours earlier than I originally thought I would be. A quick hello to a sleepy Curly then I headed back down stairs for a vodka & coke , a ham and salad cream sandwich and a quick blast on Call of Duty on the Xbox One to wind me down for bed time around 3.30am.

Day 3 done and dusted! See you soon!

Jason – Amazing Adventures Always

There is lots of Photos to come from the tour so far and you can find them on the We Steal Flyers facebook page HERE