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

…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

January 2016 – Gigs Gone Bye

As a little reminder of what’s been happening through out the year I’m gona post a little note as ‘Gigs Gone Bye’ with a list of the shows I’ve played at the end of every month.

Starting with January 2016 below.

8th January – The Wishing Well – Seaham – SR77EJ

9th January – The Elks Head – Whitfield – Hexham – NE47 8HD

11th January – Hosting Open Mic – Waterford Arms – NE26 4QZ

15th January – The Waterford – Seaton Sluice – NE26 4QZ

17th January – StreetJelly.com – Live Stream (Solo)

19th January – Osbournes – Yarm – TS159AE

20th January – StreetJelly.com – Live Stream (Solo)

21st January – The Blue Bell – Belford – NE707NE – 8pm Start

22nd January – The Queens Head – Rothbury – NE65 7SR

23rd January – Queens Head – Chester le street – DH33BJ

31st January – The Lake – South Shields – NE34 7AY

Gigs Gone Forever….

I was trying to recall all the gigs that have dissapeared allready this year and couldnt think of hardly any… so….. I decided to have a look about and make a list of the gigs gone by this year already!! I havent included the online stuff .. apart from one which was the Clear Blue Skies special!! Not bad for it only been the beginning of June huh??

GIGS GONE BY SO FAR ….. 2009

JANUARY

7TH JAN    –    HOKO 10 ( STOLEN TOM )
10TH JAN    –    THE QUAY (STOLEN TOM )
16TH JAN    –    THE STEAMBOAT  (STOLEN TOM )
24TH JAN    –    THE BRICK CLUB
25TH JAN    –    BUBBLES
31ST JAN    –    BUBBLES  (STOLEN TOM )

FEBRUARY

7TH FEB    –    DOG & PARROT  (STOLEN TOM )
13TH FEB    –    ONLINE SPECIAL WITH CBS
20TH FEB    –    HAIRY LEMON
21ST FEB    –    SNOOTY FOX, WAKEFIELD
21ST FEB    –    SNOOTY FOX, WAKEFIELD  (STOLEN TOM )
22ND FEB    –    BUBBLES
26TH FEB    –    TRILLIANS  (STOLEN TOM )
28TH FEB    –    THE FARRIERS

MARCH

4TH MAR    –    STEAMBOAT
22ND MAR    –    BEBSIDE INN  (STOLEN TOM )
29TH MAR    –    BUBBLES WITH ROD CLEMENTS OF LINDISFARNE

APRIL

3RD APRIL    –    TROJAN ROOMS  (STOLEN TOM )
5TH APRIL    –    BLUEBELL,AMBLE
5TH APRIL    –    ASHINGTON CENTRAL  (STOLEN TOM )
10TH APRIL    –    THE ISABELLA
11TH APRIL    –    BERESFORD ARMS
13TH APRIL    –    THE SMUGGLERS
13TH APRIL    –    WASHINGTON ART CENTRE
23RD APRIL    –    THE QUAY  (STOLEN TOM )
25TH APRIL    –    THE CLAYTON  (STOLEN TOM )

MAY

1ST MAY    –    THE SUN INN, MORPETH
2ND MAY    –    ROCK THE BARN  (STOLEN TOM )
4TH MAY    –    BUBBLES  (STOLEN TOM )
10TH MAY    –    THE SCHOONER, SEAHOUSES
15TH MAY    –    THE ISABELLA
17TH MAY    –    BUBBLES WITH GREG GRIFFINS OF PROUD MARY
23RD MAY    –    THE QUAY  (STOLEN TOM )
29TH MAY    –    THE STEAMBOAT  (STOLEN TOM )
30TH MAY    –    HE NEW INN, LONG FRAMLINGTON