..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

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..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