..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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…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

…Irish Muckle Elephant Food

Day 3 – Lucerne to St. Gallen and back again!

Today is the real start of the tour! Our first gig for the ‘We Steal Flyers, Winter Tour 2016’ is in Gallus Pub in St. Gallen, Switzerland This is a new venue for us and also a new area of Switzerland for us too. A nice exciting way to start the tour off!

Waking up and grabbing a coffee was the first thing on my mind! Then I had a little work to do online and get my diary up to date or you wouldn’t have any of these to read. We are in and out of Wi-Fi and travelling a lot so the days will be a few days behind mostly but at least you can still keep up with what is happening on the road and in our adventures around Switzerland.

After my work was done, I managed to squeeze a shower in whilst I listened to Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats blarring out my laptop as I got myself ready and packed my little ruck sack with bits n pieces for the show.

Derek and I left the hotel around 3pm with our guitars and matching Karrimor backpacks and headed to the back of ‘Legends Bar’ on the other side of town, which is where I performed live in Switzerland for the first time in a window sill of the bar, when I came over in March 2010. Our good friend Bill used to own the bar back then but unfotunatley not anymore.

We met up with Mark, our frog squashing tour manager and jumped in his Mercedes BritBeat machine ready to head over to St. Gallen. We headed off on the road after an old guy in the biggest black car in the world shook his leather fisted gloves at Derek for trying to get in the side door of the van from the road side. We shot off through the many traffic lights and crossings of Lucerne and found our way to the motorway when Mark pulled out his ACDC album for the road trip! Yeshh!! We made a quick pit stop for some weird crisps, blue fanta and other weird nom noms for the rest of the trip to St. Gallen. The drive took around 1 hour and 45mins and then about 20mins driving around the bar in circles trying to find how to get to it.

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We Steal Flyers – from UK – Irish Music?

We nipped inside after Mark came out laughing and told us to go see the size of the place and how much gear we would need.We also ntoiced the outside advertisement on the wall you can see above. The bar was a little bigger than my kitchen at home! An Irish themed, square bar in an old upstairs building on a main street full of great little nicknack’s on the walls and ceiling. There was an in house Pa System that we could link into and we just needed our mixer, mics and micstands. The whole building was on bit of a slant and I nearly fell over twice bending over plugging leads and my pedal in and then losing my balance. It wasn’t a lot, but enough to make everything feel very strange. It almost felt like the place was moving when you looked around.

Once we sound checked we headed across the road to a Thai Restaurant called Big Elephant. We are always fed well over here and looked after. The meal was amazing and I actually felt a little full up to sing. We had a little time to relax and have a Guinness and a few of Marks whiskies in the bar before we started the show though. Mark was doing a whisky tasting in the opposite corner of the bar while we played music. The Whisky & Song works really well together in some of the bars and hotels in Switzerland.It also means I get to try out a few sneaky whiskys while we play. Win Win!!

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‘Whisky & Song’ with The Whisky Experience

We had a great fun first gig with one of the staff taking off into his own version of La Bamba in the 3rd set after I simply strummed a C chord between songs. Everyone joined in and had a huge sing along in the smallest pub of ever! It was also great to see people singing along to ‘Apple-cart’ too which is one of our new songs to come on the new album which isn’t even out yet. We performed a live take of Apple-cart when we were in the Shagnut Studio recording the album and you can see it below. We have some great news of the new album coming soon too so keep your ears and eyes peeled.

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Gallus Pub in St.Gallen, Switzerland

After we packed our little bits and pieces up we jumped back in the BritBeat Machine and headed back to Lucerne for around 1.30am, headed back to the hotel over our little night time bridge and I got a little caught up with some more work online until my eyes couldn’t stay open any longer. Luckily there was no weird little witches running around in my room and I got myself a good little sleep. The next gig for us two Flyers is in Baden, Switzerland. A great little English style bar with a nice stage area with plenty of room to shake our legs. Speak to you after the show! 😉

www.facebook.com/westealflyers

Jason – Amazing Adventures Always

..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….

Travelling Hobo Shaggy!

Ive just came back from my spell of gigs in Luzern in Switzerland..   What a time I had away and what an amazing place with the best people..

Me , The Legend...Bill and the Flintmiester

I didnt really know what to expect at all as this was my first time away gigging in another country but I have to say..  this definately wont be my last..

The whole experience was great and I managed to make some great contacts from it all so il definately be back over there soon.

Heres a video of me playing in Legends bar which has to be the best bar in Luzern..its a bit dark as its from a little handycam but youll get the idea and theres a few clips from the train ride home in there too!! ..  A massive thanks to Bill for helping to make this possible..  I couldnt have done this without his help and also Flinty for helping to arrange it all.


And a few photos too ..

Bloody cold it was!

Top UK guitar vocalist.. hehehhehhe!!

Where to next??  we shall see..   but until the next adventure..  Toodleeeeeeeooooo!!

LEGENDS... Best bar in Luzern!!

Signing out! Shagmeister!